Sean Carroll - (Button Accordion), is from Teesan, Drumcliffe, Co. Sligo. He is a member of the renowned Dartry Céilí Band and was taught to play accordion by his father Michael, originally from Co. Leitrim who also played with the well known Leitrim Ceili Group. Sean played for a time with Sligo Senior Gaelic footballers in the 90's.
Theresa O'Grady was born and brought up in Luton, England. She learnt to play the banjo at a young age in Luton and went on to win All Ireland titles in the Banjo and Trio competitions with her two brothers James and Ciaran. Theresa moved to Dublin in the late 90's but now lives just outside Aclare, Co Sligo with her husband Declan Payne an accomplised Piano Accordion player. She plays sessions regularly in the Tubbercurry area of Sligo.
Junior comes out of a family deeply rooted in the musical tradition of South Sligo. The strongest musical influence on Junior has obviously always been his father Andrew (Andy) Davey, who was an authority in the Sligo fiddle playing. But also bodhrán-inspiration was available in the family: Junior's uncle, Ned Keane from Culfadda, was a recognised handstriker (old hand style bodhrán playing) in the local area.
When it comes to contemporaries Junior is highly influenced by Johnny 'Ringo' McDonagh , Maurice 'Mossie' Griffin, John Joe Kelly and Ronan Moloney. Bodhrán player and -maker Seamus O'Kane from Lower Drum, Dungiven, Co. Derry, had- and still has a positive and constructive impact on Junior and his music.
Junior has won the All-Ireland Championship on the bodhrán five times (1990, 1993, 1996, 1997 & 1999) and is the most winning bodhrán player at the All-Ireland ever.
The most important companion in Junior's musical life is without any discussion fiddle player Declan Folan from Doobeg, Doocastle, Bunninaden, Co Sligo. They have been playing as a duet for many years and have a telepatic musical understanding.
In 1995 the two friends recorded a wonderful album titled "Skin and Bow".
In 2005 Junior launched his first solo-album titled "A Sound Skin" which is his latest contribution to Irish traditional music.
Over the years Junior has worked as a guest musician and has contributed to several albums. He is an experienced teacher and have taught for many years in Ireland and abroad.
Eileen O'Brien at the Comhaltas 60th Anniversary Concert
Tullamore on 30th of April, 2011.
Nóirín Uí Shúilleabháin is one of the finest exponents of whistle playing in the world of traditional Irish music. Her playing is characterised by its effortless flow, clarity and musicality, which, to the discerning ear, is based on an underlying mastery of technique, command and control of her instrument, the whistle. So many young musicians start their musical journey by ‘learning the whistle’, an instrument which is potentially one of the most ‘simply complex’ of instruments – Nóirín’s musicianship illustrates the full potential of this most ‘intimate’ of traditional instruments. Nóirín Uí Shúilleabháin is also known nationally for her detailed and dedicated commitment to teaching Irish traditional music at all levels. She has been a highly respected senior tutor at Scoil Éigse for many years, a tutor on CCE’s TTCT Teachers Course and has also contributed very significantly to the SCT exams initiative.
Siobháin Ní Chonaráin, writing in the recent issue of TREOIR
Michael Vignoles is one of a rare breed of craftsmen left in Galway, with the musical instruments born from his Claddagh workshop gracing musicians' shelves across the world.
Born and reared on the cusp of Galway Bay, Michael Vignoles was ensconced in music from his first breath. His mother and father were both excellent vocalists with the melodic notes of Frank Sinatra bouncing form all corners of their Claddagh home.
"When I was growing up, I was really heavily influenced by the radio and
groups like Planxty, The Chieftains and The Dubliners. When you listen to
that every day something is bound to trip your soul and the sound of the
pipes from Planxty really caught me.
In my 20s, Reilly's on Forster Street was a great place to go to for a session. The best musicians would go there. I would go in with my tape recorder and try and learn the tunes from that. I was self taught to start off, I suppose."
After catching the uileann pipe bug, Michael set about getting his own set. It was during this process that he bumped into Eugene Lambe from Fanore, Co. Clare, who introduced him to the art of pipe building.
From the musically fertile fields of Connemara, Co. Galway comes accordion virtuoso PJ Hernon.
The multi–All Ireland winning accordion player was born into a Traditional music family in Rusheenamanagh, Carna, Connemara in 1951.
His brother Marcus Hernon is also a well known multi-All Ireland winning flute player, composer and prolific recording artist.
Together the Hernon brothers have performed at music festivals in Germany, England, the USA, Finland, Sweden, Canada, Luxembourgh and of course all over Ireland.
PJ was a member of the renowned Shaskeen Céilí Band for some years and after much success as part of this talented group he later embarked on a solo career.
In recent years his music became hugely popular with people on the set dancing scene after he formed the very successful Céilí Band named The Swallow's Tail.
