Dave MacIsaac

Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

Mr. MacIsaac was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1955 and was the son to the late Alex Dan MacIsaac.  Growing up in a musical household, Dave was introduced to music at a young age through the generous musicians who would often visit the family home, sharing their skills and love of the Celtic and Scottish cultures through music and song.

Internationally recognized as a master of stringed instruments, Mr. MacIsaac is a musician of immense talent and accomplishment.  He plays traditional fiddle tunes with passion, and his guitar playing, solo or as an accompaniment, is legendary within the industry.

Mr. MacIsaac has played worldwide with many legendary Cape Breton musicians including Jerry Holland, Ashley MacIsaac, Buddy MacMaster, Natalie MacMaster, John Allan Cameron and many more.

Mr. MacIsaac has thousands of recordings of Cape Breton traditional music. He also possesses an archival knowledge of tunes and is often called upon to name an unknown tune for recordings, as well as being in high demand for session work.

Cliff McGann, famous for his Scottish and Irish musical talent said, “MacIsaac is a brilliant musician as well as a historian on traditional Cape Breton music. He is bar none, the most impressive musician I have ever come across.”

Mr. MacIsaac has been featured on countless albums of all genres of music. An instrumental alchemist, he has an uncanny ability to extract beautiful aspects of different styles of music and then combine those qualities into new sounds. In the Celtic field especially, he’s highly regarded as both a soloist and a sideman.

John Allan Cameron often stated that, “If a cod fish had strings… Dave MacIsaac could play it!”