Kevin Burke, Fiddle
Kevin Burke’s fiddle playing has been at the forefront of traditional music for over 30 years. His work during the 1970’s with Arlo Guthrie, Christy Moore and the Bothy Band established him as a first class musician and brought him international acclaim in both Europe and America. He also gained recognition as an exciting soloist with his far-reaching album, “If the Cap Fits”.
By 1980 Kevin had settled in the USA and was performing with Bothy Band colleague Micheal O Domhnaill. Their 2 albums, “Promenade” and “Portland”, became, and still are, very influential resources for many traditional musicians. In 1985 Kevin was a founding member of the group, “Patrick Street”, and this band, highly successful on both sides of the Atlantic, has recently released its 10th album.
Kevin spent much of the 90’s recording and performing in a series of highly successful concert tours with Johnny Cunningham from Scotland and Christian Lemaitre from Brittany, a trio of fiddle players known as “The Celtic Fiddle Festival” and he has also become a featured member of Tim O’Brien’s wonderful ‘crossover’ band, “The Crossing”.
Although Kevin has spent much of his life playing in a group context, he has never lost his love for solo fiddle music – the “naked fiddle” as he himself sometimes puts it. This is very evident in his live solo release, “In Concert”, a performance of mostly unaccompanied traditional pieces.
In 2002, The National Endowment for the Arts invited Kevin to Washington, D.C. to receive a National Heritage Fellowship, the country's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Previous National Heritage Fellows include B.B. King, "Pinetop" Perkins, Doc Watson, cowboy poet Wally McRae and Bill Monroe.
2005 saw the release of “In Tandem” with Kevin and guitarist Ged Foley. This highly regarded CD was released independently, without the aid of a record company, and the experience inspired Kevin to set up his own record company “Loftus Music”. Since then Kevin has released 4 CDs on the Loftus label, the latest of which is entitled “Suite”, an exciting collaboration with Oregon arranger/composer Cal Scott. “Suite” is the company’s major release of 2010 and features appearances from the members of “Beoga” one of Ireland’s hottest young bands. One of the highlights of the CD is “The Irish Session Suite”, ten traditional tunes arranged in four movements for String Quartet.
The New York Times describes Kevin as “a superior instrumentalist in any idiom......impressively virtuosic”, the Washington Post writes of his “lyrical style that is always emotionally electric”, and the Irish Times says that “Burke’s fiddling is one of the high spots of the current Irish musical scene”. Whether solo or accompanied, on record or in concert, Burke is an immensely engaging performer.
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Brendan Mulvihill, Fiddle
Fiddler extraordinaire Brendan Mulvhill, recently inducted into the Mid-Atlantic CCE Hall of Fame, will be one of the principal teachers at CCE MAD(for Trad) Week again this year.
Brendan Mulvihill's roots in Irish music run deep. Brendan's grandmother, Bridget Flynn, was a fiddler, and her brothers were all musicians as well. Brendan's father, the late National Heritage Fellow, Martin Mulvihill of County Limerick, Ireland, was a renowned fiddle player and one of the most highly respected Irish music teachers in America. Even with these powerful influences, Brendan's style is uniquely his own.
[photo: Michael Stewart]
Brendan’s strong tone, remarkable bow work, and unsurpassed musicianship come from a deep ￼love of the music and from a surprising influence. Though inspired by many traditional Irish musicians, Brendan also developed a passion for classical music. This classical influence can be heard most clearly perhaps in his playing of the baroque music of Turlough O'Carolan. The final distinctive result of Brendan’s many influences is perhaps best summed up by a comment from by the Washington Irish Folk Festival program book: "...It's often said that the difference between a fiddle and a violin lies not in the instrument but in the player. If that's the case, then Brendan is not the player one should look to when trying to draw such distinctions. Here is a man whose heritage, background and training epitomize that of the fiddler, but whose full, firm tone, exquisite bow work and subtle, sensitive musicianship bear all the hallmarks of the classical violinist…."
Brendan immigrated to New York with his family in 1965. In the ‘70s he traveled to Ireland playing throughout the country with his contemporaries and building a huge repertoire of tunes. During this time, he won the All Ireland Fiddle Championship. Later, Brendan moved to Birmingham, England, where he played in ceili bands and with the many Irish musicians who had also settled in the English Midlands.
In 1975, Brendan returned to New York and, not long thereafter, teamed up with Brooklyn-born button- accordion virtuoso Billy McComiskey, and singer/guitarist Andy O'Brien from Kerry. The three—calling themselves The Irish Tradition— were recruited to play a 6-week engagement at the new Dubliner pub in DC. They wound up staying several years and became a powerful influence in traditional music, helping to establish it as a permanent and integral part of Washington's musical fabric. During this same time period, Billy and Brendan traveled back to Ireland to win the All Ireland Fiddle/Accordion Duet Championship.
After recording several albums—Catchin' the Tune and The Corner House—that showcase Billy and Brendan's extraordinary duet playing, the Irish Tradition disbanded. Brendan remained in the Baltimore/Washington area, using the region as a home base for his travels. In 1979, Green Linnet released Brendan's stunning solo recording, The Flax in Bloom, with accompaniment by Mick Moloney. Brendan appeared at the Eigse na Laoi at University College, Cork, Ireland, in 1993, and again in 1995, where he played sets with uilleann piper Paddy Keenan, fiddler Martin Hayes, and accordionist John Williams. Brendan and pianist Donna Long toured the country in 1994-95 as part of the Masters of the Folk Violin tour sponsored by the National Council for the Traditional Arts. They also recorded 2 notable albums together—The Morning Dew and The Steeplechase. In 1995, the duo was featured in the Washington Irish Folk Festival's evening concert, which was broadcast worldwide. In 1998 Brendan played in the PBS broadcast, Performance at the White House, for President and Mrs. Clinton and their guests. Brendan is an original member of The Green Fields of America all-star Irish concert tour. Brendan has also been interviewed by Noah Adams on NPR's All Things Considered and has appeared on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion.
