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 traditional music with her sisters in the Finn Valley area. 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 Irish musicians as button-accordionist Dermit Byrne of the world famous ensemble "Altan," guitar master Steve Cooney, Belfast flute player Harry Bradley, and her partner on this tour, 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 music festivals in Holland, Brittany and France. Her eponymously titled solo fiddle CD has earned well deserved acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.
Tony O'Connell has played music from the age of 10. From Glin in West Limerick, an area rich in musical tradition, he is self-taught on the concertina and won his first All-Ireland title at age 13. He captured the under-18 title three years running and then brought home the senior All-Ireland concertina title at the age of 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 Irish tradition. He recorded his debut album in 2005 with Leitrim fiddler Andy Morrow, accompanied by veteran 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 flute player Eamonn O´Riordan, brings his music back home to the southwest of Ireland.
Their current visit to America will take Bríd & Tony as far afield as Midlothian, TX, where they'll both join other internationally acclaimed performers and teachers of Irish traditional music for the annual three-day O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat. Please join us in the last week of October as we welcome them to the CTIMS stage for the first time!
Sliabh Gallion Braes from Tony O'Connell's first CD: