Jerry Holland

Born 23 February 1955. Died 16 July 2009.

Biography

Jerry Holland (February 23, 1955 - July 16, 2009) was a musician and fiddler who lived on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada.

He was born in Brockton, Massachusetts, United States to Canadian parents - his father was from New Brunswick and his mother was from Quebec. During his childhood, Holland was exposed to the music of the large Cape Breton expatriate community in Boston. He began to play the fiddle and step-dance at the age of five, and played at his first square dance at the age of six. He made his television debut in 1962 on the Canadian program Don Messer's Jubilee. By the time he was ten years old, he was playing regularly at dances in the Boston area. Holland's family made annual summer trips to Cape Breton, and he moved there permanently in 1975.

In his early 20s, Holland performed with the Cape Breton Symphony, a group of fiddlers that included Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald, Angus Chisholm, Joe Cormier, Wilfred Gillis and John Donald Cameron. The group appeared regularly on CBC television on The John Allan Cameron Show and other programs. From playing with these much older and more experienced musicians, Holland gained an appreciation for the traditional style of Cape Breton fiddle music, as well as a repertoire of over a thousand fiddle tunes.

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