Saturday, August 4, 2012

6 jigs: Rónán Ó Snodaigh - Bodhrán Classes

5 battaí/jazz brush: Rónán Ó Snodaigh - Bodhrán Classes

4. Paradiddles: Rónán Ó Snodaigh - Bodhrán Classes

3 Píopa: Rónán Ó Snodaigh - Bodhrán Classes

2. Basic Stroke with Bata: Rónán Ó Snodaigh - Bodhrán Classes

1. Basic Stroke: Rónán Ó Snodaigh Bodhrán Classes

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Irish nights: Uplifting songs played simply

Session in Mulligans Irish Music Bar, Amsterda...(Photo credit: Wikipedia)There’s no band, and an audience isn’t necessary, but there are plenty of musicians, and the place is packed.

This format is the way Irish music works on Monday nights at Galloway Station. Musicians form a closed circle and play traditional tunes, usually in unison, flute player Lee Worman said.

The group is not a band; it’s an informal gathering that anyone can join, Worman said. Musicians take turns around the circle calling the next tune. It’s a “session,” as the Irish call it, not a performance, he said, though the players are pleased to have an audience.

“There’s not a lot of harmonies, no arrangements, no fancy stuff — just play the tunes,” said Worman, who hosts “The Gold Ring” program of Irish music on KSMU. Musicians learn songs by ear and pass them down in an aural tradition, he said.

That’s how fiddler John Ehlers learned Irish music. “When I started showing up 5-6 years ago, I knew no Irish music. Just by sitting in and listening, I taught myself to play it,” he said.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Conwy Valley firm makes drums for world famous musicians

Cymraeg: Dyffryn Conwy English: Conwy valleyCymraeg: Dyffryn Conwy English: Conwy valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A HOBBY has grown into a business for members of a Celtic folk band who have started handcrafting traditional drums.
Alan Collinson and Mark Harmsworth, who are members of Conwy county based The Wee Bag Band, are behind an innovative project to make bodhráns and other frame drums in Tal-y-Bont.
The bodhrán (byddar in Welsh) is the Celtic folk drum of Wales, Ireland and Scotland. And although they use traditional materials they are also using up to date laser technology.
“Mark is a teacher of craft design technology so he has the skills necessary to make the drums, and I’m the drummer in the band so I bring the practical side of how the drums sound to the table,” explained Alan.

And within a few months of the company starting up, it’s received a number of prestigious commissions from some of the world’s leading percussionists and musicians.
“We recently designed and produced special drums for Dame Evelyn Glennie, the world famous deaf percussionist, and in the process constructed what is probably the largest bodhrán in the world,” said Alan.

A self-employed cartographer, his map-making business was hit by the recession so the drum-making has seen a hobby turn into an enterprise.
“I started teaching drumming at corporate gigs and with 200 to 300 people attending we didn’t have enough drums for everyone.
“That’s where we got the idea of making them.
“Last year we went to a few music festivals and sold them there, and that encouraged us to go into business as Dragon Drums and it’s just starting to take off,” explained Alan.
The drums are made in a barn at a farm near Tal-y-Bont and are distinctive because, by laser etching the wooden shell before it is formed, the company can decorate them with a variety of Celtic, Welsh and custom designs.
“It’s customising them which makes them a bit different and because we’re musicians ourselves we work had to make sure they sound good as well,” added Alan.

Conwy Valley firm makes drums for world famous musicians - North Wales Weekly News

Friday, April 20, 2012

Percussion workshop at the Linenhall

Image of Linenhall Street, looking towards Rus...Image of Linenhall Street, looking towards Rush St., Castlebar, Mayo, Eire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"Bodhrán player and percussionist Robbie Harris presents a Rhythms of the World percussion workshop for anyone over 16 years of age at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Thursday May 3 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

This interactive and fun workshop will introduce participants to rhythms from all over the world and will teach them to explore their own abilities through a hands-on drumming experience. Rhythms from a wide variety of locations including Ireland, Africa, Latin America, and Asia will be explored, as well as a range of ensemble drumming pieces. Percussion instruments will be provided for all participants. No experience is necessary. Robbie has recorded and performed with artists including Bobby McFerrin, Clannad, Bob Geldof, Dónal Lunny, and Rodrigo y Gabriela. He toured extensively with Riverdance The Show, and has been a guest lecturer at The Julliard and The New School, New York.

The workshop will run from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and costs €6, booking is essential so you should call 094 9023733 for more information. The Linenhall Arts Centre acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Mayo County Council in making this workshop possible."

