Paul McClure hails from Buncrana Co. Donegal. Now living in Galway many years, he has become a sought after teacher and performer. Paul is a 3x All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil winner both on bódhran and piano accordion. He has worked with several artists and bands, not only performing and arranging but also composing. He has performed on numerous albums to date spanning genres from Irish traditional, contemporary folk, Scottish trad, even moving into electronic genres. He has taught numerous workshops and master classes throughout Ireland as well as performing both at home and abroad on tours and at such festivals across the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Denmark as Celtic Connections, Body and Soul, Celtic Legends and Festival de Ortigueira, where he performed in the closing gig of the Saturday night to 40000 people.
Gráinne Hambly from County Mayo, Ireland is an internationally recognised exponent of the Irish harp, and is in great demand as a performer and teacher, both at home and abroad. Gráinne started to play Irish music on the tin whistle at an early age, before moving on to the concertina and later the harp. She lived in Belfast for six years, where she completed a Masters Degree in Musicology, awarded by Queen’s University (1999). Her main research topic was folk music collections and the harp in 18th-century Ireland. She also completed the Graduate Diploma in Education (Music) at the University of Limerick.
Gráinne has been playing professionally as a solo musician for the past 20 years, and has performed on various occasions in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Brazil, Colombia, Israel, and Japan, as well as touring extensively in the United States, giving concerts, workshops and masterclasses. She has also toured and recorded with various artists, including the Belfast Harp Orchestra, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann and Irish Christmas In America.
She has attracted glowing praise for her live performances and recorded material, which brilliantly showcase what has been described as her ‘absolute mastery of the Irish harp’. Known for the sensitivity and expressive quality of her air-playing, as well as her dynamic performance of dance tunes, Gráinne’s playing illustrates the full range and scope of this instrument. She specialises in teaching Irish traditional music ‘by ear’ and offers private lessons and intensive tuition options at her home, as well as teaching at various annual summer schools and harp festivals.
Gráinne has featured on a number of recordings both as guest artist and accompanist. She has released three critically acclaimed solo CDs, and two books of arrangements. Her most recent collaboration is with Scottish harper William Jackson, with whom she frequently tours. They have released a recording Music from Ireland and Scotland (2009) and published some arrangements for harp ensemble.
intermediate-advanced Piano accordion
Martin Tourish is an accordionist, composer, author and producerfrom Co. Donegal. Listed in The Rough Guide to Ireland as an accordionist of note, he was named ‘Young Musician of the Year’ by TG4 in 2008.
In 2014, Martin was awarded a PhD for his research into style in Irish traditional music. Shortly after, he became a member of the band Altan, with whom he performs internationally. Since then, he has recorded with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, played venues such as The Royal Albert Hall with The Chieftains, The Grand Ole Opry with Altan and Ricky Skaggs, Vicar Street with Patti Smith, the O2 Arena with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and presented an episode of the traditional music television show Geantraí.
As a composer, his music has been performed by amongst others: Altan, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, The Contempo Quartet, Martin Hayes, Paddy Moloney, Tri ona Marshall and by many fine Trad Orchestras in Ireland.
As an author, he edited Altan: The Tunes (2015), the largest collection Donegal repertoire cur rently in print, his books of arrangements, published by Universal Edition are available world wide in multiple languages and he contributed a number of articles to the Encyclopaedia of Mu sic in Ireland.
As an educator, for many years in partnership with the National Concert Hall, Martin designed and managed The Art of Tradition, a national traditional music outreach programme for schools.
Later in 2021, he will launch Martin Tourish Accordions in partnership with Bompezzo. This radical redesign of the piano accordion is the result of a long process of experimentation focusing on the stylistic challenges and possibilities of Irish traditional music.
For more, check out: martintourish.ie
Hailing from County Dublin Kevin Meehan is a current trailblazer in the modern traditional Scene. He may be only in his early 20s but already he has become a master of the whistle, pushing the instrument to its limits in a new and fresh direction.
Kevin has toured extensively throughout the world with his bands Tróda and Athrú and regularly appears on stage with renowned Belfast singer Gráinne Holland. He has performed all over the world in countries such as Mexico, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Cyprus, Tahiti and Russia. In August last year Kevin had the immense honour of performing with his band Tróda at the half-time of the the All Ireland Hurling finals in Croke Park.
Kevin has recently released his debut album ‘Spanish Point’ which includes a mixture of exciting traditional Scottish tunes and energetic new compositions inspired by landmark locations in Ireland. The album features a collective of sixteen guest musicians from around Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand and was recorded by Alex Borwick and produced by Alex, Kevin and Shane McCartan over a period of four years.
"Skillfully weaving traditional and contemporary sounds with technical brilliance, Kevin Meehan's music sparkles with pure joy"
- Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh
Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn
Intermediate- Advanced Uilleann Pipes
Tiarnán is an award winning Uilleann Piper from Monaghan who started playing the Uilleann Pipes when he was around nine years of age in The Armagh Pipers Club.
Tiarnán won the Seán O Riada Bonn Oir (Sean O Riada Gold Medal) competition. Tiarnan has been described by many as being one of the most influential pipers of his generation.
