As a member of Solas for several years, Karan Casey has been critically acclaimed from Japan to the United States as one of Ireland’s greatest singers.
In 1993 Karan emigrated to New York City and began a jazz degree in Brooklyn’s Long Island University. Making the rounds of the sessions in New York she was asked to join Atlantic Bridge. Later she joined Seamus Egan, Winifred Horan, John Doyle and John Williams to form the group Solas.
The band recorded three albums in just four years, and won NAIRD (former independent record industry association) indie awards for each. They played with Bela Fleck, Iris De Ment, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, The Chieftains, Donal Lunny, Sharon Shannon and Paul Winter while touring extensively in the United States, Europe and Japan.
Karan Casey’s solo career has flourished since her separation from the band Solas. Casey’s voice is among the most beautiful in Irish folk music, and she is a wonderful interpreter of both contemporary and traditional material. Her use of grace notes and vibrato has become remarkably subtle.
Her album Chasing the Sun successfully combines traditional but sharp-tongued songs – such as the epic unaccompanied ballad “Jimmy Whelan” – with contemporary material that reflects Casey’s rising status as one of Ireland’s most politically-charged singers.
Her own compositions reveal increasing confidence and incisive social awareness, not least “When Will We All Be Free”, which attacked Ireland’s policies on immigration.
Karan Casey won awards for ‘Best Folk Album’ and ‘Best Folk Female’ from Irish Music magazine and was nominated for the BBC Folk Awards and the Danish music awards. She has performed on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion on public radio in the United States, and appeared at many prestigious venues and festivals.
Composer and tenbur maestro Cemîl Qoçgîrî was born in 1980 in Duisburg, Germany. He’s part of a Kurdish-Alevi (Qizilbash) family from the region of Qoçgîrî in northern Dersim in eastern Anatolia. Cemîl Qoçgîrî currently lives in Mainz, Germany.
Alevism/Qizilbash is considered to be the continuation of ancient Anatolian-Mesopotamian belief systems, primarily Zoroastrianism. The tenbur (long-necked lute), the principal instrument played by Cemîl Qoçgîrî is fundamental to this musical heritage, not just as a musical instrument, but it is also deemed sacred by the Alevis.
Cemîl Qoçgîrî has incessantly worked on his own music projects and in 2004 published his first solo album “Ask-i Pervaz”.
In 2005, Cemil travelled throughout Dersim to capture on film perhaps the last living authentic dervishes. These travels were portrayed in a musical documentary titled “Sarraf.”
Cemîl Qoçgîrî released his second album “Heya – Songs of the Qizilbash” in 2007.
The third album “Hiva Zeri – Golden Moon” came out in 2012 and the fourth album, Tembur & Harp, was released in 2015 by Sony Music Classical.
Cemîl Qoçgîrî also took part in the acclaimed Hawniyaz project with Aynur, Kayhan Kalhor and Salman Gambarov. This album was released by Harmonia Mundi Latitudes in July 2016 and received the German Record Critics Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik).
In addition to his solo projects, Cemil Qocgirî also produces and arranges film music as well as audio CD-productions with various renowned artists. He has collaborated with Aynur , Kinan Azmeh, Kayhan Kalhor, NDR Bigband, Morgenland Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, Mikail Aslan, Erkan Ogur, Salman Gambarov, and Tara Jaff.
Cemîl Qoçgîrî’s fifth solo album Zalâl was released in 2016. It features songs in the endangered Zaza language.
Ask-I Pervaz (Etno Music, 2005)
Heya – Songs of the Qizilbash (Kalan Music, 2007) Rewend, with Aynur (Sony Music, 2010)
Hiva Zeri -Golden Moon (Ahenk Music, 2012) Tembur & Harp (Sony Music, 2015) Hawniyaz with Aynur, Kayhan Kalhor, Salman Gambarov (Harmonia Mundi Latitudes, 2016)
Zalâl (Ahenk, 2016)
Justin Adams is one the UK’s most original and inspirational guitarists, lending his talents to such artists as Jah Wobble, Sinead O’Connor, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, and Robert Plant’s band The Strange Sensations.
Adams spent his youth living and traveling in the Middle East and North Africa. “My original love when I was young was The Clash and dub reggae,” says Justin. “I like to keep things raw and swinging – so it never gets too pristine or too sweet. I love listening to cassettes of Moroccan music and Algerian music. I like trancey, circular rhythms and voices that are in between pleasure and pain, where it’s bittersweet.”