Percussion workshop at the Linenhall:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bushmills Irish Whiskey to Host Music Festival

BushmillsBushmills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The Old Bushmills Distillery, where handcrafted Irish Whiskey has been made for centuries, is to host a landmark whiskey and music festival. The Bushmills Live two-day festival will take place on June 20th and 21st and will be the first ever music festival staged in an Irish whiskey distillery.

Some of the Bushmills' most famous fans will play a series of intimate gigs at the distillery which is situated on Ireland’s north coast. Age old buildings where the art of distilling has been practiced for generations will become venues for the festival.

Already strongly associated with the contemporary music scene through a series of global partnerships that's seen artists such as Bon Iver, Chromeo, Theophilus London, Foy Vance and Iain Archer appear in its current advertising campaign.

Colum Egan, Master Distiller at the Old Bushmills Distillery, has this to say about the festival:

I am so excited about Bushmills Live and the fantastic line-up of talent that will be coming to the distillery this summer! We are in the final stages of confirming all the artists and I can’t wait to tell you who will be playing. I can promise you that the acts that will be performing are both known and loved around the world. Their music, like our whiskey, represents the very best in craftsmanship. We welcome more than 100,000 visitors to our distillery every year and it will be fantastic to host some of our most famous friends as part of Bushmills Live this summer. It will be a unique occasion and will bring the best of handmade music and the best of handmade Irish Whiskey together under one roof.

Sounds like fun, right? But before you whip out the credit card to book your tix, read on and make sure your camera and your best friend are within easy reach.

Bushmills Live will be a “money can’t buy experience.” Tickets for the event won’t go on general release. Instead, fans can win the chance to attend the festival only by entering a competition on the Bushmills Facebook page,

To stand a chance of winning Bushmills fans will have to submit a photo of themselves and a friend and explain why they should be in the audience for Bushmills Live. As well as listening to great music, those fortunate enough to win a ticket to the festival will also have the opportunity to make their own blend of Bushmills Irish Whiskey.

To win tickets to ‘Bushmills Live’ or to find out more, visit You've got until 11:59 p.m. (Greenwich Mean Time) on the 27th of April.

Bushmills Irish Whiskey to Host Music Festival | CheapOair

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Clans to gather for celtic spree

Modern flag of Brittany (the Gwenn-ha-du, made...Modern flag of Brittany (the Gwenn-ha-du, made in 1923), formerly strong nationalist symbol, but less so today. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)IF you’re moved by the spine-tingling skirl of pipes, beat of drums, colour and spectacle, join the clans and spectators from across the nation on May 3-6 for the Australian Celtic Festival’s 20th birthday.
Organisers are delighted by the surge of interest for the anniversary event, preparing it to eclipse the 2011 festival which drew a record of almost 6000 visitors and injected $1.5 million into the community.

Discounted weekend festival passes are available at the Visitor Information Centre to residents for $20 on proof of residency.

The festival will honour remote Galicia, Asturias and Brittany in line with the tradition of singling out a Celtic nation each year. Galicia, in a mountainous region south of the Bay of Biscay, is renowned for pilgrimages to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela where in the ninth century the reputed tomb of the Apostle James was discovered.

Neighbouring Asturians are noted for their courage and independence, shown in the Napoleonic wars and Spain’s 1936-39 civil war.

Brittany, northwest France, has a landscape dotted with megalithic monuments, Celtic language, akin to Welsh, is still spoken in some western areas with colourful costumes, featuring high lace headdresses, worn in celebrations.

A dance spectacular from the traditions of the three Celtic nations will be among highlights of the festival.

Spanish Oye Ritmo, from Brisbane, with all Spanish descendant performers who’ve been acclaimed at Canberra’s National Folk Festival, will present a fusion of dance from Galicia and Asturias.

Perth-based Souleiado French Dance Group, in demand for Celtic dances from Brittany, include Breton women as advisers on dance authenticity. Multi-instrumental Senor Cabrales, from Bathurst, will make their first appearance at the festival with traditional Asturian and other Celtic music.

Canadian dancer and choreographer Shawn Silver, from Newfoundland, who has performed with Ireland’s Riverdance, will return for his second appearance at the festival.

Clans to gather for celtic spree - Local News - News - General - Glen Innes Examiner:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Caerleon favourites to play at town hall

English: Caerleon Town Hall Category:Pictures ...Image via WikipediaNEWPORT folk group The Dai Bach Band will perform at Caerleon Town Hall next week on Saturday, February 18.

The band are well known to clientele of the Bell Inn for their weekly concerts and for performances throughout the area.

