Belfast TradFest - Belfast Summer School of Traditional Music
27th July - 2nd August 2019

Classes

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Belfast Summer School of Traditional Music

The team of international tutors is made up of master performers with proven track records as teachers and educationalists. The primary means of teaching and learning is ‘by ear’ with an emphasis in the less experienced classes of assisting pupils to develop oral/aural skills in addition to instrumental competency and developing core repertoire. There is a maximum of 15 students per class.

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Fiddle - John Carty, Liz Kane, Oisin MacDiarmada, Yvonne Kane, Niamh Dunne, Teresa Clarke.

Fiddle - John Carty, Liz Kane, Oisin MacDiarmada, Yvonne Kane, Niamh Dunne, Teresa Clarke.

100.00

Classes take place Monday 29th July - Friday 2nd August 2019 10:00am - 1:00pm at Ulster University Belfast Campus.

Fiddle classes are designed for all abilities from Beginners to Advanced adults and children over 6 years of age.

Students will be graded by tutors on first morning and placed in the appropriate class. 

Fee includes admission to all programme events with exception of evening concerts & Trad trail. 

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John Carty

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. 

Born in London, fiddle and banjo player Carty has established himself among the elite in Irish traditional music and as a staunch supporter of its preservation. He developed his love for fiddle, banjo, and flute, all of which he has mastered,through his multi-instrumentalist father who was a member of the Glenside Ceili Band in London in the 1960’s. 

Soon after settling in Boyle, Co Roscommon, Carty released his 1994 debut banjo album, The Cat that Ate the Candle to positive reviews. This led to his first fiddle album, Last Night's Fun, released on Shanachie Records in 1996 and was
closely followed by two further solo fiddle albums Yeh, That's All It Is and At It Again. These albums have been described as a milestones in recorded fiddle music. In 1997 he formed At the Racket, a fun, loose, free-spirited dance band named after an old Flanagan Brothers 78 rpm. The group has recorded three highly acclaimed CDs all on John’s own label Racket Records and continues to tour all the major European festivals. 2005 saw the launch of I Will If I Can Carty’s latest solo CD featuring banjo and tenor guitar. Accompanied by Alec Finn, Brian McGrath and Johnny McDonagh, Carty once again shows his plectrum prowess to full affect. John performs regularly with Chieftain’s flautist Matt Molloy exploring the North Connaught tradition they both love. In 2008 they released Pathway to the Well a CD of their music accompanied by Arty McGlynn. A new release by the pair is due out in late 2016. In 2011 John released The Crimson Path, collaboration with Sligo poet Ann Joyce, which is a CD of original poetry and music for which John composed all the music. This was quickly followed by the release of At Complete Ease, a duet fiddle album with Brian Rooney from Kiltclogher, Co Leitrim. This CD has already been described as one of the all times greats of duet playing. John is also a member of super group, Patrick Street which includes legendary musicians Andy Irvine and Kevin Burke. He has also appeared as a special guest with the Chieftains and De Danaan.  Apart from performing and recording John has also been instrumental in getting many other musicians to record and has produced many albums such as Brian Rooney’s acclaimed albums ‘The Godfather’ and ‘From Leitrim to London’.  John has recently put together a new eight piece band, The John Carty Festival band which was launched in summer 2012 and has since played at festivals in Ireland and the UK. 

In 2012/13 John was part of the County Leitrim Traditional group in residency scheme which comprises of himself and two other legends of traditional music namely Seamus Begley on accordion and vocals, and Donál Lunny on bouzouki and guitar. In 2013 they launched the album, Leitrim Equation 3, which includes many Leitrim guests they met during the residency.

More recently John has performed in two feature films Jimmy’s Hall and Brooklyn, for which he also arranged all the traditional music pieces. In addition John is a tutor on the BA course at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick and with such experience is a highly sought tutor for workshops and summer schools.

He will shortly release 'Settle Out of Court' a duet album with his daughter, Maggie (Vocals and banjo).

Oisin MacDiarmada

Oisín began playing fiddle in Clare at a young age. After moving to Sligo in 1989, he developing a deep interest in the playing style of the Sligo region. Founder of the group Téada in 2001, Oisín is also a regular solo performer and teacher.

Liz & Yvonne Kane

From North Connemara, Liz and Yvonne Kane, known as The Kane Sisters, are much respected musicians and educators. Born in Letterfrack, they were educated in Kylemore Abbey School. They were taught music by their grandfather, local fiddle player, Jimmy Mullen and Mary Finn, a Co.Sligo musician and teacher. 