PJ who has toured extensively world wide has several albums and a DVD accordion tutor to his credit.
He also won the All Ireland and Oireachtas button accordion titles in 1973 as well as being a member of the All Ireland winning duet and trio acts in Sligo in 1989.
PJ is one of the finest exponents of Traditional Irish music on accordion and melodeon and has presented Traditional Irish music programmes for Radio na Gaeltachta agus TG4.
Today PJ remains as popular as ever on the Irish Traditional music scene both for his live performance and for his much sought after music teaching techniques.
Jack Talty is a concertina and piano player from Lissycasey in west Clare. The rich west Clare music tradition has had a strong influence on Jack's music, particularly the music of Bobby Casey, Willie Clancy and John Kelly.
In July 2011 Jack released Na Fir Bolg, a duet album with concertina player Cormac Begley and is currently working on a recording project with the innovative Ensemble Ériu.
A regular performer and tutor at music festivals and workshops around the world, Jack has performed extensively throughout Europe, the United States and Australia and also has a wealth of experience working in recording studios as a musician, engineer and producer.
Emma hails from Connemara, Co. Galway in the West of Ireland. In 2009, at the age of 24, she won the All-Ireland Sean-Nós Dancing title at Oireachtas na Samhna in Letterkenny. Emma is best known for her successful appearances on the All-Ireland Talent Show which has made her a household name in Ireland and abroad.
Described by many as a natural teacher, Emma is employed full-time passing her skills to students in primary, secondary and third level institutions throughout the west. She provides dance workshops in sean-nós dance, brush and barrel dancing throughout the country and abroad.
Eamonn has played with St.Flannan's & the Tulla Ceili Bands and also toured with them.
Eamonn's solo CD. Traditional Music From Co.Clare.
Eamonn is renowned as very fine maker of the traditional concert wooden flute "Cotter Flutes"
His uncle Vincent was a well known musician and composer.
Check out Pat's album, "The Good Friday Session"
Bernie hails from County Mayo. She is a renowned musician and teacher having brought countless pupils to All Ireland Champion level. She has been engaged for events such as Scoil Eigse, The O'Carolan Harp Festival & The Seosamh McGabhann Summer School & Meitheal, as well as numerous other festivals across the country. A multi-instrumentalist, Bernie is also a well known composer and performer on the Irish music scene.
Colm Naughton is a renowned banjo and mandolin player from Creggs in North-East Galway. He started playing music at an early age which was inevitable, growing up in a large family of musicians. Neither of his parents played but both had a graet love of the music which rubbed off on Colm.
At the age of 7 Colm started attending whistle classes with the Roscommon fiddle player, Paddy Ryan and moved from there onto the banjo at age 11.
It wasn't until Colm moved to Galway in 1994 that the world of traditional music really opened up for him. There was a very vibrant session scene in Galway at that time, helped by some of the great traditional music pubs such as Taylor's, Taaffe's, The Crane and Tigh Neachtain to mention just a few. There was also a wide variety of musical styles to be heard with musicians from all over the country and further afield converging on the city. Colm quickly established himself on the scene and became a regular at many of the sessions. In 1998 while playing at a session in The Crane Bar with bouzouki player Bill Wright they were approached by an interesting looking character who was wondering if they would be intereseted in playing with him in The Róisín Dubh for two nights.
"We were playing away doing our ususal thing when I looked up and saw these two unusual looking characters looking down at the session. One had what looked like a train engineers dungarees and hat on and the other had a cowboy hat, full length trench coat and cowboy boots. It turned out to be Steve Earle and Peter Rowan. I have to admit I didn't know who they were but I soon found out. We had a couple of great nights in the Róisín Dubh"
Also in 1998, Colm was approached by Mick Crehan to see if he would be interested in being involved in setting up a traditional music school in Galway. Of course, he was delighted and agreed to do whatever he could to help. The Galway School of Irish Traditional music was formed shortly thereafter and as well as being the resident Banjo/Mandolin tutor, Colm served terms as both treasurer and secretary for the school.
In the following years Colm was involved in tours in the U.S., Germany, Norway, Poland and spent a year as a resident musician in Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria. In 1999, he toured the East coast of the U.S. with the Galway based band, String Company. The band's repertoire consisted mainly of Gypsy and Scandanavian music. More recently, in 2010, he toured Ireland with the show Fuaim Chonamara featuring the Cunningham sean-nós dancers.
Colm has recorded as a guest musician with Orlaith Keane, John Beag Ó Flatharta, String Company, Pat Coyne and on the charity CD 'From West to East'.
He currently plays with singer Matt Keane from Caherlistrane and they can be seen regularly around the West of Ireland. In 2009, he met another singing member of the Keane family, Orlaith. They were married in 2011.
