Jerry Holland, Cape Breton fiddler, dies

For those of us in the music community who knew Jerry Holland, we know that we have lost an amazing musician and a kind soul. News of his death was just posted on CBC . When they learned of Jerry’s struggle against kidney cancer, traditional musicians from all over the eastern seaboard came out in support of him, giving numerous benefit concerts.

Originally from Brockton, Massachusetts, Jerry Holland grew up spending summers in Cape Breton with his family. In 1975, he moved to the island permanently. He was known for his compositions of fiddle tunes as much as his spirited playing. And he knew how to have a good time. The last time I saw Jerry was at a particularly memorable session at a Lowell Folk Festival after party — it was a surprising mix of Jerry’s Cape Breton fiddling, members of Solas, and a kora player from Washington, D.C. It’s a nice way to remember him.