Thursday, November 25, 2010

Irish Accordion Master Heads to Moscow

"Ireland may be on its knees economically but remains firmly on its feet in cultural terms. A sea of Irish music and dance is sweeping the world, and one of the tidal waves in this Irish cultural storm will break land in Moscow this weekend with the arrival of musical legend Breanndan Begley and his sons.

A virtuoso Irish button-accordion player as well as singer and step dancer from a family with siblings of no less talent, he’s a superstar in the traditional music world of his native land.

On his first visit since the Soviet 1980s, he’s in for a shock at the transformation — not in terms of the obvious, but more the extraordinary Irish music and dance scene in Moscow. Scores of Russian musicians have embraced the music of the other extremity of Europe. Thousands have learned to dance in various Irish forms through a host of schools across the capital and in other Russian cities, too."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Accordion and Fiddle Club attract capacity audience - Community - Arbroath Herald

"ARBROATH Accordion and Fiddle Club’s October meeting, at Arbroath Artisan Golf Club, drew a full house.

Club chairman Tony Simpson said: “Our guest band was the Garioch Blend, who were well received at the club on a previous occasion. I thank all the members and guests of Arbroath Accordion and Fiddle Club for their continuing support and giving the Garioch Blend another fine Arbroath welcome.

“At the club meetings we try to put on as varied a programme as possible, and include contributions from local and not so local musicians. The last meeting was no exception, with the evening being rounded off with a fine stramash, which had many players up on the stage for a final tune.”

Tony concluded: “Our next meeting will be held on Sunday (November 7), when the guests will be the Tom Orr Trio."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

IIrish court rules in favour of ISPs in piracy case

"The High Court in Ireland has ruled that laws cutting off internet users who have illegally downloaded content cannot be enforced in the country.

It is a victory for Irish internet service provider UPC which took the legal action against copyright owners, including EMI and Sony.

But it will be a blow to the music and film industry, which wants the strict rules as a deterrent against piracy.

It is likely to have a knock-on effect to similar policies in other countries."

Paddy O'Brien's Chulrua features Irish traditional music | wausaudailyherald.com | Wausau Daily Herald

"Chulrua, featuring button accordion icon Paddy O'Brien, brings Irish traditional music to Chestnut Avenue Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20.

Joining O'Brien in performance are Dale Russ on fiddle and Brian Miller on guitar, flute and vocals.

Chulrua (pronounced cool-ROO-ah) plays the old instrumental dance music of Ireland -- jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas and slides -- along with marches, songs, slow airs and set dances. Chulrua presents its tunes and songs in keeping with the old tradition, handed down from generation to generation in Ireland. Their concerts pay great respect to the heart of Irish music, the session. In the session, tunes are played and traded, and conversation about music is the central theme."


County Offaly native O'Brien is regarded by serious players and collectors of Irish traditional music as one of the tradition's most important repositories. In a musical career that spans nearly 40 years, he has collected more than 3,000 compositions. His mastery of the two-row button accordion has been acknowledged with highly prestigious awards. In Ireland, he played and recorded with the famed Castle Ceili Band and Ceoltoiri Laighean. Since1978, O'Brien has played regularly in cities and towns across the United States. His National Endowment for the Arts grant to record and annotate 500 reels and jigs resulted in "The Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection," receiving accolades from players of Irish music around the world.

Russ' fiddling is known for its balance of power and elegance. Although self-taught -- and 100 percent Slovak -- he was invited in 1990 to perform at the Boston College Irish Music Festival "My Love is in America," featuring 16 of the finest Irish fiddle players living in the United States. He is a founding member of the Seattle Irish band No Comhaile and also played with The Suffering Gaels.

