Celtic Connections

Celtic Connections

Traditional Tour Josephine Marsh, accordion (Ireland) Declan Corey, bouzouki/mandolin (Ireland) Guto Dafis, melodeon (Wales) Gareth Westacott, fiddle (Wales

Tour Dates

Music Network (Ireland) and Creu Cymru (Wales) present Celtic Connections—a celebration of Celtic traditional music uniting two wonderful duos from opposite sides of the Irish Sea.  The Hibernian songbook has no more enthusiastic champions than acclaimed accordionist Josephine Marsh and her regular band-member and mandolin/bouzouki player extraordinaire Declan Corey. Joined by fiddler Gareth Westacott and melodeon player Guto Dafis, who combine to form the Cardiff-based group Toreth, the ensemble can heard on tour in Ireland from September 14 – 23 and in Wales from October 5 – 16.  Celtic Connections is sponsored by CCAT @ Temple Bar & Aberystwyth Arts Centre.  Music Network tours are funded by the Arts Council and are presented in association with The Irish Times and RTÉ lyric fm.  Further information from Music Network at (01) 671 9429 or www.musicnetwork.ie.

Josephine Marsh is regarded as ‘a truly great traditional accordion player of individual style, grace and spirit’ and her highly eclectic and distinctive style has been distilled from the musical influences of East Clare.  In the wake of her self-titled début album in 1996, which received popular and critical acclaim, Josephine and her band have performed at gigs and festivals in Europe, Australia, and at the San Francisco Celtic Music Festival.  In 1997, her music was featured in a National Geographic film on the Famine.  She was also voted ‘Best Rookie of the Year’ and also was one of the runners up for ‘Best Female Traditional Performer’ by the Irish Music Magazine.  On St. Patrick’s Day 1999 she, along with her brother Pat and singer Niamh Parsons, played for President Bill Clinton, and many other dignitaries at Capitol Hill.  With her four-piece band, which includes the virtuoso mandolin/bouzouki player Declan Corey, Paul O Driscoll on double bass, and the latest addition to the group, guitarist/singer Tommy Carew, Josephine has successfully integrated her individual style and sound to an equally individual group sound and style.

Declan Corey, a virtuoso mandolin/bouzouki player, hails from Co Tyrone.  He was All-Ireland banjo champion three times in succession, but now concentrates mainly on the bouzouki and mandolin.  He recorded his first album with The Corey Family Traditional music from the Mountain Road and has since gone on to record and play with various artists such as Josephine Marsh, Lia Luachra, Mick Hanley and Gerry Lynch.  Declan has toured extensively to Canada, Scandinavia, mainland Europe and Britain.  He has presented workshops at Sebastopol Festival, California (with Dennis Cahill), the Irish World Music Centre in Limerick, and in Brittany.  Declan is also a composer of new tunes, the best known of which is Two Black Russians which features on the first album by Lia Luachra.  In addition to Irish traditional music, Declan has an ongoing interest in the performance of Greek, Turkish, French and Breton music.

Gareth Westacott (melodeon) and Guto Dafis (fiddle) formed Toreth in 2001, and released their first CD Toreth on the fflach:tradd label in 2003 to enthusiastic reviews in the folk-music press.  The Living Tradition said ‘“a delight…real depth and quality…much too good for the Welsh to keep to themselves.”  The Cardiff-based duo has in recent years, unearthed a veritable treasure trove of traditional Welsh dance music and songs, varying in mood from dry humour to romantic melancholy.

Toreth appeared as part of the Welsh representation at the Festival Interceltique in Lorient, Brittany in 2003 and also took part in the weekend to celebrate the inauguration of a monument to Owain Lawgoch / Yvain de Galles at Mortagne-sur-Gironde, France.  In 2004 they appeared at the Wheaton Aston Folk Festival, Staffordshire, England; Fishguard Folk Festival, Pembrokeshire, Wales; Pontardawe Festival, South Wales; the Cardiff Harbour Festival; and did the first of several lunch-time concerts in the foyer of the brand new Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.  2005 saw Toreth at the Cwlwm Celtaidd festival in Porthcawl, South Wales; Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival, Cheshire, England; and Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau, North Wales.  In August they performed at the Tartu Accordion Festival in Estonia, before returning to Wales for a return visit to the Pontardawe Festival.

CCAT @ Temple Bar & Aberystwyth Arts Centre

This co-production with Welsh touring agency Creu Cymru is sponsored by Cultural Co-operation and Touring @ Temple Bar & Aberystwyth Arts Centre, which is part-funded by Ireland Wales INTERREG programme.  It is an initiative of the Theatre Shop and Aberystwyth Arts Centre and in Ireland is managed by Temple Bar Properties. 

On Tour in Ireland: Wed 14 Sept Bray (Mermaid Arts Centre, 8pm), Thurs 15 Sept Limerick (Belltable Arts Centre, 8pm), Friday 16 Sept Listowel (St. John’s Theatre & Arts Centre, 8pm), Mon 19 Sept Clifden (Alcock and Brown Hotel, 10pm), Tues 20 Feb Mohill, Co. Leitrim (Clarke’s Hotel, 8.30pm), Wed 21 Sept Virginia (Ramor Theatre, 8.30pm), Thurs 22 Sept Dublin (Coach House, Dublin Castle, 8pm), Fri 23 Sept Ashbourne (Cultúrlann na Cille, Gaelscoil na Cille, 8pm)


"Really enjoyable, urging me to dance to the dance tunes and join in with the songs…you can breathe in the smell of woodsmoke and wine. "

- Taplas Folk Magazine on Toreth

"Loose, free, spiritual, simple, light, joyous, flowing. "

- Folk Roots on Josephine Marsh