Paudie O Connor is an accordion player from Sliabh Luachra Kerry. His playing follows in the traditions of Sliabh Luachra, with his influences ranging from the bowing of Padraig O’ Keeffe and Denis Murphy to the time spent in his youth playing with local box players Johnny O’ Leary, Jimmy Doyle and John Brosnan. In 2005, he launched a landmark recording of Sliabh Luachra music entitled ‘Different State’ which featured in the best of 2005 lists of both The Irish Times and The Irish Echo. Paudie’s music also featured on the album The County Bounds, a 1999 Ossian records production featuring a compilation of music from the Cork-Kerry border including contributions from Johnny O’Leary, Jackie Daly and Peadar Ó Riada. On ‘Different State’, his wife Aoife Ní Chaoimh, a fiddle player from Tralee, Co. Kerry, joins Paudie. In 2008, Paudie released the album Wind and Reeds with uilleann-piper John O’Brien and Jim Murray on guitar. Paudie is a regular contributor to traditional music festivals, workshops and lectures at home and abroad. In 2010, Paudie performed in the music ensemble as part of Rough Magic’s production of Phaedra for the Dublin Theatre Festival and in 2011 presented an episode of Geantraí featuring Sliabh Luachra musicians. In December 2014, Paudie and Aoife launched the critically acclaimed ‘Didn’t She Dance and Dance’, an album of dance tunes from Sliabh Luachra.
Danny O’Mahony is a traditional musician from Ballyduff in North County Kerry. He grew up playing music with the older generation of musicians in his locality. His late father Mick had a very positive influence on Danny as a young child and nurtured his keen ear and interest in traditional Irish music. Both imaginative and fearless in his interpretation, Danny’s musical style is expressive and deeply personal, and reflects his affinity with the music of past masters.
His performance abilities have been acknowledged through winning Junior & Senior All-Ireland titles and graduating from the University of Limerick with a Masters in Performance. In 2013 Danny was awarded Top Button Accordionist (US, IRE, EU, UK) by the Irish Music Association in America.
2011 saw the release of Danny’s long awaited and critically acclaimed debut solo recording ‘In Retrospect‘ accompanied by Patsy Broderick on piano, Cyril O’Donoghue on bouzouki and Johnny ‘Ringo’ McDonagh on percussion.
He collaborated with concertina maestro Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh in 2012 and released their duet album, aptly titled ‘As it Happened’. This features Danny & Mícheál playing unaccompanied in the comfort of Mícheál’s kitchen. ‘As it Happened’ was awarded Instrumental Album of the year by LiveIreland Music Awards.
The Shannon Vale Céilí Band was revived by Danny in 2009, having been originally formed in Ballyduff by fiddler Dr. Mick Sweeney in 1959. Some of their achievements to date include winning the prestigious All-Ireland Senior Céilí Band title at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (2011), performing at Áras an Uachtaráin for President Michael D. Higgins on St. Patrick’s Day (2014), and releasing their debut album ‘Shannon’s Lovely Vale’.
In September 2019 University College Cork supported by the Arts Council of Ireland appointed Danny O’Mahony as their Traditional Artist in Residence. This prestigious position consists of conceiving and delivering a series of Lectures & Concert Performances throughout the year at the School of Film, Music & Theatre at UCC.
O’Mahony has immense experience in Traditional Irish Music tuition over a period of three decades. He is a guest tutor in various University Irish study programmes both nationally and internationally and is a registered tutor with the Kerry Education and Training Board. He frequently attends festivals and summer schools, at home and abroad, as guest tutor, lecturer and performer.
