Traditional Music and Song

may, 2022

fri06may8:00 pmfri10:30 pmDermot Byrne, Yvonne Casey and Steve Cooney with VaroFiddle Fair Marquee, Baltimore8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Event Details

From Inishowen in Co. Donegal, Dermot Byrne’s accordion playing was honed in an environment heavily influenced by Donegal fiddle tradition exemplified by players like Johnny Doherty, Con Cassidy, Tommy Peoples and Francie Mooney. Over his many years of playing, Dermot has developed a unique style. His seemingly effortless playing, combined with great subtlety, and a faultless ear, makes him one of the great accordion players of his generation. As well as his mastery of the Donegal style and repertoire, Dermot can turn with ease to other styles and traditions such as French musette, or South American music. He guested on two Altan recordings The Red Crow and Island Angel before joining the band in 1994. Among the many other artists he has recorded and performed with are Dolly Parton, John Prine, Stephane Grappelli, Vince Gill,  Mary Black, Tim O’Brien, Alison Krauss, Paul Brady, Paddy Keenan and Frankie Gavin.

Yvonne Casey grew up surrounded by the richness of Clare music and plays fiddle in a very unique soulful style. Sitting in sessions from a very young age she discovered the joys of Doolin as a teen, where she met and played with musicians like Micho Russell, Kevin Griffin and Eoin O’ Neill. Yvonne created her own music school in Co. Clare, and performs and teaches at various festivals at home, abroad and online. In 2018 Yvonne released her second solo CD entitled Croí which includes many of her own new compositions. Some of her compositions are showcased in the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin as part of a series called Saothar. Her recent collaboration with Dermot Byrne is charming audiences with their fresh new sound, and in December 2021 they released an all new compositional album entitled As We Feel It.

Dermot and Yvonne will be joined by the ubiquitous Steve Cooney, best known for his development of an influential style of guitar accompaniment to the traditional dance music of West Kerry, for which he won the National Entertainment Award in 1997. Born in Melbourne Australia in 1953, he came to Ireland in 1980. He has ancestral links with Tipperary, Cavan and Galway. He has participated in making more than 250 CDs, either as a guitar or bass player or as producer and engineer. He has worked with many iconic international artists in rock and country but his primarily focus is Irish traditional music, and fusions of that genre. In 2020 he released a CD of solo guitar interpretations of ancient harp tunes, Ceol Ársa Cláirsí, which won three awards at the 2020 RTÉ Folk Awards as well as being named Irish Times traditional album of the year. He was also given a Lifetime Achievement award by RTÉ. He completed an M.Litt.Ed in 2011 and a Ph.D. in 2018 on an intuitive musical notation system that he has developed for early learners and those who have difficulties with staff notation.

Supporting the trio will be Dublin-based singers and fiddle players, Varo (below), made up of Lucie Azconaga (from France) and Consuelo Nerea Breschi (from Italy). The duo perform Irish traditional songs and tunes with arrangement influences from the folk, baroque and classical traditions, weaving around the melodies with harmonies, drones and countermelody. They met in 2015 having moved to Dublin to pursue their love for Irish traditional music, and immediately started a fruitful collaboration.

Over the years, Lucie and Consuelo have had the pleasure of working with other young artists, like Landless, Ye Vagabonds and Lisa O’Neill. They are putting the final touches on an ambitious collaboration project, which will culminate in a series of live music videos, and a new album, featuring 12 of Ireland’s most exciting and exceptionally talented traditional and folk musicians, including Ian Lynch (Lankum), Slow Moving Clouds, Landless, Inni-K, John Francis Flynn, Cormac Mac Diarmada and Ruth Clinton, Anna Mieke, Lemoncello, Alannah Thornburgh, Niamh Bury, Branwen, and Alfi. The completed project is set for release in the autumn. The first single will be shared in April.




(Friday) 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm


Fiddle Fair Marquee


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