Thursday, October 29, 2009

John Carty at Scoil Cheoil na Botha - Festival in Scotstown

John Carty performing at the Scoil Cheoil na Botha music weekend in Scotstown, Co. Monaghan Website:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Katie Boyle on Fiddle

A selection of reels from fiddle player Katie Boyle from Glasgow, Scotland on the Comhaltas Concert Tour of North America in October 2007. The reels are "McCahill's" and "The Flood on the Road to Glenties".

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vazzy hit concert series

The duo Vazzy brings you traditional melodies and songs from Acadia, Quebec and France. From medieval sonorities with a hint of Arabic and Breton, to lively French-Canadian fiddle tunes.

Their engaging and dynamic performances are sure to make you laugh at times and experience very touching moments at others.

Vazzy’s repertoire of humourous songs and instrumentals with infectious toe-tapping rhythms are sure to liven-up the occasion.

As well, the ballads will take you to an intimate space where you will feel the life and emotions of a people through time.

From a large family in Northern New-Brunswick, Suzanne Leclerc sings and plays a variety of instruments including foot-tapping, spoon playing, doumbeck, bodhran, jews harp, harmonica and button accordion.

She shares her Acadian traditions through her warm vocals and touching interpretations. Bryn Wilkin brings life to the string instruments — playing fiddle, mandolin, banjo and oud (Arabic luth). In addition to his tasty song accompaniments, he draws the instrumentals pieces from his wide repertoire of traditional Canadian and French-Canadian tunes.

Vazzy has performed from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland and south in Washington State and California.

Listen to their music, view some videos and find out more at

Monday, October 19, 2009

Barrage to bring 'fiddle fest' to Performing Arts Center

The Arts Council of South Wood County is pleased to present Barrage at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Performing Arts Center of Wisconsin Rapids, 1801 16th St. S. This high-octane fiddle fest has been referred to as "too Wow for Words" by the Denver Post.

The show is an eclectic mix of contemporary world music, layered vocal arrangements, and pulsating modern beats and rhythms. The young, hip cast delivers the show with amazing energy and musical virtuosity, often leaping into the air mid-song as they dance and sing across the stage.

The eight-member group originated in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 1996. The creators, known as 5 to 1 Entertainments, follow an "unshakable belief that artistic experiences can motivate, educate, cross cultural boundaries and still be fun." Dean Marshall, the artistic director for the group, is distinguished as having stretched the parameters of violin playing by incorporating fiddling and traditional music styles, and a world-beat sound into his arrangements.

Those chosen to perform for Barrage are selected via intensive audition calls that occur year-round, around the world. Consisting of five violinists, one drummer, one guitarist and one bass player, the current members hail from Canada, Germany and the United States.

The Arts Council sought the performance for Wisconsin Rapids per the recommendation of local strings teacher Ginger Marten. The group is well-known for its student outreach programs and influence on young musicians. The Arts Council will be offering a student outreach program for music students. To make arrangements to attend, call me at 421-4552.

The Lincoln High School Chamber Group will be performing in the Performing Arts Center lobby prior to the performance. The Lincoln High School Cheer and Stunt team will offer refreshments.

Tickets for the Nov. 5 performance are $33 for adults and $15 for students. A group discount of 15 percent is available for groups of 10 or more. To order tickets, call the Arts Council office at 424-2787 or go to the office at 1040 Eighth St. S., Suite 101, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday or 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets also are available at Daly Drug, 3215 Eighth St. S.

The Arts Council would like to thank Marshfield Clinic and Renaissance Learning Inc. for financial sponsorship of the show. In-kind media sponsorship is provided by 1320 WFHR-AM and Wisconsin Public Radio (90.9 WHRM-FM).

Christine Scheller, is executive director of the Arts Council of South Wood County. She can be reached at 424-2787 or

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Renowned player offers trad and classical fiddle lessons

By John McCusker
RENOWNED fiddle player Nollaig Casey launches a series of lessons in the Strule Arts Centre beginning next week (Monday, October 5).

The lessons are aimed at both traditional and classical players and will cater for all levels of experience, including adult classes. Bookings are now being taken for the term which will last for a total of ten weeks.

Nollaig – a classically trained musician and distinguished traditional player – has performed to audiences worldwide with numerous groups and ensembles over the years.

Among those she has recorded and worked with were Enya, Van Morrison, Sinéad O'Connor, Nanci Griffith, Ricky Skaggs, Rod Stewart, Dónal Lunny, Mary Black, Carlos Nuñez, Andy Irvine, Moving Hearts, Christy Moore, Liam O'Flynn, Sharon Shannon, Maura O'Connell and her sister, harp player Máire Ní Chathasaigh.

She has made two duo albums, Lead The Knave and Causeway, with Arty McGlynn and a quartet album with her sister Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Arty McGlynn and Chris Newman which was released last year to critical acclaim.

Nollaig was a founder member of Dónal Lunny's ground-breaking band Coolfin and was the featured fiddle player in the stage production of Riverdance.

A number of her compositions have been used as signature tunes for both radio and TV.

Born into a well-known West Cork musical family, Nollaig began to play the violin at the age of 11, having previously mastered the piano, tin-whistle and uilleann pipes. During her teens she developed her talents both in the fields of classical and traditional music, winning several All-Ireland titles for fiddle-playing and traditional singing culminating in the award to her of the Bonn Éigse agus Ceoil at Slógadh Náisiúnta na h-Éireann 1972 for the best all-round performer.

She had already begun to compose and in 1972 won an RTÉ Radio Young Composer of the Year Competition for newly-composed tunes in the traditional idiom. As a student of the Royal Irish Academy of Music she won the Vandeleur Scholarship and was awarded the Arthur Darley Memorial Prize at the Dublin Feis Ceoil.

As a student of the Royal Irish Academy of Music she won the Vandeleur Scholarship and was awarded the prestigious Arthur Darley Memorial Prize at the Dublin Feis Ceoil for the playing of unaccompanied Bach Sonatas and Partitas.

After graduating from University College Cork with a music degree at the early age of 19, she began her professional career, firstly with the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra before joining Planxty in 1980, touring all over Europe with them.

She has been the featured soloist on over 20 feature-films – most recently in Dancing at Lughnasa and Waking Ned. She also featured prominently in the 1992 film Hear My Song about the life of singer Josef Locke.

Nollaig continues to work and tour regularly along with Arty McGlynn and the pair recently performed in the Alley Arts Centre in Strabane.

* Those wishing to enrol in the

series of lessons which begin next Monday, October 5 in the Strule Arts Centre should contact the

venue on 028 8224 7831

or email Nollaig at