Tiarnán has being touring and performing professionally on a regular basis since 1995 both as a member of various bands and as a solo performer. His music has taken him to Europe, United States, Asia, Africa, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Tiarnán has performed with numerous musicians over the years, from Tommy Peoples, Laoise Kelly, Paul O Shaughnessy, Brian Finnegan, Niall and Cillian Vallely to name just a few. Tiarnán toured extensively with Máire Ní Bhraonáin (Clannad) from 1997-2001 and recorded two albums with Máire during that time. He has recorded with many different artists, between CDs, TV advertisements and his music has featured on two films.
Andy Irvine -
Tin whistle (intermediate class)
Maeve O’Donnell, originally from Church Hill, County Donegal and now living in Dungannon, County Tyrone is a prominent and accomplished young musician. She began playing traditional music at a young age and has won several county, provincial and all Ireland medals in the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and Scór na nÓg competitions on both the tin whistle and the uilleann pipes. Maeve has local, national and international experience in teaching and performing with both instruments.
Button accordion intermediate-advanced class
With an extensive and much respected repertoire steeped in the rich musical heritage of his native county Sligo, Daithí Gormley is widely regarded as one of the foremost button accordion players of his generation. He has researched, published and lectured on Irish traditional music and is in high demand as an accomplished performer, tutor and lecturer. In 2017 Daithí and fiddler Oisín MacDiarmada published the ‘Fiddlers of Sligo Tunebook’ and in 2018 Daithí released his debut solo album ‘Fiddling without a Bow’ to wide critical acclaim. Daithí is one of Irelands foremost button accordion tutors teaching extensively both nationally and internationally.
Cathal Oì Curraìn is a traditional musician and singer from Gaoth Dobhair, Co.Donegal. From an early age Cathal was immersed in music from attending regular sessions in Teach Huidaì Beag and from the yearly classes in An Chrannóg.
Hailing from a family that are best known for their singing Cathal learned his songs from his aunties Caitlìn and Brìd Joe Jack. Performing from a young age with An Crann Óg, Cathal has travelled the world with different bands to America, Australia, New Zealand and all throughout Europe.
His most recent work includes an Album with The High Seas, The Conifers, The Friel Sisters and Aoife Scott’s “Homebird” with the multi Grammy award winning, Ron Block of Alisson Krauss and Union Station.
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. Writing tunes since the age of ten, her compositions have been performed in the Cork Opera House and The National Concert Hall, Dublin and recorded by renowned musicians in Ireland and abroad. 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.
Raised in a house full of music in Co.Meath, Caitlín learned most of her music from her father Antóin Mac Gabhann, a noted fiddler and fiddle teacher and his playing has greatly influenced her style and rhythm. Another great influence was Caitlín's concertina teacher, Meábh Ní Lochlainn. When it comes to dancing, Caitlín's mother Bernie is immersed in the Clare set-dancing culture and she passed a love of this on to her children - Caitlín being her dance partner at ceilís from a young age. Bernie and her brother John Murphy have influenced Caitlín's dancing greatly, as have Willie Keane, Aidan Vaughan and Tommy Browne.
A first class honours graduate of both University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin, Caitlín is currently concentrating on musical collaborations with the award-winning fiddle player and documentary maker, Ciarán Ó Maonaigh. She is also involved as musician and dancer with bands NicGaviskey, Birkin Tree, The Irish Concertina Ensemble and original theatre production Mag Mell– www.magmellshow.com.
‘Of all the many fine Irish traditional albums released in 2012, hers is the best. Caitlín gets my vote as the top Irish traditional album of 2012‘
Earle Hitchner – Music Writer, The Wall Street Journal
From Ardara, Co. Donegal, Damien McGeehan is a founding member of Young Musicwide awardees ‘Fidil’. He has studied at the R.S.A.M.D. (Glasgow) and has achieved a BA in Irish Music at The Irish World Academy of Music, University of Limerick. Nowadays, Damien works primarily as a session musician performing with many contemporary Irish artists on a regular basis and is also sought after for studio work contributing fiddle, guitar and mandolin to numerous recordings each year.
He continues to perform regularly with ‘Fidil’ who have collaborated with many artists including Senegalese kora master, Solo Cissokho & have released two albums to widespread critical acclaim being described by the Irish Times as ‘a masterclass in the marriage of tradition and musical exploration, a milestone in traditional music’. 2017 marks the release of Damien’s debut solo album ‘The Tin Fiddle’.
“Damien McGeehan is one of the brightest lights ascendant in the worlds of Donegal and Irish fiddle music. He is dragging the Donegal fiddle into the twenty first century through his personal exploration of his own roots and other fiddle traditions through the world. The excitement and energy of his playing is only matched by his precision, sensitivity and musicality. Go hear him while you can still afford admission!” Niall Keegan
2010 TG4 Young Musician of the Year Aidan O’Donnell has performed far and wide with some of music’s finest artists, including Grammy award winning artists Tim O’Brien and Solo Cissokho, as well Irish artists such as Micheal Ó’Suilleabháin and the Irish Concert, and Symphony Orchestras. He is well known for his work with the band FIDIL, a Donegal fiddle trio, highly regarded for their inventive and energetic approach to traditional music. They have released 3 albums to date ‘3’ in November 2009, ‘The Old Wheel of Fortune’ November 2011, and ‘Decade’, November 2019, each of which received worldwide critical acclaim.
He also is an experienced teacher, researcher and academic, with experience as a regular lecturer and tutor at both the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, and Ulster University, where he completed his Doctoral studies.
He currently works as the Music Development officer for Music Generation Tipperary, a performance Music education initiative aiming to make performance music education as accessible as possible to the young people in Co. Tipperary.