Mick O'Brien, Troy Bannon, Paudie O'Connor and Aoife Ní Chaoimh, John McEvoy, Jacinta McEvoy, Alan Byrne, Jim Grant, Aine Martin, Alannah Thornburgh, Brendan Martin, Caoimhín Ó Fearghail, Emer Ní Scolaí, Fiona Gryson, Mairead McEvoy-Gaffney, Noreen O'Donoghue, Paul Doyle, Siobhán Bhreathnach, Larry Egan, Derek Hickey, Jacqui Martin, Maurice Egan, Paddy Tutty, Paul Bradley, Aoife Johnston, Conor Lyons, Macdara Ó Faoláin, Pax Ó Faoláin, Seán McElwain
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Mick began his musical education on the Uilleann Pipes in the renowned Thomas Street Pipers Club in Dublin. His father Dinny O’Brien, a traditional “box” player, was also a constant source of tunes and inspiration. Mick recorded his first LP with his family when he was 13 years old. He later joined Na Píobairí Uilleann, an organisation founded to promote piping, where he absorbed hundreds of tunes and refined his technique. His playing can be heard on numerous recordings with artists such as The Dubliners, Frankie Gavin and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
Mick has toured extensively and given master classes throughout Europe and North America. His highly acclaimed solo CD of traditional Irish music; “May Morning Dew” was released in 1996. In 2003, Mick released Kitty Lie Over along with fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh. It was named No.1 Traditional Album of 2003 by Earle Hitchner in the Irish Echo.
Troy Bannon is a flute player from County Meath with a strong rhythmic traditional style. He has played all over Europe, America and the UK with various outfits over the years, the most notable of which were Providence with whom he recorded the album 'Providence III' in 2005 and also made many TV appearances including the TG4 music show Geantraí. He is also a member of the 3 time all-Ireland winning Naomh Pádraig Céilí Band. Troy has taught at workshops all over the world and also teaches a regular class in his home county of Meath.
Paudie O'Connor and Aoife Ní Chaoimh
Paudie O'Connor and Aoife Ní Chaoimh are an accordion and fiddle duet from County Kerry. Their music is heavily influenced by the The Sliabh Lauchra musical tradition of East Kerry and North Cork. In 2014 they released the highly acclaimed album Didn’t She Dance and Dance which paid homage to the their musical heroes such as Johnny O Leary, Padraig O Keefe and Julia Clifford. Paudie has also released the critically acclaimed solo album Different State and a duet album with Riverdance Uilleann Piper John O Brien. Paudie and Aoife have performed on numerous TV productions, most recently Tradfest TG4.
A highly respected fiddle-player based in Co. Meath, John has been described as “a supreme traditional musician” in recognition of his sensitive and rhythmical interpretation of traditional tunes. John has collaborated with many of Ireland’s leading musicians, and has been a member of a number of groups including with Bakerswell, Kelp and Providence, and is currently a member of the ‘Gatehouse’. A tutor at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, he has toured extensively in Europe, New Zealand and the USA and has a number of CD recordings to his name.
Guitar and Concertina
Dubliner Jacinta McEvoy plays concertina and guitar. Much sought after as an accompanist, she is a frequent performer on radio and has recorded with a number of notable musicians including the late Chris Droney. In 2009 she published ‘Dancin Time’ a folk and Irish dance pack for schools. She has appeared at a number of festivals with the all-female group ‘Macalla’ and is currently a member of the group ‘Gatehouse’ with whom she has performed throughout Europe and Ireland.
Alan Byrne is a traditional tenor banjo player from Dublin. His playing can be heard at sessions throughout the Fingal area and at festivals nationwide. Alan holds a senior all Ireland banjo title and has toured with CCE on several occasions. He is also one of the growing number of traditional musicians who has moved to Skerries in recent years.
