Dan hails from Warren, RI, where he began learning fiddle from Jimmy Devine. Instilled early on with a deep appreciation for the regional and personal styles of older Irish musicians, much of his playing and repertoire is built on the close study of field recordings and albums from the first half of the 20th century.
Daniel’s accordion playing is based on that of Johnny O’Leary and Tony MacMahon, in particular. In addition to playing with the Ivy Leaf, squeezing out a few tunes at sessions, and teaching classes, Dan can also be found promoting the music of Julia Clifford and the Sliabh Luchra style in his duo the Rushy Mountaineers.
Joey started playing drums as a child leading him to a career in music. In the late 90’s he joined the Bill Carson Band. Bill introduced him to the Bodhran, Traditional Irish Music and John McDonagh who showed Joey how to “Follow the tune” on bodhran. Joey performed 7 consecutive years at the Cuckoo Fleadh in Kinvara, County Galway. He is currently a member of the Stoneybatter Band.
Florence is a native of north Co. Clare’s Newquay, the center of an unusually rich tradition of concertina playing in Ireland. As musician and author Fintan Vallely points out, “Florence is among those gifted young players who are helping to sustain the older dialects of Clare music.” Her father, Martin Fahy is her biggest inspiration, being a great concertina player himself. Her playing is influenced by Chris Droney, Dympna O Sullivan, Tim Collins, Gearoid O hAllmhurain, and Michael O Raghailligh, to name a few.
Florence has been involved with Irish music and dance since the age of 8, competing in All-Ireland solo competitions and being a member of the “Inis Og” Ceili Band from Ennis. Florence has traveled extensively with groups like “The Lonely Stranded Band”, “Meitheal” and “Ceol Chiarrai” in Australia, The Middle East and Europe. At present, she lives and teaches in Beverly, with her husband Chris and 1 year old daughter Leah. She enjoys teaching and sharing her love for Irish music and the concertina music of Co. Clare.
Ellery Klein began playing Irish music in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1992. Her initial interest turned into a lifelong passion after she studied with renowned fiddler James Kelly. She has performed and taught Irish music for two decades, most notably as the fiddler for Billboard-charting Irish band Gaelic Storm from 2003-2007. She was also a founding member of Boston’s all-female quartet Long Time Courting. After spending the last three years abroad in Israel, Ellery is thrilled to be sharing her love of Irish music by teaching fiddle to all ages at CCE.
Natalya Kay, of Lowell, MA, began playing the fiddle at age 7. She developed a love for traditional Irish music through her first teacher Laurel Martin, with who, she studied for six years. More recently, her playing has been influenced by her collaboration with Patrick Ourceau and from musicians in east Clare such as Mary MacNamara. Natalya is a Mid-Atlantic fleadh champion in solo fiddle, and has performed frequently around the US and Ireland.
Natalya is also the recipient of numerous awards, including a Traditional Arts Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. You can find her playing once a month on Wednesdays at the Old Court Pub in Lowell. Natalya enjoys teaching children and adults, hopes to instill in her students a love for the pure tradition in Irish fiddling and the joy of playing with others.
Flute player Jimmy Noonan hails from Cleveland, Ohio, but has been living in Boston since 1985. He is a two time US Western champion on both the tin whistle and concert flute. He has been playing Irish traditional music for over thirty five years. He has played and taught at many of the premier festivals in the United States and Ireland, most recently at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann this summer in Sligo.
Jimmy has been teaching Irish traditional music since 1980. He has been teaching at Boston College since 1996, and has been elected to the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Hall of Fame Northeast Region. He was recently awarded the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, and has recorded two albums: The Clare Connection(1993) and The Maple Leaf (2003).
Patrick was born in Canada and grew up in Liverpool where he had his first lessons on the tin whistle. A student of Toronto piper Chris Langan, he has been playing the uilleann pipes for over 25 years. He contributed an analysis of Chris Langan’s piping style to Move Your Fingers: the Life and Music of Chris Langan, by Paul Cranford and David Papazian. Patrick is a two-time champion of the Fleadh Cheoil na Eireann in slow airs on the uilleann pipes. He is well known for his unique and tasteful tune settings, and for ferreting out unusual tunes.
