Irish/Old-Time Music Week July 1- 5
Fiddle, Guitar, Banjo, Songs
Bruce Molsky stands today as the premier old-time fiddler in the world, the defining virtuoso of Appalachia's timeless folk music traditions. That must feel odd for a former engineer from the Bronx, who didn't begin a music career until he was forty. But folded into those strange facts is the secret to his unique genius.
In addition to a prolific solo career, performing on fiddle, guitar, and banjo, Molsky frequently joins genre-busting supergroups, like the Grammy-nominated Fiddlers Four, and Mozaik, with Hungarian Nikola Parov, and Celtic giant Donal Lunny. He was on Nickel Creek's farewell tour, and performs in a trio with Scottish fiddler Aly Bain and Sweden's great Ale Moller.
"Playing in these kinds of groups is an important part of what I do," Molsky says. "Regionalism was one of the hallmarks of traditional music in the old days; now we're in the Information Age, and I don't think that's what folk music does anymore. But the more cultures I discover, the more I realize that folk music performs the same function for everybody; and therefore is the same thing everywhere - just spoken with different accents."
Great fiddlers ask him to teach at their fiddle camps, including Alasdair Fraser, Jay Ungar, and Mark O'Connor, who says Molsky has "a mystical awareness of how to bring out the new in something that is old."Kevin Burke
Kevin Burke is widely recognized as one of the world's great Irish fiddlers. While very well know for his solo work and his work with Cal Scot, his membership in many great Irish bands adds to his long resume. His band list includes the Bothy Band, Patrick Street, Open House, and The Celtic Fiddle Festival. Kevin currently tours internationally, teaches fiddle and has authored instructional fiddle videos.
Kevin Burke's links and videos
Cal Scott composes music for film and television. A master of many styles, his specialty is scoring to picture: creating the right music to tell the story. In addition to his dramatic orchestrations, he has developed a feel for folk music of many cultures, helping a film establish a sense of place and time. He has scored over forty documentaries and specials for PBS, fifteen films in permanent installations in national parks and museums, and commercials for Kelloggs, Apple, and Sony among others. He has provided complete sound design and music for ten animated theater trailers and supervised the surround 5.1 theater mix. These trailers play all over North and South America. He writes and performs with The Trail Band, an 8 piece folk ensemble, and has co-produced a number of CDs for himself, The Trail Band, and other artists. He also performs and records with world renown Irish fiddler, Kevin Burke. Their 2007 CD, Across the Black River, was called “...one of the top twelve world music releases of the year,” by the New York Times.
Uilleann pipes and Whistle
Cillian took up his father’s instrument and polished his skills with tutelage from the late Armagh piper Mark Donnelly. His mastery of chanter, drones and regulators, and of all the accents and moods of the traditional piping idiom, place him in the first rank of today’s Irish pipers. Cillian now tours with the group Lúnasa, and has also performed extensively in America with groups such as New York’s Whirligig and Paddy O’Brien’s Chulrua, and has appeared with fiddler Seamus Connolly, Riverdance on Broadway and Tim O’Brien’s The Crossing.
Cillian Vallely's links and video
PAT O'CONNOR comes from the heart of County Clare, Ennis and has been playing music all his life. As a child he was in the school band and played piano-accordion. He played harmonica, banjo, mandolin and bouzouki before finally settling on the fiddle when he was 30. Pat has been greatly influenced by the older musicians such as Paddy Canny, Martin Rochford, PJ Hayes and Francie Donnellan who lived in East Clare area. He has also listened to Joe Cooley, Paddy Fahy, Joe Ryan and a lot of pipe music. He has released two solo albums, The Green Mountain(2000) and The Humours of Derrybeha(2004), futuring his unhurried brand of fiddle playing. To hear Pat play is to experience the intangible and elusive "lonesome touch" of County Clare fiddling. Pat has lived in Feakle, East Clare since1993. He also does fiddle repairs and works in Custy's Music Shop in Ennis Ireland.
Pat O'Connors links and videos
EOGHAN O'SULLIVAN grew up in a musical family in Mitchelstown, County Cork. He was taught to play press and draw style accordion by his father. He played whistle, flute, accordion, fiddle and harmonica in his childhood years. His earliest influences were the older musicians; mostly fiddle players living in the Mitchelstown area. Initially it was the flute which attracted him most, but during the eighties the accordion became his dominant instrument. In his later teens, he became intoxicated by the accordion styles of the great press and draw players, notably Joe Cooley, Jackie Daly and Tony McMahon. He changed his whole technique in order to achieve a punchier and more consistent rhythm. The flute playing traditions of Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon occupied another sizable compartment of his brain this time. He has recorded two albums with Gerry Harrington, Sceal Eile(1993) and The Smoky Chimney(1996). Eoghan lives and teaches music in Mitchelstown Ireland.
Eoghan O'Sullivan's links and videos
Julia lives in Nobleboro, Maine and first studied fiddle with Kaity Newell. She went on to major in music at Bates College, studying fiddle there with Greg Boardman. Equally at home on the stage and on the dance floor, Julia loves the interplay between traditional music and dance forms and has studied traditional music and dance in Québec, Ireland, Brittany, and the southern Appalachians. Julia plays with Baron Collins-Hill in their duo Velocipede and with the band Playgroup. Julia will be teaching both weeks.
Baron grew up playing the mandolin in Maine and recently graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts with a degree in music performance and ethnomusicology. Versed in traditional fiddle music, bluegrass, and jazz, he is known for his rhythmic experimentation and unique harmonic sense on both the mandolin and the tenor guitar. Baron plays with fiddler Julia Plumb in their duo Velocipede.
Acadian/Québéco Music Week July 15-19
Vishtèn: Emmanuelle LeBlanc, Pastelle LeBlanc, Pascal Miousse
Bodhran, Piano, Whistles, Dance, Voice.
