Scottish Night at the Log Drive Café

Maura Volante, Alexis MacIsaac & Calum Mackenzie

Friday, January 27, 2017
7:30 – 9:00 pm (doors open at 7)
950 Bank Street, Ottawa
The Glebe Centre Community Programs at
Abbotsford House
(the old stone house across from Lansdowne)

$10 at the door*

Maura Volante sings traditional Scottish songs, interspersed with tunes played by fiddler Alexis MacIsaac and pianist Calum Mackenzie. The two excellent musicians (who will have their new CD with them for sale), will also accompany Maura on some of the songs. The theme is in honour of Robbie Burns, and there will be a few of his songs, but also ancient ballads, sentimental favourites, and Canadian songs with Scottish connections.

Maura Volante is a singer of traditional folk songs from Canada, the British Isles and the U.S. Her strong, simple singing style puts the lyrical content front and centre, encouraging the listener to engage in the story and sing along on the chorus. Her primary instrument is the voice and she prefers unaccompanied singing for many of the old songs. But she enjoys singing with instrumentalists as well, and finds the piano and fiddle a natural fit for Scottish folk music.

Maura is also a promoter and teacher of traditional folk music and dance, helping put on the Log Drive Café and other events.

Alexis MacIsaac and Calum MacKenzie are a wife and husband duo who have established a unique musical partnership that combines Cape Breton piano playing with a modern approach to Celtic fiddle. While Calum’s musical approach has been heavily influenced by his Hebridean roots and his native Cape Breton culture, Alexis’ playing is a multi-faceted harmonization of Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton styles.

Though their respective approaches to music are distinct, together they create a clean and seamless sound that is nonetheless grounded in tradition. As a fiddle player, Alexis has performed throughout North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates with acts such as Riverdance, The High Kings, and The Paperboys, while Calum has been fortunate to play with, and accompany, many local Cape Breton artists and international musicians both at home and abroad in the Caribbean and in Scotland on piano and fiddle.

Their debut album, The Bay Street Sessions, (releasing February 4) is a compilation of original and traditional compositions and arrangements, infused with centuries-old feeling and contemporary flair: their mutual love for music articulated in each note and phrase from bow to key

The Log Drive Café is a traditional music venue, held on occasional Friday evenings, featuring local and visiting folk singers and musicians in a coffee-house setting, in which the audience is welcome to sing along.

Tea, coffee, cold drinks and baked goods are available.

Abbotsford House is a wheelchair accessible recreation centre focused on older adults; however, the Log Drive Café is an all-ages event.

As it will likely be be wet out, please bring indoor shoes to protect the floor.

*If $10 is a hardship for you, offer what you can and we will take it; no questions asked.

This information is also on the website:

Contact Maura Volante with further questions:
Or call Abbotsford House: 613 230 5730



Sing Here Now

A vocal improvisation session

1st Sunday of the month,
(usually, but there is no session in January because of New Year’s Day)
Next session
February 5 2017
2 – 4 pm
Royal Oak Pub at the Pretoria Bridge, upstairs

Sing Here Now is a new session hosted by Maura Volante, providing an opportunity for recreational singing. Like any session in the folk community, people listen to each other’s offerings and participate if they wish. However, instead of fiddle tunes or folk songs, the focus of this session is improvised singing. Although many people associate improvisation with jazz, there is no style requirement for Sing Here Now. One piece might sound like folk music, another could sound like noise, while another may slide into a funky groove. Maura is prepared to provide such guidance as may be necessary to help create a wonderful musical experience together, while encouraging others to lead as well.


Maura Volante is best known as a folk singer, specializing in traditional Canadian folk songs. But she also has a lot of experience with improvisational singing, both as participant and as leader. Her first improv experiences were in Vancouver in the 1990s, working with Rhiannon, Laurel Murphy and other fine improvisers. Here in Ottawa, Maura organized Oya, a vocal improvisation group that met weekly for several years. In recent years, Maura joined ad hoc groups led by Phil Minton from England and Christine Duncan from Toronto.

Sing Here Now meets every month on the 1st Sunday, from 2 to 4 pm. Attendance is free and open to all. Everyone’s voice is welcome but no one is required to participate. No expertise required. Just show up. The rest will flow.



Get on the email list to receive information directly about coming events.
Email maura dot volante at gee mail dot com and to get on the list.

One Response to Events

  1. HelenGlover says:

    Will try to come Maura, just not sure when I’ll be available. Sounds great. Good
    for you! Helen

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