The members of the Dai Bach band have been playing locally for about 30 years but not always under that name.

Marcus Butler, Sue Cleaves, Greville Hunt, Pat and Greg Morgan were originally members of Doed a Ddell, Henry and Lol Lutman were members of Devil’s Elbow and Dave Cox played with Bodhran Bodhran.

Lol also plays her big concert harp at weddings and other events.

Doors will open at 7.30pm for an 8.15pm start.

Tickets are £5 each and family tickets are £15.

They are available from Caerleon Tourist Information Centre, High Street (01633 422656) and Rafi Goldsmith, Ffwrwm Arts & Crafts Centre, Caerleon (01633 430271).

Caerleon favourites to play at town hall (From Barry And District News)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rodrigo y Gabriela transcend borders, musical styles

Rodrigo y GabrielaCover of Rodrigo y GabrielaReporting from Ixtapa, Mexico ——
Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero came to this beach resort seeking a fresh start after realizing that their Mexico City metal band was a dismal failure.

More than a decade later, Ixtapa is again a haven for them — this time from the rigors of soaring success.

The couple, known as Rodrigo y Gabriela, have lived a story that could have sprouted in Hollywood: The pair swap electric guitars for acoustic ones, move to Ireland to play street corners and develop a distinctive style. Record and movie deals ensue, and a devoted fan base spreads across the ocean. Rodrigo y Gabriela sell more than 1 million albums.

The pair are back and taking a much-wanted breather along the craggy coastline of Ixtapa, where they once strummed covers of Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana songs for hotel guests. In the last year, they've played festivals on both sides of the Atlantic, released a live album and recorded musical scores for two films, the fourth installment of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Puss in Boots."

The duo also squeezed in time to record a studio album, "Area 52," with Cuban musicians in Havana. The album, reworking earlier Rodrigo y Gabriela songs to lend a jazzy, Cuban flavor, came out last month in the United States and will be released in Mexico in March.

A new album means a new tour, beginning in Europe this month and then shifting to the United States in early April.

Little wonder that Sanchez chugs raw protein by the quart.

Rodrigo y Gabriela's eclectic style of music, all instrumental, has won fans by mixing heavy metal's breakneck energy with a Latin flavor and percussive use of the guitar that evokes flamenco, but isn't. Sanchez leads with pretty, inventive melodies, often at a pace best described as careening. Quintero provides rhythm, strumming and thumping the guitar so fast that her hand seems at times to vanish.

The couple talked with The Times in their Ixtapa studio, a converted apartment done up with Zen accents and cushions lining a tidy meditation nook. A recording room was set up this day for a YouTube webcast by Sanchez.

Lounging on pillows, Sanchez and Quintero were in a playful mood, cracking up over failed head-banger dreams — "We just realized we were ... terrible," Sanchez says..

The two, both 38, remain unrepentant rockers and bristle at being marketed as a Latin act. The way Quintero sees it, pop culture is increasingly forced into a "Happy Meal little box."

"In the Latin market, there's pop music, there's DJ music, there's rock music, there's banda music," she said. "So what ... is this ... Latin thing?"

Sanchez and Quintero seem to delight in how difficult it is to pigeonhole their style, which carries far-flung influences, from Metallica to flamenco to acoustic duo Strunz & Farah. Quintero has even found inspiration in an Irish drum known as a bodhran.

To a rock crowd, 90 minutes of live acoustic guitar might sound like a snooze. But Rodrigo y Gabriela keep up a headlong pace, with Sanchez assuming an open-legged stance modeled after that of his metal idol, Metallica's James Hetfield. During solos, Sanchez impishly teases the crowd by throwing in the briefest samples of rock classics (at a December show in Mexico City, it was the opening notes of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine").

Some have suggested metal acoustic to describe their sound. Sanchez proposes acoustic rock. "With a super-loud PA," Quintero blurts. She doesn't want them to come off like a soft-rock act.

Some critics have dismissed Rodrigo y Gabriela's music as less virtuosity than gimmicky sleight of hand. But as audiences have swelled, admirers say it works, no matter the label.

"It's not flamenco. It's not pure heavy metal. You don't know quite what it is, but it's really catchy," said music producer Peter Asher, who worked with the pair on "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Area 52." "They make really great melodies and play them in this special style."

Rodrigo y Gabriela transcend borders, musical styles -

Friday, February 3, 2012

Davey Gunn, Bodhran Maker

A 2 month old goat kid in a field of capeweedImage via Wikipedia
GOATS are hard to come by these days, and bodhráns are becoming very popular with aspiring young musicians. Which all goes to make things a little difficult for Davey Gunn, the bodhrán-maker from Trieneragh, Duagh, Listowel.

