Performer & Presenter Bio's
CHRIS FINNEGAN - Gaelic for Children
Chris Finnegan is a teacher and musician living in Central New Jersey. He is a school Orchestra Director as well as a classically trained double bassist and plays both the Uilleann and Highland bagpipes professionally. Chris is also a passionate activist for the Irish language, having spent many summers of study in the Donegal Gaeltacht, including as the recipient of a Fulbright Summer Gaeltacht Award. Chris has served as Cathaoirleach(Chairman) of Cumann Chaitlín agus Thómais Uí Chléirigh, a branch of Conradh na Gaeilge (The Gaelic League) based in Brooklyn, NY, for whom he has also taught. He has given workshops for the Los Angeles Branch of Conradh na Gaeilge, led immersion classes for children through Daltaí na Gaeilge, and taught classes for adults at the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan.
BOBBY GRAHAM - Friday nite Ceili Dance Caller
Bobby Graham is the director of Graham Family and Friends Ceili Dancing.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Havertown with ancestral roots from County Mayo Ireland
Promoter of Irish Ceili dancing for over 45 years throughout the tristate area and current instructor for the PCG.
JOHN (Seán) HANDY - Simple Songs in Irish Workshop
John Handy received an Irish Echo Community Champion Award in 2022 for his efforts in promoting and teaching the Irish language from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, since 2013. Seán teaches Irish language full-time and online for people all over the United States and other parts of the world. Irish Language Learners invites you to join their over 50,000 followers on various platforms and especially to visit them at their table at the Céilí Festival on Saturday October 14th to learn more about the Irish language and becoming a member and a student.
PAT KANE - Thursday's Singers Nite Host
Pat Kane is a seasoned showman, being a singer, dancer, actor, and instrumentalist since childhood. On his farm in the hill country of the Canisteo River, he was raised in the traditions of the Grange and of his Irish family. Pat has been working full time for over 40 years, in pubs, clubs, concerts, schools, colleges, and festivals. He has played every occasion, from wakes to weddings, on both sides of the Atlantic. Since 1994, he has also been the leader of the band, West o'Clare.
Pat’s sister, Terry Kane often sits in with the band, creating a unique vocal blend that comes from siblings who grew up singing together. West o’Clare is a group of all-star musicians from around our region, with varied ethnic backgrounds. While Pat's Irish heritage is the primary focus of the band, All the members contribute their individual qualities to create a truly regional style. Also a talented dance instructor for squares, ceili, and other styles, Pat often dances and calls at the same time, or can also fiddle and call at once. He and his wife Kathleen are also tour organizers and guides, and for 25 years have arranged and led tours to Ireland, Scotland, and Italy. They still live on his family farm in their home region, and are grandparents to eight children.
TERRY KANE - Thursday's Singers Night
Terry Kane grew up in a proud community of Irish-Americans. Their families had emigrated to the fingerlakes region in New York, at the time of the potato famine, from farms in the west of Ireland. As the youngest of 11 children, Terry can’t remember a day without song and dance; harmonizing with her mother and siblings. Tap dancing and square dancing were also a part of every week but Terry’s mother was proudest of her grandfather and father’s Irish step dancing and the history of set dancing the family continued among the local Irish farmers on “Paddy’s Hill.” Terry received many honors in her high school choir and band programs and went on to pursue a music teaching career, performing in the 1980 Winter Olympic Choir and earning her Master’s degree from Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY. Since 1983 she has taught music first in public schools and now at her private studio. She has released 6 Irish recordings. She sings and accompanies herself on guitar, banjo, and mandolin, performing traditional Irish music as well as Baroque mandolin music and a wide range of 20th century popular songs. Since moving to Philadelphia over 20 years ago, her main focus has been to study the Irish language and singing in the sean nós style www.TerryKaneSings.com. Once a month, Terry leads a singing session at the Commodore Barry Club on the 2nd Thursday of every month 7 – 10 PM which is free and open to the public. She performs around the region with harpist Ellen Tepper as the Jameson Sisters and they have performed many times for the PCG Festival in the past www.jamesonsisters.com.
Lately, Terry has been working with her brother Pat Kane as a guest member of his band West o’Clare. She will join him at Singers’ Night to share some of the family harmonies they have developed over 60 years, since they were children.