The Washington Irish Folk Festival published the following about Brendan’s current playing style, "...The raw, unbridled energy of his youth has given way to a seasoned, sophisticated and mature immersion in an art form in which each individual note can speak volumes." In the current and past few years Brendan has been leaving this impression on people at such venues as the Milwaukee Irish Festival; the Dublin, Ohio, Irish Festival; the Kansas City Irish Festival; the annual St. Patrick's Day concert at Gaston Hall, Georgetown University; the Baltimore Irish Festival; the National Folk Festival; the Friends of St. John's College concert series; the Washington Folk Festival; the Smithsonian Festival in Washington, DC; the Celtic Colours International Festival in Nova Scotia; the Philadelphia Irish Festival; the Washington Irish Folk Festival; the Institute of Musical Traditions; National Geographic; and the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. He has also appeared with Billy McComiskey and guitarist Zan McLeod at The Prism Coffeehouse in Charlottesville, Virginia; the Tir na nOg pub in Somerville, Massachusetts; the Celtic Trader concert series in Charlotte, North Carolina; and many others. Brendan currently plays at various Washington venues with singer/guitarist Brian Gaffney.
Michael O Suilleabhain referred to Brendan as "a rare genius." Many concur and have sought him out as their teacher. Sharing his talent with students of Irish music, Brendan has taught for several years at the Augusta Heritage Irish Week in Elkins, West Virginia; the Ceilidh Trail Summer School in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia; the Milwaukee Irish Festival's summer school; and most recently at the Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY. Brendan has also taught several rising young fiddle players in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area. Brendan received the 2005 Maryland Traditions Folk Arts and Culture Apprenticeship Award for teaching the art of traditional Irish fiddle playing. This is his fifth year teaching and performing at CCE MAD Week.
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Cleek Schrey, Fiddle
Cleek, an enthusiastic and experienced performer and teacher of Irish fiddling, has led classes for the Blue Ridge Irish Music School and has been on staff at the Augusta and Catskills Irish weeks.
As a teen in Virginia, he learned from Brendan Mulvihill, and also sought instruction from several musicians, notably Brian Conway, Marty Fahey, and Billy McComiskey.
Regular visits to the home of Paddy Reynolds, the great Longford fiddler who settled in New York, helped to intensify Cleek's interest in the fiddle playing of the 78 rpm era. In 2005, he co-produced of the release of archival recordings of the late Reynolds’ surviving work. Cleek performs regularly with his longtime friend, accordion player Sean McComiskey, and pianists Matt Mulqueen and Donna Long. Cleek was a featured musician on The Raw Bar, a documentary on Irish music that aired on RTE 1 in Ireland, and most recently on Féilte, a program on Irish music in America, on the Irish language station TG4. For sound clips and more information, please visit Cleek Schrey's Web Site
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Donna Long, Fiddle and Piano
Donna Long grew up in Los Angeles where she ￼was introduced to music at a young age by her father, Byron Long, a jazz and classical pianist. After moving to Baltimore in the early ‘80s a chance meeting with Irish fiddler Brendan Mulvihill inspired her to learn the fiddle and also accompany him on the piano. They played as a duo for ten years and recorded two duet albums together, The Steeplechase and The Morning Dew. A member of Cherish the Ladies for nine years, she recorded six albums with them and continues to perform with them occasionally. She currently performs with many artists from the Baltimore, DC area and also Irish fiddler James Kelly, Mick Moloney. Donna currently teaches piano and fiddle in the Baltimore and Washington DC area and won the MD Arts Council Teacher/Apprentice Grant for 2010 which honored her student, Matthew Mulqueen. Her first solo piano cd, Handprints was released in 2003 to critical acclaim. Donna’s son, Jesse Smith is a renowned traditional Irish fiddler, currently living in Dublin who carries on the tradition of music in her family. Visit Donna's website.
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Rose Flanagan, Fiddle
Rose Conway Flanagan is a traditional Irish fiddle teacher from Rockland County, in New York who originally began music lessons with Martin Mulvilhill while was growing up in the Bronx. She further developed her Sligo style of playing with the help of Martin Wynne and her older brother Brian.
Great New York fiddlers like Andy McGann and Paddy Reynolds were also frequent visitors to the Conway household, which was the Bronx version of a "teach ceoil" (house of music) in the best Irish tradition.
Rose currently has a large music school in her hometown of Pearl River where she is hard at work preparing the next generation of great traditional musicians, which include several All-Ireland winners and medalists.
Rose has been an instructor at the Alaska fiddle camp, The Catskills Irish Arts week, The Swannanoa Celtic Gathering and the O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat in the US, DeDannan Dance Camp in Vancouver, British Columbia and Scoile Eigse in Cavan, Ireland. She has taught workshops at the Northeast Tional , CCÉ conventions, and in Nashville Tn. at the Fiddle and Pick. Rose also runs various sessions, and plays with her group the Green Gates Ceili Band in the tri-state area.
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Eamon Coyne, Fiddle
Eamon has been a dominant and important fiddle and mandolin player on the traditional Irish music scene for many years. He was brought up in this tradition, along with his brothers Michael (pipes & vocals) and Terry (flute and vocals), by his father, Eamon Coyne, Sr. of the world famous Liverpool Ceili Band.
Eamon, along with his brothers, became members of Cohaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann.
They entered and won many competitions in England and Ireland including the All Ireland Ceili Band and Seisiun Competitions. Eamon also won the all Britain championship on fiddle.
When Eamon was 18 he went to Europe for two years playing at all the major folk festivals. He acquired great experience in stage performance and enhanced his energetic fiddle style.
Eamon went to Ireland in the mid 80s and for many years was the driving force in the music scene of Miltown Malbay in County Clare and instrumental in leading concerts and sessions in Ennis and Doolin. He played regularly with other top musicians such as Tommy & Siobhan Peoples and Brendan McGlinchey, and many others.
Eamon’s solo CD “Liverpool Connections” was launched in 2002 at the Ennis Traditional Festival in County Clare, Ireland. The Ennis Festival Committee said it was the best CD launch in the festivals history, and his CD continues to receive great reviews.
Eamon is known for his unique fiddle style and is in much demand for session and performance work by a variety of top recording artists. Eamon is also a noted composer of melodies and tunes which are played by many of today’s traditional performers. He has performed for the King and Queen of Spain, the President of Ireland and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice along with many other dignitaries. Eamon was a regular face in the Irish Traditional Music TV programme “Come West along the Road” and has been heard on radio programs in many parts of the world.
