PORTLAND — Award-winning Celtic instrumentalist Troy MacGillivray, who has played more than 200 performances this year, is known for his ability to unearth the lesser-played but great tunes of respected composers.

With such tunes in his repertoire, MacGillivray has assembled a show called “Tune Poets” that he is taking to several Maine concert venues, beginning Tuesday, Nov. 27, at St. Lawrence Arts (at 7 p.m.).

He will also perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in Carthage; and 7:30 p.m. Thursday Nov. 29, at Unity College’s Center for the Performing Arts in Unity.

Touring with him will be Allan Dewar, a traditional pianist from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, who has also toured with Grammy Award-winning fiddler Natalie MacMaster and fiddler Ashley MacIsaac, who won three Juno Awards. He is director of the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique, Nova Scotia.

Poetry is the expression of feelings and ideas using distinctive style and rhythm; and although the greats often use words to capture the lyrical, these instrumental “Tune Poets” have done so with the melodies they created.

MacGillivray’s show features composers such as Dan R. MacDonald, Angus Chisholm, Gordon MacQuarrie, Andre Brunet and John Morris Rankin.  He weaves into his set-list the history and background of the musical selections he is playing. The “Tune Poets” show is thus informative, lively and engaging.

“I’m looking forward to returning to New England and am very excited to share this new show with those who enjoy traditional music as much as I do,”  MacGillivray said.

“This is the first time Allan will be playing in New England with me, so we’re looking forward to sharing some great tunes from some of my favourite composers and musicians,” he  added.

MacGillivray has been recognized with numerous honours, including two East Coast Music Awards and, in September, he received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal commemorating his dedication to preserving arts and culture in Nova Scotia and Canada.

After the New England tour, ending Dec. 1, he will head back into the studio to begin recording his sixth CD, set for release in 2013.

Concert tickets are $15 at the door. For reservations at St. Lawrence Arts, 76 Congress St., call 775-5568 (also available at Bull Moose, Brown Paper Tickets and www.stlawrencearts.org). For reservations at Skye Theatre, 2 Highland Drive, call 562-4445; or UCCPA, 42 Depot St., call 948-7469.

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