Colm Murphy is perhaps best known as the bodhran player with seminal group De Dannan to whom he supplied the distinctive percussive backbone for almost two decades. Murphy's original style is rooted in the philosophy that "less is more"; allowing room for melody players to breath. Consequently as a session player he is to be heard on over fifty disparate recordings, many landmark collections from musicians the calibre of Martin O Connor, Micheal O Suilleabhain, Conal O Grada, Altan, Jackie Daly, Cathal McConnell, De Dannan, and many more. His CD "An Bodhran-The Irish Drum" (cefcd) 1996, is regarded as the benchmark recording of traditional Bodhran accompaniment.
Whistle player Cormac Breatnach was immersed in the Irish musical tradition from early childhood. Throughout his long career he has played with artists as diverse as Elvis Costello, Vanessa Williams, Donal Lunny, Bernard Purdie and Susan McKeown and has recorded many albums to date. Cormac’s music is highly influenced by jazz and blues. Recently, he has acknowledged and embraced his Spanish/Basque roots. Cormac launched his new Concept CD “Éalú” (meaning escape) in March 2012 featuring Irish, Basque, Castilian and new compositions including 2 songs.
Liam O’Connor, one of Ireland’s leading fiddle players, was born into a musical family in Dublin. His father Mick O’Connor is a flute player and researcher of music who was a founder member of the Castle Céilí Band. During his youth, Liam was taught by Séamus Glackin and won several All-Ireland and Oireachtas fiddle titles. He was awarded TG4 Young Musician of the Year in 2002. He has performed as a soloist and in duets with Liam O’Flynn, Noel Hill and Harry Bradley among others. In 2009, he released a critically acclaimed CD entitled “Dublin Made Me” with uilleann piper Seán McKeon and in March 2017 he will release his long awaited solo cd “The Loom”.
Ciarán Ó Maonaigh
A former recipient of TG4 Young Musician of the Year, fiddle player Ciarán Ó Maonaigh hails from the Gaoth Dobhair gaeltacht in Co. Donegal. Growing up, he was heavily influenced by his extended family; his grandfather and teacher Francie Mooney, Altan members Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Frankie Kennedy, Derry fiddle player Dermot McLaughlin as well as the Donegal fiddle legend John Doherty amongst others. Ciarán first album Ceol a’Ghleanna/The Music of the Glen was released in 2004. He is also a member of the band Fidil along with Aidan O’Donnell and Damien McGeehan, and they have released 3 acclaimed albums. In the television industry, Ciarán works mostly in the field of music documentary making. He has produced music documentary’s for TG4 including – Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí and the acclaimed John Doherty - Ar Leirg na Gaoithe, which was awarded the Celtic Media Award for Best Arts Documentary in the Celtic countries in 2013.
Caitlín Nic Gabhann
Three time All-Ireland champion on concertina, Caitlín is a regular performer at festivals and in concert halls from North America all the way to Asia. She is also an accomplished dancer and has toured the world with Riverdance as a troupe dancer. She teaches concertina annually at summer and winter schools in Ireland, Europe and USA and has performed with the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, Paddy Keenan, Liam Ó Maonlaí, for Presidents and Royalty around the world, most recently at 'Ceiliúradh' in the Royal Albert Hall, London as a guest of President Michael D. Higgins. Her debut solo CD release, Caitlín was voted the 2012 'CD of the Year' award by tradconnect.com as well as being labelled the 'top Irish traditional album of 2012' by The Wall Street Journal.
From Ballintogher, Co Sligo, Daithí Gormley is a highly accomplished button accordion player with an extensive and much respected repertoire steeped in the rich musical heritage of county Sligo. Daithí is the 2015 All Ireland Senior Button Accordion Champion. He has taught and performed at various national and international music festivals and Summer Schools including the South Sligo Summer School, Joe Mooney Summer School and the O’Carolan Summer School. A member of the National Folk Orchestra of Ireland, Daithí is also a memberof the Knocknashee Ceili Band, runners up in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 All Ireland Senior Ceili Band competitions.
Conal Ó Gráda
Born in Cork in 1961, Conal Ó Gráda has long been at the forefront of traditional Irish flute-playing and truly has one of its most distinctive sounds. A multiple All Ireland winner in his youth, Conal’s debut recording ‘The Top of Coom’ in 1990 is still regarded as a seminal recording of flute-playing. Conal takes the basic elements of traditional music and forges them into a personal style which, once heard is unforgettable. His fast, rhythmically precise flute-playing has an earthy raucous tone reminiscent of the saxophone and is driven by a spirit from the true heart of traditional music. Conal teaches flute privately in his native Cork and is a regular teacher at summer schools worldwide, including The Willie Clancy Summer School, Catskills Irish Arts Week and Blas. He is a member of the band The band Raw Bar Collective, with whom he released a new CD in February 2011 called ‘millhouse measure’s’.
Caoimhín Ó Fearghail
Caoimhín Ó Fearghail comes from An Rinn in the west Waterford Gaeltacht. He started to learn the tin-whistle at the age of eight, taking lessons from Bobby Gardiner. He quickly progressed to the uilleann pipes, under the tutelage of David Power, who has been a big influence on him. Others influences include Séamus Ennis, Willie Clancy, Tommy Reck and Patsy Touhey. He is also self-taught on flute and guitar, inspired by such diverse flute players as Matt Molloy, Mike Rafferty and Tom Doorley, and also influenced by the many great musicians and singers from his home area. He has featured on a number of albums in the last few years playing various instruments, including Lá ag Ól Uisce, with his brother Seán and Tomás Ó Gealbháin. He has performed frequently at home and abroad, solo and also with groups like Danú and Caladh Nua. He was the 2012 recipient of the TG4 Young Musician of the Year award (Gradam Ceoil TG4).
James Harvey hails from Mountrath in Co. Laois. His most recent accomplishment was completing a Bachelor of Arts in Irish Music and Dance receiving first class honours. He is now continuing his education in the Irish World Academy in the University of Limerick undertaking a Professional Diploma in Education. His banjo playing has always been at the highest level, winning gold medals at four All-Ireland Fleadh competitions in a row, this was a great achievement for someone only playing the banjo four years! He added a further three All- Ireland gold medals at the Fleadh competitions on the mandolin. The title of senior world Fleadh Banjo champion was added to his achievement list by the age of sixteen. His teachers were Cliondhna Costello and John Carty. His love of music is primarily based in Irish Traditional Music but he has studied a wide range of music including classical mandolin, bluegrass, and Jazz. He completed an improvisation course run by Berkley College of Music. He is a resident banjo teacher in Peter Dees Academy of Music and Newport Music School.