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.
In addition to playing with the Ivy Leaf, 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.
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.
Sheila Falls is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and a three-time North American Irish Fiddle Champion. She captured the All-Ireland Fiddle Championship at the age of 15. Sheila is in demand as a performer, educator and recording artist. She was chosen by Larry Reynolds to teach for the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann Music School in Boston at its inception. She has numerous recordings to her credit including Tommy Makem’s “Ireland” and a documentary on the Boston-based fiddle group, “Childsplay,” which was aired on PBS. Sheila released a solo album titled “All in the Timing.” She has recordings in the Smithsonian Folk Life Collection and the Library of Congress. Her fiddle can be heard in the documentary, “The Mining Wars,” which aired on PBS’s “An American Experience.” More recently, Sheila has been touring with Irish folk singer, Karan Casey.
Sheila is sssistant professor of music at Wheaton College since 1996 and director of the World Music Ensemble. She is a member of the music faculty and director of Gaelic Roots Music, Song, Dance, Workshop and Lecture Series at Boston College.
Since her move to Boston in 2012 Cliodhna has been teaching privately, part time with Suzuki Boston Institute and Bosse music school. She also teaches music as an elementary school teacher in Boston. Cliodhna is a is a regular performer in the Boston scene at local pub sessions or at the ICC. She loves working with young musicians and runs a weekly traditional Irish music event for children in Weymouth. Cliodhna’s love for Irish music is very evident in her playing with an up-tempo style. Her musicianship is very evident which is enhanced with her background as a classically trained violinist. She comments that “I believe it is important to focus on the technique of music playing on the violin while enhancing the fun and beauty of it also, and instilling confidence in my students as they perform. Music is a therapeutic art and has a vital role in our mental and emotional development. Furthermore, I feel it is of great importance for me as a teacher and performer to enhance Irish music learning, performance, and most importantly growth in our society here in Boston”.
Kara began dancing in 2009 under the direction of Kieran Jordan, initially concentrating on step dancing but quickly expanding her focus to include sean-nós (old style) dance. Her repertoire is grounded in traditional steps from the south and west of Ireland and draws on both improvisation and formal step dances learned directly from dance masters Michael Tubridy and Patrick O’Dea. Kara has performed at numerous gatherings in the Boston area with the Kieran Jordan Dance group and has traveled to Ireland to attend Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy in Co. Clare. She is very excited to be collaborating with the CCÉ Boston Music School and looks forward to introducing sean-nós to a new generation of dancers.
A competitive Irish step dancer who traded her dance shoes for harp strings, Jaimee is a third-generation classical harpist and first-generation Celtic harper. Hailing from Massachusetts, she grew up immersed in Irish culture, music and folklore shared with her at home and during summers spent in Ireland with her godmother, a poet who lives at the base of Ben Bulben. Jaimee studied with renowned Irish harper Áine Minogue, and with a variety of teachers abroad over the years including Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Patsy Seddon, Fiona Davidson, and Billy Jackson. She is also a certified Therapeutic Harp Practitioner with the International Harp Therapy Program and has worked with Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients.
Jaimee performs across New England at private and public events, including for government officials, Diplomats, and The Irish Network of Boston. Her recordings include albums with the Progressive Rock Band Telergy. She teaches individual and group lessons for beginning and intermediate players of all ages, and is a regular instructor at the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Harp Retreat. Her instruction is tailored to each student’s needs and preferences, including options to learn by ear or from the notated page. Classes are taught in a relaxed, no-pressure manner focusing on the joy and history of the music.
She is excited to participate in the Boston CCE Music School having spent her early years as a Comhaltas member and benefiting from the support and encouragement of Larry Reynolds.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
Nathan began playing Irish music in Utica, NY and Providence, RI before settling down in Boston. He went on to study with Skip Healy and Shannon Heaton. He particularly enjoys playing for dancers and is a regular at the CCE ceilis in Watertown. As a former student of the CCE Boston Music School, Nathan is excited for the chance to help teach the next generation of flute players.
Patrick Bowling grew up in the Boston area with training in both classical and traditional Irish music. From the age of 12 he started taking CCE Boston Music School flute classes with Shannon Heaton, and continued learning with Jimmy Noonan, James Hamilton, and others. Patrick is now an accomplished performer having played in bands across the U.S., as well as winning championship titles in flute, bodhran, and Irish step dancing. Patrick currently plays in Bywater Band, Erin’s Guild, and can be found at sessions all around.
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
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.
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.
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).