No matter if he is performing with Leahy, alongside is wife – Canadian fiddler Natalie MacMaster – or solo, audiences lap up every amazing moment of Donnell’s riveting performances, filled with, as Natalie describes, “intense power, [while] maintaining the sweetness and tone” of the fiddle. “He is absolutely precise and articulate – a must see to believe.”
Having spent his life touring and performing, people who meet Donnell are impressed to find he is humble and down-to-earth, which can be attributed to his up-bringing in a house of 11 children, not to mention that he still farms as a way to “relax” outside of his touring life. And over the last 11 years, he and wife Natalie have not only shared their focus on musical pursuits but have set their sights on raising their six children and bringing them up in the same musical traditions they received.
Donnell instructs his children, exposing them to world-class musicians who visit their home and tour the world with Natalie and him. There is no doubt that the humble Irish immigrant who came to Canada all those years ago is well-pleased with his legacy.