Cantara was formed in 1998 with Martin Struthers being introduced to louise Marshall, a local Traditional piper. Martin being inspired by the irish fusion band Moving Hearts suggested forming a band with a similar concept in mind fusing tradition folk elements with other styles. Martins love of world music and jazz rock were elemental in the creation of Cantara's musical style.

The original lineup was louise(pipes) martin(guitars) mags (bass) Pat Hacket (Rhythm guitar) and Paul Gowland (sax)

This lineup was soon to change within just a few years with the addition of Hazel Morrison on drums/percusion, Beth Morrison on Keyboards/accordian and Andy Mckean on bass.

This lineup was eventually to change into what it is today and is but the musical style and approach has remained.

Cantaras' debue CD "celtic world" was recorded by martin in his home studio in Edinburgh. with Martin creating the musical arrangements and final productions.

Cantara as it was know in its earlier days featured on 'Celtic Connections' (Radio Scotland) and has made live appearances on WAM TV, Tartan TV, Cable TV and Sky TV
These performances took place on the Ross Band Stand -Princes Street Gardens 2002, 2003 and 2004) as part of the Edinburgh international festival.

The band also won the Danny Kyle award at Celtic Connections festival Glasgow 2003.
As a consequence of our success at Celtic Connections Cantara performed alongside "The Afro Celts"(main stage- Glasgow Royal Concert Hall) and" Ali Mullers World Orchestra"(The Barrowlands) during Glasgows Celtic Connections festival 2004)
The band have also appeared at the 'Tinto Folk Festival 98/99' & ' Dunbar Folk Festival '98', Knockengorragh festival 2004.
Over the following years Cantara ventured further afield with many short tours of italy, headlining some of the major Celtic music festivals including "Celtica"(Val D Aosta).