Jim became interested in traditional music with a group of like-minded friends and was taught by musicians like Des Leech, Darach de Brún and Mary Bergin. He was also lucky enough to have as contemporaries many great musicians like Dubliners Paul O’Shaughnessy and Mick and Denis O’Brien, and Kerry fiddler Maire O’Keefe. As well as these musicians, his flute playing was strongly influenced by the flowing styles of players like Paddy Carty and Paddy Taylor and later by the rhythm and playing of Donegal music. He is interested in the music of the North Dublin area and plays many tunes with local associations. He is married to harpist and fiddle player, Siobhan Bhreathnach and lives in Skerries.
From the West of Ireland and now living in Skerries, Aine Martin has been playing the traditional Irish harp for over 15 years. She performs on her brother Mossie Martin’s Album ‘The Humours of Derrynacoosan’ and has won various individual and group music competitions over the years such as Siansa Gael Linn and The O’Carolan Senior Harp Competition.
Alannah Thornburgh is an award-winning instrumentalist and composer from the wild west of Ireland with a focus on traditional Irish harp. Alannah’s music explores her family heritage, reimagining ancient airs and tunes from the Irish harping, American Appalachian and jazz traditions. This cross-genre interaction and juxtaposition of old melodies with contemporary harmonies and technique is interwoven throughout her music, described as ‘unforced, fluid and utterly at home in her own sound’ (The Irish Times).
Alannah’s debut solo single ‘The Front’, a homage to the late minimalist composer Conor Walsh, was premiered on Seattle’s KEXP to great critical acclaim. She was nominated for two awards at the 2022 and 2021 RTE Folk Awards - Best Emerging Artist and Best Folk Instrumentalist. Alannah featured on an RTÉ 1 Documentary ‘A Note for Nature’ in collaboration with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Alannah is also a recipient of the Arts Council’s Next Generation Award 21/22. She is a founding member of Alfi, a trio who combine traditional Irish and Appalachian music and song, winners of the 2020 US Embassy Creative Minds Award. Alannah will release both her debut solo album and an album with Alfi in 2023. Alannah has recorded, performed and collaborated with Anna Mieke, Brían Mac Gloinn (Ye Vagabonds), Lemoncello, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Brigid Mae Power, David Keenan, Tristan Scroggins, Conor Caldwell, Gareth Quinn Redmond and Varo.
Caoimhín Ó Fearghail
Caoimhín Ó Fearghail was born in 1989 and comes from An Rinn in the Waterford Gaeltacht. He started to learn the tin-whistle at the age of eight, taking lessons from Bobby Gardiner. He quickly progressed to the uilleann pipes, under the tutelage of David Power. He is self-taught on flute and guitar inspired by such diverse flute players as Matt Molloy, Mike Rafferty and Tom Doorley. Some of his strongest piping influences include the old greats such as Séamus Ennis, Willie Clancy, Leo Rowsome, Tommy Reck and Patsy Touhey. He cannot deny the big influence that Liam O’Flynn, Mick O’Brien and Waterford pipers Tommy Kearney, Jimmy O’Brien-Moran, Tommy Keane and Donnchadh Gough have had on him, and is very much influenced by the many other great musicians and singers of his home area in Co. Waterford.
In 2006, as part of his school transition year project, he released an album entitled ‘Giorraíonn Beirt Bóthar’, with a group of friends, local musicians and singers. It featured guest appearances from well-known local artists including Liam Clancy, Áine Uí Cheallaigh, Donnchadh Gough and Ciarán Ó Gealbháin.
Since then, he has featured on a number of albums, as accompanist quite often, including on Caitlín Nic Gabhann’s album ‘Caitlín’, and Edel Fox and Neill Byrne’s ‘The Sunny Banks’. In 2013, he also recorded an album ‘Lá ag Ól Uisce’ with his brother Seán and Tomás Ó Gealbháin, and is featured playing pipes solo on ‘The Rolling Wave’, a compilation album issued by NPU.
Caoimhín was the 2012 recipient of the TG4 Young Musician of the Year award (Gradam Ceoil TG4).
