TARA BREEN – NEW to Blas 2018!
Tara Breen, a highly talented multi-instrumentalist from Co. Clare, started playing the flute at the tender age of six, and the fiddle at the age of seven. She has achieved All-Ireland titles on fiddle in every age category over the years, culminating with the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Title in 2012. Tara is also an All-Ireland winner on the flute and saxophone. In 2006 Tara won the coveted ‘Fiddler of Dooney’ competition, and in 2009 she added the prestigious ‘Michael Coleman Fiddle Competition’ to her list of accolades. In 2011 Tara won the senior Oireachtas fiddle title, and also in 2011, Tara was chosen to play at Dublin Castle for the Queen of England during her State visit to Ireland.
She was selected by Donal Lunny for the T.V. series, ‘Lorg Lunny’, which culminated in the band Ciorras, and from there went on to join the Galician piper Carlos Núñez, with whom she continues to play on a regular basis throughout Europe. In 2014 Tara joined The Chieftains for their North American tour, and currently plays with them at various venues both at home and abroad. Tara joined the legendary band, Stocktons Wing in 2015. Tara is a founding member of the band Rianta, formerly known as The Trí Tones, who are currently working on launching their second album.
She achieved her Dip. ABRSM in 2007 in classical flute, and also qualified as a Traditional Irish Music teacher with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, achieving her TTCT in 2011. She attended the National University of Ireland, Cork, graduating in 2011 with a BA(Hons) in Music and Arts, and in 2012 graduated with a B Mus. Degree.
John Carty is one of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians having been awarded the Irish Television station, TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year in 2003. He joins previous acclaimed winners Matt Molloy (Chieftains flautist), Tommy Peoples (Master Fiddler), Mary Bergin (whistle player, Dordan), Máire Ní Chathasaigh (Harpist) and Paddy Keenan (Uilleann Piper), all of whom are considered to be the leading exponents of their instruments within the Irish tradition.
Carty already has three solo fiddle albums, two banjo albums, two group albums and a sprinkling of recorded tenor guitar and flute music recordings under his belt so it’s little wonder he should have joined such elusive ranks. John is a tutor at the Irish World Academy.
BRÍD HARPER – NEW to Blas 2018!
Bríd is an Irish traditional fiddle player from Castlefinn, Co. Donegal and now living near Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. Encouraged by her parents she grew up learning and playing Irish traditional music with her sisters in the Finn Valley area. With music on both sides of the family she is carrying on the tradition of fiddle playing. She won numerous under-age All Ireland titles and other prestigious fiddle awards including the Senior All Ireland, Oireachtas na Gaeilge and Fiddler of Dooney.
Bríd an MA graduate of the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance at University of Limerick has toured extensively and has performed with many great musicians including Dermot Byrne Steve Cooney Donogh Hennessy Danny O’Mahony Arty McGlynn Harry Bradley Tony O’Connell and Cyril O’Donoghue. She has been hailed as one of the leading exponents of traditional fiddle playing of our time. Bríd is highly respected as a teacher and has tutored at many Summer Schools and Workshops throughout Ireland and in France, Holland and the USA. Her first solo CD was released in 2015 and has enjoyed much success to date.
Bríd teaches fiddle at all levels and has extensive experience over many years both in class and one-on-one scenarios.
A Colorado, USA native, Joanna Hyde grew up in a musical family, and has travelled throughout the U.S. and Europe to perform and teach at various workshops and concert venues. Beginning with classical music, Joanna quickly expanded her playing to other styles including Irish, bluegrass, Texas swing, and Americana/folk. She spent many summers attending Irish music festivals and camps, where she learned from renowned fiddlers James Kelly, Liz Carroll, Tommy Peoples, and Antóin Mac Gabhann, among others. In 2009 She graduated magna cum laude from Colorado College with a BA in Music, and was recognized with the Music Department’s top performance and academic awards.
In 2011, Joanna was selected as one of 10 scholars from across the United States by a panel of distinguished arts professors and professionals to receive the Jack Kent Cook Foundation’s Graduate Arts Award. With this generous scholarship, she moved to Ireland to pursue an MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance at the University of Limerick’s Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, graduating in 2014. She also taught for BA and MA music programmes during her time in UL. Currently, Joanna teaches music, is a member of The Hydes, named New Group of the Year 2017 by the LiveIreland Awards, and has recently begun touring with Tadhg Ó Meachair (Goitse) and Dave Curley (Slide) in their trio, One for the Foxes.
Eileen is the bearer of a musical dynasty which can be traced back through generations on both sides of her family, the legendary, O’Brien family from Newtown, Nenagh and her mother’s family, the Seerys from Dublin who were founder members of C.C.E. Eileen’s father, Paddy O’Brien established the B/C accordion-playing style in the 1950’s. His innovative style both as a musician and a prolific composer continues to have a profound influence on Irish traditional music. Eileen carries this musical tradition forward through performance, teaching and composition. Eileen received a classical music education at The Municipal School of Music, Limerick and is also a graduate of I.W.A.M.D. having achieved first class honours in the postgraduate programme M.A. Irish Traditional Music Performance in 2006.
AIDAN O’DONNELL – NEW to Blas 2018!
Aidan is steeped in the music of his native place, Donegal, which boasts a unique fiddle style. Through the prism of that tradition, O’Donnell has carved out a name for himself as an exciting arranger and performer, in particular with regard to his main band FIDIL. He has released 4 albums to date, 2 with FIDIL, one duet album with fiddle player Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and one with Mayo flute player Kieran Munnelly. He has performed and collaborated with musicians from other genres too, e.g . Grammy award winning artists Tim O’Brien (USA) and Grammy nominee Solo Cissokho (Senegal). In 2010, he was awarded the honour of TG4 Young Musician of the Year. He is also a talented teacher, in demand as a tutor an lecturer at many festivals and events both nationally and internationally. He founded the ‘O’Donnell School of Traditional Music’ in 2015.
Siobhán Peoples is a mighty fiddle player, and a highlight of a trip to Ennis for many a musical tourist has long been the chance to hear her play in a session around town. With the recent release of a duet album with accordion player Murty Ryan, Time On Our Hands, many more people will have the pleasure of hearing her play. She is also a strong argument for a gene of musical talent that’s yet to be found on the DNA maps: her father, of course, is the legendary Tommy Peoples, and her grandmother on her mother’s side was Kitty Linnane, the piano player with the storied Kilfenora Ceili Band. For all that one might expect a certain quest for fame, or sense of self-importance, but Siobhán is interested only in the music. In here own words, she’s “mad for it.” She may be a Clarewoman but Siobhán Peoples is also heir to a peerless Donegal fiddling tradition. The precision and intricacy of her performance of both Clare and Northern music has made her one of our most sought-after fiddlers. She has carved a niche as an outstanding performer and teacher. Siobhan presently lives and plays music in Ennis. There is a huge catalogue of recordings by Siobhán, the most recent being Time on our hands, a collaboration with box-player Murty Ryan. Siobhan is a fiddle tutor on the BA Irish Music and Dance at the Irish World Academy.
**Please note all teachers are subject to change.