OUR ARTISTS for 2019 : 

Harp :    

Laoise KELLY  ,

Fiana NI CHONAILL,                  

Louise MARTY (from France)                       

Fiddle :  

Manus McGuire

Set Dancing :




Laoise Kelly from Westport, Co. Mayo, now living on Achill Island, is regarded as the most significant harper of her generation – Nuala O’Connor. She has pioneered a new style of driving instrumental harping showcased in her three critically acclaimed solo albums Just Harp, Ceis and Fáilte Uí Cheallaigh. She is director of the new Achill International Harp Festival, encompassing her role as musical director of music Suites Sraith Oileán Acla and Mayo-Breton collaborations.Laoise was a founding member of traditional group Bumblebees with whom she recorded two albums and toured extensively. She is a founding member of Fiddletree a group from America, Cape Breton and Scotland who play 8 instruments made from the same tree-they have two albums to date. Her latest album release is Ar Lorg na Laochra with Monaghan Uilleann piper Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn.Throughout her solo career she has recorded on over 60 albums with many of Ireland’s foremost artists including Seamus Heaney, The Chieftains, Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon, Dónal Lunny, Tommy Makem, Matt Molloy, Tommy Peoples, Mary Black, Maighread & Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, as well as Kate Bush and American country/bluegrass icon Tim O’Brien.Laoise tours regularly with different collaborators: piper Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn; Albiez Trio – Cormac Breatnach & Tola Custy; singer and accordion player Breanndán Begley; award winning Scottish Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes; fiddler Diarmuid Gielty; piper Allan MacDonald; fiddler Michelle O’Brien; Double Bassist Martin Brunsden. Laoise composed new music in 2018 for Theatre Gu Leòr’s Scotties, a co-commission of the National Theatre of Scotland and The Abbey, Dublin. She was Musical Director on Brendan Beehan’s The Hostage and Seán O’Casey’s Purple Dust with Glasgow theatre company Arches at the Edinburgh Festival. She toured with NY based Mabou Mines award winning production of Peter & Wendy to the Edinburgh Festival and the Old Vic, off Broadway. She has toured and performed globally and at festivals such as Womad, Celtic Connections, Celtic Colours, Tonder, Dranouter, Lorient, Milwaukee, Armagh Piping Festival and all major harp festivals in Europe. She has performed for Irish Presidents Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese; HRH Prince Andrew at the commemoration of the Battle of Kinsale; for the twenty-five EU Heads of State and Presidents in Dublin. She has represented Ireland with the Irish Embassy in Nigeria, Ghana, Russia, Argentina, and is honoured to have represented Ireland at the World Harp Festival in Paraguay. Laoise has won three All-Ireland Harp competitions and the Waterford Crystal harp at the Belfast Bicentennial Harp Festival 1992. She has featured on numerous TV and radio programs both in Ireland and internationally including RTÉ’s A River of Sound, The Late Late Show, Sult, Eurovision; BBC’s Folkworks UK Harp tour Documentary, Colmcille sessions, and many of TG4’s music programmes Hup!, Fleadh TV, Féilte, Gradam Ceoil, Mná an Ceoil … She recently presented an RTÉ Radio 1 programme of highlights from Viljandi Folk Festival in Estonia where she had also performed. Laoise has been mentioned in a Leaving Certificate music exam question. Her arrangement of Compliments to Sean Maguire is a choice piece on the Royal Irish Academy of Music grade 7 exam. She tutors regularly at the World Academy of Music & Dance at University of Limerick and in Achill.