JOHN KELLY MEMORIAL SESSION - SATURDAY
EAMON KELLY - Saturday's Rambling House Performer
Eamon Kelly first discovered his passion for Traditional Irish Music through the playing of Martin Hayes, Solas, Dervish and other legendary artists. He took up the bouzouki while still in high school, and began regularly attending the session at Fergie’s Pub in Philadelphia. His experience grew by leaps and bounds during his years living in Ithaca, New York, a vibrant college town populated by some of the most accomplished Trad musicians anywhere on the East coast, including Tim Ball, Mike Roddy, Ellie Goud and Mark Bickford. He also spent several months living in New York City, playing sessions regularly with the likes of Brian Conway, Dan Neely and Niall O’Leary. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Cinema Production, Eamon returned to Philadelphia, where he has become a mainstay in the Philadelphia Trad community, playing regularly at Fergie’s and at the Plough & The Stars, alongside seasoned veterans and the area’s most exciting young talent. He plays an instrument custom made for him by master luthier Phillip Crump. Eamon is an active freelance film editor, and composer of original film scores. You can enjoy his work by visiting www.eamonkellymusic.com
MARIANNE MACDONALD - Saturday's Rambling House Host
Marianne MacDonald has hosted the Sunday Irish radio show, "Come West Along the Road", for 17 years. Heard live every Sunday at noon it features traditional tunes, ballads, interviews and more drawn from familiar artists, both local and around the world. Marianne also plays new music to introduce the audience to upcoming musicians, singers and groups who are featured on Irish radio or whom she's met on her frequent travels to Ireland. From her extensive music library she strives to produce a show which features something for everyone, including a balance of women artists, both instrumental and vocal.
Marianne has been involved in the local music community and events since the 80's. In the late 90's she was one of the founding Board members of the local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, along with a few others, building the branch to a membership of over 300 people in the first year. She planned and hosted the annual Wren Party, held by CCE, in the early 2000's. This annual event still takes place every St. Stephen's Day. She also started the original Rambling House at the Irish Center in the later 2000's, as a monthly event in the Fireside Room where folks could gather to share songs, stories, tunes and more. Along with Denise Foley, Marianne held a short film series with a monthly Irish film being shown in the Fireside Room. Marianne has also put on several concerts at the Irish Center both on her own and with others including Tommy Sands, Don Stiffe, Jimmy Crowley and Cherish the Ladies to name just a few.
For 28 years Marianne has hosted Trad Tours, specializing in traditional music tours to Ireland and Cape Breton. The tours have visited all areas of Ireland and take in culture, nature, history and antiquities and always have daily music with both on-board musicians and singers and meet-ups for sessions and mini-concerts with many of the musicians heard on her radio show. Some of the talented guests have included Frances Black, Aoife Scott, Don Stiffe, Breege Murphy, Ann Kirrane, Eleanor Shanley, Tommy Sands, Sean Ryan, Dessie O'Halloran RIP, Mary McPartland RIP, Elle Marie O'Dwyer, Jimmy Crowley, Enda Haran, Paddy Berry and many more. With the exception of 2020 during the pandemic, the tours have taken place from one to three tours a year and are always a fun-filled musical adventure.
BROTHERS MCGILLIAN & FRIENDS - Friday Night Ceili Band
John & Jimmy McGillian, Allyn Miner, John Donnelly, Bob Glennan, Kathy De Angelo and Dennis Gormley
NIAMH PARSONS & GRAHAM DUNNE - Saturday Evening Concert
It has been said that while Niamh may not be the most famous Irish Balladeer, many feel she’s the best. Described in the Boston Herald as both emotionally haunting and tonally as clear as crystal, Niamh’s albums have been ‘must-have’ collector’s items for any lover of songs and singing. With 8 CDs to her name, Niamh has gathered a body of songs from many sources, both traditional and modern songwriters.
Growing up in Dublin, Niamh’s music-loving parents brought herself and her sister to the local folk club in The Old Shieling Hotel in Raheny, where the young girls were exposed to songs and singing from the likes of The Johnstons, Emmet Spiceland, Sweeney’s Men, Dolly McMahon, Danny Doyle and many of the other musicians and singers that were playing in Folk clubs at that time. ‘My father was a great singer, and on long journeys the family used to sing in the car – I don’t remember a time in my life when I was not singing – I love songs.’
