Best of Irish: The Next Generation

Best of Irish: The Next Generation

Traditional Tour Gavin Whelan, whistles Zoë Conway, fiddle Aogán Lynch, concertina Donncha Moynihan, guitar

Tour Dates

The last tour of Music Network’s 2004 Spring Season features four of the brightest young talents on the “trad” scene.  Dubliner Gavin Whelan has performed all over the world, playing solo and supporting such artists as Altan, Beginish and Mary Coughlan.  His self-titled 2001 début recording propelled the tin whistle centre stage, winning high praise from critics for his crisp, uncluttered phrasing and bright, clean tone.  Joining him for Music Network’s Best of Irish nationwide tour from May 11-20 will be three regular collaborators: fiddler extraordinaire Zoë Conway, 1999 TG4 Young Musician of the Year Aogán Lynch on concertina and Cork-born virtuoso guitarist Donncha Moynihan

Gavin Whelan is widely regarded as one of the finest exponents of the tin whistle.  Born and raised in Dublin, Gavin’s interest in traditional Irish music began at an early age when on visits to Doolin, he received lessons from the late Micho Russell.  Other musicians in Doolin that encouraged and influenced him over the years were Eoin O’Neill, Terry Bingham, Kevin Griffin, Michael Queally and Noel O'Donoghue to name but a few.

As a solo performer, Gavin has toured to numerous venues throughout Ireland.  He has also performed at Finland’s Irish Finnish Festival, with ‘Music of the Northlands’ throughout Northern Europe and at the Murphy’s Irish Festival in Tel Aviv in addition to a tour of Germany and the US.  Gavin is a founding member of the band Dál Riada who performed at numerous festivals throughout Ireland and abroad, garnering popular and critical support.

Louth fiddler Zoë Conway is a prodigious talent equally at home on stage with Paddy Cole, as guest soloist with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, or performing with Riverdance.  However, traditional Irish music remains closest to her heart, as revealed in her much-lauded 2002 début CD.  Born in 1981 in Dundalk, Co. Louth, Zoë Conway began playing the traditional fiddle at the age of eight and by her mid-teens she was competing and winning in both the classical feiseanna, and traditional All Ireland competitions.  She is a holder of the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Champion title and was nominated in 2003 in Irish Music Magazine for Best Traditional Female of the Year.

A concertina player from Cork, Aogán Lynch has been a stalwart on the Dublin “trad” scene for the past four years, after honing his concertina skills with relations Seamus and Brendan Begley (star of Music Network’s Best of Irish Autumn 2004 tour), and gigging with his immediate family in the Donachadh Lynch Band.  A recipient of the TG4 Young Musician of the Year award in 1999 he is currently perhaps best known for his involvement with the award-winning and traditional ground-breaking band Slide ( who have toured Ireland and Europe extensively over the last number of years on the back of their two albums: The Flying Pig and Harmonic Motion

Completing this outstanding line-up is guitarist Donncha Moynihan who is a broadly acclaimed guitarist in the traditional Irish music scene and has brought flat-picking and fingerstyle finesse to a cluster of widely-admired CD releases in recent years.  His playing style, influenced by Irish as well by Breton guitarists, is a mixture of rhythm guitar and sensitive fingerstyle, and has made him a much sought after guitarist on both the live and studio circuits.  Donncha was a founding member of the bands Calico and The Red Hat Bank.  Calico’s CD Celanova Square was described by the New York Times as “a groundbreaking new release” while The Red Hat Band’s début CD Covering Ground was hailed by Hot Press “as a textbook example of how good a live album can be if done right.

Tour Dates

Tues 11 May   Monaghan              Market House

Wed 12 May   Castlebar                    Linenhall Arts Centre

Thurs 13 May  Dublin                         Bank of Ireland Arts Centre

Fri 14 May       Newcastle             Parish Church, Wicklow

Sat 15 May      Ashbourne, Meath  Cultúrlann na Cille

Mon 17 May   Waterford                Garter Lane Arts Centre

Tues 18 May   Clifden                      Alcock and Brown Hotel

Wed 19 May   Doolin                    Russell Cultural Heritage Centre

Thurs 20 May  Newbridge                 Riverbank Arts Centre