Davey, who began his unusual trade over 25 years ago, estimates that he makes between 40 and 50 bodhráns every year. And as goat skin is the ideal material for a bodhrán the scarcity of goats is a bit inconvenient. Nevertheless, Davey is very pleased about the growing interest in the bodhrán.

Davey's home in Trieneragh has become something of a meeting place for musicians and his wife Mamie always obiliges the visitors with a few tunes on the accordion.

Among the many signatures Davey has in his record of visitors to the house are those of Ciarán Macmathúna and Tommy Makem, plus many other Irish and International musicians.

Davey learned how to make the instrument from watching a friend of his wife, a Mr. O'mahoney, from Ballylongford. "He was the first person I saw making them. He used to make them for the wren," he explained.

The biggest part of making a bodhrán is curing the goat skin and this takes nine days.

"They're not that hard to make," he said modestly, "but I have to get the goats and kill them myself."

Lifestyle -

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bodhran tutorial - Hornpipe rhythm

Free bodhran tutorial on video. Learn the hornpipe rhythm

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Anna Colliton (Bodhran) and Tony DeMarco (Fiddle)

Tiony DeMarco plays a set of reels, with accompaniment by Anna Colliton on bodhran

Irish Arts Center’ Bodhrán instructor films Irish scene for 'Gossip Girl'

English: Gossip Girl TV series logo.Image via WikipediaOne of America’s leading bodhrán players is to be featured in the popular CWTV show “Gossip Girl” which is filmed in New York.

Anna Colliton, teaches advanced bodhrán, a traditional Irish drum at the Irish Arts Center in New York, is filming an Irish scene on Gossip Girl this week.

The Irish Arts Center tweeted the news on Wednesday morning; “IAC Bodhrán instructor, Anna Colliton, is filming an Irish scene on Gossip Girl this week. Look out for her in future episodes!”

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Evening of Irish culture planned

Trim castle is an Anglo-Norman castle. COUNTY ...Image via WikipediaWILLISTON The James Memorial Art Center presents an evening of Irish culture featuring music, traditions and food with Dearbhail Finnegan and Robin Slater, a husband-and-wife team from County Meath, Ireland, on Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.

In preparation for the James' upcoming "Key Ingredients" exhibition which deals with America's food culture, the reception following the program features tea direct from Ireland, scones and apple tart, all components of Irish food culture. There will be a $5 admission charge per person for the evening's program.

Dearbhail Finnegan is a qualified music teacher and performs professionally worldwide playing the Irish harp. She has had the honor of playing for President Clinton at the White House and is delighted to introduce the music, dance and folk art of Ireland. She has many solo albums to her credit and is the featured harpist at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo.

Robin Slater trained at the Royal Ballet School in London, England and has performed in many London West End theater productions including "42nd Street" and "Cats." He developed an interest in traditional Irish music and instruments and plays the Irish drum and the silver flute. He has played in major festivals, concerts and events in Ireland.

Finnegan and Slater are touring under the auspices of the Cultural Kaleidoscope of Kansas City, Mo. They will be in residence at St. Joseph's School the week of Jan. 9-13.

BRIEFS - Evening of Irish culture planned - | News, sports, business, jobs - Minot Daily News

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Men of Worth concert is Jan. 13 at LCSC

Margarita @LCSCImage by colleen_taugher via FlickrIrish and Scottish folk music duo Men of Worth will play at the Lewis-Clark State College Silverthorne Theatre on Friday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available through LCSC Community Events located at 415 Main Street in Lewiston; through Community Programs in the Sam Glenn Complex at Lewis-Clark State College, or online through Tickets West.

Men of Worth perform music considered to be at the traditional end of the Celtic music spectrum. During performances, Scotsman Donnie Macdonald sings some in his native Gaelic; while Irishman James Keigher includes time-polished pieces saved from the oral traditions of his native County Mayo. Their tunes and songs are authentic and closely connected to their heritage.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for juniors and seniors, and free for LCSC students with Warrior ID.

The musicians each play a handful of instruments including the mandolin, guitar, concertina and bodhran, a handheld drum. They have played at concerts all across the US, from Alaska to Texas.

The event is part of the ongoing CECE Silverthorne Artist’s Series which provides students of Lewis-Clark State College, as well as the surrounding community, with exposure to cultural and educational experiences through presentations of performing arts.

For more information, visit or call 208-792-2447.

College Communications - Lewis-Clark State College