Rare Air, formerly Na Cabarfeidh, was a Canadian band that played an eccentric mix of instruments, including bagpipes, flutes, whistles, bombardes, bass guitar, and keyboards. The group, founded in the late 1970s as a Celtic folk music band, was originally led by bagpipe virtuosos Grier Coppins and Pat O'Gorman. Its first two albums were released under the name Na Cabarfeidh and the following four under the new name, Rare Air. The name Na Cabarfeidh means "of Cabarfeidh" in Gaelic, referring to the fact that the Coppins and O'Gorman were from the Cabar Feidh Pipe Band.
In 1982, Na Cabarfeidh released an album produced by Sometimes We Do This Musical Productions. At the time of album, the band included Ian Goodfellow, Grier Coppins, Richard Murai, Patrick O'Gorman, and Trevor Ferrier. The instruments on this album were Great Highland Bagpipes, acoustic guitar, long drum, whistle, bombarde, biniou koz, peaucloche, voices, cylinder drums, and tabla. The song Bretonia was based on a melody of a Breton love song, "J'ai travaillé la longue des jours," as sung to the band by Pierrig Hercelin of Les Fougerets. Their sound was a fusion of Celtic, rock and a Caribbean beat.
Rare Air toured the world, and was especially popular in the southern United States. Their early music took the sounds of Celtic music from Ireland, Brittany and North America and combined it with funky bass rhythms and driving Polynesian percussion. In 1990, two of the four founding members, Trevor Ferrier and Richard Murai, left to pursue their own musical interests, and the band changed musical direction with the addition of Christian Frappier, Jeff Gill and Rich Greenspoon. Rare Air's music became more jazz-oriented and it was soon tagged with the "jazz fusion" label.
After the last album, Space Piper, the group disbanded.
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