"I've been involved with Irish music for most of my life. As a player, teacher and learner I've tried to get inside the music and understand what makes it sound the way it does. That quest took me into the history and culture of Ireland, and most importantly it introduced me to the people who play the music and carry on the tradition. When I assemble our teaching staff I look for musicians who are not only great players, but who also know how to communicate what they do, and who will be positive members of our week-long community. We've had some wonderful people share their music with us at Cascadia, and I'm very happy and proud to be bringing this year's teachers to the Pacific Northwest."
Patsy is one of the best known and loved musicians in Irish music today. He has a vast knowledge and experience in the music, and is one of the most distinctive and stylistic flute players in the northwest music style. He is a former senior all-Ireland flute winner, and has guested on many albums over the years including the Bridge Céilí Band and the Boys of the Lough to name but a few. To give you an idea of the wit and humour of the man himself, here is the biography he wrote for himself. “Write a bit for the CD” he said. “My mind flashed immediately to musical accomplishments, recordings etc. - Not worth writing about - Instead, maybe a word of appreciation for the characters with whom I stumbled, sped, shuffled, raced, hobbled and socialised through the chaotic world of traditional music, which runs - almost - parallel with reality. I thank them all for their influence which shaped my music and my personality.”
Angelina Carberry is from an Irish family well-known in traditional music circles. She began playing the tin whistle at a young age, and soon moved to the banjo, as did both her father Peter and her grandfather Kevin. She has the rare gift of playing the banjo in a fluid and expressive style, which combined with her large and interesting repertoire make her one of the most highly regarded musicians in Ireland today. Her style is measured but driven, giving tunes room to breathe while assuring that the lilt of the notes is heard. She's released several highly acclaimed recordings of traditional music and has toured and taught extensively.
Cavan native Antóin MacGabhann is one of Ireland's most revered fiddlers and a highly regarded teacher who has influenced a generation of musicians in Ireland. He performs regularly at festivals in Ireland, often along with members of his very musical family. This is a rare opportunity to study with Antóin outside of Ireland.
James is one of the finest fiddlers playing traditional Irish music today, with a virtuosic yet perfectly traditional style all his own. Growing up in Dublin in one of Ireland's best known musical families, he started performing as a teenager and later emigrated to the U.S. James was a member of such famous bands as Planxty and Patrick Street, and has a number of solo recordings, including such classics as "Is It Yourself", "Capel Street" and more.
Bridget is a native of Connemara, one of the richest areas for traditional singing in Ireland, and home of such greats as Joe Heaney, Sean MacDonncha, Aine Meenaghan, Darach O'Cathain, Jimmy Canavan and many more. The traditional "sean-nos" (old style) of singing is especially strong in Connemara, a highly ornamented, individualistic style of singing in the Irish language. Bridget Fitzgerald is a widely recognized wellspring of traditional Irish song, who has lived in New England for many years. About 50 percent of her repertoire is sung in Irish and the rest in English. Like many others in her village, she immigrated to the United States in 1964 as a young woman. She has been singing all her life and teaching and performing for more than 30 years.
From Ennis, Co. Clare, Josephine is a master of the two-row button accordion. One reviewer called her 'a truly great traditional accordion player of individual style, grace and spirit', and that accurately describes this outstanding musician. Josephine has performed for years in Ireland and Europe, both solo and with her band. Her self-titled CD is one of the finest accordion albums of modern times, described in one review as 'One of the most deeply satisfying instrumental album made in recent years'.
Miray was twelve when she picked up her first tin whistle after being inspired by Loretto Reid, a master tin whistle and flute player from Co. Sligo, now living in Canada. Miray studied whistle with Loretto for several years, then moved to Co. Mayo and immersed herself in the great South Sligo session scene, playing regularly with the likes of Peter Horan and PJ Hernon. In 2009 Miray was awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study in Ireland with Catherine McEvoy and Peter Horan. Miray now lives in her native British Columbia with her family, making regular trips to Ireland to keep her passion for Irish music alive and flourishing.
Eileen's introductory fiddle classes have been very popular at Cascadia, a great way to get started in Irish fiddle playing. She's been playing traditional Irish fiddle for over ten years and has performed throughout the Southwest. Eileen's workshops and private lessons combine her love of traditional music and her music education background (Wisconsin Conservatory of Music) to give students a firm technical foundation for learning the Irish fiddle.
Brendan Boyle is a Dublin native with family roots in Donegal. He's lived for many years in the Seattle area and has been a member of several notable Irish groups. His strong singing style and large repertoire, mostly in English, have made him an important contributor to the Irish tradtition in the Pacific Northwest. Brendan is also a member of the Board of Directors of Ceol Cascadia, parent organization of Cascadia Irish Music Week.
Jason is an excellent musician on several instruments including anglo concertina as well as harp. He has a gift for explaining the intricacies of concertina playing and the patience of a saint. This is his second year teaching intro concertina at Cascadia. Once again we will have several loaner concertinas available for these classes, making this a rare opportunity to start learning with a great teacher.