Peninsula Celtic fiddler Kierah – who recently performed a sold-out concert at Blue Frog Studios with guitarist Adam Dobres – has been named the Canadian Folk Music Awards Young Performer of the Year.
The award, which recognizes the 18-year-old musician’s third CD, Stonemason’s Daughter, was announced at the ninth annual awards gala, Nov. 10 at the University of Calgary.
Kierah (known locally as Kierah Raymond) was one of only four B.C. artists to win at the awards.
Also nominated in her category was the band Ten Strings and a Goat Skin, and individual artists Rebecca Lappa, Sydney Delong and Keiffer McLean.
When first nominated, Raymond commented that Ten Strings and a Goat Skin was “an extremely talented and good band… that I know will win hands down.”
“The CFMA nomination is always a good thing for a West Coast musician,” she added.
While incorporating many of the Celtic and East Coast traditions in her performance, Raymond has also won notice for her own original compositions (she has published many in the book Kierah’s Collection) and willingness to experiment with extending the form with contemporary rhythmic and stylistic influences.
Only 12 when she started attracting attention for her Celtic music (Her first two CDs, Irish Madness and A Fiddle Affair were also nominated for the CFMAs in 2008 and 2010), she also spent 13 years in classical violin training, most notably with Carla Birston and the Semiahmoo Strings youth ensemble.
Her studies culminated in receiving one of the highest ARCT marks in the country for her Royal Conservatory of Music performance exam.
Raymond, who also played a concert with Dobres in May at Vancouver’s Rogue Folk Club at St. James Hall, said her CFMA recognition and the reception she received at the Blue Frog concert have clinched a return visit to the hometown venue in the new year.
“The acoustics were wonderful and I know the audience really enjoyed the music,” she said.
“(They have) me booked for March 1 if Adam can make it for that weekend, otherwise it’ll be March 7.”