Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to play a roll - Irish Fiddle Tutorial

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Catskills Irish Arts Week 2012 - Friday session at McGraths

Lively Friday night session at McGrath's, Catskills Irish Arts Week 2012, East Durham, NY. Session leaders include CIAW faculty Willie Kelly fiddle, Dampna O'Sullivan concertina, Billy McComiskey button accordian, Iris Nevins harp, Jimmy Crowley bazouki. Also here: Tom Dunne button accordian, Christy McNamara concertina. The other players are mostly students from the week, old and young: The tradition is passed on!

Anyone know the names of these 2 lovely reels?

Montage and images (c) 2012 Marilyn Stern /
All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 13, 2012

£2m violin kept under Derry woman's bed

stradivarius(Photo credit: thart2009)It's a mystery which brings together Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the world’s most expensive musical instruments and a small house in Londonderry.

Sold for $3.6m (£2.3m) in 2010, the ‘Londonderry Stradivarius’ was once the world’s most valuable musical instrument. New York-based Anne Akiko Meyers plays it in concert halls across the world.

But a Derry-based author is trying to crack the riddle of how siblings from the city came to buy the 17th century violin.

William and Muriel Anderson held on to the instrument for three decades, storing it under a bed in their terraced house in the city for security.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Plea from international musicians on fiddle tuition

Aly BainCover of Aly BainInternational folk music stars and academics are putting pressure on Shetland Islands Council not to scrap traditional fiddle teaching in the islands and to reverse recent cuts.

A petition sent to council convener Malcolm Bell is signed by 44 people including such luminaries as US-based Scots fiddler Alasdair Fraser, the former Battlefield Band multi-instrumentalist Brian McNeill, Canadian fiddler Pierre Schryer, Irish fiddlers Liz Carroll and Liz Doherty and Shetland’s own Chris Stout and Catriona MacDonald. Many of the signatories have played at or attended the Shetland Folk Festival down the years.

The petition is led by US instructor Pamela Swing – once an assistant to the pioneering fiddle archivist and teacher, Dr Tom Anderson, and co-author of his book Haand Me Doon da Fiddle. She was prompted into action when concerns were expressed during the recent 2012 North Atlantic Fiddle Convention held in Derry, Northern Ireland, attended by most of those who signed the petition.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Frankie Gavin and Friends

An impromptu session from Trad Maestro Frankie Gavin with Jumji Shirota (guitar) and Mareka Naito (fiddle).

Fiddler steps out to play own tunes

The Basque Irish Connection (Photo credit:'s been seen on stage performing solo with Riverdance and now Ireland's Niamh Ni Charra is coming to London.

The multiple award winning fiddler and concertina player who toured for eight years with Riverdance, performing in more than 2,500 shows, will be at Aeolian Hall Thursday playing her own music backed by Cathall King on flute and Matt Griffin on guitar.

Ni Charra was in London in April when she rejoined the famed dancers for a farewell Riverdance tour.

This time she'll be performing songs from her own songbook, including her highly acclaimed, award winning CDs, On Da Thaobh (From Both Sides) (2007), Sugach Samh (Happy Out) (2010) and 2011's The Basque Irish Connection, recorded in collaboration with Basque musician Ibon Koteron. She is working on her fourth album, due for release in March 2013.

Tammany Talk: Irish band feeling lucky with steady gigs

English: Vector version of a design from the B... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Casey Crosby of the Crescent City Celtic Band describe the Slidell-based band as 99.9 percent Irish, with a wee bit of Cajun. That takes into account Frank Williams who plays upright base and accordion; and Jake Alford who plays guitar, harmonica and accordion.

There also is Jeff Shaw of Covington on fiddle, mandolin and lead vocals, who Crosby calls a “real musician” with 20 years’ classical violin experience. Crosby, of Slidell, lends guitar and vocals to the group and plays a “guitjo,” a six-string guitar that looks a banjo.

The group has been playing modern and traditional Irish pub songs, of the usual hand-clapping, toe-tapping sort, Crosby said, for the past two years. They once played together in the Tuesday night jam in Slidell that was then called Casey and the Rusty Strings. But some of the members loved Irish as much as they loved bluegrass and Cajun and “one day we decided to be a band,” she said.