Niamh developed this love into a penchant for collecting songs. She is always on the lookout for songs that speak to her - listening to new albums, scouring the Traditional Music Archives in Dublin, sharing notes with a network of friends and other singers. Once she discovers a song she likes, Niamh views herself as the vehicle for the music. 'For me the song is more important than listening to my voice', she says. 'I consider myself more a songstress than a singer - a carrier of tradition.'
Throughout her career, Niamh has performed with a wide variety of artists, and has appeared at nearly every prestigious folk festival on either side of the Atlantic. As a member of the traditional Irish band Arcady (led by De Dannan's Johnny 'Ringo' McDonagh), she sang on their Shanachie recording Many Happy Returns. She appeared before President Clinton and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern in Capitol Hill, Washington, joined Grammy Award winner Paul Winter for an album and a summer concert in New York, and performed on 'A Prairie Home Companion' when the show broadcast live from Dublin.
Niamh's recording career began with The Loose Connections, a band of top-notch Belfast musicians she formed with songwriter and bass-player Dee Moore. In 1999, Niamh took a bold step and returned to her roots with her first solo album, Blackbirds and Thrushes (Green Linnet), a collection of traditional Irish ballads gathered from over 15 years of Niamh's singing repertoire. In her words, 'these songs are living in me'. The album won instant acclaim as a welcome return to traditionalism. The Boston Globe declared that it 'expressed the sorrow and longing of the Celtic soul more deeply than any within recent memory', and Irish Music Magazine called it 'simply magnificent traditional singing.'
At this stage, Niamh found her self alone, without a band, and called on the talents of her friend Graham. Since 1999 they have been performing as a duet and there is a spiritual bond between them when they perform, which draws out the essence of the songs. Without doubt, Graham has proven the perfect foil for her voice.
Keeping in form, Niamh's next CD, 'In My Prime' (Green Linnet 2000), was another collection of mostly traditional material, and again received widespread praise. Folk Roots named it one of the top albums of the year and The Irish Voice called the album 'a must-have disc for lovers of Irish song.'' The album was nominated for Album of the Year by BBC Radio 2 (UK) and the Association for Independent Music (US).
Over the next two years Niamh and Graham toured constantly, and Heart's Desire was released in 2002. This album furthers the tradition of Irish song with unadorned settings and heartfelt delivery. She gathered together a collection of songs drawn from both traditional sources and modern writers including Mark Knopfler and Andy Irvine. The talented musicians who play on the album include, in addition to her main accompanist Graham Dunne, harmonica player Mick Kinsella, accordionist Josephine Marsh and Dennis Cahill who produced the CD, and called it 'her best work yet'. Heart's Desire is dedicated to the memory of Niamh's father, Jack Parsons. 'Daddy had a beautiful voice', says Niamh, 'and a great ear for a good song'. The album won Association for Independent Music (US) Celtic album of the year 2002.
Niamh and Graham have returned with their new CD ‘Kind Providence’, released on their own label. A high quality album with mostly traditional songs, the album was very well received indeed, with Graham recording, editing, playing, singing backing vocals, mixing and mastering in his first major album production. As Siobhan Long of the Irish Times says, Niamh is 'the conduit, not the gatekeeper of a song.’
Altogether this is a body of work that has proven Niamh Parsons to be one of the premier vocalists of her time, and certainly a keeper of the flame in Irish traditional song.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1974, Graham Dunne is a multi-talented and very versatile musician. Until very recently, Graham spent a great number of years living in County Clare and while there, was very much involved in the Irish Traditional music scene, having had the pleasure of accompanying a vast array of wonderfully talented local musicians during that time.
As a professional, Graham began working with Séan Tyrrell for a year back in 1998, before embarking on a career as the main accompanist to acclaimed Irish folk singer, Niamh Parsons, in 1999. Through playing with Niamh, he has been lucky enough to play with and tour with the likes of Andy Irvine, Liz Carroll, Paddy Keenan, Tommy Peoples, Dick Gaughan, Ron Kavana, and Dennis Cahill amongst others. Years of touring have seen Graham perform with Niamh at festivals and concert halls in Italy, Germany, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Luxembourg, Austria, The Czech Republic, The U.K., The U.S.A., Australia, Canada, and sometimes even in Ireland!