Aidan Connolly is a fiddle player from Rathfarnham who has been heavily influenced both by the musicians of his locality and the great fiddlers of times past: Paddy Cronin, Paddy Canny and Denis Murphy to name but a few. He has studied traditional music in-depth and is a highly respected authority on traditional instrumental music from the 1920s onwards. Aidan has a tremendous interest in archive materials (books, manuscripts, recorded sound, etc.) and has a vast repertoire of tunes of traditional and more contemporary origin, as well as from other folk music genres. Aidan has his own unique style of playing and is a highly sought-after performer both in Ireland and abroad. He released his debut album, Be Off, in October 2016 to critical acclaim. Aidan relocated to the Spanish city of Valencia in 2018 and is now a regular performer in Spain, Ireland, and further afield in the USA, Australia and Japan. In 2019, Aidan collaborated with fiddle player John Daly on Away On Up The Road, a must-have album for fiddle fans
“I’M TELLING you that Connell is good, he’ll be heard of yet,” declared the late fiddle player Denis Murphy, one of the finest exponents of Sliabh Luachra Music many years ago. How right he was. Connie is one of the most respected musicians in the country with regard to style and repertoire — incredibly, he is self-taught on the fiddle. Connie O’Connell is a fiddler and composer from Cill na Martra, Co. Cork – a parish located between Macroom and Ballyvourney. At the age of twelve, Connie was given his first fiddle and began to teach himself how to play. He is one of the strongest exponents of Sliabh Luachra fiddle music, very much in the tradition of Patrick O’Keefe. His versions of tunes have reached all corners of Ireland and beyond. Jigs and reels composed by Connie O’Connell have been recorded on vinyl, CD and tape by some of the best traditional musicians over the years. Connie has made regular appearances playing on national television over the years and is also a well regarded composer . He has lectured in music at UCC for over 40 years and in 2015 he released an online collection of his tunes titled “Bóithrín na Smaointe.”
Aoife Ní Chaoimh is a fiddle player from Tralee, County Kerry. Her music is heavily influenced by the The Sliabh Lauchra musical tradition of East Kerry and North Cork.
In 2014 she released the highly acclaimed album Didn’t She Dance and Dance with Paudie O’Connor which paid homage to their musical heroes such as Johnny O Leary, Padraig O Keeffe and Julia Clifford. Aoife has performed on numerous TV productions, most recently Tradfest TG4. She has been teaching at Scoil Samhradh Willie Clancy for over 25 years and brings a wealth of teaching experience to this years classes
Liam O’Brien is a concertina player and teacher from Miltown Malbay Co. Clare. Liam began his musical education at the age of 4 under tutelage of his mother, Bríd O’Donoghue, and the legendary Noel Hill. However it is Liam’s own style and sound that makes him stand out as a remarkable young musician with a distinct and memorable musical accent. He has recently finished a BA Irish Music & Dance at the University of Limerick. Liam has performed and taught at workshops in various parts of the world including Tokyo, Tanzania, France, Switzerland, Austria, Romania and Scotland. In February 2017 Liam received the Ceoltóir Óg award at the Gradam Ceoil TG4 awards, the Traditional Music ‘Oscars.’ In 2018 Liam released his debut album ‘The Lane’ to much aclaim. Liam plays and teaches at festivals throughout the country and is regularly featured on RTE and TG4.
Peter Browne was born in Dublin in 1953 and commenced playing traditional music at the age of 6. He received tuition in the playing of the uilleann pipes from three of the great players of modern times; Séamus Ennis, Leo Rowsome and Willie Clancy and on reaching his ‘teens was already acknowledged as a leading player of that instrument. In his youth he attended many of the major traditional music events of the time with his family and frequently visited Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, home of Willie Clancy and Lisheen, Gneeveguilla, Co Kerry staying in the home of Denis Murphy the famous Sliabh Luachra fiddle player who was a family friend. In the early 1970’s he played with the group 1691 which was a forerunner of The Bothy Band and later spent two periods playing on both pipes and flute with The Bothy Band who were much celebrated for their skilled and energetic approach to the playing of traditional Irish music. He has played music in many countries in Europe and in North America at concerts, lectures and recitals and made two groundbreaking albums of music and song in the 1980’s together with Philip King on the Gael-Linn label – Rince Gréagach and Seacht Nóiméad Déag chun a Seacht. He frequently attends gatherings of uilleann pipers and summer schools as guest teacher, lecturer and performer. He worked in RTÉ Radio for over 40 years with a special interest in traditional music in programmes such as The Rolling Wave, Sounds Traditional, Áirneán, Mo Cheol Thú, Céilí House and in the late 1970s he presented a ground-breaking series The Long Note. Peter is also a founding member of the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival.