Torrin has played the tin whistle since the age of 9, under the tutelage of Andrea Mori. At age 12, he picked up the uilleann pipes. Torrin has come in first place several times on the tin whistle and pipes at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh, and in August 2013 took first place in the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil uilleann pipes slow air competiton as well as placing third on the pipes in the dance music competition. He’s a private instructor for the uilleann pipes in addition to regularly playing at local venues and sessions.
Born in Bedford, England, to parents from Galway and Longford, Kathleen began playing Irish music at age twelve, along with her siblings, Bernadette, Michael & Pauline. She learned from Co. Clare musician, Brendan Mulkere. Her father, Michael, is a fiddle, accordion, and tin whistle player from Errislannan, Co. Galway, and the Conneely home was always filled with music from records and many visiting musicians. In 2012, she released her first solo CD, The Coming of Spring. She is delighted to be returning this year to teach for Comhaltas in Boston
An All-Ireland harp champion, Kathleen Guilday studied traditional style in Ireland with Noreen O’Donoghue and Máire Ní Chathasaigh and her repertoire includes dance tunes, slow airs, and compositions of the 18th-century Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. Kathleen performs as a soloist and as a member of various New England area groups, including the Childsplay fiddle ensemble. She has appeared at Symphony Hall with The Chieftains and entertained President and Mrs. Clinton and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern at the White House on St. Patrick’s Day 2000.
Natasha is a native of Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, an area known for its extensive repertoire of slides. Her biggest influences include her music accordion teachers Willie Larkin and Danny O’ Mahoney. In 2014 and 2015 Natasha was part of the Irish and British Comhaltas Tour groups playing banjo and bodhran. She has competed in solo and group competitions and has coached under age groups to All-Ireland success. She is enthusiastic about passing on her love for the music, focusing on her students having positive experiences through music, as well as developing an appreciation for the tradition.
Máirín Uí Chéide Keady, (Irish singer and speaker) was born in Leitirmóir, the heart of the rural Connamara Gaeltacht. Máirín came from a long line of poets and singers. Her uncle Coilimín Seoige was her mentor; he had what seemed like thousands of songs and was a tough taskmaster and teacher. A purist, he insisted that her singing was as correct as possible; her phrasing and language had to be true to the words penned and passed down through generations. Her paternal grandfather Michael Kelly was also a great storyteller and had a trove of Irish and some English folksongs, learned while with the Irish Army. Mairin was also fortunate to have had a great Irish literature teacher, Séan Ó Gaora who encouraged her to sing most of the old poetry which she already knew as songs, versions different from what appeared in standardized textbook selections (For example, “An Droighnean Donn” The Brown Thorn Bush).
Mairin remembers winning her first prize at a Comhaltas Feis in Dublin at the age of 12. Séamus Mac Mathúna had come to her house to bring her to Dublin, to her first encounter with Séamus and Bríd De Brún, two of most well-known noble advocates and conservators of our authentic ancient culture, who continued to judge her in singing competitions over many years. Mairin has won the coveted Corn Ui Riada (Ó Riada Cup) the highest honor in Seanós Singing at the Oireactas na Gaeilge. Mairin was Inducted to The Hall of Fame of The Northeast Region of the North American Comhaltas Ceolteoirí Éireann. She has taught Irish language and singing for many years, to students world wide, maintaining the oral nature of the transmission of the culture as much as possible.
Eamon Sefton is a sought-after Celtic-style guitarist from the Boston area. His percussive rhythm and clever use of harmony have made him an ideal guitarist for many traditional musicians around Boston. He cultivated much of his talent at the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School, where he is now teaching guitar for the fourth year in a row. Later he spent several semesters at Berklee College of Music, where he greatly furthered his understanding of harmony and guitar technique. Most recently, Eamon has been performing with his bands Cat and the Moon and Fresh Haggis at places like Club Passim, the Beat Hotel, the Burren, and on WGBH’s A Celtic Sojourn .