Jessica Christine Crowley is a Cape Breton fiddler whose forebears come were from Counties Cork and Kerry in Ireland. Her Dad comes from Grand Bank Newfoundland and moved to Cape Breton as a teenager.
As a Canadian fiddler with a firm foundation in the traditional music of Cape Breton and the irrepressible curiosity of an artist driven to create and discover, Chrissy Crowley is now bringing her music worldwide. She has performed throughout Canada, the United States, the UK, as well as Ireland, France, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, captivating audiences with a talent that belies her youth.
Her music is in a new direction; a path of fearless innovation which has earned the fiddler a 2013 Canadian Folk Music Award, a Top 20 Under 20 in Canada award, and numerous East Coast Music Association and Music Nova Scotia nominations. Chrissy’s new release is titled “Last Night’s Fun.”
To maintain a fresh and lively sound that often gets lost in a recording process, all track arrangements took place the night before each studio session. The result is an album recorded with the same energy and spontaneity you’d find in Chrissy’s live shows… an honest and raw sound once described as ”fiery fiddle playing with a distinctly mischievous personality” (Tim Readman, Penguin Eggs Magazine).”
Her first recording, released in 2007 when she was 17, heralded the emergence of a fascinating new talent.
A Sonicbids “Artists Spotlight” honour and various Music Nova Scotia and East Coast Music Award showcases including the ECMA Rising Star and Roots Room, were acknowledgement of her great potential.Her debut record was nominated for a Music Nova Scotia Award, ECMA and Canadian Folk Music Award, leading her to be selected as the CBC Galaxie’s Celtic Artist of the Month (May 2009).
Her highly anticipated second album, released in 2010, did not disappoint, garnering the same nominations once again. Many fans expected a recording of the traditional tunes of her repertoire, and were pleasantly surprised to discover that Chrissy had recorded a mixture of new and old. Chrissy’s original compositions and her experimentation with various instruments and contemporary arrangements acoustically expressed her irrepressible free spirit.
Now living in Sydney, Chrissy is originally from the beautiful Margaree area of Nova Scotia, Canada, a place known for its cherished musical culture. The music of the ceilidh resonates in the majestic mountains and peaceful valleys incorporating not only the tunes of the Scottish Gaels but also those of the area’s Irish and French-Acadians.
Chrissy has been inspired by the traditions of artists who have gone before. She has embraced the music of her Celtic roots and made it her own.
(Written by Lisa Butchart, Offshore Gael Music)
What people are saying…..
“ Chrissy Crowley doesn’t just set the stage on fire; she sets it ablaze. Crowley has it all as she demonstrated to a full house of wet music lovers at Celtic Colours on Friday night. She has the talent, energy to burn, her own sound, she writes her own powerful tunes, she’s beautiful, funny, great with the audience and blows the roof off of every venue she plays. It wouldn’t be a leap to say that Ms. Crowley will be the next international superstar of the Cape Breton fiddle, following in the steps of “old-timers” Natalie MacMaster and Ashley MacIsaac.” Rankin MacDonald, Inverness Oran, 2012
“A seriously swinging Cape Breton Fiddler. Some things just seem predetermined, inevitable, unavoidable. And so it is with the chosen vocation of one Chrissy Crowley. Born into a large family steeped in the ways of Celtic music, this unfeasibly young fiddler has taken on the twin mantels of both protecting and promoting the sounds of her native Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, the region where Celtic music prospers thanks to the Scottish, Irish and French-Acadian backgrounds of its residents. It’s when she picks up her fiddle that she undertakes the true ambassadorial role, the sound of Cape Breton history emerging with every thrust of her bow. While technically flawless, Chrissy’s playing also swings along with a sense of youthful mischief, while her natural curiosity will surely see her expanding the Cape Breton tradition in years to come. For now though, give your ears and heart over to a spellbindingly precocious talent.”
