Tara Breen, Laoise Kelly, Josephine Marsh & Nell Ní ChróinínMusic Network tour
Tara Breen - fiddle
Laoise Kelly - harp
Josephine Marsh - accordion
Nell Ní Chróinín - voice
Music Network brings together four leading traditional musicians to pool their considerable talents, and the results are even greater than the sum of the parts. Tara Breen, Laoise Kelly, Josephine Marsh and Nell Ní Chróinín have been setting the bar high as performers, both at home and around the globe. Name-checking Danú, Kate Bush, The Chieftains and Christy Moore amongst their collaborators, and with Presidents Obama, Clinton, Higgins and the Queen as audience members, these artists have a quiet authority that comes with true mastery and understanding of their music and heritage. Dedicated and passionate, they’ll lead audiences through a programme of traditional tunes and songs, and for good measure, into a new Music Network commission by Josephine, a gifted tunesmith. This is a warm and intimate conversation of equals, one on which listeners are privileged to eavesdrop.
Tara Breen, a highly talented multi-instrumentalist from Co. Clare, has achieved All-Ireland titles on fiddle in every age category over the years, culminating with the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Title in 2012. Tara is also an All-Ireland winner on the flute and saxophone. Tara has won 11 solo All Ireland Fleadh titles and 10 group All Ireland Fleadh titles. In 2006, Tara won the coveted ‘Fiddler of Dooney’ competition, and in 2009 she added the prestigious ‘Michael Coleman Fiddle Competition’ to her list of accolades. In 2011 Tara won the senior Oireachtas fiddle title, and also in 2011, Tara was chosen to play at Dublin Castle for the Queen of England during her State visit to Ireland.
She achieved her ABRSM Diploma in classical flute in 2007, and attended the National University of Ireland, Cork, graduating in 2011 with a BA (Hons) in Music and Arts, and in 2012 graduated with a B Mus. Degree.
She was selected by Donal Lunny for the T.V. series, ‘Lorg Lunny’, which culminated in the band Ciorras, and from there went on to join the Galician piper Carlos Núñez. In 2014, Tara joined six-time Grammy award winning band, The Chieftains for their North American tour, and currently plays with them at various venues both at home and abroad. Tara joined the legendary band, Stockton’s Wing in 2015.
Laoise Kelly from Westport, Co. Mayo, now living on Achill Island, is regarded as “the most significant harper of her generation” (The Irish Times). 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. Director of the new Achill International Harp Festival encompasses Laoise’s role as musical director of music Suites Sraith Oileán Acla, Mayo-Breton & Ireland Galicia collaborations.
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. Her latest album release is Ar Lorg na Laochra with Monaghan Uilleann piper Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn.
Laoise 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 Michael D. Higgins, 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 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, Gradam Ceoil and more.
Accordionist and composer Josephine Marsh is “A player of outstanding ability” (The Irish Times). She comes from a musicial east Clare /Co Meath family with her father Paddy Marsh as her earliest musical influence. Josephine has travelled extensively over the years both as a performer and music teacher – her travels have taken her to Australia, Europe and America.
Josephine's music regularly features on local, national and international radio and television stations. A composer of note, her compositions have been recorded by many artists over the years such as Cherish the Ladies, Mike McGoldrick, The London Lassies and Liadain. Her latest album Music in the Frame features nine of Josephine's own compositions as well as music sourced from the traditional canon. Josephine is currently working on a book of her own compositions which will include 100 traditional dance tunes.
Nell Ní Chróinín is a sean-nós singer who comes from the Múscraí Gaeltacht of West Cork. There is a very strong singing tradition in her area and as a result of being surrounded by this tradition she began singing at the age of 11. Her main influences are Máire Ní Cheilleachar and Eoiní Maidhicí Ó Suilleabháin, from whom she acquired many of her songs.
Nell’s achievements including several underage medal and singing titles from competitions held at festivals such as the Oireachtas na Gaeilge, where she won Comortas na mBan, and Comortas Sean- Nóis faoi 35 in 2010. She was the youngest person to be awarded TG4’s Traditional Singer of the Year in 2012 and she was also the winner of the prestigious Corn Ui Riada in 2014.
She has appeared on many television series, such as Geanntraí and Anam an Amhrán. In 2016, she became a member of one of Ireland’s leading traditional Irish ensembles, Danú.