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MacMaster performing in Centralville, Massachusetts, 2007
|Birth name||Natalie Ann MacMaster|
|Born||June 13, 1972|
Troy, Nova Scotia, Canada
|Genres||Cape Breton fiddle music|
|Instruments||Fiddle, Piano, Vocals|
|Associated acts||Buddy MacMaster|
MacMaster has toured with the Chieftains, Faith Hill, Carlos Santana and Alison Krauss, and has recorded with Yo-Yo Ma. She has appeared at the Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton, Celtic Connections in Scotland, and MerleFest in the United States.
MacMaster is the daughter of Alex and Minnie (née Beaton) MacMaster and the sister of Kevin and David MacMaster. She is the niece of the late renowned Cape Breton fiddler Buddy MacMaster and the cousin of two other fiddlers, Ashley MacIsaac and Andrea Beaton. She is also distantly related to Jack White.
In 2002, she married fiddler Donnell Leahy of the Leahy family band, and moved to Lakefield, Ontario. Leahy and MacMaster have seven children, and have performed and recorded together as a duo, and occasionally include their children, who also play fiddles, in their performances.
MacMaster began playing the fiddle at the age of nine, and made her performing debut the same year at a square dance in Glencoe Mills, Nova Scotia. When she was sixteen she released her first album, Four on the Floor, and a second album, Road to the Isle, followed in 1991. Her first album was self-produced, while her second was co-produced by John Morris Rankin (The Rankin Family) and Tom O'Keefe (as per original cassette jacket). Both albums were initially released only on cassette, but Rounder Records omitted a few tracks and re-released as A Compilation in 1998. In 1999 she performed at the Juno Awards show in Hamilton.
In 2004, MacMaster appeared on Sharon, Lois & Bram's 25th Anniversary Concert special titled "25 Years of Skinnamarink" that aired on CBC on January 1, 2004 at 7:00pm. She performed two songs with the trio: "C-H-I-C-K-E-N" and "Grandpa's Farm".
She has received a number of Canadian music awards, including several "Artist of the Year" awards from the East Coast Music Association, two Juno Awards for best instrumental album, and "Fiddler of the Year" from the Canadian Country Music Association. MacMaster was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Niagara University in New York in 2006. In 2006, she was made a member of the Order of Canada.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|CAN||US Heat||US Indie||US Folk||US Grass|
|Four on the Floor||
|Road to the Isle||
|Fit as a Fiddle||
|In My Hands||
|My Roots Are Showing||
|Natalie & Buddy MacMaster: Traditional Music from Cape Breton Island||
|Cape Breton Girl||
|One (with Donnell Leahy)||
|A Celtic Family Christmas (with Donnell Leahy)||
|1997||"Fiddle and Bow" (with Bruce Guthro)||—|
|"The Drunken Piper" (with Cookie Rankin)||—|
|1999||"In My Hands"||18||In My Hands|
|"Get Me Through December" (with Alison Krauss)||40|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|1997||"Fiddle and Bow" (with Bruce Guthro)||Andrew MacNaughtan|
|"The Drunken Piper" (with Cookie Rankin)|
|1999||"In My Hands"||Christopher Mills|
|"Get Me Through December" (with Alison Krauss)||Mark Hesselink|
|2014||"Go Tell It on the Mountain"
(with Johnny Reid and The Rankins)