A descendant of one of the first colonial families on her father’s side, Emmanuelle gets her Irish roots from her mother’s side. She grew up with her twin sister Pastelle in the Evangeline region of Prince Edward Island. She was raised with a passion as much for dance as for music. The magic of the stage fascinated her. “On stage, we feel energy that comes from the public – and this makes us want to give even more.” She wants her next musical projects to be traditional, while also being enriched by new influences, by music and composers from here... It is through her work as an artist that allows Emmanuelle to take her strength from the contact and interaction with the public. Through this, she is able to communicate her heritage.
Accordion, Piano, Dance and Voice.
Noticed at a very young age by a local dance professor who wanted to form a group dedicated to preserving Acadian dancing, Pastelle learned and mastered several styles of stepdancing. She’s taught and created many dance choreographies. A multi-instrumentalist, she favors the accordion. It’s a passion that comes directly from her grandfather who influenced her through his Acadian melodies. “It’s a family tradition. It’s a sound that breathes, that sings, with its rich sonorities... it’s an instrument that sails and swings!” On stage, Pastelle emits this purity... conscious of the necessity to preserve, to share. “This style is precious. It familiarizes us with the songs of yesteryear. Then the music takes us along in the style, too, and brings its own influences. It’s about playing the pieces as we feel them today...” Proud to be Acadian and to know her culture, her compositions are a way for her to continue to develop style and to create new pieces. She hopes they will grow themselves into being considered among the ranks of traditional Acadian music.
Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar, Voice.
Pascal is native to the Magdelen Islands, which are part of the province of Quebec. From the ages of four to 10, Pascal took classical violin lessons before starting to play the guitar with his father. From the age of 14 onward, he learned the bass, and played in bars, dance halls and festivals as part of a traditional folk group. At the age of 20, he went on a 10-year tour of eastern Canada with his group. After this involvement in rock, soul and folk, he met Vishten in 2002 at the FrancoFête in Moncton. He quickly took his place in the group, all while showing a large degree of energy and generosity. “On stage, I am grounded.” He feels the roots and takes part fully in this osmosis that takes place during a musical moment – in the freedom of a fiddle – in the improvisation on an “instrument that touches the soul... that touches something inside.” He shares these moments with those who feel the passion he experiences on stage.
For more then two decades, Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet has been a leader in the renaissance of Cajun music. A founder of the legendary Beausoleil, Doucet has given a new sound to Cajun music. In 2005, Doucet was one of the 12 recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endownment for the Arts. The NEA award recognizes artistic excellence, cultural authenticity and an artist's contributions and is the highest honor in U.S. folk and traditional arts. Doucet received Grammy Awards in 1998 and 2009 for his work with Beausoleil. Acadia Trad School is very proud to have Michael Doucet join us as a special guest faculty member on July 15th for our Acadian music session. Bonnes nouvelles!
Cape Breton Fiddle and Piano
Troy MacGillivray ... Raised in Lanark, Nova Scotia, his musical prowess can be attributed to an especially rare combination of commitment and bloodline. By the age of six, Troy was already impressing audiences with his step dancing skills. By 13 he was teaching piano at the renowned Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St. Anne's, Cape Breton. He has completed grade seven of the Toronto Conservatory of Music for classical piano, has spent four years in a stringed orchestra and has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music from St. Francis Xavier University.
Troy's first 2 recordings, Boomerang (2003) and Musical Ties (2001), received East Coast Music Award nominations as well as Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia nominations. Musical Ties is a blend of contemporary and original compositions with two hundred year old melodies played on the piano and fiddle while Boomerang is a demonstration of the piano and fiddle played in the purist traditional styling's. It is a roots-centered approach with the power to capture any audience.
MacGillivray's third solo album, ELEVEN, is a tribute to his Highland heritage, and is named in recognition of the nickname given to his grandfather, fiddling pioneer Hugh A. MacDonald - Hughie No. 11. Additionally, this album marks the 11th recording on which MacGillivray has appeared.
Troy's links and videos
New York state singer and guitarist Ryan McGiver is known on either side of the Atlantic for his unique blend of open string guitar and breathy vocals.
Over the past decade he has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia and his music has been showcased on the BBC, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, NPR and The Lantern Journal.
He has recorded and shared the stage with an eclectic blend of folk and rock musicians including Susan McKeown, Jolie Holland, Pádraig Rynne, Doug Wieselman, Vishtèn, Cillian Vallely and Shahzad Ismaily to name a few. His recent debut solo album entitled 'Troubled in Mind' is receiving international acclaim. fRoots Magazine hails it as: “An absorbing and plaintive collection of mainly Appalachian ballads filtered through a myriad musical influences and sensibilities.”
Ryan's links and videos
Richard Forest was inspired by fiddlers in his own family from the Lanaudiere region North of Montreal but only took up the fiddle when his sister brought home a $50 fiddle for herself. Having already left home, there wasn’t money for lessons so he taught himself, scratching many records in the process but also bringing back to life many all but forgotten tunes. He is still recognized for his extensive repertoire of traditional tunes but adds to that a popularity from having added a few of his own. He is the composer of Valse de Bois, Reel de Mattawa, and reel de Montebello, all tunes which remain popular in jams where tunes stay on the hit list for decades if not centuries. Richard is also recognized for the energizing swing of his bowing style and performs and has recorded with various Québec artists and groups including Les éclusiers, Tradi-Son, Bardi Barda, Domino, Le Grande Chaine, Rapetipetam, and Reveillons! He has performed at folk festivals across North America and has also taught the music of Québec at fiddle and dance camps. His style and repertoire make him ever popular in Québec and everywhere this energizing, uplifting and restorative music is played.