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Loreena McKennitt Biography


Home > Music > M > McKennitt, Loreena > Biography


Birth Name: Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt
Born: 1957/02/17
Birth Place: Morden, Manitoba, Canada
Years Active: 1985 - Present
Genres: Celtic, World, New Age


Loreena McKennitt was born on February 17, 1957 in Morden, Manitoba, Canada. McKennitt is a singer, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. McKennitt is of Irish and Scottish decent, which heavily influences her musical sound. As a child, McKennitt grew up listing to Celtic music both of Irish and Scottish origin, passed on to her through her parents and grandparents, over time she developed a passion for the music and learned to play the harp. As a teenager, McKennitt began busking in and around Toronto in an effort to gather enough money to record her first album.

McKennitt's first album, “Elemental,” arrived in 1985 to warm reviews and was followed-up two years later by “To Drive the Cold Winter Away.” Over the next decade, McKennitt released five more studio albums, including “Parallel Dreams” in 1989, “The Visit” in 1991, “The Mask and Mirror” in 1994, “A Winter Garden” in 1995 and “The Book of Secrets” in 1997, all of which earned her the respect of the international world music community. 1990 saw McKennitt compose the music for the documentary, “The Burning Times,” followed by a tour of Europe with Mike Oldfiled in 1993.

McKennitt's music has also been featured in the television programs “Legacy,” “Roar,” “Due South” and “Full Circle,” in addition to the feature films, “Ever After,” “The Santa Clause,” “Soldier,” “Jade,” “Holy Man,” “The Mists of Avalon” and “Tinkerbell.” 2006 saw the release of McKennitt's eighth studio album, “An Ancient Muse,” followed by “A Midwinter Night’s Dream” in 2008 and “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” in 2010.