Nige Tassell The Guardian (UK) 2012
“…rapidly gaining a fearsome reputation among the cognoscenti of Celtic fiddling. Her playing is fiery and has a distinctly mischievous personality.” Tim Readman, Penguin Eggs Magazine, August 2007
“…the first fruits of the endeavors of a brilliantly gifted teenager who has been sufficiently impassioned by traditional music to teach herself to play, and sufficiently steeped in it to produce work that has genuine riches of its
own… There’s a great deal to celebrate in the fact that Cape Breton music is being carried on in the hands of young musicians like Chrissy Crowley, manifestly respectful of its heritage, while finding ways to keep it contemporary and fresh.” Ray Templeton, Musical Traditions Internet magazine, August 2007
“It’s true some can be taught to play the fiddle and do well at it – but rarer is the person who was born to play – where the instrument is a natural extension of the artist and the music they make is truly pieces of them revealed…honest, real and oh so good. That’s Chrissy Crowley. Her talent as a player is matched perfectly by her personality -naturally gifted, wonderfully spirited and great fun indeed! I can’t wait to see what she creates next!!!” Stephanie Beaumont, Sea and be Scene 2012
“Rave reviews have been received from various media outlets for Chrissy’s outstanding fiddle playing and she is definitely a star in the making.” John Gavin, Atlantic Seabreeze, 2009
“This self-titled CD is a shining example of the heart and backbone of the East Coast tradition.” Tom Knapp, Rambles Magazine June 2007
“… Tracks such as “Dodging Potholes” show off this lady’s skill as she executes all difficult moves with her bow; a pleasure to hear her soar through. Should be interesting to see what is next for her–excellent to begin with–she can only get better from here! There’s nothing like new talent on the horizon.” Catherine L. Tulley August 2007 Celtic MP3 Magazine
“After the release of her first self-titled album in 2007, Chrissy has become a favourite with audiences home and abroad, and is definitely making a name for herself. The Departure is a mix of lively and livelier tracks. The album starts off with a bang to grab your attention…right from the start, you can tell this album is going to be a real corker.” Anne Louise Campbell, Whatsgoingon.ca, 2010
“Although still only twenty years old, the Margaree fiddler shows incredible maturity in her playing. She displays a flair for arranging on this new CD using funk, latin and world beat rhythms to drive the tune medleys. The opening cut sets the tone as Chrissy and her studio musicians and friends Jason Roach (piano) and Ian Hayes (guitar, banjo and fiddle) perform a terrific rendition of The Glen Road to Carrick. The remainder of the CD is made up of the dance music one would expect and hope for. Chrissy’s composition The Dopplegange is an adventurous cut and shows the widespread talent of these young musicians.” John Ferguson for Celtic Life, May 2010
What Chrissy has accomplished musically so far in her young life is impressive. Add to this a charming personality and her obvious love of this music and you have a combination that has caused Chrissy to be in great and increasing demand at festivals. I first met her at the 2007 Celtic Colours Festival where she was a featured performer at a concert in honor of Archie Neil Chisholm. With this much talent and enthusiasm, we have a lot to look forward to in the future from Chrissy. Jim Straff at Sfcelticmusic.com, 2009
“Steeped in the finest of Cape Breton’s fiddle traditions Chrissy’s lively playing is evidence of that, but also there is an adventure and creativity that is so much a part of her gifted musical personality, she has all the goods.”
Fred Lavery Producer/owner Lakewind Sound Studio
“With the always positive responses we’ve received from Chrissy’s performances time and time again, she brings a bright, fresh approach to the delivery of her shows and her talents naturally wow the audience. I never hesitate to recommend this young, delightful performer.
Stephanie Purcell, Agent and Client Services Director, LimeLight
Chrissy Crowley brings a crystal clear delivery to her compositions. Built on the solid foundation of her Scottish and Irish heritage… Tradition brought forward in compelling style and technique. Phill McIntyre, Skye Theatre
Performing Arts Center
Chrissy Crowley has been a delight for audiences at Festival of Small Halls in Prince Edward Island for several years now. In addition to her great stage presence and bright, cute, personality, she has a fantastic grasp of Celtic fiddling. She knows and plays all the traditional pieces with passion, and her creativity in writing and playing her own tunes is wonderful.
Her top notch performances are playful, sizzling and expressive, and when she is on the stage she holds audiences captive.
Debbie Atkinson, Festival of Small Halls