In September 2013, he featured on a Music Network tour with Noel Hill and Liam O’Connor called ‘Bellows, Bridge & Bow’. In 2014, he joined the group Caladh Nua as guitar player with additional flute and has toured extensively with them, and has performed on various instruments with other well-known groups as well, such as Danú, Piper’s Union, and Skipper’s Alley. In 2018, Caoimhín recorded an album of flute and fiddle music with fiddler Paddy Tutty from nearby Dungarvan, and in 2020, NPU (Na Píobairí Uilleann) released a solo piping album of his music as part of their ‘Ace & Deuce of Piping’ series.
A frequent teacher and performer, he has taught pipes and performed at many piping Tionóil agus other piping events in Ireland such as Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, the William Kennedy Piping Festival in Armagh, and also at the Northeast Tionól in the US. He has also toured abroad playing with groups such as Caladh Nua and Danú all over the US, the UK, Europe, Newfoundland and New Zealand.
Caoimhín is a graduate of UCC with an MA in Irish and has a keen interest in the songs of the Déise and their airs. He plays a concert pitch set of pipes made by Alain Froment for him.
Emer Ní Scolaí
Emer Ní Scolaí is a 19 year old harpist from Dublin. Her harping roots stem from age 7, when she first heard the harp at a concert and was immediately enthralled by its unique sound and presence. She has been playing classical and traditional harp ever since her my passion for Irish music was instilled in her by her late grandfather, the well-known Clare singer and flute-player Séamus Mac Mathúna. She has had the pleasure over the years of having many opportunites to cultivate her love for harping, from attending music schools like the Willie Clancy summer school and the Cairde na Cruite harp festival, as well getting to perform both solo and alongside her two sisters in their exciting up-and-coming band ‘Sult’. Her favourite peformances include the 2019 spot on the Body & Soul stage at Electric Picnic, opening for Moya Brennan and Clannad at the Seamus Ennis Arts Centre and giving tribute to the great piper Liam O Floinn in the National concert hall. She attends the Fleadh Cheoil every year and is the recipient of 7 All-Ireland titles from the years in Sligo, Ennis and Drogheda.
Fiona Gryson is an award-winning harpist based just outside Ashbourne, on the border of Meath and Dublin. Fiona enjoys a varied career as a freelance harpist and teacher, and has performed as Principal Harpist with the RTÉ National Symphony and Concert Orchestras, the Irish Chamber and the Ulster Orchestras. As a soloist and member of ensembles, she has performed as Principal Harpist with the RTÉ National Symphony and Concert Orchestras, the Irish Chamber and the Ulster Orchestras. As a soloist and member of ensembles, she has performed extensively nationally and internationally, both live and on television and radio. She is in demand as a teacher of both Irish lever harp and concert pedal harp and is director of the Fingal Harp Ensemble and co-director of the TU Dublin Conservatoire Harp Ensemble with Rachel Duffy. Recent performance highlights include performing for the official visit to Ireland by the President of the United States of America Joe Biden in April, with clarinettist Berginald Rash for the Mayo Dark Sky Festival, with the TU Dublin Conservatoire Harp Ensemble at Harpes au Max Festival in Ancenis, France and the 14th World Harp Congress hosted by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales and performing as a featured soloist as part of Harps Alive/An Chruit Bheo Harps Leevin Festival (230th Belfast Harpers Assembly Commemorative Concert, Rosemary St.) in Belfast. She also performed as featured soloist with the Oriel Traditional Orchestra for the world premiere of ‘Oriel Suite’ by Dave Flynn.
Fiona recently received funding from the Irish Research Council to pursue PhD research at TU Dublin Conservatoire. Fiona completed postgraduate studies in Harp at the Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado, Milan with Irina Zingg. She graduated with a Master Degree in Music Performance from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama with Denise Kelly-McDonnell having previously graduated with a First Class Honours BMus degree in Performance and Pedagogy and the Nuala Levins Perpetual Award for Pedagogy from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. Her awards include the John Vallery Memorial prize for 'the best performance by a string player' at the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year competition as well as the RTE Lyric FM Instrumental Bursary at Sligo Feis Ceoil.
Mairead Gaffney is steeped in Louth’s culture of traditional music. Mairead has been very lucky to have had many influences in cultivating her passion for music. In her early years under the stewardship of flute masters Brian Collins, Peig Needham and Kay Webster her natural style flourished. Her family are all involved in the Irish traditional scene through music and dance.