Being a musician of eclectic taste however, Dunne's musical explorations have seen him dabble in Jazz, Flamenco and Indian music, even going so far as to study tabla for a time, which he now plays regularly at sessions in Dublin. This eclecticism has led to the accumulation of a vast repertoire of material, from which Graham has performed solo guitar gigs in restaurants and at weddings, and most especially of all in August 2016 at the Dublin Guitar Night in J.J. Smyth's of Dublin, at the invitation of renowned Dublin Jazz guitarist, Hugh Buckley.
Since the age of sixteen, Graham has been teaching guitar privately, and later on in life at music schools both in Dublin and in Clare. He has also given workshops in France, the U.K. and Italy on the accompaniment and playing of traditional Irish music on guitar. Currently, Graham is teaching guitar at the Fingal Academy of Music in Malahide, Dublin.
In more recent years, Graham completed a BSc. in Music, Media and Performance Technology at the Dept. of Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS) in the University of Limerick (2008-2012), and a Master of Arts in Music Technology (2013-2014), also at the University of Limerick. Studying and working with technology has led to a big interest in computer music composition, computer programming, surround sound composition and music production, and has certainly seen Graham spend a little less time with the guitar and more time with the computer exploring new methods of composition, always aware of the conundrum that is music composition for humans using a machine.
Although generally captivated by the computer as an instrument, Graham still maintains a professional career as a guitarist and as accompanist to Niamh, while also keeping his hand in with solo fingerstyle jazz guitar arrangements, amongst other things. He has produced and co-produced a number of albums, including their very own and well received 'Kind Providence' (2016), and Mark Anthony McGrath's 'The Weiss Machine Vol. 1' (2015). Graham also works casually as an audio engineer, having worked on and produced several exciting demos in the last 18 months. Most recently, Graham has signed up for twelve months of online guitar tuition with top Jazz guitarist, Martin Taylor, MBE, and is currently working on an electroacoustic music collection, due for release sometime this year.
HOLLIS PAYOR - Lessons to Sessions Workshop
Hollis Payer has been playing Irish music on the fiddle and leading sessions in the Philadelphia area since the last century. She’s an in-demand teacher and performer, and has been anchoring the First Friday session at the Irish Center for the Philadelphia Ceili Group for over 8 years. Hollis runs a popular Tune Learning Class for all melody instruments. Contact her at [email protected] to learn more.
MARITA KRIVDA POXON - True Irish Haunted Houses: Ghost Stories
REVERIE ROAD - Saturday Evening Concert
Winifred Horan is an American violinist and fiddler of Irish descent. After classical training, she played with the all-female Celtic music ensemble Cherish the Ladies before co-founding the award winning and renowned American Irish band Solas.
Horan was born and raised in New York City] to Irish parents and studied piano (taught by her father, a carpenter and musician) and Irish fiddle playing at a young age. As a teenager in NY she won a full scholarship from the General Mills Cor to attend the Mannes College of Music Preparatory School for 5 years. She attended and graduated from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, where she studied classical violin, with renowned Japanese violinist Masuko Ushioda and the Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, Colorado. She played with multiple orchestras, including the Boston Pops Orchestra, and string quartets, before joining the all-female Celtic music ensemble Cherish the Ladies in 1990. She co-founded the American-Irish Solas in 1995 and is on fiddle and backing vocals.
Outside of her work with Solas, Horan was a member of and toured and recorded with The Sharon Shannon Band, and also performed with Irish singer-songwriter Pierce Turner. She was "featured fiddler" on When Juniper Sleeps, a 1996 solo album by Séamus Egan, and co-writer of multiple tracks for the 1995 film The Brothers McMullen. She is also a nine-time champion National Irish step dancer and an All-Ireland fiddle champion.
Horan released her first solo album, Just One Wish, in October 2002 on Shanachie Records. In 2006, she and fellow Solas member Mick McAuley, an accordionist, released Serenade on Compass Records, with covers of "After the Gold Rush" by Neil Young and "Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan. which has been downloaded and received over 35 million views since its release. Siobhán Long, writing for The Irish Times, listed Serenade as fifth on her list of top five Irish traditional music albums released in 2006. Horan composed two of the album's tracks: "Little Mona Lisa" and "A Daisy in December, which was featured during the third season of the American reality television competitive dance series So You Think You Can Dance. Horan's compositions have appeared in multiple film and television soundtracks over the years.
