2017 Musicians

Maeve Gilchrist

Described by one critic as “a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity”, Maeve Gilchrist has taken the Celtic harp to new levels of performance. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Maeve‘s innovative approach to her instrument stretches its harmonic limits and improvisational possibilities. She is as at home as a soloist with an internationally renowned orchestra as she is playing with a traditional Irish folk group or using electronic augmentation in a more contemporary, improvisatory setting. She tours internationally as a band leader as well as maintaining a number of collaborations including a duo project with percussive dancer Nic Gareiss, a more electronics based project with Viktor Krauss and as a member of the Irish network commissioned ‘Edges of Light’ quartet: a multidisciplinary group featuring the piper David Power, dancer Colin Dunne and the fiddler Tola Custy. She has appeared at such major music events as Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Tanglewood Jazz festival, the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam and the opening of the Scottish Parliament. She has played with such luminaries asEsperanza Spalding, Tony Trishka, Ambrose Akinmusire, Solas and Darol Anger. Maeve has released five albums to date, including her most recent recording Vignette, on Adventure Records, with Nashville legend Viktor Krauss while on her own label her solo Ostinato Project is a beguiling exploration of the possibilities of her instrument. Maeve was the first lever harpist to join the faculty of the iconic Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she taught for five years before switching to a visiting roots department artist this spring. She has written several instructional books published by Hal Leonard Music. Also an in-demand composer and arranger; this year, Maeve premiered her first concerto for lever harp and symphony orchestra and is currently working on a number of commissions including a string quartet for Irish harp and string quartet to be premiered in Scotlandin the spring of 2018.

Velocity

Velocity merges the best and most renowned talents in the dancing world. As soloists, James Devine & David Geaney have achieved over 60 major titles as well as World Records and multiple high profile performances. Irish born Devine is renowned in the world of dance for his tapping speed and precision and it is his unique style of ‘Celtic Tap’ that has earned him critical acclaim worldwide. At the age of 14 he achieved the highest honour bestowed on an Irish dancer by winning The Grand Slam – World, American, British, All-Ireland and Munster titles. He has taught dance all over the world and in 1996 was approached by Michael Flatley to star in his new show, Lord of the Dance and performed in the global tour. In 1998 he went to Australia to choreograph, direct and perform the lead role in the world tour of the hit dance show GaelForce with which he toured for two years. This was the first large scale Irish dance show to have live tapping. When he was 21, in May 1998, he earned his Guinness World Record of being the World’s Fastest Dancer with an astonishing 38 taps per second during a dance display in Sydney (beating a record set by Michael Flatley earlier that year). His signature tap has been likened to a ‘tap tornado’. As a soloist he has performed all over the world and he was the first male dancer outside opera and ballet to perform at the Opera Naradowa (Grand Theatre) in Warsaw in its 200-year history. Amongst his many TV appearances was a spot at the 69th Oscar ceremony in 1997. James now lives in County Clare Dingle native, David Geaney, a 5 X World Champion Dancer, is taking the world by storm. After an illustrious competitive career, amassing numerous major titles including All Ireland, European, All Scotland and Great Britain Championships alongside his five world titles, he has now set his sights on choreographing and performing to audiences worldwide. In 2011, David took part in and won TG4’s An Jig Gig. In the same year he was a top 10 finalist in the Ernst and Young, Young Entrepreneur Programme, with performance dancing being his business idea. In 2012, he went on to win Kerry’s Got Talent, pitting his talents against dancers, singers and musicians alike. At 16 years of age David joined Celtic Steps The Show, dancing to audiences from all over the globe in the INEC arena, as the lead male dancer. He recently performed at the World Surfing Championships in October of 2015 with the show. He has since travelled with the show to Edinburgh performing to sell out crowds in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms theatre’s where he was dubbed ‘the best dancer we have ever seen’. He was awarded the 2014 Man of the Year by the Irish Dancing Magazine and has amassed over 5 million views online for various performances. With his talents well recognized at this stage, and with Riverdance and the likes an option, David has decided to remain at home to finish his degree in the University of Limerick studying Economics and Mathematical Sciences where he will graduate in 2017. This has allowed David to spend time collaborating with Devine on this exciting new project.