A restless musical traveler, Adams’ solo debut http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006AE2R?ieUTF8&tagmusidelmund-20&linkCodexm2&camp1789&creativeASINB00006AE2R | Desert Road (World Village) created a dub-wise atmospheric soundscape filled with swaying grooves and parched tones that invoke desert landscapes, Arizona or Sahara — an ancient/contemporary Moorish blues with echoes of the call to prayer and African trance.
One of Justin Adam’s most important projects is his collaboration with Gambian musician Juldeh Camara. The connection was sparked by a phone call out of the blue from an excited Camara. “A friend gave me a copy of Justin’s CD and I took it with me in Gambia. When I got there I was playing the riti and trying to follow what he was playing. I was feeling it in my body. When I got to the UK, I got his number and called him. I said, ‘I heard your stuff. This style you play is very, very connected with my spirit.” Then over the phone Camara whipped out a few licks on his riti and the kologo, which he had picked up from Ghanaian musician Atongo Zimba, and Adams “went crazy” on the other end of the line. They were soon jamming and recording together.
Justin and Juldeh have been playing together since 2007, following the release of the critically acclaimed “Soul Science” in 2007 (winner of the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award in the Crossing Continents category), touring at festivals in Siberia, Mexico City, Morocco and the WOMAD festival. The touring experience has clearly brought them closer together as musicians and added to the unique nature of their musical style. “At certain soundchecks I’d start playing something and Juldeh would rush over and say ‘…keep playing that! We’ve got to play that tonight!’ Juldeh would record things on his mobile phone – so that’s they way we came up with a lot of material,” explains Justin.
In 2011, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara formed a new band called JuJu. The band is characterized by trance-like rhythms from traditional Africa, jazz and the wilder side of rock.
Julio A. Santillán is a composer and guitarist originally from Tucuman, Argentina. His compositions combine elements from his home land folk music, jazz improvisation and classical music.
He has studied classical guitar at Instituto Superior de Musica (Argentina) under the direction of maestro Pablo Gonzalez Jasey. He graduated summa cum laude with a dual major in Classical Composition and Contemporary Writing and Production from Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA). He also studied jazz improvisation with Mick Goodrick.
Santillan received the 2004 Van Lier Fellowship, ASACPlus Award, Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, the Arif Mardin Award and the Contemporary Writing and Production Achievement Award.
As a composer/arranger he has produced music for documentary films, theater, recordings and live performances for artists around the world. Recently, Argentine virtuoso guitarist Victor Villadangos, has included guitar studies from Julio’s Book Cinco Estudios Criollos in his latest CD Guitar Music from Argentina vol. II (Naxos).
Julio also produced Colombian singer Marta Gomez’s Cantos de Agua Dulce, Entre Cada Palabra (Chesky Records) and La Ronda- Women of Latin America, Paula Ausente- Women of the World (Putumayo Records).
He has recorded and performed with many musicians from Argentina, Boston and New York including Oscar Stagnaro (Paquito D’Rivera), Livingston Taylor, Raul Carnota and Sandra Mihanovich.
Santillan has shared the stage with important artists such as Mercedes Sosa, John Mayer, Pablo Ziegler (Astor Piazzolla), Paquito D’Rivera, Bonnie Raitt, Tania Libertad, Diana Krall and Leon Gieco. He has performed and gave workshops in Argentina, Colombia, Finland, Greece, Canada and in more than fifty cities in the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Dallas and Washington D.C.
Julio A. Santillan has recorded over 30 CDs, including a play-along CD for The Latin Bass Book (Sher Music, by Oscar Stagnaro), two albums with the Pablo Ablanedo Octet (Freshsound records), four cds with Marta Gomez (BigSur records /Chesky Records)- one of which was chosen among the best 10 records of 2003 by the Boston Globe- and one by tango diva Katie Viqueira (Freshsound records)- Independent Music Award winner, 2005 best World Music Album.
Santillan led for almost 10 years Los Changos (trio & septet); an ensemble that performed his own compositions. The group has been featured in some of the most prestigious venues in the U.S. such as Blue Note (New York) and Regattabar (Boston).
Los Changos toured South America in four opportunities. At the moment Julio is working with a brand new project: the Julio Santillan Trio. He has released four cds with his compositions: Desde el Norte, Anit Negra, Nann and El Bosque de la Memoria (BigSur Records- CAP Records).
