All four have taken traditional Celtic music and songs from the British Isles and beyond, and developed the form in their own way.
Talented harpist and vocalist Loreena McKennitt, based in Ontario (though born in Manitoba) released her first album, Elemental, in 1985 and has gone on to incorporate an increasingly Middle Eastern theme into her music along with the Celtic elements that underpin her work.
Natalie MacMaster from Nova Scotia is one of the best-known modern exponents of Cape Breton fiddle music and her spirited performances have been heard around the world. In recent years she has expanded her repertoire to include Irish and Scottish themes as well as a touch of bluegrass (she has, for example, worked with Alison Krauss, one of our artists from last week).
Arkansas-born singer/songwriter Connie Dover was brought up in Kansas City and was originally a bluegrass musician but turned to Celtic music in the early 1980s. Since then she has become known for extremely moving performances of both traditional tunes and of her own, highly accomplished material.
Joanie Madden has Irish parents but was born in the United States. Leader of the band Cherish the Ladies, she is a leading player of the tin whistle, and won the senior all-Ireland championship on the instrument in 1984. Today she is known not only for her moving instrumental performances of traditional and original music but also for her TV work, including collaborations with Brian Keane on such series as The Way West.
• This programme is produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life, and presented by Elrik Merlin. For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.
• You can listen to the programme now at http://music.radioriel.org, or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player.