She is a sought-after session player and is renowned for her teaching skills, having been on the faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA for five years and currently at the National University of Ireland Galway for the last three. Winifred hosts a weekly radio program called the Celtic Cut on 88.5 FM in the Washington DC Area.
John Williams is internationally regarded as one of the foremost players of Irish music today. With five All-Ireland titles to his credit, John is the only American-born competitor ever to win first place in the Senior Concertina category. His additional talents on flute, button accordion, bodhran, and piano distinguish him as a much sought after multi-instrumentalist in the acoustic scene around the world.
Born and raised on the Southwest Side of Chicago, John spent his summers during college on the Southwest coast of Ireland in his father’s village of Doolin, Co. Clare. Like Chicago, Doolin became a major musical crossroads for John and countless other local and international musicians to meet and exchange music. Gigging every night in the pubs of Doolin and Lisdoonvarna soon led to performances in Galway, Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Paris, Brittany, Zurich, and New York City.
Forming the groundbreaking Solas in 1995 with Seamus Egan, Winifred Horan, Karan Casey and John Doyle, Williams received wider recognition playing to sold out audiences internationally and earning two NAIRD awards and Grammy nominations for the ensemble's 1996 and 1997 releases Solas and Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers. The Irish national broadcasting network RTE has featured Williams as the subject of the radio program The Long Note, the television series The Pure Drop, and the Gaelic language and music programs Geantrai and Failte.
Outside of traditional music, John has collaborated on productions with Gregory Peck, Doc Severinson, Studs Terkel, Mavis Staples, jazz pianist Bob Sutter, bluegrass legend Tim O'Brien, Syrian oud player Kinan Abou Afach, Oscar winning director Sam Mendes, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Irish Chamber Ensemble. U.S. audiences recognize Williams from numerous appearances on Mountain Stage, A Prairie Home Companion and The Grand Ol' Opry as well as guest performances with The Chieftains, Nickel Creek, and Riverdance.
On the silver screen, John Williams appears as a bandleader, music consultant, and composer in Dreamworks' classic Chicago thriller Road to Perdition. Centrally featured in the Academy Award-Nominated score by Thomas Newman, Williams' autumnal Perdition Piano Duet was released on the 2002 Universal soundtrack album as performed in the film by stars Paul Newman and Tom Hanks. Regarding the original piece by Williams, The Los Angeles Times wrote “Closeness is beautifully and wordlessly conveyed in a quiet piano duet...a lovely thing.” Reviewing the entire score, The Denver Post printed “Brilliant, beautiful, brutal...the music in the film feels almost like a character itself.”
Utsav Lal has performed several piano concerts with a repertoire of Indian ragas at venues including Carnegie Hall, New York, John F. Kennedy Center, Washington DC, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, KonsertHuset, Sweden, Southbank Centre, London and others. Lal holds a Bachelors in Jazz from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow and a Masters in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston. Lal won Ireland's MAMA Award (2008) for Multiculturalism in the individual category Yamaha Jazz Scholar award (2014), TiE Aspire Young Indian Achiever Award (2012) and was named a Young Steinway Artist (2010) by piano-makers, Steinway & Sons.
Indian record label Times Music released his debut album Piano Moods of Indian Ragas in 2008. Subsequent album releases are "Ragas Dance off Piano Keys", "Ragas Al Pianoforte", "Ragas to Reels", and a solo recording of ragas on the ”Fluid Piano”, released by the "Fluid Piano" tuning label (2016). Lal released his sixth album, "Indian Classical Music on the Piano", featuring tabla player Nitin Mitta in November 2018. He has collaborated with several Irish musicians including Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Sam Comerford, Dave Sheridan, Winifred Horan, and is recognized for his "Ragas to Reels" concert tours that bring together Indian classical music and Traditional Irish music in a piano and flute combination.
Utsav Lal is currently on the teaching faculty of Piano School of NYC and has conducted several performance workshops at venues including Global Music Institute, India and "Breaking Boundaries” workshop series in India and USA.
Katie Glennan's traditional fiddle playing carries the articulation of a gifted classical musician tempered by the soul of a champion Irish dancer. Her wide ranging experience as an international touring performer in both live stage productions and television have given her a unique platform as an ambassador for the music of her heart.
Born and raised in Wexford, PA though residing in the Chicagoland area for over a decade, Katie was the fiddler in the popular celtic-fusion band Gaelic Storm for over five years, has recorded a number of solo albums, and currently tours with The Bow Tides & Chicago-based STEAM Quartet.