Eamon currently resides in the United States and has played in many venues in and around the Boston area performing with Paddy Keenan, Martin Hayes, Liz Carroll. Seamus Connelly, Brendan Mulvihill,Dave Munnelly, John Whelan, Patsy Whelan and Mance Grady to name a few. Eamon continues to travel back to Europe and Ireland and plays regularly there with his brothers Michael and Terry.
Eamon for the past 12 years has used his musical abilities to great affect by working with adults and children with learning difficulties and people who have sight impairments Eamon facilitated many musical therapy sessions and had great success with a dance troupe who performed with all the best folk dance troupes in England. Eamon is also a talented dance caller and has choreographed dances for people in wheelchairs, adults with learning difficulties and various other cultural groups.
Eamon continues to teach private individual and group classes and has participated in workshops in the USA, Europe and Ireland.
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Robert Spates - Fiddle
￼A full time performer and educator, Robert is often heard and seen backing famous pop stars, playing in a symphony or baroque ensemble, or invisibly enhancing commercials and film or tv scores with his fiddle. Like his colleague Kevin Burke, he also toured with Arlo Guthrie but has also accompanied Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Barry White, Ray Price, Christina Aguilera, Jewel, Clay Aiken, Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood,and too many other famous figures to mention.
In the U.S. he performs and records with many of the finest Irish musicians like Kerryman Brian Gaffney, Danny Doyle and Ronan Kavanaugh from Dublin,Seamus Kennedy from Belfast,and Conor Malone from County Clare, as well as fellow Americans Zan McLeod and Billy McComiskey.
Lately he has been spotted playing mandolin at New York's Lincoln Center and Irish banjo at the Commodore Barry Irish Center in Philadelphia.
An accomplished violinist, he brings unusual control and technique to a wide range of styles,and can delight with both refined or raucous playing. He attended school in Scotland as a young
teen, and its influence is evident in his predilection for hard-driving, energetic northern Irish fiddle tunes.In fact, he makes an annual pilgrimage to Donegal, where he has traded tunes with some of the Ireland's greatest fiddlers: Siobhan Peoples, Mairead O'Monaigh, Vincent and Jimmy Campbell,an the late great James Byrne.
He has been on the fiddle faculty with CCE FiddleWeek & MAD Week since the program began, and teaches at the Landon school during the year.
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Joe DeZarn - Fiddle
Fiddler Joe DeZarn, like many who play traditional music, comes from a very musical family. His grandfather, Bill DeZarn was a noted fiddler in his native Kentucky before the family migrated to Virginia, where Joe was born. Joe believes that those with the good fortune to have traditional music in their lives know a path to a deep well of fun, self-expression, and connection to culture. He plays the fiddle for the love of these things.
His chief interest is traditional dance music, with a particular focus on Irish music: reels, jigs, slip jigs, slides, polkas, hornpipes and waltzes. He also has an impressive repertoire of American fiddle tunes and traditional music from Quebec.
Joe plays with the dance band Rambling House for ceilis and New England-style contra dances and is a charter member of the renowned Boston-based fiddle orchestra, Childsplay.
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Dylan Foley, Fiddle
A 3-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, Dylan was a student of the great Rose Flanagan (the original fiddler in Cherish the Ladies) and counts Joanie Madden, Brian Conway, Mike McHale, and Monsignor Charlie Coen among his primary influences. He is a vibrant stylist whose playing has been called “impeccable and spirited.”
Dylan has played on Jay Unger’s Dancing On the Air show on WAMC four times. Dylan has also performed with Joanie Madden, Mick Moloney, Brian Conway, Kevin Crawford, Cillian Vallely, Comas, Monsignor Charlie Coen, and Dan Gurney.
He has also taught and performed at the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Elkins Irish Week and CCE MAD Week. In March 2013, Foley released his debut solo album, “Hup!” featuring Brendan Dolan (piano) and Josh Dukes (guitar/bouzouki/bodhran). Now, at the age of 20, Foley plays concerts, sessions and celli’s around the greater NY area. "One the finest Irish fiddlers of his generation." - Brian Conway
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Graham DeZarn, Fiddle
Fourth generation fiddler Graham DeZarn grew up surrounded by the contradance scene in the Shenandoah Valley of Virgina. First inspired by the music of his father Joe DeZarn, Graham studied with Andrea Hoag and Jesse Winch and soon began performing with other Washington D.C./Baltimore youths as The Next Generation.
After taking an interest in old-time fiddle playing, Graham joined the Richmond-based stringband The Hot Seats, with whom he has toured from the Rocky Mountains to the Shetland Islands. His music has also been heard at The White House and The Smithsonian.
Graham is an amateur mycologist and melodeon repairman with interests in sustainable agriculture and music education.
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Valerie Thompson, Cello
A Kansas City, MO native, Valerie Thompson grew up as a classical cellist in a household filled with the music of Bach, The Beatles, The Chieftains and the blues. Entranced by dance music in her teens, she supplemented her formal cello studies with trips summer folk festivals, fiddle camps, and studying Irish step-dance and American clogging. She graduated with honors from the Berklee College of Music and just finished a masters of music in Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory. Valerie is a member of the neo-trad Irish American quartet Longtime Courting and tours regularly with fiddler, Laura Cortese.
A cellist versatile in many genres, she has shared the stage with the likes of acclaimed jazz pianist, Fred Hersch; indie-rock icon, Amanda Palmer; multimedia artist, Christopher Janney; and CMH Records’, Vitamin String Quartet (including a guest appearance on CW’s TV show, Gossip Girl.)
Not just an engaged performer, Valerie is an active teacher, songwriter, and recording session musician, and her original music has scored independent films and plays. Her teaching experience includes private instruction, improvisation workshops for all ages, beginning folk repertoire and beginning fiddle at the Miles of Music Camp, fiddle oriented repertoire and groove workshops for cello, and private lessons and coachings at Illinois Wesleyan University’s Cello Camp (IL), University of Newcastle (UK), and Brookline Music School (MA.)
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Kevin Crawford, Flute
Born in Birmingham, England, Kevin Crawford’s early life was one long journey into Irish music and Co. Clare, to where he eventually moved while in his 20’s. He was a founding member of Moving Cloud, the Clare-based band who recorded such critically-acclaimed albums as Moving Cloud and Foxglove, and he has also recorded with Grianan, Raise the Rafters, Joe Derrane,Natalie Merchant,Susan McKeown and Sean Tyrrell.