Asturian Trio Rubén Bada

We are delighted that our Asturian friends are joining us for Dingle Tradfest this year. Rubèn Bada, Pepín de Muñalén and Leticia Gonzalez are three of the leading lights in the contemporary Asturian traditional music scene. Rubèn is no stranger to Irish music audiences having been a member of the renowned Irish group At First Light. He is a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, bouzouki and fiddle and grew up in Cape Peñes, an area where the Asturian language and culture are very much alive. Pepín has had a considerable impact on the traditional flute scene in Asturias. Hailing from the Muñalén he is also a talented piper and performs with the bands Tuenda and La bandina’l Tombo. Leticia Gonzalez is a singer, tambourine player and dancer who performs with the group Muyeres as well as with the post-folk group L-R (alongside Rubèn).

Kern

KERN is a contemporary folk band from County Louth, Ireland. Brendan McCreanor is a thrilling uilleann piper who has worked extensively in both traditional music and in contemporary crossover projects. By contrast, SJ McArdle is a well-known rock and folk musician, a published songwriter and singer (songs from his three albums have featured in film, TV and radio and he has toured extensively). And Barry Kieran is a former Leinster champion fiddler, steeped in the raw, pure music of Oriel. All three men are from Louth, and this is reflected in their repertoire, which includes tunes and songs from all over the county as well as self-written new ones. False Deceiver is their brand new debut album. It is a true blend, in terms of its mood, its styles and its musicians. Thunderous sets of traditional tunes vie with lyrical, atmospheric songs, all underpinned by the production of legendary Lúnasa and Waterboys bassist Trevor Hutchinson. As a result, False Deceiver manages to be emotional without being sentimental, traditional yet contemporary. The band has been featured on RTE Lyric FM's, The Blue of the Night, RTE Radio 1's Ceilí House, numerous shows on Raidio na Gaeilge and are soon playing on Newstalk’s The Pat Kenny Show. Kern have already played a host of festivals and concerts, including Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Drogheda Arts Festival, Vantastival, Dingle Tradfest and Baltimore Fiddle Fair to name only a few.

2016 Musicians

Siobhan Mason

Siobhán Manson began dancing at the age of 4 in her hometown of Galway with the world- renowned Hession School. For the next ten years Siobhan competed at local, national and international level winning numerous titles. At the young age of seventeen she began her professional career touring with Celtic Legends in France and French Polynesia. In 2004 Siobhán was offered a full time position with the broadway phenomenon Riverdance and spent the next four years on the road with the European, American and Asian companies. After only a year with Riverdance Siobhán was asked to train for the lead role. She had her debut as principal dancer. In 2007 Siobhan took a break from dancing and returned to college to finish a degree in History and English and went on to complete a masters degree in history. On completion of her studies Siobhan returned to the stage when she was asked to feature in an exciting new production Women of Ireland with whom she returned to the U.S. and Asia. In 2013 Siobhan was honoured to join Sky T.V's Got to Dance winners, Prodijig, on their debut tour throughout Ireland and the U.K that ended with. Throughout her career Siobhán has performed in some of the world's most prestigious venues; The Kremlin State Palace in Moscow, the Fox Theatre in Detroit and the Pantages Theatre in L.A, to name but a few. She has had the honour of performing for Empress Michiko of Japan in Tokyo, the First Lady of America, Michelle Obama, and performing live for over a billion viewers at the Chinese 2009 New Year festival broadcast in Beijing. Siobhán also shared the stage with Bono and Bob Geldoff in an Electric Burma concert in honour of Aung San Suu Kyi on her Siobhan is currently working with a new band set to tour America this year called The Young Irelanders. Each summer Siobhán is delighted to be involved in the seasonal show Trad on The Prom in Galway sharing the stage with some of Ireland's finest musicians and dancers. She has recently transferred her stage experience to screen in Dublin at the Gaiety Theatre in 2005.a stint on the West End in Sadler's Well's Peacock Theatre's recent visit to Dublin featuring in numerous short films and commercials.

