Niamh Dunne, Bróna McVittie, Cormac Breatnach & Seán Óg Graham

Niamh Dunne, Bróna McVittie, Cormac Breatnach & Seán Óg Graham

Niamh Dunne, Bróna McVittie, Cormac Breatnach & Seán Óg Graham
Music Network presents a newly curated line-up featuring some of this island’s most original and inventive musicians.

Niamh Dunne vocals / fiddle
Bróna McVittie
vocals / harp / guitar / synthesizer
Cormac Breatnach
Seán Óg Graham
guitar / button accordion

This talented quartet of singers and instrumentalists will take us on a musical journey, blending traditional and contemporary music and taking both new and familiar melodies on unexpected journeys.

Featuring Niamh Dunne and Seán Óg Graham from the highly acclaimed Beoga, whose collaborations with Ed Sheeran on Galway Girl and Nancy Mulligan have been streamed over a billion times, Niamh brings gorgeous vocals and fantastic fiddle playing to the quartet, while Seán adds extraordinary musicianship on both guitar and button accordion.

Legendary whistle player and creative force behind the iconic Deiseal, Cormac Breatnach completes the line-up alongside vocalist and harper Bróna McVittie, one of the most exciting and inspirational artists to have emerged in recent years. A new commission by Bróna will also feature as part of the programme.

Expect the unexpected in what promises to be an enthralling musical experience.

About the Artists

Niamh Dunne is an accomplished fiddle player and singer known for her unique traditional fiddle playing, folk-infused compositions and warm, smoky vocal style. She released her first album of self-penned songs Tides in 2022 to critical acclaim. Dunne has performed with the well-known Dunne family for many years and with the renowned band Beoga. Best known for their Irish fusion music, Beoga’s album How to tune a fish was shortlisted for a Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary World Music Album category. In 2017, the band’s profile was further elevated through their writing and performances on Ed Sheeran’s ÷ album. They made numerous live appearances with Sheeran, including his headline Glastonbury performance in front of 100,000 people and were the support act on his 2018 Irish stadium tour.

Dunne is also a long-standing member of The Karan Casey Band and has recorded extensively with Casey. She has vast experience as a composer and has performed her own compositions and songs at The Proms in the Park with the Ulster Orchestra and with the RTÉ concert Orchestra in the National Concert Hall. As a composer, Dunne has also collaborated with top Irish songwriters including Stefanie Rainey, Foy Vance and Ryan McMullan.

She is an activist and a founding member of Fairplé, a grassroots organisation for better gender balance and a fairer workplace for musicians and artists.

Pioneering her own brand of cosmic folk, singer and harper Bróna McVittie deftly reimagines traditional folk and crafts her own nature-inspired songs with a rich mix of ethnic and electronic instruments. Her debut solo album We Are the Wildlife, released in 2018, earned her a string of four-star reviews from MOJO, Uncut, The Guardian and The Independent.

Her second album The Man in the Mountain followed in 2020 and immediately scored the much-coveted Folk Album of the Month spot in The Guardian. Later that year The Guardian’s Jude Rogers ranked it 4th in her 10 Best Folk Albums of 2020. In her words: “You’re put in the place of a bird navigating wide open landscapes, absorbing light, space and air. This is music that takes you on its wing, and gives you fresh visions.”

McVittie’s third album The Woman in the Moon was released in 2022 and the first single was launched during the 22nd Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival at her sellout show in Belfast. “Bróna McVittie’s The Woman in the Moon is yet another pot of pure gold sitting at the end of her cosmic folk rainbow” wrote Fatea while The Guardian labelled the album “Energising” and The Sunday Times describes it, recorded with support from the National Lottery and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, as “Eerie and alluring". The subsequent tour in late 2022 saw McVittie headline venues in 5 major UK cities.

Acclaimed whistle player Cormac Breatnach is a founding member of the iconic band Deiseal. A ground-breaking trio, their half-improvised, jazz-influenced arrangements of traditional tunes showcased on the brilliant album The Long Long Note had a notable impact on a generation of young traditional musicians and still inspire many artists today. Founded in 1993, Deiseal’s sound was new, involving double bass, bouzouki and low whistle, a particular combination that allowed great space and fluidity in the music. The Irish Times described their sound as “extraordinarily compelling” and referred to a “virtuosity that was breath taking”.

Breatnach’s playing can also be heard on more than 50 albums including with Riverdance and on his own solo albums Musical Journey, Music for Whistle & Guitar and Éalú. He has recorded on film soundtracks The Secret of Roan Inish, The War of the Buttons and Horse + Moondance as well as on award-winning TV programmes Bringing It All Back Home, A River of Sound, Súlt and The Session.

In his 20s, Breatnach was a member of Dónal Lunny’s Celtic Orchestra and later, Ó Riada Retrospective. He collaborated with Máire Breatnach to form Méristem. Other key collaborations include with Steve Cooney whom he has known and toured with for over 30 years, Bray-based guitarist Martin Dunlea and Sonamus.

In 2018, Breatnach collaborated with Daire Bracken and Martin Tourish for his Whistleblower project/album which he toured with the assistance of the Arts Council of Ireland. In 2019, also with the assistance of the Arts Council of Ireland/Northen Ireland, he devised Loco por Lorca: An Irish Celebration of the great Spanish Poet with Irish poets and Spanish musicians.

Seán Óg Graham has been playing music since the age of 9. Having developed an obsession in high school he went on to study music at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and has been playing professionally since. He has recorded 7 albums as a key member of the world-renowned Beoga and has toured all over Europe, North America and Australia. Wall Street Journal describes Beoga as ‘the most exciting band to come out of Ireland this Century’. When the band performed on Ed Sheeran’s album ÷, it was Graham’s own composition Minute 5 that was instrumental in providing the musical backdrop to the global hit Galway Girl which has been streamed over 800 million times on Spotify alone.

Graham is in high demand on the folk/traditional music scene and has featured on over 40 albums. He is also widely regarded as one of Ireland’s top button accordion players and has composed a vast amount of tunes, over 60 of which have been recorded and feature heavily on Beoga’s award-winning albums.

Graham continues to compose, arrange and produce music on a daily basis in his own purpose-built recording facility Bannview Studios. His wealth of experience in the recording studio has led to an increased demand in recent years for his engineering and production roles. He has performed with such stellar artists as Lunasa, Liz Carroll, Karan Casey, Maura O’Connell, Flook, Natalie Merchant, Mairtín O’Conor Band, Duke Special and Ed Sheeran.