The 2016/17 academic year sees the return of The Irish Music Project to schools nationwide with a suite of new programmes. Curated by Dr Martin Tourish, our performances feature some of Ireland’s most notable professional artists. Owing to busy international touring schedules, the line-up available for any one performance is variable. Those involved in the 2017 run are:
Martin Tourish is a Dublin-based accordionist, composer, academic and published author originally from Co. Donegal. In 2008, he was named Young Musician of the Year by TG4 and in the same year completed his BMus in classical performance at The Conservatory of Music and Drama achieving first-class honours and the award for highest academic grade. In late 2013 completed his PhD thesis which focused on style in Irish traditional music and has since had two books published by Altan and Universal Edition, with others in the pipeline.
As a composer, his works have been performed by artists including, Triona Marshall, Paddy Maloney, and Sean Keane of The Chieftains, Altan, Martin Hayes, The RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the grammy award winning Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. As a performer, he has been touring worldwide with Altan since late 2013, performs occasionally with the Eddi Reader Band, has performed in Bill Whealan’s new show The Train and with many others in a variety of styles including orchestral, improvised music and of course, traditional music genres. In addition to producing many albums, this journey has taken him from The Forbidden City Concert Hall in Japan to The Royal Albert Hall, O2 Arena, Gran Ole Opry and every continent besides.
Cormac De Barra is a harper, arranger and television presenter from a well known family steeped in the Irish tradition and language and is the third-generation of harpers in the family. He initially learned the instrument from his grandmother before going on to study in the US. He tours with a variety of influential artists including Moya Brennan, Hazel O’Connor, Anne-Marie O’Farrell, and Julie Feeney, has recorded with Brian Kennedy and even performed for the Emperor and Empress of Japan at their palace in Tokyo. On television, he has presented the award winning Irish language cultural shows Flosc and Imeall.
Triona Marshall has played with The Chieftains since 2003, during which time she has recorded two solo albums of Irish traditional music and performed in concert halls around the world. Prior to this, she was the principle harpist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, which in itself was preceded by many dedicated years of study, primarily under the esteemed harp teacher Aileen McArdle and latterly under Professor Edward Witsenburg at Koninklijk at Conservatorium in Den Haag and Daphne Boden at London’s Royal College of Music. In 2013, along with The Chieftains, Triona was awarded an honorary doctorate from Dublin Institute of Technology in recognition of the band’s contribution to music. Her new album Between Two Ways is a critically acclaimed masterwork featuring many of Ireland’s most revered performers.
Dublin born Claire Sherry always had a love for music. She is an accomplished player of many instruments including fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, tin whistle and viola. In 2004 she graduated from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth with a Honours Degree in Music and Geography, during which time she had the opportunity to study composition, arrangement and various genres of music.
She has performed throughout Europe, America and most recently in Africa. Having won All Ireland titles for fiddle, banjo, mandolin and viola as well as being a winner of the Pan-Celtic Fiddle Competition, she is a highly regarded and sought after music teacher throughout Ireland. Claire is also one of the most active musical curators and performers in the Dublin traditional music scene. Her collaborations comprise a long list of anything from working with African musicians in Malawi to performing with Olly Murs in the Dublin’s O2 Arena.
Lorna McLaughlin is from Malin in Co. Donegal. She grew up in a musical family, immersed in a multitude of eclectic types of music and with some of her sisters, formed The Henry Girls in 2010. Known for their close harmonies, stylistically diverse influences, new compositions and multi-instrumental prowess, they regularly tour across Ireland, Europe and as far afield as the US and Africa. They are regularly featured on Irish Television and Radio, recently appearing on The Late Late Show, and have recorded with Moya Brennan and Mary Black amongst others.
A vocalist, accordionist, piano player and guitarist, Lorna is also highly involved in community music and education, having led choirs in Donegal and now teaching and working on the many exciting projects underway at Music Generation Laois. She also works with AnNua, a contemporary Irish theatre company that blends traditional arts with modern technologies to create original and educational new stage works.
Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) Farrell was introduced to music at a very early age by his parents. His critically acclaimed debut album The First Turn was recorded in 2009 while studying music on the prestigious Ceoiltoir Higher National Diploma in Irish Traditional Music Performance course, in Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE), Dublin. This was followed by a degree in Applied Music at Dundalk’s Institute of Technology, followed by an MA in Music Performance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at UL.
Following this period of study and research, Daoirí returned to the stage and has regularly performed in the many singing circles and folk clubs around Ireland. His touring with numerous line-ups has taken him throughout Ireland and beyond, including dates in France, Germany, America, Canada and India. He has performed alongside some of the biggest names in Irish and international folk music including Christy Moore, Dónal Lunny, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Alan Doherty, Danú, Dervish, Julie Fowlis, The Young’uns, Paddy Keenan Trio, Matt Molloy, Arty McGlynn, The John Carty Big Band, The East Pointers, Kíla, Sean Keane, Gerry O’Connor (Banjo), Gerry O’Connor (Fiddle), Alan Burke, Lynched, and more.
In 2013, Daoiri became the All Ireland Champion Singer at the Fleadh in Co. Derry and in 2015 received the Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections with the band Four Winds. In 2017 he won Best Traditional Track and The Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at a gala concert in The Royal Albert Hall.
© Martin Tourish, 2012