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Louise Marty from France. Coming to Ireland as performing musician for the first time Louise will give an improvisation workshop. She will show how new music can be invented while staying within a traditional tune. Louise MARTY studied first mandoline, recorder and then the harp in which she specialisizes. After high studies at Paris ‘s CRR (High Conservatory) with Brigitte Sylvestre ( one of the welknown french harp teacher) as a teacher, she studied the classical harp, the irish harp, electroacoustic harp, and, meeting through the world differents musicians and types of music, she touches all music repertoires possible. In 1989 she created together with the trompettist Patrick Marty a kind of “pedagogic laboratory” in which children as well as adults are coming to learn music and specially the harp : “l’Atelier Musical des 3 Tambours”. This passion for pedagogy and transmission make the 2 of them travelling through the world to initiate or help to create Music Schools in South Africa (Bénin), Tunisie, Brasil, Cambodge…
With Patrick, Louise discovered and enjoy now improvisation and composition and develop both, making her harps sounding different. She also direct orchestras, choirs, as well as her harp student’s ensemble. Louise MARTY will give an improvisation’s workshop based on a simple french tune, to explain how from a simple tune you can improvise easily.

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Fiana Ní Chonaill hails from Castleconnell, Co Limerick. She comes from a family which has been involved in Irish music for three generations and was reared in a household immersed in the Irish music tradition. Fiana started learning the harp at Limerick school of music in 2000 from the renowned harper Dr. Janet Harbison and later continued lessons with her in the Irish Harp Centre when it was opened in 2002. Fiana completed her BA in Irish Music and Dance in 2012 with a First Class Honours degree at the University of Limerick. She went onto graduate from Newcastle University, UK with an Mmus in Musicology in 2013. Fiana has toured extensively in countries such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Cyprus and the USA as a member of the Irish Harp Orchestra. As well as giving solo concert performances, she has also collaborated with flautist Matthew Dean on whose solo album “Trasna Na Farraige” she featured. Highlights of her career to date include performing for former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, The Emperor and Empress of Japan and other state officials and dignitaries as well as performing in front of 50,000 people as part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Trafalgar Square in London in 2014 and realising her debut CD ‘Dathanna an Cheoil’ . Fiana is currently pursuing a PhD in music and tourism at the @University of Limerick

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Manus McGuire is an Irish fiddle player who has for many years been involved in performing, recording, teaching and in more recent times, composition. Originally from Sligo and now resident in East Clare, he grew up in a rich musical environment in the North West of Ireland and together with his brother Seamus, he was ideally placed to carry on a fiddle tradition made legend by Michael Coleman, James Morrison, Paddy Killoran and Lad O’Berne. As a recording artist, he has recorded solo fiddle albums, duo fiddle albums with his brother Seamus, and a number of CDs with bands Buttons and Bows, Moving Cloud, and Brock McGuire Band. He is honoured to have won a number of prestigious fiddle awards such as the 2006 Male Irish Traditional Musician of the year in the U.S. by the Irish American News in Chicago. As well as performing with ‘Buttons and Bows’ and with Canadian singer/song-writer, Emily Flack, these days he is involved in teaching fiddle both at intermediate and advanced levels. In 2006, he was Voted Male Irish Traditional Musician of the year in the U.S. by the Irish American News in Chicago. He received the Bravo Award from Trad Magazine (France) in 2007. He won the prestigious national Fiddle contest, Fiddler of Dooney in his native Sligo in 1970.Image may contain: 1 person

Marie McMahon, who founded Blossom Harp Festival together with Lizzie, will be our set dancing workshop teacher again this year for our 4th Blossom Harp Festival in Tuamgraney. Marie has been teaching for 12 years or more. Last year she thought at two international festivals. The Feakle International Music festival in Co Clare and the Rencontres Internationales de Harpes Celtiques festival in Dinan, France. She has given workshops to people from all corners of the globe and thoroughly enjoys what she does. It’s her specialty to get all levels of dancers to dance together. As she says herself, ‘everyone can dance to varying degrees, as long as your enjoying yourself your dancing’! Join her at 7.30pm just before our ceili on Friday 12th April where you can learn the steps or a new set. All levels as well as beginners welcome. And on beginners workshop on Saturday!



irish harp festival set dancing fiddle harpexhibition

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