Kevin also appears on the 1992 recording, The Maiden Voyage recorded live at Peppers Bar, Feakle, Co Clare and The 1994 recording, The Sanctuary Sessions recorded live in Cruises Bar, Ennis, Co Clare. Kevin now tours the world with Ireland’s cutting-edge traditional band, Lúnasa, called by some the “Bothy Band of the 21st Century,”with eight ground-breaking albums to their credit: Lúnasa, Otherworld, The Merry Sisters of Fate, Redwood, The Kinnity Sessions, Sé, The Story So Far and La Nua.
A virtuoso flute player, Kevin has also recorded several solo albums including The ‘D’ Flute Album, In Good Company, and his most recent, On Common Ground a duet recording with piper Cillian Vallely.
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Laura Byrne, Flute and Pennywhistle
Laura Byrne is highly regarded on both sides of the Atlantic for her mastery of the Irish traditional flute and whistle. Laura began studying flute at age 9 in her native Vermont, continued her studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in both flute performance and music education in 1995. Though classically trained, she chose to devote her musical career to Irish traditional music.
Laura has committed herself to the playing of the older generation of flute players through countless trips to Ireland and from close study of the immigrants to the United States. Her mentors and influences are many and include East Galway flute player Mike Rafferty, Sligo/Roscommon style flute player Catherine McEvoy, Matt Molloy of Chieftain’s fame, and East Galway style button accordionist Billy McComiskey. Through her direct study of this unbroken musical lineage and because of her devotion to the teaching and promulgation of all aspects of Irish musical culture, Laura is a well-known mainstay in Maryland’s vibrant Irish music scene.
Laura has performed at countless festivals, ceilis, and concerts in the U.S., Canada, and Ireland. She is a three-time 1st place winner in solo flute, duets, and slow airs at the North American eastern Fleadh competition. In 2001, Laura was a featured performer in the Emmy nominated Christmas with Choral Arts concert. She has played with Touchstone for their 2004 reunion tour, performed on the Irish Festival Carribean Cruise in 2006, and was featured on the Eva Cassidy remix album Wonderful World. In 2005 Laura released her first solo album Tune for the Road which received great reviews, was highly praised by Irish Music Magazine, and is played on radio stations across the U.S. and in Ireland. She was a 2008 Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship grant recipient and recently was awarded a Maryland State Arts Council grant for solo performance.
A versatile ensemble player, Laura has had the opportunity to perform with many of the great masters of Irish music including: fiddlers James Kelly, Brian Conway, Tony DeMarco, Brendan Mulvihill, and Patrick Ourceau, accordionists Paddy O’Brien and John Whelan, pianists Felix Dolan, Zan McLeod, piper Michael Cooney, and folklorist Mick Moloney. She performs regularly with world-renowned fellow Baltimoreans Billy McComiskey, pianist and fiddler Donna Long (formerly of Cherish the Ladies), and guitarist and singer Pat Egan, as a member of The Hedge Band. She runs a weekly session on Sundays at Ryan’s Daughter and also plays regularly with fiddler Jim Eagan (of O’Malley’s March) with whom she has led a weekly session Tuesdays at J.Patrick’s for nearly 10 years.
A sought-after flute and tin whistle instructor, Laura maintains an active private teaching studio and has taught at numerous festivals and workshops, including the 2009 CCÉ Mad Week and the Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY. She teaches Irish flute at Goucher College in Towson, MD, and founded and directs the Baltimore Irish Arts Center. Laura currently lives in Baltimore, MD.
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Tina Eck, Flute & Pennywhistle
Tina plays the Irish wooden flute and tinwhistle. Originally from Germany and now working as a Washington-based radio news correspondent, she discovered her passion for Irish traditional music in a local pub in Washington DC in the 1990’s. She has since performed at countless sessions, festivals, dances and concerts.
Tina has traveled to Ireland frequently and has learned technique and repertoire from some of the best traditional flute players in Ireland and the U.S. She is on the faculty of the Washington Conservatory of Music program at Glen Echo Park, and she also gives private flute and whistle lessons.
In 2011 Tina was awarded a Maryland State Arts Council Grant for Solo World Music Performance. She plays with the Irish traditional music duo "Lilt", the dance band "Rambling House", "The Irish Inn Mates" and "The Flaming Shillelaghs". Tina lives in Cabin John, MD.
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Karen Ashbrook - Pennywhistle
￼In 1976, Karen Ashbrook built her first hammered dulcimer as a high school project. She attended the Eastman Preparatory School in Rochester, NY. In search of Irish music, she went overseas and spent five years playing in Europe and Asia, traversing the globe twice.
With her delicate touch, trademark shimmering lilt, and ear for authentic ornamentation, Karen Ashbrook is considered one of the finest Irish hammered dulcimer players anywhere. Add her wooden flute and pennywhistle playing, and you have the consummate Irish musician. Irish reviewer John O'Regan calls her recordings "Celtic music for the mind and body."
"Karen has long been something of a heroine to me... Her style is at times traditional, then moves surprisingly at a tangent, making it more interesting in an unexpected way. And her whistle playing is excellent."
— Irish Edition (Philadelphia)
Based in the Washington, DC area, Karen teaches and performs Celtic, contra dance, and Jewish music. These days she primarily performs as a duo with her husband Paul Oorts, playing his native Belgian and French music and as a trio in Pavilion 3 with percussionist Steve Bloom added. She has several recordings, both solo and with the group Ceoltoiri, on the Maggie's Music label. Karen plays the hammered dulcimer in the Irish Tradition book/CD set from Oak Publications, a standard text in dulcimer literature. She appears at numerous folk music camps and festivals around the country. Performance highlights include RTE 1-Irish National Television, the Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic, and playing at the White House for President Bill Clinton. Karen also plays with Cabaret Sauvignon. Check out her 4/13/01 performance at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage.
Karen's newest CD, Spring Will Come, is a live recording marking her 30th anniversary as a dulcimer player, teacher, and advocate, and celebrates her rich musical partnerships with Ceoltoiri, David Scheim (King David's Harp, Hills of Erin), and Pavilion 3.