He was a faculty member at Manhattan College 2004-2009. Later he moved to Spain where he worked at a music school until 2012. He’s currently the director of the Orquesta-Escuela de Chascomús in buenos Aires.
Desde el Norte (Big Sur Records, 2001) Anit Negra (Big Sur Records, 2003)
Nann (Big Sur Records, 2005) El Bosque de la Memoria (Big Sur Records, 2008)
Argentinian Jazz in New York (Big Sur Records, 2009)
Un instante (Big Sur Records, 2011) Meia laranja (Big Sur Records, 2012)
Va place tango? (Big Sur Records, 2015)
Cinco Estudios Criollos, a book with five studies for guitar based on Argentine folk rhythms (chacarera, milonga, cueca, guarania and malambo).
Julie Fowlis grew up in North Uist, a small island in the Hebrides, in a Gaelic speaking community, and has been involved in singing, piping and dancing since she was a tot. She is a member of the successful Scottish sextet, Dochas, who were voted winners of Best Newcomer Award at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2004. Having toured extensively, and after releasing two albums, Dochas are widely considered as one of the most exciting and dynamic young bands in Scotland today.
In 2005, Julie released her debut solo album, Mar a Tha Mo Chridhe (As My Heart Is), which immediately launched her music career into an exciting new direction. She was named Gaelic Singer of the Year at the 2005 Scottish Traditional Music awards and was nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Horizon Award.
Her good nature, natural charm and energy on the stage makes her a popular performer, and this is evident in her busy touring schedule, which included a prestigious Showcase concert at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 2005, Julie being the first ever Gaelic artist to perform at a Showcase slot.
Before any of this, Julie was already quietly making a name for herself as soloist. In 2003, she was invited to be part of a special project Gluaiseachd a Chuain Siar which showcased singers such as Maighread and Triona Nic Dhomhnaill, Alyth McCormack, Mary Jane Lamond, Mary Smith and Julie Murphy.
She was also selected as part of the Celtic Connections ‘Master and Apprentice’ series, where she performed with Arthur Cormack. Julie’s reputation as a singer was confirmed when she was named Winner of the prestigious Pan-Celtic Sean-Nos singing competition in 2004, which took place in Tralee, Ireland.
As well as appearing on numerous Gaelic Television Programs such as Tacsi, Failte, An t-Urlar Ur, Air an Urlar, Ceol, Ceilraidh and D? a-nis, Julie has also been involved in numerous musical commissions – three by Mark Sheridan, The Curve of the Earth (performed at Celtic Connections 2002 and the Festival Interceltique de Lorient 2002), The Evangelists, which has been performed three times since 2002 and When They Lay Bare, an Opera Ballad which was performed over three nights in the Tramway Theatre at Celtic Connections 2003.
She was also involved in Maggie’s MacInnes’ Commission, A Woman’s Song in 2004 and in the musical settings of Sunset Song and Cloud Howe by Wendy Wetherby in 2004 and 2005.
Bandoneonist and master of the complex Argentine tango, maestro Juan José Mosalini was born in 1943 into a craftsman’s family who were passionate about music.
Juan Jose Mosalini started playing the bandoneon at the age of eight. Through his father’s influence, he absorbed the popular, traditional music of Argentina.
The young Mosalini was a professional musician by the time he was 17, after winning first prize in a competition “Nace una estrella” (A star is born) organized by Buenos Aires Television in 1961.
From 1962 to 1976, he composed, arranged, played and accompanied, working with the greatest orchestras and soloists in Argentina, including Astor Piazzolla, with whom he became close friend. During this period he founded the Guardia Nueva Quintet, which was to be one of the richest and must original experiences of the avant-garde tango phenomenon.
In 1977 he chose France as his new musical home, where he started to work with other Argentinean musicians. He formed the group Tiempo Argentino, which was received enthusiastically by the press. They completed several European tours and appeared at major Parisian venues, including the Palais des Arts and l’Olympia.
In 1978, in an innovative and experimental mode, Juan Jose Mosalini made a recording of solo bandoneon music. The recording (prefaced by Julio Codézar) revealed a musician in true dialogue with his instrument, delivering a blend of poetry and virtuosity. It was unanimously well reviewed and established Mosalini as a major artist.
In 1980, he founded a new ensemble, Canyengue, and then in 1982 the celebrated Mosalini-Beytelmann-Caratini Trio (bandoneon/piano/double bass), who went on to tour every continent, becoming particularly popular in the United States.