Miller has become a favorite with Chestnut Center audiences. He appeared there in 2004 with Laura MacKenzie, in 2009 with Norah Rendell and also as part of the duo Five Mile Chase, and again in 2010 with Two Tap Trio in its Rotary-sponsored St. Paddy's Benefit concert. Miller is an accomplished guitarist, singer and flute player. He has been highly visible in the Twin Cities Irish music scene since 1998, while often sneaking away to his

Classically Trained: Just for polka music? Not so

"COSTA MESA – I'll admit that I was at first a little hesitant to attend a festival full of accordions. I once played in a band with a song featuring an accordion, but that was the extent of my experience with it.

The accordion and its so-called ugly-duckling cousin, the bagpipe, may be the most stigmatized and stereotyped of all instruments. Many find their sound, even under the hands of a skilled player, akin to an irritable substitute science teacher scratching her nails down a chalkboard.

But perhaps it's that very reputation — and the desire to dispel it — that brings out such an enthusiastic crowd to play and listen to these instrumental underdogs. That's the sense I got when wandering the four stages Sunday afternoon of the second annual Orange County Accordion Festival, affectionately known as 'The Big Squeeze,' at the Orange County Market Place."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Accordion in Cajun Music

The Accordion in Cajun Music

By: Nadeeka Johnson

The accordion is an important part of Cajun Music. When, where, and who played the first Cajun accordion? You will probably get a different answer from each Cajun you ask. Controversy over who introduced the Cajun accordion is much debated.  Again, you will get different answers from different people. There is one thing that everyone will agree on.  It is no mystery that the accordion is the signature instrument of Cajun French music.  Every Cajun will tell you that, Cher!
The accordion was invented and eventually made its way to Louisiana in the late 1800’s.  The type of accordion used in most Louisiana Cajun music is a single row, diatonic accordion.   Since its’ loud notes carried effortlessly across the dance floors, it was the perfect sound for Cajun music.  The reed instrument did not have the tuning problems that you would normally have with stringed instruments.  Another plus was that the other musicians in the band could tune up to the accordions’ notes.  Fiddles became “second fiddles” so to speak and the music began to evolve.
No one talks of the great accordion players without mentioning Amede Ardoin.  Ardoin was a major influence on the development of both Cajun and Creole music.  Amede was an accordionist and half of the legendary duo which also included fiddler Dennis McGee.  Pre-World War I the bands were often of mixed races and theirs was no exception.  Amede was a Creole and Dennis a French-speaking man of Irish-Cajun heritage.  Playing white and Creole house parties across the region they made a name for themselves that lives on in their music today.
The end of each World War saw outside influence trickle into the mostly isolated bayou country of southern Louisiana.  The men returning home had experienced life outside of their usual stomping grounds.  Highways were being built and the steady influx of people from other parts of the country, were coming to Louisiana to be part of the oil boom spreading across state.   With different culture came different sound.
The accordion had a lull in its popularity immediately following World War II during what was known as the “String Band Era”.  Bands began showcasing the guitar and fiddle to the detriment of the accordion.  Steel guitars, bass and even banjos and mandolins were added to the musical line-up.  Drums and other percussion instruments showed-up.  The accordion virtually disappeared from Cajun music during the mid 1930’s until the 1950’s.
German-imported accordions once again became available after World War II.  Thanks to musicians such as Iry LeJeune, Aldus Roger, and Lawrence Walker, the accordion was back.  The fact that young musicians of our time are following in the footsteps of these men and perpetuating the tradition of accordion based Cajun music is proof that the accordion is still “first fiddle” in the band.

About the Author

Nadeeka Johnson is an experienced article writer with over a 1,000 articles covering a wid variety of topical written at www.cajunmusicradio.com

(ArticlesBase SC #844095)
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mullahoran Concert Trio of Irish Traditional Music

Concertina player Caítlin Ní Gabhann is joined by Anne Marie Grogan on concert flute and Ailish Carolan on fiddle for a set of reels: the "Providence" and "The Hare's Paw". The music was recorded at the annual Mullahoran Concert, Co. Cavan on 1st April 2007.