John Carty is one of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians having been awarded the Irish Television station, TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year in 2003.
Born in London, fiddle and banjo player Carty has established himself among the elite in Irish traditional music and as a staunch supporter of its preservation. He developed his love for fiddle, banjo, and flute, all of which he has mastered,through his multi-instrumentalist father who was a member of the Glenside Ceili Band in London in the 1960’s.
Soon after settling in Boyle, Co Roscommon, Carty released his 1994 debut banjo album, The Cat that Ate the Candle to positive reviews. This led to his first fiddle album, Last Night's Fun, released on Shanachie Records in 1996 and was closely followed by two further solo fiddle albums Yeh, That's All It Is and At It Again. These albums have been described as a milestones in recorded fiddle music. In 1997 he formed At the Racket, a fun, loose, free-spirited dance band named after an old Flanagan Brothers 78 rpm. The group has recorded three highly acclaimed CDs all on John’s own label Racket Records and continues to tour all the major European festivals. 2005 saw the launch of I Will If I Can Carty’s latest solo CD featuring banjo and tenor guitar. Accompanied by Alec Finn, Brian McGrath and Johnny McDonagh, Carty once again shows his plectrum prowess to full affect. John performs regularly with Chieftain’s flautist Matt Molloy exploring the North Connaught tradition they both love. In 2008 they released Pathway to the Well a CD of their music accompanied by Arty McGlynn. A new release by the pair is due out in late 2016. In 2011 John released The Crimson Path, collaboration with Sligo poet Ann Joyce, which is a CD of original poetry and music for which John composed all the music. This was quickly followed by the release of At Complete Ease, a duet fiddle album with Brian Rooney from Kiltclogher, Co Leitrim. This CD has already been described as one of the all times greats of duet playing. John is also a member of super group, Patrick Street which includes legendary musicians Andy Irvine and Kevin Burke. He has also appeared as a special guest with the Chieftains and De Danaan. Apart from performing and recording John has also been instrumental in getting many other musicians to record and has produced many albums such as Brian Rooney’s acclaimed albums ‘The Godfather’ and ‘From Leitrim to London’. John has recently put together a new eight piece band, The John Carty Festival band which was launched in summer 2012 and has since played at festivals in Ireland and the UK. In 2012/13 John was part of the County Leitrim Traditional group in residency scheme which comprises of himself and two other legends of traditional music namely Seamus Begley on accordion and vocals, and Donál Lunny on bouzouki and guitar. In 2013 they launched the album, Leitrim Equation 3, which includes many Leitrim guests they met during the residency.
More recently John has performed in two feature films Jimmy’s Hall and Brooklyn, for which he also arranged all the traditional music pieces. In addition John is a tutor on the BA course at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick and with such experience is a highly sought tutor for workshops and summer schools.
He will shortly release 'Settle Out of Court' a duet album with his daughter, Maggie (Vocals and banjo).
James Carty is one of the finest exponents of Sligo fiddle music and one of the leading players of his generation. Having grown up in a musical household in Boyle Co. Roscommon, James was exposed to lots of music from a young age. His father, John is an internationally renowned fiddle and banjo player. James however is cutting his own path in the traditional music scene with his own distinctive style which he has developed having grown up listening to the recordings of the old Sligo masters Michael Coleman, James Morrison, Paddy Killoran to name just three.
James currently lives in London and has become one of the mainstays of the traditional music scene there. He teaches fiddle in the Mulkere Academy, privately and at various summer schools. He has also performed in Ireland, the UK, Canada and the USA as a solo musician.
James has appeared on a couple of commercial recordings, most notably The First of May with Harry Bradley on flute and At Complete Ease, with his father John and Brian Rooney. He has just completed his first solo album entitled “Hiding Daylight in Dark Corners” with accompaniment from Brian McGrath and Francis Gaffney.
James comes from the same musical family as his brother, John, and his nephew, James. Born and raised in Whitchapel, his music is steeped in the Irish tradition and his characteristic short phrasing, which punctuates the melody, reflects this authenticity and his careful study of the musicians of an earlier era.
He is both a brilliant player and teacher.
Jennifer Wrigley is highly respected globally not only as a world class fiddler but as an ambassador for traditional Orkney music. She is internationally recognised as one of the leading fiddle players and composers to come out of Scotland in recent years; influencing and inspiring players all around the world. Her style reflects ages of musicianship that has been passed down aurally from her heroes including players from her Scandinavian influenced homeland of the Orkney Islands. It is rare to find such an advanced player with the understanding of a true traditional fiddle style who can also teach to the highest technical standard – anyone who wants to improve technique or their general understanding in the fiddle should not miss this workshop. Glasgow Herald – ‘Jennifer's multifaceted fiddling - ranging from coquettish twists to full-blooded expression-as well as her consistently high-quality tunesmithery’
Wes Robinson is from a family of singers with traditions from Western Ireland and Ulster. He is a Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Regional Champion and All-Britain Medalist in English Language song. He has also studied song, fiddle and bodhrán with the World Academy of Irish Music at the University of Limerick and has a great knowledge of recorded singers and styles.
Wes is well known around Bristol for his singing and can encourage anyone to find their own voice and style through telling the story of a song. The classes are relaxed, supportive but intended to be inspirational and therefore challenging. Suitable for all ages and abilities. Tea available at all times.