Bríd Harper is a highly regarded Irish fiddle player from Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, now living near Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. Encouraged by her parents, she grew up playing music with her sisters in the Finn Valley area of Donegal. With musicians on both sides of the family she carries on the tradition of fiddle playing, and has won multiple prestigious fiddle awards including the senior All-Ireland title, the Oireachtas championship and the Fiddler of Dooney trophy. Bríd has toured extensively and performed with such stellar musicians as accordionist Dermit Byrne of the celebrated Irish ensemble "Altan," guitar virtuoso Steve Cooney, Belfast flute player Harry Bradley, and her partner for this tour, top notch concertina player Tony O'Connell. Hailed as one of the most skillful exponents of Irish fiddling, Bríd is also a respected teacher, with extensive experience over many years at teaching venues like Fiddle Week in Glencolmcille, Co. Donegal; Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY; the Joe Mooney Summer School in Drumshambo, Co. Leitrim; as well as at music festivals in Holland, Brittany and France. Her eponymously titled solo fiddle CD was released in late 2015 to unanimous acclaim in Ireland and elsewhere.
Tony O'Connell has played music from the age of 10. Originally from Glin in West Limerick, an area rich in tradition, he is self-taught on the concertina and won his first All-Ireland title at 13. He captured the under-18 title three years running and then brought home the senior All-Ireland concertina title at 18. His distinctive yet traditional style can be described as a steady pulsating rhythm characteristic of the west of Ireland, but he sets himself apart with his melodic and harmonic variations and strong dynamic expression. Tony has toured Europe, Asia and America and collaborated with many of the most acknowledged players from within the tradition. He recorded his debut album in 2005 with Leitrim fiddler Andy Morrow, accompanied by guitarist Arty McGlynn. During that time Tony was based in Limerick City, teaching concertina at the Irish World Academy of Music, University of Limerick. In 2008 he recorded a second CD, "Rossinver Braes," with Co. Leitrim fiddling legend Ben Lennon. Tony's most recent CD, "Rooska Hill," with West Limerick fluter Eamonn O´Riordan, brings his music back home to the southwest of Ireland.
Their current visit to America will take Bríd and Tony as far afield as Midlothian, Texas, where they'll join other internationally acclaimed performers and teachers of Irish music for the annual three day O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat. Please join us on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 7:30pm (a new, earlier starting time) as we welcome them to the stage of the Coatesville Traditional Irish Music Series for the first time!
A schottische, a reel & a hornpipe from Tony O'Connell:
Dean Brig of Edinburgh; Mrs. Crotty's Reel; Wind That Shakes The Barley
In mid-September we learned that the show with Bríd & Tony will be our last concert in the Coatesville Cultural Society building, which has been sold as part of the renewal project planned for this part of Coatesville. We knew it was coming but we're still in shock and more than a little sad, after 13 years of partnering with the wonderful folks at the Cultural Society. While the future is a bit uncertain, we aren't ready to quit yet as we explore new options, put out feelers and cast about for a suitable new venue. We'll certainly keep you, our good friends, informed of all new developments, and we're grateful for the encouragement you've given us --- some of you since our first show in the fall of 2004 with Galway master flute player Mike Rafferty (RIP). Thank you for your support of Irish Traditional Music and the Coatesville Traditional Irish Music Series.