Marie Reilly is an accomplished fiddler player. Marie was born in Co. Longford into a family steeped in Irish traditional music. Her grand-father, father and uncles all played the fiddle. Marie was introduced to Irish music from a very young age and competed and won numerous championship competitions at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, Fleadh Great Britain and a myriad of festivals throughout Ireland, England and Scotland. She also studied classical music and graduated with first honours from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. Marie appeared on national television in Ireland.
While living in England, Marie taught music in Birmingham and London. Along with teaching, she was a leading member of the folk group, named the Battering Ram.
Marie recently released a CD, The Anvil, a dedication to her father, Michael Reilly from Drumreilly, Co. Leitrim. The Anvil is a collection of some of the rarest and most delightful tunes of South Leitrim and Longford, a region with a distinctive fiddling tradition, passed down through eight generations. Many of the tunes on the recording, Marie learned from her father, a fiddling blacksmith, hence the CD title.
Tipperary man, Dick Hogan, reared in the Slieve Phelim mountains in mid west Tipperary close to the Limerick border, a place where Dick says traditions die hard. He can never remember a time when he didn't sing and that he must have been singing before he was born at all. His father was a very good singer, mostly of John McCormack songs and rebel ballads of the Tipperary area.
Dick has recently compiled and released the largest collection of traditional songs ever recorded by a single Irish artist - 'The Hogan Collection'.
Traditional music commentator Fintan Vallely describes the collection:
“The whole bubbling mass embodies everything that could be said about “Irishness”. Dick's is in fact a unique world that takes exceptional focus to maintain and stamina to chronicle. It is quite remarkable to find it all in the one person in the twenty-first century. This lyric cosmos runs behind Dick Hogan's daily life like an everlasting silent movie. Dick lets the volume and variety of lyrics and melodies celebrate the older world as a holiday for the imagination.”
Dick has toured in many parts of the world, having been to the USA more than a dozen times with the Slievenamon Set Dancing group under the guidance of the famous Set Dancing maestro, Connie Ryan who came from only a few miles from Dick's home place. He also has an All Ireland medal for set dancing again under the tutelage of Connie Ryan. Dick and his wife Bridget who is known to sing occasionally and also an All Ireland champion set dancer travelled all over Ireland with Connie helping with the revival of old set dances which were largely forgotten.
Roxanne, a local girl, started out musically very young though only began singing publicly competing in West Got Talent 2010. She then entered The CU Factor and winning 1st place went on to represent Tuam in the Connacht battles. Eventually Roxanne decided to release a CD titled "Priority 21". Released May 25th 2013, Complete with 13 tracks and a range of genres, beats and original songs it has proven to be a very versatile enjoyable CD for all ages. Priority 21 is now on sale locally and internationally.
Mark it in you calendar! The third annual Tuam Trad Festival has been confirmed for the weekend of September 14th - 16th 2012. Now an established and prestigious traditional festival, Tuam will play host to the best of traditional entertainers from across the country and further afield for a feast of Traditional music, song and dance.
Some Highlights for this year's festival:Friday September 14th -
Stay tuned for updates!
No surprises? Well, not quite. Tradiohead take the songs of Radiohead and re-imagine them using instruments more often associated with Irish traditional music - Occupy Oxford, if you will. The quartet play songs from classic albums like The Bends,OK Computer and Kid A, as well as more recent Radiohead records like Hail To The Thief and In Rainbows.They caught the ear of Galway Bay FM's Vinny Browne, who invited Tradiohead to play on his well-regarded Arts Show. They closed this year's Galway Sessions Festival and have just returned from two shows at the 2012 Electric Picnic.
The band are Tuam native Jimi McDonnell on vocals, Philip Fogarty on accordion and bodhrán, Pat Hargan on guitar and Michael Chang on violin, viola and mandolin.
The members of Galway based Shaskeen now four decades plus still providing music & song with maturity & verve.
Our association with Tuam goes back to the early 1970s when we played every Monday night in the Shamroch Bar where we experienced a great period of music song and dance. Shaskeen has made many lasting friends from this time, some unfortunatly no longer with us, but many who still look back with nostilgia on those days.
So it is with great pleasure we return to Tuam for the Tuam Trad. Fest. on Friday 20th Sept. to perform a concert in the Ard Rí Hotel. Shaskeen will appear with a full 8 piece band with Patsy McDonagh on accordion, Pat Broderick on Uillean Pipes, Eamon Cotter Concert flute, Pat Costello on Vocals, Guitar & Mandolin, Geraldine Cotter on Piano, Maureen Brown on Fiddle, Johnny Donnellan on bodhran & Tom Cussen on banjo. We will also have some guest sean nós dancers on the night.So make a date for youre diary for a night of music, song & story.
Don Stiffe is one of the most recent singer/songwriters to emerge on the Irish Folk Scene. Stiffe hails from Galway and his singing prowess is up there with the greats that Ireland has produced.