In addition to her performing and recording career, Karen has done much to promote traditional Irish music and arts to the next generation of Irish musicians. Karen has taught and coached two-time All-Ireland winner Arjuna Balaranjan (miscellaneous Instrument, 2 different age groups). Karen compiled The Hedge School Tune Book, the compendium of traditional Irish dance tunes that is used by children’s sessions throughout the area. Karen runs a series of “Hedge School” summer camps for children of all ages each summer. She also ran a children’s session for ten years at various venues in the DC area. For details about summer camps as well as a downloadable version of The Hedge School Tune Book, please visit her website.
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Cillian Vallely, Uilleann Pipes
Starting at age 7, Cillian Vallely learned the whistle and uilleann pipes from his parents Brian and Eithne at the Armagh Pipers Club, a group that for over 4 decades has fostered the revival of traditional music in the north of Ireland. Since leaving college, he has played professionally and has toured all over North America and Europe in addition to Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.
Since 1999, he has been a member of the band “Lunasa”, with whom he has recorded 6 albums and played at many major festivals including Womad, Glastonbury, Edmonton & Winnipeg Folk Festivals, Lorient Interceltique and The Hollywood Bowl. He has also performed and toured with “Riverdance”, Natalie Merchant, Tim O Brien & Mary Chapin-Carpenter in “The Crossing”, New York-based “Whirligig”, and the “Celtic Jazz Collective” with Lewis Nash and Peter Washington. In the past couple of years, he has worked on various collaborations between traditional and classical music, along with his brother Niall and the composer Micheal O’Suilleabhain.
He has recorded on over 40 albums including “Callan Bridge” with his brother Niall, “On Common Ground” with Kevin Crawford and various guest spots with Natalie Merchant, Alan Simon’s “Excalibur” project with Fairport Convention and Moody Blues, “GAIA” with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, and Karan Casey. He has recently recorded on two movie soundtracks, “Irish Jam” and “The Golden Boys” and played uilleann pipes on the BBC’s “Flight of the Earls” soundtrack.
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Billy and Sean McComiskey, Button Accordion
Billy McComiskey, the Irish Echo's 2011 Irish Musician of the Year, first came to Washington DC in 1974, to play for a ceili at the invitation of Lou and Peggy Thompson. With Lou's help, Billy returned in January 1975 for a week-long gig at The Dubliner Pub on Capitol Hill. He brought Brendan Mulvihill with him, and a week later returned to New York and enlisted Andy O'Brien, to form the trio that would eventually come to be called The Irish Tradition, Washington's first Irish Traditional music ensemble. The Irish Tradition played together for another 10 years, recording three albums, Catchin’ the Tune and The Times We’ve Had and firmly establishing Irish Traditional Music in the DC area.
Billy has been living in Baltimore since 1980. He's been playing, teaching, performing, sharing and promoting Irish Traditional Music throughout that time, all the while holding a job, and raising and educating three fine sons with his wife Annie. And the music has blossomed all around him. Indeed, Baltimore is now considered one of the great cities for The Music in North America.
Billy won the senior All Ireland Championship for the button accordion in 1986. He's only the second American to be so honored. His friend and student John Nolan was the first. No American boxplayer has won it since.
Billy has played all over The United States, Canada, Ireland, England and Scotland with some of the finest musicians in Irish music today. He continues to play, record and perform with such celebrated groups as Trian, The Greenfields of America, and The Pride of New York
Sean McComiskey is among the most innovative young performers on the button accordion, with a unique harmonic style that has earned him a spot in the pantheon of Irish accordionists far beyond his native Baltimore. As the son of legendary button accordion player Billy McComiskey, Sean has been surrounded by Irish Traditional music his entire life and has developed a deep appreciation for the rich tradition of which he is a part. This has helped Sean establish a reputation as a highly regarded teacher and promulgator of Irish music and earned him teaching positions with the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Augusta Heritage Center’s Irish Arts Week, and the Baltimore Irish Arts Center.
In addition, Sean's music has been recognized in various prestigious venues throughout his musical career—among them, the Washington Irish Festival, the Baltimore Irish Festival, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the Mansion at Strathmore, the Glucksman Ireland House at New York University, the Hippodrome Theatre, the National Press Club, and the White House St. Patrick's Day Celebration. He performs regularly with O'Malley's March, Corner House with fiddler Cleek Schrey and pianist Matt Mulqueen, and is a member of the Old Bay Ceili Band from Baltimore, Maryland.
Sean has been featured on numerous recordings to date, including Billy McComiskey’s highly anticipated second solo album, Outside The Box, and is currently collaborating with fiddler Cleek Schrey and Sean Nós dancers Shannon Dunne and Kieran Jordan on a traditional Irish music and dance performance group called the Kitchen Quartet.
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Joshua Dukes, Guitar
Josh Dukes is an All Ireland champion accompanist and a highly sought after music teacher in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. A multi-instrumentalist whose talents embrace the guitar, bouzouki, bodhran, flute, and tin whistle, Josh has established a reputation for providing sensitive, tasteful support for traditional Irish music.
As a young high school student, Josh studied the oboe, tenor/alto saxophone, drum set and baritone horn. Outside of the classroom, he learned the art of ancient rudimental drumming under the tutelage of Dominick Cuccia, a widely respected instructor/performer in the fife and drum community. In 1997, Josh enlisted in the Army and has since earned the rank of Master Sergeant , currently serving as one of three Drum Majors for the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, "The Official Escort to the President," the only military unit of its kind.
Josh continues to perform Irish music, having shared the stage with such renowned musicians including John Doyle, Paddy Keenan, Billy and Sean McComiskey, Brendan Mulvihill, Skip Healy, Zan McLeod, and Myron Bretholz, and he can be seen performing regularly with The Old Bay Ceili Band. Josh lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Judy and two daughters, Mya and Olivia.
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Zan McLeod, Guitar (DADGAD)
￼Zan's musical heritage began with his grandfather, Ed Stacy, who played Appalachian music on the banjo and mandolin. But, it wasn't until he heard The Beatles on Ed Sullivan that he knew where his first musical steps would lead him. Zan started his music career playing in the style of the great Southern Rock bands of the early 70's. The blues rock synthesis of bands like the Allman Brothers and the Marshall Tucker Band influenced his style and compositions. His band called Skinny opened for many national acts in coliseums and auditoriums throughout North Carolina. Zan continued to pursue writing and performing his original music in his bands Hummingbird and Skylite.