As a highly sought-after and dedicated instructor of both traditional music and dance, she works with fiddlers of all ages and levels both in-person and virtually. Having passed the TCRG Certification with honors in 2010 from An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (the largest worldwide governing body of Irish dance), she has held a position as a lead instructor at the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance based in Chicago. Her deep knowledge of Irish dance & musical prowess makes her one of the forefront musicians on the Feis scene (Irish step dance competitions), and she plays regularly for championships around the country. Her recordings tailored especially for Irish dancers can be found on the Feis App.
Katie is committed to sharing the gift of music with others and serves on the advisory board of two Chicago-based non-profit organizations: Sharing Notes and the Murphy Roche Irish Music Club, a registered branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. She holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters in Arts Administration from Carnegie Mellon University.
MICHAEL P. TONER: Development of Women’s Roles in Irish Theatre Workshop
Michael Toner ( Actor, Director, Playwright) will conduct the lecture segments, and he will be assisted by JESSICA ROSALIE FOLEY (Actor, Playwright), who will provide readings and dramatizations of the various womens' roles in Irish Theatre, showing how they have changed from the early days to the present.
FIONA TYNDALL - Saturday's rambling house performer
Fiona was born and raised in County Clare, on the West of Ireland, an area famous for Traditional Irish music. Her family managed a residential college for Irish culture and language, so her childhood was spent surrounded by Gaelic language, music, dance and song. She recorded her first CD, Deirin De, in Ennis, Co Clare, and it is a collection of songs in the Irish language. It was well received on both sides of the Atlantic, not only for her pure voice but also her unique interpretation of traditional songs. ”Deirin De whispers of a rare and welcome childlike innocence and naivete”..The Irish Times. "You sing with such incredible ease ....lovely arrangements altogether. Siúil a rúin is such a treat, as is the Buachaillín Bán and Déirín Dé…... Your Seacht Suáilcí is just gorgeous too.......how nice for my ear to be caught with happy listening - your song choices are superb.” - Karan Casey 2023. A fascinating treatment of very traditional songs in the Irish language. Tyndall has essentially kept the lyrics and style of singing in tact with a beautiful voice and her own interpretation” ….. A Celtic Sojourn, National Public Radio, Boston (WGBH). Fiona focuses on both Traditional Irish and Scottish music. She created a stand-alone show, Shamrock and Thistle which blends aspects of Gaelic music, quiet ballads, traditional instrumental jigs and reels, interspersed with works by contemporary Irish songwriters. Fiona also performs the Songs of Robert Burns at Burns events/Suppers each January. Fiona’s recent album, New Frontiers, recorded in Ireland during COVID, is collection of songs written by Irish composer Jimmy MacCarthy. “Tyndall’s tribute to Jimmy MacCarthy leaves the listener wanting to hear more of her” Anne Marie Kennedy…Irish Music Magazine Jan.2022. Fiona regularly performs with her band in the tri state area. She regularly sings and plays bodhran at the “Sunday afternoon sessions” at the Dubliner on the Delaware in New Hope, PA and will be playing a regular gig there starting in October 2023.
Fiona will be accompanied by Anton Guryev on guitar. Anton is a guitarist based in Bucks County, P.A, His long musical journey has led him through diverse bands and genres from classic and folk rock, with undertones of jazz and blues, to the enchanting realm of traditional Celtic music.
MATT WARD – Thursday 's Singers Night
Matt grew up listening to John Mccormick, Leo Rowsome, Michael Coleman and the old champion Ceilidh Bands on 78rpm records. By the time the Clancys, Dubs and Chieftains' came along on 33 1/3, he and his brothers were already hooked.
All through his youth, Matt's family made frequent trips to visit Irish relatives in the Bronx. There were stories, music and, of course, songs. His father sang like a lark and his sentimental old songs brought a tear to many an eye at those gatherings. His mother wasn't a singer herself but somehow knew tons of Irish songs. So, Matt figures he got his inspiration from Dad and his lyrics from Mom.
He has find memories of tuning in to The Irish Hour on Sundays and of the whole family listening to those happy tunes and sad songs. Though it's tempting, Matt promises not to sing sad songs all night. Well, maybe a couple...for old times' sake.
MARTHA WRIGHT - Conversational Irish Workshop