Don's award winning debut solo album "Start of a Dream" was released in 2006 to critical acclaim. His version of the "Dimming of the Day" by Richard Thompson won vocal cut of the year from the Live Ireland 2010 awards. The fantastic musicianship on this album speaks for itself and includes Frankie Gavin, Sharon Shannon, Arty McGlynn, Cathal Hayden and Carol Hession, to name but a few. Four of the songs on this album "Missing Galway", "Grosse Isle", "The Returning" and "The Banks of the Danube" were penned by Don himself.
Don lived in Boston (USA) in the 90's, where he was involved in the Folk Scene. He was a regular visitor to St Louis where he spent time in the company of the legendary accordian player Joe Burke who described Don as "The Bard of Bohermore".
Don's passionate singing guarantees a most impressive performance in front of a live audience as those who have seen him perform in Ireland, Europe and the USA will testify. Don has played at one of Irelands biggest sporting events - The Volvo Ocean Race in his native Galway in June 2009. In one of the biggest nights of the event he played to an estimated crowd of 50,000 people, appearing along side artists Sharon Shannon and the Saw Doctors.
In 2010, he was invited to play at the Irish Culture Festival in Cleveland Ohio, Catskills Irish Arts week in Upstate New York and at the Irish Centre, Philadelphia where he was overwhelmingly received at all of these venues.
2011 was a year to remember for Don as he was one of the finalists in The All Ireland Talent Show, one of Irelands most watched TV shows. This entailed many weeks of performing to live audiences of up to 800,000 people. His continued success brought him to guest with Irish American Band, Cherish The Ladies on their summer tour of Ireland and Scotland and also touring 18 States in USA on their Christmas Tour. The band's leader Joanie Madden introduced Stiffe as one of the best singers Ireland has produced in years.
In December 2011 Don released his second album "Lifes Journey". One of Don's own songs "Somebody Special", which is on this new album, has recently won an award for song of the year from the Live Ireland Awards, song by Matt Keane.
2012 will see Don Stiffe touring Ireland and Internationally with his new album. He will also guest with the Kilfenora Ceile Band as a follow up to his appearance on their new album which will be released later this year.
A number of Don's songs have been recorded by other artists, "Grosse Isle", recorded by Sean Keane, Kate Purcell and Danish Band, Moving Cloud. "Somebody Special" was recorded by Matt Keane and "Home in Time for Christmas", recorded by Cherish The Ladies.
Enda Seery from Co. Westmeath in the heart of Ireland, is one of Ireland’s finest whistle, flute players and composers. Enda grew up with music, song and dance from an early age with his musical siblings Ciarán (button accordion), Siobhán (flute) and Pádraig (fiddle) all gaining a reputation for their musicality and tradition as part of The Mona Dubh Céili Band.
Enda was a consistent achiever at Fleadh Cheoil competitions at Provincial and All-Ireland level. He has multiple whistle titles at Provincial level and in 2011, he was honoured with a 3rd place for his hornpipe composition Langton’s of Kilkenny at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Cavan. Indeed Enda’s compositions are now being recorded by other artists with his cousin All-Ireland Champion button accordion player Colin Nea recently recording Enda’s composition Sam’s Delight (reel) for his new album Between the Jigs and the Reels. Colin lives in Kilfenora, Co. Clare.
Enda's critically acclaimed debut album The Winding Clock was released in 2010 and sees Enda sprinkle his own compositions amongst other well know session tunes.
In recent years, Enda has gained a reputation as a respected teacher, administrator and adjudicator for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the largest traditional Irish music organization in the world. He holds the T.T.C.T Comhaltas teaching diploma.
In September 2012, Enda Seery completed a Masters in Traditional Irish Music Performance at The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick with First Class Honours.
Enda is currently leader of Ceoltóirí an Mhuilinn the resident group at the midlands Comhaltas centre Áras an Mhuilinn in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath and he also produces the annual summer Seisiún shows at the centre.
Enda has featured as a performer on RTÉ, TG4, RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ Lyric FM and Raidió na Gaeltachta. He has appeared on broadcasts such as RTÉ’s Céilí House and Forefront Productions Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann series on RTÉ and Geantraí on TG4.
2013 has seen Enda release his second studio album Síocháin na Tuaithe (Peace of the Countryside) with Enda featuring on whistles, flute, keyboard and vocals with guest appearances from John Byrne on guitar, Eoghan MacAogáin on whistle, James Hughes on fiddle and Tom Delany on guitar. The album includes many more of Enda’s own original traditional compositions. Kevin Crawford of Lúnasa fame has described Enda as being on "top of his game musically" on the album. The album has already received consistent airplay on Irish radio on stations such as RTÉ Ráidió na Gaeltachta, Midlands 103, Shannonside Northern Sound, Tipperary Mid-West and Radio Kerry.