Since she was 18, when she astounded the Celtic music world by winning the Senior All-Ireland Championship, Liz Carroll and her fiddle have been amazing audiences around the globe. In recent years, she has been honored with many accolades, including the nomination for a 2010 Grammy, with John Doyle, for their duet album, “Double Play.” In April of 2011, Liz was awarded the Cumadóir TG4, the first American-born composer honored with Ireland’s most significant traditional music prize.
And the summer of 2013 will see the release of Liz’s first solo album since 2002’s “Lake Effect.” Produced by Seamus Egan, and with many guests, it features new tunes composed by Liz.
Liz’s recordings are in the majority her own compositions, and they have given her a stature equal to that of her playing. When you listen to a Liz album, you’re hearing the tunes of a composer celebrated for invigorating the traditional styles of Irish music. Her compositions have entered into the repertoire of Irish and Celtic performers throughout the world.
In fact, Liz published a book of her compositions in 2010, called “Collected.” It’s a compendium of music that she began composing when just a child. Now in its second printing, it’s what Liz’s fans and fellow musicians have been clamoring for for years. Thanks to funding by the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society and the Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation, it’s available via Liz’s web site atwww.lizcarroll.com.
It’s these tunes, as well as Liz’s vital performances on concert stages, television and radio, that have established her as one of traditional music’s most sought after performers.
“Lost in the Loop,” released in 2000, won Liz new fans around the world, as it garnered an Indie Award and Liz being named Traditional Performer of the Year for 2000. In 1988, “Liz Carroll,” was chosen as a select record of American folk music by the Library of Congress, no less. That same recording was called “a milestone achievement in the career of a fiddler reaching beyond herself,” by critic Earle Hitchner.
But it is Liz in concert that has entranced audiences throughout the States, and also in tours of Ireland, Europe, and Africa. Neil Tesser of Chicago’s Reader marvels that “her quicksilver lines can captivate violin admirers way beyond the bounds of Hibernia.” P.J. Curtis of the Irish American says that Liz “conjures up a dizzying mixture of the sweetest tones, the fastest runs, and the most dazzling display of musicianship imaginable.” One of Liz’s proudest concert moments was at the 1st American Congress of the Violin, hosted by Yehudi Menuhin.
In 1994, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Liz a National Heritage Fellowship for her great influence on Irish music in America, as a performer and a composer. First Lady Hillary Clinton presented the award which bestows national recognition on artists of international stature.
Pauline Conneely was born in Bedford, England to Irish immigrants hailing from Connemara and Co. Longford. Her parents passed their love of Irish music on to Pauline and her brothers and sisters. They studied with Brendan Mulkere, originally from Co. Clare, who filled their house with music when he came to teach. Pauline came to America in 1988 as a dancer and musician with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and moved to Chicago in 1989. She is one of the finest banjo players in America.
Sean Gavin’s playing on the flute, whistle and uilleann pipes reflects his lifelong immersion in, devotion to, and love for traditional Irish music. This was no doubt encouraged by his County Clare-born, fiddle playing father, Mick Gavin. As a boy in Detroit, Sean played a variety of Irish instruments until settling on the flute at age 10, inspired by Scariff flautist Leo MacNamara. Not long after, he began work on the uilleann pipes with teacher Al Purcell—himself a student of famed piper Leo Rowsome. Currently residing in Chicago, he deeply values his many opportunities to hear, talk with and learn from Sligo flute legend Kevin Henry. Sean is a member of the acclaimed group NicGaviskey, often performs with his family and remains firmly dedicated to playing and teaching traditional Irish music.
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