In 1983 Juan Jose Mosalini made a CD “Bordona” with the Trio, and in the following year he took part in the World Music Meeting in Baden-Baden as representative of Argentina, which also resulted in the recording of a CD.
Juan Jose Mosalini subsequently composed the music for a number of films, including “Double Face” and “Le Quatrième Pouvoir” by Serge Leroy, and two by director Stéphane Kurc: “Le Génie du faux” and “Un Coeur de marbre”, a four-part film for French television. At this time he also began to write a bandoneon method, commissioned by the French Minister of Culture.
1987 saw the release of “Imagenes” Trio’s second CD, on the “Label Bleu”, and in 1988 Juan Jose Mosalini started working on a Bandoneon Collection for music publishers Henry Lemoine. In 1989, he inaugurated the first European bandoneon course at the Gennevilliers Conservatory in Paris, where he has been teaching ever since.
With the flautist Enzo Gieco, and guitarist Atahualpa Yupanqui writing the libretto, he composed the cantata ‘La Parole Sacrée’, which had its first performance on June 21, 1989 at the Palais des Congrès in Nanterre, as part of the celebrations on the Bicentenary of the French Revolution.
In 1992 Juan Jose Mosalini started his Grand Orchestre de Tango, which has since appeared all over the world : Japan, USA (February 98, July 99 at the Hollywood Bowl), Sicily, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway ( several times from 1994 to 2000), Belgium, Canada (Montreal, Toronto), Greece (at the Megaron, Athens), Switzerland, Tunisia, and in France. He also released his second solo album, “Che Bandoneon”, and composed “Casi un Tango” (state commissioned).
In 1993 he toured Germany with the guitarist Roberto Aussel, and wrote compositions for tango orchestra and children’s choir with Enzo Gieco. In 1994 the Grand Orchestre de Tango released the CD ‘Bordoneo y 900″. Mosalini formed a quintet in the same year with the violinist Antonio Agri, and after Agri’s death, with his son Pablo Agri. The quintet appeared with great success in Japan, England and France.
His 1999 composition “Paris-Tango”, a choral poem on the words of Horacio Ferrer, in an arrangement by guitarist Leonardo Sénchez, had its debut with the Victoria Regional Choir under the baton of Michel Piquemal.
His passion for music in all its forms has brought him to work closely with classical musicians, leading to the discovery of a vast and perfectly adapted repertoire, particularly with string orchestra and symphony orchestra. Juan Jose Mosalini has played as soloist with the Enesco Quarter, the Orchestra de Picardie, the Orchestra National de Lille, the Orchestra National Bordeaux-Aquitaine, the Orchestra of Hong Kong, Spring Festival), the Bourgogne Camerata, the Orchestre de Radio-France, the Symphony Orchestra of Munich.
He recorded with Bass Normandie’s orchestra and the guitarist Leonardo Sanchez his own creation named “Outdoor and Urban Fantasies”.
At the ‘Buenos Aires Tango” Festival, Juan Jose Mosalini was awarded the Buenos Aires City Medal, in recognition of his work in the dissemination of Argentinean music throughout the world.
He recorded an album for the label Mañana, with the Strings Quartet Benaim named “Classic and Modern”, with Gustavo Beytelmann’s original compositions.
José Mercé is one of the world’s greatest flamenco singers. He is known for his electrifying performances that have sold out stadiums in Spain.
Born into the Soto Sordera clan of Gypsy flamenco singers, he spent his early years working as a sought-after singer accompanying flamenco dance ensembles with the likes of Mario Maya, Carmen Mora and El Guito to his tours with Antonio Gades.
He garnered worldwide recognition as a solo artist with his groundbreaking 1998 recording Del Amanecer. Through his concerts and more than 600,000 albums sold over the past 15 years, he has made an enduring mark on flamenco.
Born in 1955 in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), José Mercé (José Soto) is the great grandson of seguiriya maestro Paco Luz and nephew of Manuel Soto “Sordera”, a patriarch of Jerez flamenco After singing as a child in the students’ choir of the Mercy Basilica (from which he took his artistic name), he appeared in Los Jueves Flamencos de Jerez and in the tablao La Cueva del Pájaro Azul.
He arrived to Madrid when he was 13 years old to record his first album produced by Manuel Ríos Ruiz, who would later write that “the consolidation of José Mercé as a new figure in singing means, for Jerez de la Frontera, the continuity of the flamenco miracle.”
With numerous Latin Grammy nominations and over 600,000 albums sold throughout his career, Jose Merce is a major star in Spain. His flamenco adaptions of Latin American and Spanish topical songs such as “Te recuerdo, Amanda” by Chilean singer-songwriter Victor Jara; “Clandestinos” by mestizo music pioneer Manu Chao and “Al Alba” by Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute, defy all categories, taking flamenco to a broader audience.
Mercé participated in two of Carlos Saura’s acclaimed films: Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding) and Flamenco.
His numerous honors and awards include winning Cordoba’s National Contest of flamenco Art in 1986, an appointment as Hijo Predilecto de la Provincia de Cádiz (Favorite Son of the Province of Cádiz) in 2007, the Medal of Andalusia in 2010, and the 2011 FCG International Award for the Performing Arts.
* Cultura Jonda 14. Bandera de Andalucía Cultura Jonda 14. The flag of Andalucía (1968)
* Caminos reales del cante (EMI)
* Verde junco (EMI, 1985)
* Hondas Raíces (Deep Roots) (EMI,1991)
* Desnudando el alma (EMI, 1994)
* Del Amanecer, with Vicente Amigo (Virgin, 1998)
* Aire (Virgin, 2000)
* Quebrando el aire (Breaking the air)
* Cuerpo y alma (2002)
* Pa’ saber de tu querer (2002)
* Lío (Virgin, 2002)
* Confí de fuá (EMI, 2004)
* Verde junco – Hondas raíces, reissue (2004)
* Lo que no se da (What you don’t give away)(EMI, 2006)
* Ruido (2010)
* Mi única llave (2012)
* Doy La Cara (2016)
Puro y Jondo, with Fernando de la Morena (2002)
Lo mejor de José Mercé (The best of José Mercé) (2003)
Jose Antonio Rodríguez was born in Córdoba on March 28th, 1964. In 1981 he won the First Prize for Flamenco Guitar Concert, at the XXI Festival de Cante de las Minas de la Unión.
In 1982 Rodriguez won First Prize for Flamenco Guitar Concert at the XI National Contest of Flamenco Guitar in Jerez de la Frontera.
In 1984 he obtained the Official title of Flamenco Guitar teacher at the High Conservatory of Music in Córdoba. At the age of 20, he was the youngest guitar teacher of flamenco.
1986 – National Prize “Ramón Montoya” for Flamenco Guitar Concert at the XI National Contest of Flamenco Art in Córdoba. The same year he was elected member of Fundación Societat i Cultura “Live Music now” as a guitar player. His premiere in Madrid, at Centro Cultural de la Villa, was a great success, where many influenwriters, musciians and actors were present.
1987 – Premiere of his work “Guajira Para Guitarra Flamenca y Orquesta” within the extraordinary concerts on the occasion of “Andalucía Day”.
1988 – Intensive period of concerts in Europe and America. That same year he composed the music for the work “Tiempo De Amor y Muerte” for its premiere in Sevilla, with choreography of Mario Maya. He has two solo CDs interpreting his own compositions, “Calahorra” and “Callejon De Las Flores”. Some of his compositions are included in CDs released in Europe, such as his “Valls Flamenco” released by Ex Libris Digital Recording.
1990 – Premiere of his ambitious concert for flamenco guitar “Viento De Libertad”, that featured orchestral arrangements by Joan Albert Amargós.
1992 – The Bienal de Arte Flamenco “Ciudad de Sevilla” asked him to arrange the composition, orchestration and musical management of the show “Tango”. He took part in the recording of “Sevilla Es Asi” for the inauguration of EXPO 92 in Sevilla.
1993 – He took part in the soundtrack of the film “La Lola Se Va A Los Puertos”, starring Rocío Jurado.
1994 – He composed “Requiem”, together with Joan Albert Amargós and choreography by Mario Maya, for the world premiere of the Compañía Andaluza De Danza. He also participated in the performance of the show “A Oscuras” together with Enrique Morente and Esperanza Fernández.
1995 – He toured with the Cultural Series “Conocer el Flamenco” along with Manolo Sanlúcar.
He took part in the “Flamenco” film by Carlos Saura. He also participated in the new mixing of the recording “Nochebuena Gitana” accompanying Camarón and Paco de Lucía.
He composed the original music of the work “Retratos En La Memoria” with choreography of Ramón Oller, whose premiere was at the Festival Internacional de Danza in Sevilla.