Mairead is well known in the Set Dancing scene having played with Triskell Ceili Band for the last 25 years, with this group she travelled all over Ireland to play at set dancing events and festivals. She has played all over Europe including Switzerland, Germany, Italy and the UK. With Triskell Ceili band she played on two releases, Faoi do Chois and How are we fixed?
Teaching and passing on our culture is very important to Mairead, she teaches Tin whistle and Flute and more recently has set up regular Junior session in the local community helping young people connect with each other through love of playing tunes.
Noreen O'Donoghue A.R.I.A.M. from Dublin is a Harpist and Pianist. She has been a member of many traditional bands including Dal gCais, Oisin, Fisherstreet and Bakerswell. She has toured Europe extensively with these bands and as a solo musician. She has also toured the USA with the late Sean Potts's band Bakerswell. Noreen is in high demand as a session musician and has recorded in this capacity on approximately 40 mainly traditional albums before releasing her solo Harp album “Strung Out”. Some of her recordings as a session musician apart from numerous traditional,albums include Midge Ure, Sinead O'Connor and Phil Coulter. She has made many appearances on television both home and abroad.
Noreen is the holder of an A.R.I.A.M. Teachers diploma in Concert harp. She teaches traditional music at many festivals here such as the Willie Clancy Week, Corofin Tradfest and the Ennis Tradfest and currently teaches harp in Ballyfermot College of Further Education.
Siobhán Bhreathnach was born in Dublin and lives in Skerries. She initially learned the harp in school and discovered traditional music through the vibrant youth scene in south Dublin where so many talented musicians were based. She was recorded on a Gael Linn production (Bualadh Bos) and she played in groups with her brothers and friends and appeared on television and radio programmes of the time. She was a founder member of the all-women traditional music group Macalla. She toured and made two recordings with Macalla (Mná na hÉireann and Macalla, on the Gael Linn label) and has a solo recording of music from Celtic countries (The Celtic Harp, Ossian Publications) from which several of her arrangements have been published in an accompanying book. She also recorded a collection of songs for schools with singer Seosaimhin Ní Bheaglaoich and concertina player Mary MacNamara.
Siobhán studied concert harp at the Royal Irish Academy of Music where she was awarded a Teaching Diploma. She plays fiddle as well as harp and has a particular interest in the fiddle music of County Donegal.
Larry Egan comes from Parkbridge, rural Co. Wicklow and has been playing the Button Accordion since childhood! By the age of eighteen, he had won four All – Ireland titles. In 2003 ‘The Kitchen Recordings’ album was released on the ‘Clo Iar Chonnachta’ label to much acclaim and was recorded with Sean O’Driscoll, in Sean’s kitchen in Cork. As a member of various groups, and as a solo artist, Larry has toured and taught Irish music all over the world including countries as far away as New Zealand, North America, Scandinavia, Japan, and China.
Derek Hickey hails from Adare, County Limerick. Both his grandfathers played fiddle and his own musical career began at ten years of age when his uncle left an accordion in the family home. Derek progressed to dance tunes within weeks though he didn't begin lessons - under the tutelage of Donal de Barra - until he was 12.
Derek's professional career began three years later when he joined the Shannonside Ceili Band. Formed by the Liddy family the band was particularly popular in the north of the country. It also toured extensively in England and made regular trips throughout Europe. In 1991 Frankie Gavin asked Derek to join him for regular sessions in his then leased hotel in Kinvara, Co. Galway. One year later, at just eighteen years of age, Derek joined Arcady, Johnny 'Ringo' McDonagh's band. Frances Black, Brendan Larrisey and Patsy Broderick were also members of the band at that time and many other household names have played in the line-up, including Sharon Shannon, Cathal Hayden and Gerry O'Connor.
In 1995 Derek joined the legendary De Danann alongside Frankie Gavin. He toured with De Danann until 2003. He spent some time teaching as a button accordion tutor on the BA Irish Music and Dance at the Irish World Academy. Alongside teaching he returned to performing with De Danann and he continues to tour nationally and internationally.
