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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Ishkōdé Records Release Debut Album From Mi’kmaq Fiddler And Singer Morgan Toney

Music is an alchemical force to 22-year old Mi’kmaq (pronounced MEE-G’MAW) fiddler and singer Morgan Toney. In just a short time, Toney has invigorated both the Mi’kmaq and Atlantic music communities, bringing together fiery Cape Breton Island fiddling and the traditional songs of his ancestors, some of which date back up to 500 years.

“There are two worlds of Mi’kmaq music,” Toney explains, “song and fiddle, but they had never come together before.” With this new fusion which he calls Mi’kmaltic (Mi’kmaq + Celtic), Toney celebrates his language and heritage. The album features performances by Ashley MacIsaac, Mary Beth Carty, and Bradley Murphy.

The newest addition to the Ishkōdé Records family, Morgan Toney is poised for a big year. Hitting streaming platforms and radio for the first time, First Flight is already nominated for three 2022 East Coast Music Awards and a 2022 Canadian Folk Music Award.

With the immediate accolades and attention, it’s easy to forget that Morgan Toney is so new to the music, having only played the fiddle for a few years. But there’s something deeper at work here. His great-grandfather and three other great-uncles were all Mi'kmaq fiddlers of renown in the community. In a sense, Toney’s coming back full circle. And circles are something he understands. “We are living in circles,” he says. “The earth is a circle. The drum is a circle, how we move around is a circle, how we greet each other. The talking circle is huge.”


March 26 - Evergreen Theatre - Margaretsville, NS

April 1/2 - Canadian Folk Music Awards - Charlottetown, PEI

April 22 - Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival - Lunenburg, NS

April 23 - Chester Legion with Alan Syliboy - Chester, NS

May 4-8 - East Coast Music Awards - Fredericton, NB

May 18-22 - Folk Alliance International - Kansas City, MO

June 3 - Savoy Theatre, opening for Jimmy Rankin - Glace Bay, NS

June 18 - Full Circle Festival - Avondale, NS

June 23 - Huron Waves Music Festival - Lake Huron, ON

July 1 - Kitchenfest - Baddeck, NS

July 2 - House Concert - Carp, ON

July 3 - Almonte Celtfest - Almonte, ON

July 4 - National Arts Centre (daytime) - Ottawa, ON July 8 - Kitchenfest - Richmond County, NS

July 17 - Granville Green - Richmond County, NS

July 19 - Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Summer Games - Potlotek, NS

July 22 - Mosaiq Festival - Moncton, NB

July 28 - Makin' Waves Festival - Sydney, NS

July 29 - Jubilee - New Glasgow, NS

Aug 12 - Baddeck Gathering Hall - Baddeck, NS

Aug 27 - Inverness Centre for the Arts - Inverness, NS

Sept 9 - King's Theatre - Annapolis, NS

Sept 30 - Hank Snow Museum Grounds - Liverpool, NS

22-year old Morgan Toney is a Mi’kmaq singer-songwriter and fiddler from Wagmatcook First Nation in what is commonly known as Nova Scotia. Touching hearts around the globe singing in Mi’kmaq, Morgan shares the teaching of his Elders by fusing ancestral songs with Celtic tunes, creating a new sound that Morgan and producer Keith Mullins affectionately call Mi’kmaltic. A rising star from Eastern Canada, Morgan made the most of a pandemic year by taking home the 2021 prize for Indigenous Artist of the Year at the Music Nova Scotia Awards, earning himself a nomination for Indigenous Songwriter Of The Year at the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards, playing alongside Ashley MacIssac at the Celtic Colours festival, and capping it all off with a performance at the 2021 WOMEX festival in Portugal. Morgan is currently up for three 2022 East Coast Music Award nominations- Indigenous Artist of the Year, Rising Star Recording of the Year, and Inspiration Recording of the Year.

Morgan Toney performs ALASUTAMAQN

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