||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2010)|
Natalie MacMaster performing in Centralville, Massachusetts, 2007
|Birth name||Natalie Ann MacMaster|
June 13, 1972 |
Troy Nova Scotia, Canada
|Genres||Cape Breton fiddle music|
|Associated acts||Buddy MacMaster
MacMaster has toured with the Chieftains, Faith Hill, Carlos Santana and Alison Krauss, and has recorded with Yo-Yo Ma. She has appeared at the Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton, Celtic Connections in Scotland, and MerleFest in the United States.
MacMaster is the daughter of Alex and Minnie (Beaton) MacMaster and the sister of Kevin and David MacMaster. She is the niece of renowned Cape Breton fiddler Buddy MacMaster and the cousin of two other fiddlers, Ashley MacIsaac and Andrea Beaton. She is also distantly related to Jack White.
In 2002, she married fiddler Donnell Leahy of the Leahy family band, and moved to Lakefield, Ontario. Leahy and MacMaster have four daughters: Mary Frances Rose (b. December 3, 2005), Clare Marie (b. February 18, 2009), Julia Elizabeth (b. January 4, 2011) and Sadie Agnes (b. April 12, 2014) and two sons: Michael Joseph Alexander (b. June 23, 2007)  and Alec Francis (b. August 11, 2012).
MacMaster began playing the fiddle at the age of nine, and made her performing debut the same year at a square dance in Glencoe Mills, Nova Scotia. When she was sixteen she released her first album, Four on the Floor, and a second album, Road to the Isle, followed in 1991. Her first album was self-produced, while her second was co-produced by John Morris Rankin (Rankin Family) and Tom O'Keefe <as per original cassette jacket>. Both albums were initially released only on cassette, but Rounder Records omitted a few tracks and re-released as A Compilation in 1998.
She has received a number of Canadian music awards, including several "Artist of the Year" awards from the East Coast Music Association, two Juno Awards for best instrumental album, and "Fiddler of the Year" from the Canadian Country Music Association. MacMaster was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Niagara University in New York in 2006. In 2006, she was made a member of the Order of Canada.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|CAN||US Heat||US Indie||US Folk||US Grass|
|Four on the Floor||
|Road to the Isle||
|Fit as a Fiddle||
|In My Hands||
|My Roots Are Showing||
|Cape Breton Girl||
|One (with Donnell Leahy)||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|1997||"Fiddle and Bow" (with Bruce Guthro)||—|
|"The Drunken Piper" (with Cookie Rankin)||—|
|1999||"In My Hands"||18||In My Hands|
|"Get Me Through December" (with Alison Krauss)||40|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|1997||"Fiddle and Bow" (with Bruce Guthro)||Andrew MacNaughtan|
|"The Drunken Piper" (with Cookie Rankin)|
|1999||"In My Hands"||Christopher Mills|
|"Get Me Through December" (with Alison Krauss)||Mark Hesselink|
|2014||"Go Tell It on the Mountain"
(with Johnny Reid and The Rankins)
- Traditional Music From Cape Breton Island, Nimbus NI5383, 1993 (two tracks)
- Celtic Colours – The Road Home, 1997 (one track)
- Celtic Colours – The Second Wave, 1998 (one track)
- Celtic Colours – Forgotten Roots, 1999 (one track)
- Roots Music: An American Journey, Rounder 0501, 2001 (one track)
- Songs for the Savoy, 2001 (one track)
- Celtic Colours — The Colours of Cape Breton, 2002 (one track)
- Celtic Colours — Volume VII, 2003 (one track)
- The Rough Guide to the Music of Canada, 2005 (one track)
- Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs of Joy and Peace; Songs:A Christmas Jig/Mouth of the Tobique Reel; 2008 (Sony BMG)
- Thomas Dolby: Amerikana EP, Songs:Toad Lickers and 17 Hills, 2010 (Lost Toy People, Inc)
- "White Stripes Gear up for Canada, Find Family Along the Way", SoulShine, June 19, 2007
- "Governor General to invest 41 recipients into the Order of Canada". The Governor General of Canada web site. May 2, 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
- Natalie MacMaster official website
- TED Talks: Natalie MacMaster fiddles in reel time at TED in 2002
- TED Talks: Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy play the Cape Breton fiddle at TED in 2003