Jacqui Martin is a fiddle player from North County Dublin. She began learning traditional Irish music at a young age, taking whistle classes locally before taking up the fiddle in her late teens. Jacqui has taught and played at many festivals around the world.
She plays regularly in the Cobblestone music pub in Dublin. She has hosted a Thursday night session for the past 20 years, previously alongside Sligo flute player, Deirdre Hurley, and more recently with Derek Hickey.
Maurice Egan is a button accordion player from Listowel in County Kerry. Inspired to play music through the many fleadhanna which took place in the town when growing up. Some of his earliest musical memories and influences are going to regular lessons with Anne McAuliffe and a week spent at scoil eigse in Listowel under the tutelage of the great Joe Burke. Maurice is a former senior all Ireland button accordion champion and has toured with various musicians and groups over the years. He now lives in North County Dublin.
Paddy Tutty was born in 1981 and comes from Dungarvan, in west Waterford. Paddy’s musical start in life was a little later than most to say the least, as he didn’t actually start playing until he was seventeen. Coming from a musical family, Paddy remembers his grandfather, the late Tommy Norris playing the fiddle when he was growing up, along with Traditional Irish music being played on the radio at home. This was certainly a massive inspiration to him from an early age, however Paddy was never pushed into the music and thankfully this seemed to make him work even harder when he finally did start.
Paddy remembers being inspired by a Danú concert that he attended in his hometown, Dungarvan, Co Waterford. He started playing the bodhrán soon after in sessions in Dungarvan and very quickly progressed on to the fiddle. Paddy now plays regularly in his hometown and further afield with various other musicians.
Paddy is self-taught on bodhran, fiddle, banjo and upright double bass.
Paddy is a founding member of the group Caladh Nua. With four acclaimed albums to-date, the group formed back in 2009 with their debut album 'Happy Days'. This was followed-up by 'Next Stop' (2011), 'Honest to Goodness' (2014) and 'Free and Easy' in 2016.
Caladh Nua have toured professionally for over ten years and have performed all over Europe, China, the US and India.
As well as having a musical family background, Paddy was also very fortunate that there was a high standard of carpentry skills going back through the generations of his family. For his Leaving Cert woodwork project he made his first fiddle which would ultimately steer him in a direction that was both difficult but very rewarding. He has made many violins since and has come a long way to a point where he now has his own successful violin making business and has an instrument making website, paddytuttyinstruments.com
Between Caladh Nua and with various other groups, Paddy has played in the US, UK Newfoundland China, Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Austria and New Zealand.
The band has been fortunate to share stages with great bands such as the Chieftains, Danu, Dervish and Beoga and many more. Paddy is delighted to be able to bring his music and the tradition to
Born in Bessbrook, Co.Armagh, Paul Bradley began playing the fiddle fifty years ago, aged seven. Receiving formative direction from his brothers Joe, (concertina/fiddle player) and Dominic, (fiddle/bodhran), he also recieved three lessons from Josephine Keegan which greatly helped to ground his playing.
Listening to the many great fiddlers who were recorded in the seventies and eighties(Potts, Peoples, Glackin, Keane, Burke et al) provided substantial material for Paul to study and sent him searching further into recordings from earlier periods and other regions, styles and traditions.
His playing draws on diverse regional and individual styles and the influence of uilleann pipe music also forms part of his very individual sound.
His solo album (Outlet records,1998) received a five star review in the Irish Times and still receives regular airplay at home and abroad. He has collaborated on many other recordings and is a composer of traditional tunes.
Paul has toured internationally as a professional musician since 1987 and he is also a highly regarded violin maker whose instruments are played in Irish Orchestras and by traditional musicians of the highest calibre.
Paul’s violin studio is in Armagh. He teaches fiddle with Armagh Piper’s Club and has been a fiddle tutor at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy for twenty five years.
His website is: www.facebook.com/paulbradleyviolinmaker
Aoife Johnston is a concertina player from Templeogue, Dublin. She learned her music from her father Derek, a banjo player and Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh. She is now a much sought after concertina teacher who is known for her steady rhythm and relaxed style. Aoife is a graduate of the Irish World Academy in the University of Limerick where she completed a Masters in Irish Traditional Music Performance.