Brian Mooney is a banjo and bouzouki player. Brian originates from Brosna, Co. Kerry, an area steeped in Sliabh Luachra music. Brian’s musical influences include Sliabh Luachra, west Limerick and later County Clare, where he lived and played regularly for a number of years. These exposures helped Brian form a traditional style with emphasis on a strong rhythm and a rich melody. Brian’s banjo and bouzouki playing has featured on many albums by leading musicians over the past number of years, including the albums of Dan Brouder & Angelina Carberry, Tony O’Connell & Eamonn O’Riordan and many more. More recently, Brian has been a member of the traditional group Caladh Nua and has toured America and Europe with the band. Brian has been a popular teacher at various summer schools and workshops for a number of years now and we are delighted to have him teaching in Castleisland.
Oisín Morrison is a flute player, harper, piano player and composer who has taught and performed extensively at festivals at home in Ireland and abroad in the United Kingdom, France, America and Canada.
He has performed and shared the stage with a variety of distinguished musicians and groups including Téada, Mick O’Brein, Steve Cooney, Peadar Ó Riada, Cóir Chúil Aodha, Beoga, the UCD Choral Scholars and the National Folk Orchestra.
He has won numerous awards for his music including Bonn Óir Sheáin Uí Riada, the Oireachtas and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Most recently Oisín was awarded the 2020 Visionary scheme by Trad Ireland . He was also a UCD Ad Astra Performing Arts scholar while he completed a first class Masters in Irish literature, focussing on the music and song of Turlough O’Carolan.
Oisín has a deep interest in older styles of flute playing and his currently undertaking research which will culminate in an educational resource that will help to bring older styles of flute playing into the fold.
Oisín is a composer of Irish Traditional Dance music and also experiments with orchestral compositions. In 2016, his debut orchestral composition for a youth orchestra of traditional musicians, the ‘Clann Lir’ suite, sold out two concerts in Dundrums Dlr Mill Theatre. Oisín is the current musical director and composer with the cork based Ensemble Mhúscraí based in the Ionad Cultúrtha, Baile Bhúirne.
Nell Ní Chróinín is originally from the Irish townland An Choill Mhór (Cuilmore), from the Irish-speaking town of Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh, although her family is originally from the nearby village Cúil Aodha. Her interest in sean-nós singing arose after attending her first Oireachtas na Gaeilge event when she was ten years oldIn the following year, Ní Chróinín started singing lessons, and was particularly influenced by local singers such as Máire Ní Chéilleachair and Eoiní Maidhcí Ó Suilleabháin, from whom she was able to learn her songs. Nell’s sister Mary Ann also encouraged her to start singing. In 2008, Ní Chróinín won a medal at the Oireachtas na Gaeilge competition, second place amongst the female singers under 35 years of age and she returned in 2010 to win first place in the same category.. In 2014, Ní Chróinín won Corn Uí Riada and was both the youngest person ever to win it and the first person from Seán Ó Riada’s home place of Múscraí to win it. The songs with which she won were ‘Cuisle mo Chroí’ and ‘An Chóisire’, and she sang ‘Na Táilliúirí’ upon winning the competition.Ní Chróinín has performed vocals with and appeared on albums by the Irish traditional band Raw Bar Collective. She was the youngest person to be awarded TG4’s singer of the year in 2012. In 2017, Ní Chróinín joined the band Danú, and was featured on their album, ‘Ten Thousand Miles’, released in April 2018. Over the years, Ní Chróinín has made several television appearances as a guest singer, generally on the Irish language television station TG4. She has sung on traditional music shows such as Geanntraí and Anam an Amhrán, and she was also the subject of an episode of Amhráin is Ansa Liom in 2010, a programme where a chosen traditional Irish singer sings and discusses four of their favourite pieces. In Ní Chróinín’s case, she chose ‘An Lacha Bhacach’ (probably the song she is most closely identified with), ‘Cath Chéim an Fhia’, ‘Seán ‘s a Bhríste Leathair’ and ‘Táimse agus Máire’.