Michael Kelly Cavan is a Canadian singer-songwriter, born in Ireland and raised by his immigrant parents in North Bay, Ontario. It was during his formative years that Michael found a love of music and his own Irish Tenor voice, first as a young choirboy and then as a singer and guitarist in the Irish pub scene. Now, as a mature Canadian songwriter, Michael finds inspiration in his immigrant family experience as well as his life growing up in Northern Ontario. “I’ve always maintained a strong connection to my homeland, through the stories my parents would tell my siblings and me while at the same time drawing great creative energy from the people and geography of Northern Ontario and the country in general. There is something wonderful about arriving at a time in life when the culture of your birth and your adopted culture blend into a way of being that fits like a comfortable old sweater.”
Michael creates his own sound and blend of both Irish and Canadian folk music traditions.
In terms of songwriting Michael has been dabbling at it since he was in elementary school. “I had a long walk to and from school each day and I often filled up the solitary distance by composing little songs. In high school I wrote our school song and also wrote lyrics and music for a successful little production based on the antics at our local city hall. In a review, the local paper noted that they couldn’t publish any of the lyrics because they would incriminate several of the counsellors.”
Michael has played in several rock/pop bands including a stint in Ireland
with an Irish showband. He has performed as a sing-a-long piano player on a tourist train (the Polar Bear Express), has graced the stages of Massey Hall, the El Macombo, the Horseshoe Tavern, Hughs Room and various other venues.He has sung the Irish National Anthem (in gaelic) in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto to kick of the St. Patricks day celebrations and frozen his fingers off while playing on a float in the Toronto St Paddys’ day parade. He has released 4 CD’s to date and is currently working on a Irish traditional one and one of new original material.
He currently performs throughout Soutwestern Ontario and runs
the Cavan Creative School of Songwriting in Kitchener Ontario.
With his singing, playing and storytelling and his melodic tenor voice and gentle wit, Michael continues to provide heartwarming and foot-tapping entertainment wherever he finds a stage.
The love of acoustic fingerstyle guitar brought Don Ablett and Brent Cooper together some years ago. With common influences such as Bruce Cockburn, John Fahey, and Stefan Grossman, they have developed a style that has thrilled fans young and old around Southern Ontario. Both have a strong history of performance, Brent through his former years touring with the rock band, Mankind, and Don through many years of coffee houses and festivals.
Two of the most outstanding features noted by audiences are Brent and Don’s vocal harmonies and the complex and spectacular fingerstyle interplay between the two guitars. They provide audiences of all ages with memorable instrumentals and songs with thought provoking lyrics. Some recent quotes clearly attest to their success:
“Your superb fingerstyle guitar and vocal harmonies are indeed a listening delight. The audience clearly enjoyed every piece you played and sang”.
Becky Ryder, Museums of Mississauga
“Don and Brent have a wonderful sound and the songs stay with you. I find myself singing them around the house and in the car.
Red Rover is destined to become a Canadian classic. The instrumental pieces are moving and evocative”.
Don and Brent are not satisfied to keep their music local. They love playing for audiences large and small. With encouragement from virtually every quarter, their plans include more radio play, magazine coverage and travel around the province.