Bodhrán player Conor Lyons (Bodhrán & Bouzouki) began playing traditional Irish music from an early age, learning his craft from his family and neighbours. Throughout his career, he has featured on many different stages and shows and is a member of the critically acclaimed Irish traditional group ’The Bonny Men’.
His talents have brought him across the globe to perform his music, most notably at the prestigious venue of Carnegie Hall in New York. He has also toured extensively throughout Europe with various other high-ranking musicians and is a regular performer at venues and theatres across Ireland.
From a young age, competitions and performances were commonplace for Conor, and he is the only bodhrán player to claim the title of 'World Champion' twice.
He also plays the Bouzouki, a Greek instrument that has come to the fore in Traditional Music for which he is a great exponent of it. Featuring on many group and solo recordings of Irish musicians, Conor’s skills on both the Bodhrán and Bouzouki have come to be well regarded among Irish musicians and he is a highly sought after recording musician.
Macdara Ó Faoláin
Macdara Ó Faoláin is a multi-instrumentalist and instrument maker from An Rinn, County Waterford. On his main instrument, bouzouki, he has performed and recorded with some of the best musicians in Irish Traditional Music including Páraic MacDonnchadha, Derek Hickey, The Friel Sisters, Caoimhín and Seán Ó Fearghail, Shane Meehan, Oisín Morrison, Conor O'Sullivan, Victoria Pierce and Nell Ní Chróinín. His intimate knowledge of harmony and gentle instrumental technique come together to create his own unique style of accompaniment on the bouzouki.
Is ceoltóir uil-uirlise é Macdara Ó Faoláin ón Rinn i gContae Phort Láirge. Tá sé tar éis taifeadta agus seinnt ar an mbouzouki le ceoltóirí cumasacha ar nós Páraic MacDonnchadha, Derek Hickey, na Friel Sisters, Caoimhín agus Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Shane Meehan, Oisín Morrison, Conor O’Sullivan, Victoria Pierce agus Nell Ní Chróinín. Músclaíonn a shuim i gcomhcheol agus a theicnící séimh stíl ar leith le ceol traidisiúnta a thionlacan ar an mbouzouki.
Pax Ó Faoláin
Pax Ó Faoláin is a traditional fiddle player, singer and producer from An Rinn, Co. Waterford. He is a composer and is working on projects which aim to preserve and revive the music of certain traditional musicians. Pax works as a Producer in the television industry with a particular passion for music and arts programmes. He produces music and arts festivals and does some media work also. A long list of musicians have influenced his music and he is particularly proud of the music of his home in the Déise.
Is fidiléir traidisiúnta, amhránaí agus léiritheoir as An Rinn, Co. Phort Láirge é Pax Ó Faoláin. Bíonn sé ag cumadh ceoil agus tá scéimeanna idir lámha aige a bhaineann le athbheochan agus caomhnú ceol ceoltóirí traidisiúnta ar leith. Tá sé ag obair mar Léiritheoir san earnáil teilifíse, le suim ar leith aige i gcláracha ceoil agus ealaíon. Léiríonn sé féilte ceoil agus ealaíon agus déanann sé roinnt oibre sna meáin. Tá liosta fhada de cheoltóirí a raibh tionchar acu ar a chuid ceoil ach tá sé an-bhródúil as ceol a cheantar féin sna Déise.
From Monaghan originally, but now resident in Swords, Seán is member of the award-winning Irish traditional group Téada and has performed frequently throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. With the group he has also recorded six albums, the most recent of which Coiscéim Coiligh (2022) was released on the Gael Linn label. He is the recipient of a TG4 Gradam Ceoil award (2016) for his ‘Our Dear Dark Mountain With The Sky Over It' project, which focused on the musical heritage of the Sliabh Beagh region of north Monaghan/east Fermanagh. At present, he works at the newly established Irish Institute of Music & Song, Balbriggan as Head of Programme Development/Lecturer in Irish Traditional Music.