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Don Messer’s iconic violin returning to P.E.I. at for Saturday performance

Frank Leahy with Don Messer’s iconic violin.
Frank Leahy with Don Messer’s iconic violin. - Contributed

Don Messer’s iconic violin is coming home to P.E.I. for a performance by legendary performer Frank Leahy.

Leahy, a southwestern Ontario native, will appear at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada, Celtic Performing Arts Centre Saturday, July 21.

“I was given Don’s violin in 2000. In 2000 and 2001 I performed at the Harbourfront Theatre and haven’t been back to the Island since.

“My family decided we wanted to come back and make a vacation of it. When Elizabeth Noonan heard I was coming, she suggested a performance at this new facility.”

Leahy will play classic Messer tunes from his early repertoire.

“With his career, he turned his music into a national variety show. So, our show is going to be a tribute to him and his time with the Backwoods Breakdown. For the performance, I’m going to be accompanied by Marcella Richard, Georges Herbert and Allie Bennett.”

Leahy plans to play “Smile the While,” “Big John McNeil,” and “Rippling Water Jig.”

Noonan says it will be a real treat for Messer fans.

“For fans of Don Messer, it will be absolutely wonderful. It’s going to be a really energetic performance.”

Leahy added,

“I’m really looking forward to playing at this new venue. I’ve heard incredible things about it. I’m also really excited to be back on the Island.”

Tickets are available at the College of Piping box office. Cost is $25 plus taxes and fees. Doors open at 7 p.m., curtain time is set for 7:30 p.m.

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