After moving to Chapel Hill in 1976, Zan started playing acoustic music. He recorded and toured with local Chapel Hill favorite, Mike Cross. In 1979, on a trip to Nashville, Mike and Zan met Triona NiDhomnaill of the legendary Bothy Band. Together Triona and Zan formed the innovative and groundbreaking band Touchstone. Then in 1985, Zan heard his electric roots calling and segued into the trio called Fun Addix. The band Fun Addix was influenced by the inspirational Reggae/Rock sounds of Bob Marley and the driving rhythm of the Police. In 1988, Zan moved north to Washington DC. There he connected with his Irish musician friends again and began an exciting and hectic 10 year period of touring and recording.
His solo CD, Highland Soul, was recorded by Zan and it's success inspired him to become an audio engineer. Upon graduating from the Omega School of Recording in 1997, he created and established his own home studio, TONEHOUSE. He has produced over 20 CD's at Tonehouse for many of Washington's emerging local artists. Most recently Zan performs as a freelance musician with many of the most talented and innovative musicians around.
Zan is also a respected and experienced workshop leader and instructor. He has taught for years at Augusta Heritage, Gaelic Roots, Common Ground and Swannanoa. In 2001, he released an instructional video on the Irish Bouzouki for Homespun Tapes.
Though Zan's musical road appears already very long and winding, it feels as if it has just begun. Today, Zan's creative spirit reveals new jazzier harmonies and less defined resolutions: a sign of more unexpected things to come.
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Shannon Dunne, Dance Director
Shannon Dunne, a performer/arts educator living in WDC, is best known for her ￼percussive dancing (specifically sean-nós dancing), which the Washington Post described as "Playful musicality...spirited and fun!" Shannon has performed theaters and festivals all over North America and Ireland, including: the Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage, The Birchmere (VA), Comhaltas Ceoltori Eirann North American Convention, ICONS Festival (Boston), Saline Celic Festival (MI), the University of Milwaulkee Sean-nos Festival (WI), Choilin Sean Dharach Festival (Ireland), Brennan's (Nova Scotia), Greyfox Music Festival (NY), the Institute of Musical Traditions (MD), the Rams Head (MD), Potomac Celtic Festival (VA) and the Mainstay (MD).
Shannon has toured internationally with Childsplay, Kitchen Quartet, The Wren Girls: American Women in Sean-nós Dance and as a principal dancer for Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble from 2007-2010. She has appeared as guest artist with world renowned music acts, such as The Teetotalers, Solas, Flook, Karan Casey, Kevin Crawford, Killian Vallely, Tony DeMarco, Laura Byrne, Billy McComiskey, Tim O'Brien, Bruce Molsky, and Lilt. Her choreography has been performed by Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Kieran Jordan Dancers, Maldon Meehan Dancers, Teelin Irish Dance Company, the Reston Players, Momentum Dance Theater and as part of the Joy of Motion Choreography Showcases (2007-2011).
She has studied Connemara sean-nós dance (through funding by the DCCAH) with Paidraic O'Hoibicin, Roisin NiMhanin, Mick Mulkerrin & Mairead Casey, Clare battering with Aidan Vaughan,and Muenster (old-style) step dance with Patrick O'Dea. She also studied flatfooting/clogging with Eileen Carson, Megan Downes and Christine Galante.
She is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the 2008 Dance Fellowship and multiple Folk Arts Grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She is on the roster of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and was the recipient of a 2006 Performers Grant from the University of Milwaukee.
Shannon is the founder/director of Shannon Dunne Dance, a multigenerational sean-nós/set dance group dedicated to the preserving the steps and values of the dance forms.
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Matthew Olwell, Traditional Dance
￼Matthew Olwell has been performing and teaching as a dancer, percussionist and flute player since 1996. He began attending festivals and music events at an early age with his father's flute-making business, and in 2005, released an album with his brother Aaron Olwell and their band, Hell on the Nine Mile.
Partly self-taught, Matthew has also studied percussion with Myron Bretholtz, Benoit Bourque and Steve Bloom, and with some of the finest teachers in traditional percussive dance, including Donny Golden, Eileen Carson, Dianne Walker, The Fiddle Puppets, and Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble. He danced for nine years with the Maryland-based Footworks, traveling across North America and Europe, and appearing in Riverdance, and in 2006 he co-founded Good Foot Dance Company. Matthew has performed with James Leva, John Skelton, Lúnasa, Eileen Ivers, Matapat, Uncle Earl, Chris Norman, Liz Carroll, Tim O'Brien, and Bassekou Kouyate. He has taught at numerous camps and festivals including the Augusta Heritage Center, Pinewoods, Timbe
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Brían Ó hAirt (Brian Hart)
Brian is an award winning singer (he became the only American to win the coveted Sgiath Uí Dhálaigh shield in traditional singing at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Listowel, Co. Kerry), button accordion/concertina player and sean-nós dancer. Though obligated in his youth to learn some of the step dancing repertoire, it never really grabbed his interest, and he came to sean-nós dance rather late in life- in his twenties.
On his first trip to the Milwaukee Irish Festival Summer School he had the fortunate opportunity to work with Róisín Ní Mhainín, one of the first instructors of the sean-nós style of dancing-a percussive dance form endemic to the Conamara region of western Co. Galway. Subsequent trips back to the festival allowed him to work with Seosamh Ó Neachtain and Brian Cunningham.
During his travels to Ireland he also worked Padraig Ó hOibicín. He met Padraig at the Cruinniu na mBád in Kinvara in 2003, where Brian surprisingly took home a prize from the sean-nós dancing competition. A passionate teacher, Brian offers a unique perspective into the sean-nós dance tradition, informed by his fluency in the Irish language, his depth of understanding of the sean-nós singing tradition, and his knowledge of the accordion music present in Conamara.
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Myron Bretholz, Bodhran
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Myron has lent his talents as a percussionist to nearly fifty recordings of Irish, Scottish, and other folk music, including albums by Irish fiddlers Brian Conway and Jim Eagan; singers Aoife Clancy, Danny Doyle, and David Kincaid; Uillean piper Jerry O'Sullivan; accordionist Patty Furlong; flutists Jimmy Noonan and Laura Byrne Egan; Scottish fiddlers Elke Baker and Bonnie Rideout; bluegrass banjoist Tom Adams; and the groups Brave Combo, the Irish Tradition, Ensemble Galilei, and Magpie.
