Papilio: Neo-Celtic, Contemporary-Traditional Trio Based in Nova Scotia

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From: Halifax, NS


Jennifer Publicover (flutes/bodhran)
Anthony Rissesco (fiddle/vocals)
Phil Schappert (guitars/bouzar/vocals)

Layne is working at a music venue (DeCoste Centre)in Pictou Nova Scotia as his summer job. This Celtic group is performing there for the next two nights. He calls them “Absolutely AMAZING!!!!”. I have to take his word for that because they really are.  Their recordings have that silky texture.The musical vibes are always reflective of Nova Scotia’s maritime side. Their track F Strathspeys & Reels (trad) will send traditional music lovers smiling. The cover of Caledonia originally by Dougie MacLean gains a new shine.

Listen here:


Papilio is a neo-celtic, contemporary-traditional trio based in Nova Scotia. Come on a musical tour with us through the cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Spain, Cape Breton, Scandinavia and uncharted lands beyond…

Papilio is a neo-celtic, contemporary & traditional world music trio from Nova Scotia. Come on a musical tour with us through the cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Spain, Cape Breton, Scandinavia and uncharted lands beyond…to capture the spirit and energy of celtic and other musical traditions in a fresh, progressive way, with a sprinkling of our own compositions as well.

Visit our MySpace page to hear some tracks:

And here is our brand new website!

We are available for concerts, festivals, conferences, pubs, ceilis, workshops and private functions in and around Atlantic Canada and the Northeastern United States.

Anthony Rissesco (fiddle, vocals)

The newest member of Papilio, Anthony is a versatile violin player and teacher, experienced in all styles of playing from classical violin to traditional fiddle. He tours regularly with singer Lennie Gallant and is also a member of the Halifax band The Gig Dogs. As a music student at Dalhousie University, Anthony studied classical violin under Phillippe Djokic. He has won fiddle competitions throughout Canada, including the Maritime Fiddle Championship. In 1990, he came third in the prestigious Canadian Open in Shelburne Ontario, and he was chosen to represent Nova Scotia at the Grand Masters Competition in Ottawa for six consecutive years. Anthony has played with Symphony Nova Scotia, Bruce Guthro, Cyril MacPhee, Anne Murray, and Peggy Seeger.

Jennifer Publicover (flutes, bodhrán, vocals)

Jennifer leads a double life as an active freelancer on both the modern orchestral flute and wooden Irish flute, and is proud to be a founding member of Papilio. She earned her Master’s degree in flute performance at the University of Toronto and her B.Mus. at Mount Allison. Driven by the desire to develop her own unique voice beyond her classical training, Jennifer has been drawn to the Celtic music of her native Nova Scotia, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and beyond. A familiar face at Halifax sessions, she has been a long-time participant in and supporter of the Boxwood Festival, an annual traditional flute workshop in Lunenburg directed by recording artist Chris Norman. In her alter ego as a classical flutist, she performs as an alternate player for such institutions as the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Stadacona Band, frequently appearing in many orchestras, pit orcheatras, pro concert bands and chamber groups in and around Halifax. She is also in demand as teacher, and is a busy mom of two.

Phil Schappert (guitar, cittern, vocals)

Phil has been playing for more years than he can remember. Dr. Phil, as he’s known to his students, has an alter ego as a PhD entomologist/botanist who has written books about plant/insect interactions (FYI, Papilio is a genus of swallowtail butterflies, represented in Nova Scotia by Papilio canadensis, the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail). Introduced to Irish and Scottish traditional music by Don Ross–and Joel Shore, his fiddle-playing PhD supervisor–early in the last decade of the last century, Phil has developed a particular fondness for the music of Brittany, celtic Spain and Scandinavia. He plays fingerstyle guitar, and plays guitars made by Russel Crosby of Nova Scotia. Phil has played in neo-celtic/jazz/folk/trad bands in Toronto and Austin. He and his wife, Pat, returned to Canada from Texas in late 2007. Halifax is their playground of choice…

Review: Papilio ~ EP Emergence

Papilio is a very musical trio consisting of Jennifer Publicover on flutes and bodhran, Anthony Rissesco on violin and vocals and Phil Schappert on guitar and bouzar (guitar shaped bouzouki). Emergence is a 6 cut EP which one hopes will lead to a full-length recording. Their music has roots in the Celtic world of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Cape Breton. They also show Nordic and Eastern European influences.
The recording opens with a Nordic polska followed by Jennifer’s “Chorolations” written in the style of an Eastern European “Oro” or “Choro”, hence the name. Anthony then gives a fine rendition of Dougie MacLean’s classic song Caledonia before he launches into a set of Cape Breton style strathspeys and reels on cut 4. A beautiful Scottish air gives way to an Irish slip jig while the closing set has a Breton march and three rousing jigs from England, Scotland and Ireland respectively.

The music of Papilio, which is Latin for butterfly and a result of Phil’s other career as a biologist, is arranged, played and presented with style and grace as well as a high degree of musical proficiency. They have a “big” sound for a trio and I would certainly look forward to a full CD in the future.

John Ferguson for CelticLife magazine:


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