Liz and Yvonne first came to national and international prominence during the three year period in which they toured with accordion player, Sharon Shannon as members of her band, The Woodchoppers. They travelled all over the world with her band and are featured artists on Sharon’s album ‘The Diamond Mountain Sessions’. At that time, a Hot Press review by Siobhan Long confirmed  ‘...while 'Fire in their Bellies' (with Liz and Yvonne Kane) is ensemble playing at its best and most naked.' 

Following this period of touring with Sharon Shannon, the girls decided to embark musically on their own and they recorded their first album together entitled ‘The Well Tempered Bow’. This received rave reviews including this review from well known New 
York music critic, Earle Hitchner: 

“Aptly titled, 'The Well-Tempered Bow' is fine-honed unison fiddling by two musicians who know how to draw out the heat and light within a melody. There's no superficial flashiness substituting for a more difficult-to-achieve understanding of what makes a tune tick. This duo debut has real depth and heft, with superb accompaniment from guitarist and pianist John Blake, a member of the band Téada. The Kanes Head Up Best Traditional Albums of 2002”

The Kane Sisters toured Ireland and the United States following the release of their first album and this followed with a second album entitled ‘Under the Diamond’ in 2004.

More reviews followed including this extract below: 

“Liz and Yvonne Kane's debut recording ‘The Well Tempered Bow’ was so good in every way it was hard to imagine what the two fiddle playing sisters from Letterfrack, Connemara, would come up with as a follow-up. Well, the old adage "if it ain't broke" is most fitting here. Although they did invite a couple more musicians to participate as accompanists, in all other aspects their new CD is pretty much identical to the first, down to the great mix of esoteric tunes generously sprinkled with more spine-tingling Paddy Fahey compositions. But who's complaining, not me. I loved the first album, and I love this one... almost as much. Liz and Yvonne seem to have a knack for selecting the most gorgeous Irish tunes ever composed - the jig "The Lakes of Killarney" is on my list, and so is Liz's own tune "Betsy's Delight" - or having their unique way with old 
favorites.”

Based in Letterfrack currently, Liz and Yvonne teach music during the school year and tour in the US during the summer.  Between them, they have close to 200 students and travel all over the west coast teaching music.

Niamh Dunne

Niamh Dunne is a highly accomplished singer, fiddler and composer from Co. Limerick, and has just released her debut solo song album, “Portraits”. With master guitar player and producer Sean Og Graham, Niamh’s first song album is a mix of traditional songs and folk material with an emphasis on her home town of Limerick.

She has been a member with the world renowned band Beoga for the last 7 years with whom she has toured extensively and recorded 3 CDs, including the Grammy short listed “The Incident” in 2009 and the Irish Echoes number 1 album of 2011, “how to tune a fish”. The Wall Street Journal describes them as “the most exciting new traditional band to emerge from Ireland this century.”

Niamh has toured extensively on the world wide stage, both at home and abroad. Highlights have included Boston ICONS festival, Kansas City, Milwaukee Irish Fest, Tonder, Dranouter, Temple Bar Trad Fest, Germany’s Irish Folk Festival tour, Irish Unplugged tour of Holland, Guinness Christmas Austria tour, Cambridge Folk Festival, the National Celtic Festival in Australia and Glasgow’s Celtic Connections.

She began to play fiddle at the age of 4, and learned her music from Mickey Dunne, the well-known piper from Limerick who is part of a rich cultural heritage of traveling musicians. For generations, the Dunne’s traveled the country playing fiddles and pipes at any social events (football matches, markets days, fairs), and had a rich understanding of the musical traditions of Ireland that existed all over the country, especially at a time when there were no recordings and this was the only means of transmission.

Niamh has grown up steeped in music, song and tradition. She recorded a CD in 2005 with her Dad and sister, Brid, called Legacy, an album which celebrated the rich musical heritage that has been in her family for generations, as well as showcasing her singing and love of song. A well-respected classical violinist, she twice received the high achievers award from the London Associated Board of Western Art Music, with whom she is a qualified teacher. Niamh regularly teaches in The Limerick School of Music. She is also a graduate of the Irish World Academy of Music in Limerick University with first class honors.

Teresa Clarke

Teresa Clarke was born in Cannock, England and plays the Fiddle, Flute and Piano. Her love of Irish Music has brought her to Northern Ireland where she now lives in Belfast. Alongside being the Director of Music at Down High School she is an active member of the Belfast session scene where she plays regularly. She has examined for the London College of Music traditional music examinations and taught for the Glengormly School of traditional music.