Velocity

Velocity merges the best and most renowned talents in the dancing world. As soloists, James Devine & David Geaney have achieved over 60 major titles as well as World Records and multiple high profile performances. Irish born Devine is renowned in the world of dance for his tapping speed and precision and it is his unique style of ‘Celtic Tap’ that has earned him critical acclaim worldwide. At the age of 14 he achieved the highest honour bestowed on an Irish dancer by winning The Grand Slam – World, American, British, All-Ireland and Munster titles. He has taught dance all over the world and in 1996 was approached by Michael Flatley to star in his new show, Lord of the Dance and performed in the global tour. In 1998 he went to Australia to choreograph, direct and perform the lead role in the world tour of the hit dance show GaelForce with which he toured for two years. This was the first large scale Irish dance show to have live tapping. When he was 21, in May 1998, he earned his Guinness World Record of being the World’s Fastest Dancer with an astonishing 38 taps per second during a dance display in Sydney (beating a record set by Michael Flatley earlier that year). His signature tap has been likened to a ‘tap tornado’. As a soloist he has performed all over the world and he was the first male dancer outside opera and ballet to perform at the Opera Naradowa (Grand Theatre) in Warsaw in its 200-year history. Amongst his many TV appearances was a spot at the 69th Oscar ceremony in 1997. James now lives in County Clare Dingle native, David Geaney, a 5 X World Champion Dancer, is taking the world by storm. After an illustrious competitive career, amassing numerous major titles including All Ireland, European, All Scotland and Great Britain Championships alongside his five world titles, he has now set his sights on choreographing and performing to audiences worldwide. In 2011, David took part in and won TG4’s An Jig Gig. In the same year he was a top 10 finalist in the Ernst and Young, Young Entrepreneur Programme, with performance dancing being his business idea. In 2012, he went on to win Kerry’s Got Talent, pitting his talents against dancers, singers and musicians alike. At 16 years of age David joined Celtic Steps The Show, dancing to audiences from all over the globe in the INEC arena, as the lead male dancer. He recently performed at the World Surfing Championships in October of 2015 with the show. He has since travelled with the show to Edinburgh performing to sell out crowds in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms theatre’s where he was dubbed ‘the best dancer we have ever seen’. He was awarded the 2014 Man of the Year by the Irish Dancing Magazine and has amassed over 5 million views online for various performances. With his talents well recognized at this stage, and with Riverdance and the likes an option, David has decided to remain at home to finish his degree in the University of Limerick studying Economics and Mathematical Sciences where he will graduate in 2017. This has allowed David to spend time collaborating with Devine on this exciting new project.

Officially Tapped

A tapped twist on tradition! Blending three of the finest traditional talents in the world, Officially Tapped is a Unique Traditional Music and Dance act for Weddings, Corporate Functions and All Occasions! Spanning the three rival counties of Kerry, Cork and Mayo, the lads leave the rivalry aside and come together to give you an explosion of three tapped styles of traditional music and dance! With hardcore traditional roots along with modern influences, Officially Tapped showcases a highly entertaining performance that is easily adapted to any stage, venue or audience. The idea behind this dynamic group came at the 2014 All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Sligo, where the lads were the 'talk of Sligo' as they lit up the Main St, dancing and playing tunes ’til the early hours of the morning, just for the craic! The feedback from the crowds encouraged the lads to make sure they continued working on this exciting project, bringing about Officially Tapped! Given the calibre and experience of these young performers, already having performed to thousands of people in trad shows and concerts all over Ireland, you are guaranteed to make your special event that extra bit special! With a series of performances over the last year together, the boys have ‘Officially’ decided to say they are 'Tapped’!

2015 Musicians