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Thursday 18 September 2014

Musical antidote to worries about the economy

Published 18/01/2012 | 09:03

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Breanndán Ó Beaghlaoich (left) with Laoise Kelly and Tommy Peoples will play at Ionad Culturtha on Friday, February 3 at 8-30pm. Credit: www. paulmccarthyphotography. com Photograph courtesy of

BRACE yourself for a clash of the titans as a trio of trad's finest join forces for a great concert at Ionad Culturtha on Friday February 3 at 8-30pm.

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With three distinct regional styles going head-to-head, every tune promises to be something of an adventure. Representing the Dingle Peninsula is genial giant Breanndán Ó Beaghlaoich, whose fiery button accordion playing and heartfelt singing echo the stormy beauty of the West Kerry coastline. Winner of the first ever TG4 Traditional Musician of the Year Award, trad legend Tommy Peoples brings the rabble-rousing Donegal fiddle style to the party. Equally influential is virtuoso harpist Laoise Kelly, who has breathed new life into the national instrument with her reinterpretation of the O'carolan canon.

Born into a famous musical family, the youngest of nine children, Breanndán Ó Beaghlaoich soaked up the music and song of West Kerry from an early age. Slides, polkas, songs and slow airs all run through his veins. He has three acclaimed solo albums to his name, as well as numerous recordings with the groups Boys of the Lough and Beginish.

More recently he has been joined in performances by his family, comprising sons Bréanainn ( Guitar), Cormac (Concertina), Conchubhair (Accordion) and daughter Cliodhna (Fiddle and sean-nós dancing), carrying on the long line of music from Corca Dhuibhne and the Begley family. Together they played in Cape Breton in October of 2009, at the Celtic Cuban Festival in April 2010 and in Moscow in November 2010, and have performed in venues all over Ireland.

Tommy Peoples was born in St. Johnston, Donegal and started learning the fiddle at the age of seven from his cousin, Joe Cassidy. As a teenager, Tommy went to live and work in Dublin, where he became involved in the traditional music scene of the mid-1960s.

Tommy subsequently moved to County Clare, becoming a member of the Kilfenora Ceili Band and The Bothy Band in the 1970s. In more recent years, Tommy has performed primarily as a solo musician. His most recent recording was ' The Quiet Glen', which includes a number of his own compositions.

A founding member of traditional group 'The Bumblebees' with whom she recorded two albums and toured worldwide, harpist Laoise Kelly has also recorded with many of Ireland's foremost artists including The Chieftains, Sharon Shannon, Dónal Lunny, Tommy Makem, Matt Molloy and Mary Black, as well as with Kate Bush and American country/bluegrass icon Tim O'brien.

She collaborates regularly with Scottish Gaidhlig singing- ace Kathleen Macinnes and released a duo live CD entitled ' The Wishing Well' with Clare fiddler Michelle O'brien last year.

She has toured and performed in all corners of the globe from Africa, Japan and Russia to New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, the US and Canada. Career highlights include representing Ireland at the World Harp Festival in Paraguay, 2009 and performing with poets Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon on the Hill of Tara, 2010.

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