Myron has taught bodhran and rhythm bones at many workshops throughout the United States and Canada over the past 20 years, including Boston College's Gaelic Roots, Gaelic College in Cape Breton, and the Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, New York. In March 2000, Myron was privileged to receive a Maryland State Arts Council grant for solo instrumental performance, and he also was honored to play at the White House on four occasions during the late 1990s.
He received early inspiration and instruction in bodhran from Jesse Winch and in rhythm bones from Karen Seime Singleton, and also counts among his influences the playing of Robin Morton, Peadar Mercier, Jim Sutherland, and Johnny McDonagh. And although not a dancer himself, he also draws inspiration from Irish step dancers, and he reckons that the ideal percussionist should be able to do with his or her hands what dancers do with their feet. Myron's relaxed and humorous teaching style has made him an in-demand workshop leader and instructor, and he is always willing to encourage novice players.
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Jesse Winch, Bodhran and Ceili Band
Jesse Winch is the Bronx-born son of Bridie (Flynn) and Patrick Winch, Irish immigrants who met and married in New York City in the early 1930s. Paddy Winch played the tenor banjo and encouraged all of his five children to play the Irish music he loved so much. As a 10-year-old, Jesse took up the drums and two years later started playing with his father and button-accordion player P.J. Conway for house parties and parish dances. He played in his first ceili band in the late 1950s under the tutelage of the legendary Felix Dolan. He went on to play drums with the Joe Nellany Band, Paddy Noonan, Paulie Ryan, and several other Irish dance bands in New York in the early 1960s, playing such historic venues as the New York City Center, The Yorkville Casino, The Jaeger House, and others.
Upon graduation from Iona College in 1964, he entered the Peace Corps and spent two years in Niger, West Africa, working in agricultural development and, on the side, as a guest drummer in L’ Orchestre Mariko, an African high-life band. Upon his return, he obtained a Master's degree in African Studies from Howard University with a focus on music and language.
In the early 1970s, Jesse started playing the bodhran with encouragement and inspiration from such players as Peadar Mercier, Robin Morton, and DeDanann's Johnny McDonagh. Jesse played with James Keane's Ellis Island Band at the National Folk Festival in 1986 and 1987 with an all-star line-up that included Jack Coen, Mike Preston, Andy McGann, Paddy Reynolds, and Mattie Connolly, with Seamus Connolly joining the group in the second year. He is a founding member, with his brother Terry, of the award-winning band, Celtic Thunder, and also plays regularly in the DC area with the Bog Wanderers Ceili Band and the Irish Inn Mates. Jesse has recorded with Celtic Thunder, The Clancy Brothers and Robbie O'Connell, Johnny Cunningham, Jerry O'Sullivan, Linda Hickman, and other notable traditional artists.
Jesse has served on the teaching staff at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV, during "Irish Week," teaching bodhran and ceili band, a class he created; at the Swannanoa Gathering in Ashville, NC; during "Celtic Week’" at the North American Convention for Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, and regularly at Glen Echo Park, Maryland.
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Keith Carr - Tenor Banjo
Keith Carr is a multi-instrumentalist who performs as half of the Irish traditional music duo "Lilt" (with Tina Eck). He plays the tenor banjo, and is also proficient on ten-string cittern (bouzouki) and mandolin. His musical background includes many years as a performing guitarist, plus extensive classical training in trumpet and piano.
In addition to performing, he teaches bouzouki, banjo, and mandolin, and is on the faculty of the Washington Conservatory of Music program at Glen Echo Park. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and the University of Oregon, and earned bachelor's and graduate degrees in geography. He is a specialist in the areas of biodiversity informatics and species conservation, and is currently working with the Biological Informatics Program at the US Geological Survey.
Previously he was the Director of Conservation Systems for the Nature Conservancy, and was a co-founder of the NatureServe organization. During a recent career sabbatical he was on the staff of the House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park, MD, where he was the “Irish music guy”. He lives in Falls Church, VA.
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Robbie O'Connell - Singing/Songwriting
Robbie O'Connell was born in Waterford, Ireland and grew up in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, where his parents had a small hotel. He began to play guitar and sing at age thirteen and soon became a regular performer at the hotel’s weekly folk concerts. He spent a year touring the folk clubs in England before enrolling at University College Dublin where he studied Literature and Philosophy. During school vacations Robbie worked as an Irish entertainer in the U.S.A. A nephew of the Clancy Brothers, he began touring with his uncles in 1977 and recorded 3 albums with them. In 1979 he moved to Franklin, Massachusetts.
With the release, in 1982, of his first solo album, "Close to the Bone," Robbie emerged as an artist of major stature. Soon after, he began touring extensively with Mick Moloney and Jimmy Keane, and also with Eileen Ivers and Seamus Egan in the Green Fields of America. In 1985, the trio's first album, "There were Roses," was released. Robbie also participated in The Festival of Mountain Music and Dance on a five-nation tour of Latin America. In 1987, the trio followed up their very successful first release with the album, "Kilkelly," the title track of which was voted "Best Album Track of the Year" in Ireland. 1989 saw the release of a live concert recording of the Green Fields of America.
Robbie has taught songwriting at the Augusta Heritage Arts Workshop in Elkins, West Virginia, Gaelic Roots Week at Boston College, Catskills Irish Arts Week, The Swannanoa Gathering and at the Summer Acoustic Music Week in Boston. His album of original compositions, Love of the Land, was voted the #1 acoustic album of 1989 by WUMB in Boston. In 1991, he won a prestigious Boston Music Award as Outstanding Celtic Act and was also featured in the highly acclaimed TV series "Bringing It All Back Home." In 1992 he performed at Carnegie Hall with the Clancy Brothers and was also seen by an estimated 500 million people worldwide on the telecast of a live tribute to Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden, a performance that Rolling Stone magazine described as "breathtaking.”
