Paudie O’Connor, Aoife Ní Chaoimh, Mick O’Brien and Nell Ní Chróinín
Paudie O Connor is an accordion player from Sliabh Luachra Kerry. His playing follows in the traditions of Sliabh Luachra, with his influences ranging from the bowing of Padraig O Keeffe and Denis Murphy to the time spent in his youth playing with local box players Johnny O Leary, Jimmy Doyle and John Brosnan. In 2005 he launched a landmark recording of Sliabh Luachra music entitled Different State which featured in the best of 2005 lists of both The Irish Times and The Irish Echo. Paudie’s music also featured on the album The County Bounds, a 1999 Ossian records production featuring a compilation of music from the Cork-Kerry border including contributions from Johnny O'Leary, Jackie Daly and Peadar Ó Riada.
On Different State, Paudie is joined by his wife Aoife Ní Chaoimh, a fiddle player from Tralee, Co. Kerry. Aoife learned her music from local teachers Anne and Nicky McAulliffe. She plays a style very much in sync with the Sliabh Luachra tradition and contributes much to the unique settings and rhythm that typifies their duet playing. She has been featured on numerous TV and radio programmes including The Liberty Hall Late Session (RTÉ) and Geantraí (TG4).
In 2008 Paudie released the album Wind and Reeds with ex-Riverdance uilleann piper John O'Brien and Jim Murray on guitar. Paudie is a regular contributor to traditional music festivals, workshops and lectures at home and abroad. In October 2010 Paudie performed in the music ensemble as part of Rough Magic’s production of Phaedra for the Dublin Theatre Festival and in 2011 presented an episode of Geantraí featuring many of the musicians currently playing in Sliabh Luachra.
Mick O'Brien is one of our best-loved uilleann pipers, performing regularly as a solo artist, with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and with the Norwegian groups Vamp, Hanne Krogh, and Secret Garden. His first solo album 'The May Morning Dew' (1996) was received with great critical acclaim, and his duo album with Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh 'Kitty Lie Over' (2003) has since become a classic. He comes from a great Dublin musical family, and now his own children are becoming fine performers in their own right.
Hailing from Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh in the Múscraí Gaeltacht of northwest Cork, Nell Ní Chróinín became the youngest ever recipient of the TG4 Singer of the Year award in 2012. Her singing is very much a product of her environment and heritage with its mix of the infectiously light-hearted and more serious songs.
Nell has appeared on many television programmes such as Geantraí, Anam an Amhrán, Amhrán is ansa liom and Cérbh í?; the latter featured her as a presenter setting out on a quest to uncover the legacy of the legendary Bess Cronin.
Recordings include guest performances on the 2010 compilation Rogha Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy; and on Raw Bar Collective's 2011 album, which lead to a subsequent tour with the group. Other performances include a tour with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in 2008, and various festival appearances in Ireland, England and in Switzerland.
A passionate educator, Nell gives singing masterclasses at the University of Limerick.
* Paudie and Aoife are also available for performances as a duo.
* Paudie, Aoife and Mick are also available for performances as a trio.
"Sliabh Luachra box player Paudie O'Connor was one of the year's left-field surprises. His spare style gelled perfectly with an emotional fearlessness, which in debuts is a rare thing of beauty"Siobhan Long, Irish Times
"Paudie O'Connor keeps the memory of old Sliabh Luachra masters alive not by copying or imitating them but by respecting them through his own understanding, appreciation, and unique talent."Earle Hitchner, Irish Echo