1996 – Premiere of the new orchestration of “Viento De Libertad” conducted by Joan Albert Amargós.
1997 – He composed the work “El Jaleo” by request of Centro Andaluz De Danza with choreography by María Pages and Fernando Romero.
1998 – Premiere of his recording work “Manhattan De La Frontera” at Bienal De Arte Flamenco De Sevilla.
In 2016 he released an independently produced album titled Adiós Muchachos (2016). It features many guests, including one track where he invited some of the finest guitarists in Spain.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Jon Hassell grew up with ears alert to divergent aspects of the jazz tradition, one early influence including Maynard Ferguson’s “stratospheric” trumpeting with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. While studying at the Eastman School of Music, Hassell became increasingly interested in serial music and more experimental expressions of the new music avant-garde, in the mid-1960s traveling to Cologne to study with pioneering composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Returning to New York in 1967 he met and befriended Terry Riley. Hassell played on Riley’s landmark recording In C, and was introduced by Riley to La Monte Young with whose Dream House project he toured through the 1970s.
An encounter with the music of Indian singer Pandit Pran Nath was fundamental. Hassell studied extensively with Pran Nath, subsequently incorporating vocal techniques of raga into his trumpet playing, developing a new style for his instrument and his music as a whole.
Vernal Equinox (1977) laid down the essence of the idiosyncratic yet wide-open musical expression Hassell has continued to develop and redefine over the past decades: “My aim was to make a music that was vertically integrated in such a way that at any cross-sectional moment you were not able to pick a single element out as being from a particular country or genre of music.”
In 1986 Brian Eno, a frequent collaborator, would observe that “Jon Hassell is an inventor of new forms of music – of new ideas of what music could be and how it might be made. His work is drawn from his whole cultural experience without fear or prejudice. It is an optimistic, global vision that suggests not only possible musics but possible futures.” An enticing proposal for the most diverse musicians, Hassell’s collaborators over the years have ranged from Peter Gabriel to the Kronos Quartet, Ry Cooder and rock star Bono, and his trumpet performances have featured on recordings with Björk, Baaba Maal, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ani di Franco, David Sylvian, the Talking Heads and many others.
Additionally his playing and/or music has been heard in numerous films including The Last Temptation of Christ, Trespass, Wild Side, Greenwich Mean Time, Angel Eyes, Owning Mahowny, Million Dollar Hotel and more.
In April 2009, Jon Hassell and Brian Eno delivered their Conversation Piece at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. This “conversational remix”, an animated juxtaposing of philosophies of life, art and music, was premiered to acclaim at Norway’s Punkt Festival in 2008.
John Doyle is one of the most talented and innovative musicians to come out of Ireland in recent years. Now a resident of Asheville (North Carolina), John Doyle was born in 1971 in Dublin, Ireland, into an extended family of musicians and singers. He was playing professionally by the age of 16 when he and singer Susan McKeown joined to form The Chanting House, which later added the prodigious talents of Seamus Egan and Eileen Ivers to the group.
A few years later, John and Egan came together with John Williams, the wonderfully inventive accordion player from Chicago, talented fiddler Winifred Horan, and Waterford-born singer Karan Casey, to form the enormously influential band, Solas.
John’s powerful guitar playing provided the signature rhythmic backbone for the band, and his delicate and emotional finger-style playing and creative vocal harmonies can be heard on all Solas’ recordings for Shanachie Records. Solas performed to sold-out audiences around the world, appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, E-Town and World Cafe, and received three NAIRD awards and a Grammy nomination.
John composed music for the film Uncle Robert’s Footsteps and the play Down the Flats, and appears on the soundtracks for The Brothers McMullen, Soldier and PBS’s Out of Ireland. He has performed at scores of major festivals worldwide, including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, Washington Irish Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival and major festivals in Denmark, Belgium, Brittany, England, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Finland and Ireland.
John is also a highly sought-after sideman and has recorded and/or toured with Liz Carroll, Eileen Ivers, Tim O’Brien and The Crossing, Frank McCourt, Linda Thompson, Kate Rusby, Mick Moloney, John Williams, Seamus Egan, Cathal McConnell, Kim Robertson, Brian Conway, Joannie Madden, James Keane, Joe McKenna, Karan Casey, Cathie Ryan and James Leva.
John’s much anticipated first solo recording, Evening Comes Early, was released on Shanachie Records in 2001, and his second solo CD Wayward Son was released in 2004 on Compass Records.