"Never Learned to Dance," his 1993 album of original songs, was critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1994 he headlined a celebration of Boston based Irish Music at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. "Older But No Wiser," his last CD with the Clancy Brothers was released on Vanguard in 1995, followed in 1997 by the "Clancy, O'Connell and Clancy CD and in 1998 by "The Wild and Wasteful Ocean" CD with Liam and Dónal Clancy. "Robbie O'Connell, Live, Humorous Songs" and "All on a Christmas Morning" with the group Aengus, were released in 1998. "Recollections," a twenty-year retrospective collection album was released in 2001. In 2009, the second Green Fields of America was released. In 2006 he began an ongoing collaboration with his cousins Aoife and Donal Clancy. The Clancy Legacy, their first CD together was released in 2010. He is currently working on a new solo CD of his own compositions.
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Sue Richards - Harp
Sue Richards is an internationally known performer, teacher, composer and author. Sue has recorded dozens of CDs, and has entertained audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe.
After first studying the concert harp in Ohio with Lucy Lewis and Jean Harriman, Sue turned to the Celtic harp and the Irish and Scottish traditional music of her heritage. Since then, Sue has performed numerous times for the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, DC, has twice played for President Bill Clinton, and recently added Queen Elizabeth II and President and Mrs. Bush to her list.
Sue has sat in with The Chieftains and has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion. She has performed in Scotland at Celtic Connections in Glasgow and at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, and she recently toured Norway and Sweden with the Harpaensemble.
Sue can be heard on dozens of recordings, both solo, with Ceoltoiri, and with Grammy-nominated Ensemble Galilei, a group of five women performing Celtic,
Early, and Original music. As a member of Ensemble Galilei, she has written music and performed in two multi-media shows, A Universe of Dreams and First Person: Stories from the Edge of the World, the latter sponsored by the National Geographic Society.
In addition to multiple Wammie awards, Sue has won the American National Scottish Harp Championship four times, and is now a Scottish Harp Society of America (SHSA) Distinguished Judge. She has also served as president of SHSA, as well as of the Washington, DC, Folk Harp Society.
Sue has taught at the Alaska Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and at the Summerkeys Music School in Maine. She currently offers private lessons in the Washington, DC, area, and directs and teaches in the harp program at the summer Ohio Scottish Arts School in Oberlin, Ohio.
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Sandy Hoar, Celtic Crafts and First Aid Coordinator
Sandy Hoar has been playing and singing music since she was very young; Celtic music with a number of local groups for several decades, including the Irish Breakfast Band (1999 WAMMIE winner for best Celtic release for their first CD and nominated for another in 2005). She has been doing handicrafts her entire life and has taught various craft workshops for all ages. Sandy has exhibited different crafts annually at a DC Art Exhibit at George Washington University. She has been doing Celtic crafts for a decade and loves sharing often neglected Irish handicrafts with others, especially children. She has presented Irish crafts at a regional Irish music festival and plans to again this year. She taught a number of different Irish handicrafts to adults and children for last year’s MAD week and is excited to be sharing some new skills this year. She plans to teach some of the same crafts to children as a representative for the Irish Embassy for the upcoming Kids Euro Festival.
Sandy Hoar is a nationally certified Physician Assistant in Primary Care, with specialty training in public health, pain medicine, infectious disease, and tropical medicine. She teaches at the George Washington University as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health and has domestic and international public health projects. She has created curricula, written on subjects ranging from working with children in public health, palliative and long-term care, to unexpected sources of caffeine. Sandy also provides direct care to uninsured patients at the Holy Cross Health Center. She keeps a very busy schedule giving local, regional, national, and international presentations on medicine and public health, including using music to teach heart sounds. She is a former EMT and Instructor, Instructor-Trainer in all areas of first aid and CPR with the American Red Cross. She has been the First Aider for MAD week since its inception and looks forward to another healthy week of fun.
Mitch Fanning, Director
Mitch Fanning, Director of CCE Musical Arts & Dance Week (formerly CCE FiddleWeek) is a violinist and fiddler based in Silver Spring, Maryland. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree (1982) in violin performance from Catholic University of America, where he studied with Jody Gatwood and Robert Gerle. He has studied Suzuki violin pedagogy with John Kendall and Ronda Cole and traditional Irish fiddling with Brendan Mulvihill. He teaches violin and fiddle out of his home studio in the Forest Glen area of Silver Spring and at the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda.
Mitch’s passion for traditional Irish music ignited after five of his violin students at the Washington Waldorf School approached him about starting a fiddle club and learning traditional Irish dance music. This fiddle club very soon thereafter became Pete Moss & The Bog Boys and began to make a name for themselves by performing in school events and various local music festivals. Shortly after producing Got Bog a CD celebrating some of their favorite trad tunes, the Bog Boys expanded and became more than a group of fiddlers. Pete Moss & The Bog Band as the group is now known, continues to grow and now features the work of aspiring young men and women and features a larger number of traditional instruments, including guitar, mandolin, flute, pipes, bodhran and feet (Irish dance). The group produced On Their Own Turf, a session-like CD inspired in large measure by Maiden Voyage a classic traditional Irish CD featuring trad musicians at Pepper’s Bar in Martin Hayes’ home of Feakle, County Clare. The Bog Band continues to perform at venues and festivals throughout the region and this past December served as musical entertainment for the annual Christmas party at the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, DC.
Mitch’s work with young people led him to establish two new “next-gen” sessions on second and fourth Sundays (McGinty’s, Silver Spring, 5-6:30 pm) and The Limerick Pub, Wheaton (4-5:15) as opportunities for younger players to gain experience playing in a fun traditional session environment. Mitch also is the founding director of “CCE FiddleWeek 2006”, a summer camp he initiated for students to learn traditional Irish fiddle from other local and international performers and teachers of stature – the Kane Sisters, Brendan Mulvihill, Brian Conway, Tony DeMarco and a host of local talent. In 2009, FiddleWeek expanded to become “CCE Musical Arts & Dance (MAD) Week” and began to provide instruction in flute, guitar, and dance as well as fiddle. Mitch also teaches a class at Washington Conservatory of Music entitled: “Traditional Irish Fiddle for Violinists.”
Mitch continues to travel to Ireland every summer and participates in music festivals and sessions there, and performs at festivals and venues throughout the Washington metro area. Mitch can be heard every Monday night with his fellow “Inn Mates” (Tina Eck, Jesse Winch) at the Irish Inn at Glen Echo. Come on out sometime and give the Inn Mates a listen.
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