Celtic Week Staff – July 9-15, 2023


Brian Conway | www.brianconway.com

New York-born fiddler Brian Conway is a leading exponent of the highly-ornamented Sligo fiddling style made famous by the late Michael Coleman. The winner of two All-Ireland junior titles in 1973 and 1974, and the All-Ireland Senior Championship in 1986, Brian first studied fiddle with his father, Jim, of Plumbridge, Co. Tyrone, and with Limerick-born teacher/fiddler Martin Mulvihill. However, it was the legendary fiddler and composer Martin Wynne who taught him the nuances of the County Sligo style. Later, Brian met and befriended the great Andy McGann of New York, a direct student of Michael Coleman, who further shaped his precision and skill on the instrument, and he remains faithful to the rich tradition handed down to him. In 1979, Brian recorded a duet album, The Apple in Winter, with fellow New York fiddler Tony DeMarco. In July of 2002, Brian released his debut solo CD, First Through the Gate, on the Smithsonian-Folkways label, which was subsequently chosen as Album of the Year by The Irish Echo. He is also featured on the CD, My Love is in America, recorded at the Boston College Irish Fiddle Festival, and on the documentary, Shore to Shore, which highlights traditional Irish music in New York. With the release in 2008 of his second solo CD, Consider the Source, The Irish Echo selected Brian as their Traditional Irish Artist of the Year. One of the musical ‘rocks’ of the New York area, Brian has also performed all over North America, Ireland and the rest of Europe, and is a noted instructor who has mentored many fine fiddle players, including several All-Ireland champions as well as three students who went on to perform in Riverdance.

Gerry O’Connor | www.gerryoconnor.net

Gerry O’Connor comes from Dundalk in Co. Louth, and was taught by his mother, Rose, who was a descendant of three generations of fiddle players. With a focus on his local music of the Oriel region, he is known worldwide as a soloist and as a founding band member of Lá Lugh, Skylark and Oirialla. His playing is noted for its vibrancy and pulsating rhythm which he attributes to his early years of step-dancing. He has recorded 14 albums, with his first solo album, Journeyman hailed as a landmark album of Irish fiddle music, and he has performed with all of the leading performers of the Irish music world including members of the Chieftains, Boys of the Lough, Planxty, De Dannan and the Bothy Band. Gerry has published a book of Cathal McConnell’s songs, I Have Travelled This Country, and his recent publication, The Rose in the Gap, is a collection of the dance music of Oriel recorded at the turn of the 20th century. A winner of the prestigious Ródaíocht Bardic Award at the the 2018 All Ireland Fleadh for his valuable cultural contribution to Irish music, Gerry is also highly regarded as a violin-maker and music producer, and is in constant demand as a music tutor. His second solo album, Last Night’s Joy is now available on Lughnasa Music.

A master of the uilleann pipes, Irish flute, and tin whistle, Seán Gavin is one of the most highly regarded Irish musicians of his generation. He was encouraged in music by his father Mick, a fiddler from Co. Clare, and his multi-instrumentalist brother Michael. At age 12, he began study on the uilleann pipes with the late Al Purcell, former pupil of piper Leo Rowsome. Seán moved to Chicago at age 20 where he spent a decade playing and studying with the windy city’s finest musicians, particularly Sligo flute-legend Kevin Henry. He is the first and only musician born outside Ireland to win the prestigious Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal. His most recent recording, Music from the Lost Continent, with fiddler Jesse Smith, accompanist John Blake, and bodhran player Johnny “Ringo” McDonagh, was hailed by The Irish Echo as “traditional music at its best!” Seán tours regularly with the groups Bua and Téada, both of which have gleaned top praise from Irish music critics around the globe. Currently, Seán lives in his native Detroit where he continues to play, teach, and promote traditional Irish music.

Kevin Crawford | www.lunasamusic.com

Born in Birmingham, England, Kevin Crawford’s early life was one long journey into Irish music and Co. Clare, where he eventually moved while in his 20’s. He was a founding member of Moving Cloud, the Clare-based band who recorded such critically-acclaimed albums as Moving Cloud and Foxglove, and he has also recorded with Grianin, Raise the Rafters, Joe Derrane, Natalie Merchant, Susan McKeown and Sean Tyrrell. Kevin appears on the 1992 recording, The Maiden Voyage, recorded live at Peppers Bar, Feakle, Co. Clare, and appears on the 1994 recording, The Sanctuary Sessions, recorded live in Cruise’s Bar, Ennis, Co. Clare. He now tours the world with Ireland’s cutting-edge traditional band, Lúnasa, called by some the “Bothy Band of the 21st Century,” with nine ground-breaking albums to their credit. A recent project is the Teetotallers, a supergroup trio that also features Martin Hayes and John Doyle. A virtuoso flute player, Kevin has also recorded several solo albums including The ‘D’ Flute Album, In Good Company, On Common Ground, Carrying the Tune, a duo recording with Lúnasa’s piper, Cillian Vallely, and a trio project with Dylan Foley & Patrick Doocey, The Drunken Gaugers.

Alasdair White | www.alasdairwhite.com

Alasdair White is an exceptional exponent of west coast Scottish music and is widely regarded as one of the foremost Scottish fiddler players of his generation. He was born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, a chain of islands of singular importance to Gaelic Scotland’s musical heritage and he’s perhaps best known as having been a member of Scotland’s seminal Battlefield Band for over 16 years, touring extensively in that time throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Now resident in New York, Alasdair has performed and recorded as a guest with many of the most renowned artists in Scottish, Irish and Breton traditional music. Current ongoing projects include Gaelic supergroup, Dàimh, Loud Weather, a duo with Mike Katz, and his own solo performances. His composition and recording work includes an original commission entitled An Iuchair, and a featured performance on the soundtrack of the award-winning Lewis-set movie, The Road Dance.

John Doyle is one of Ireland’s most talented and innovative musicians. Originally from Dublin, and now a longtime resident of Asheville, John is an accomplished singer and songwriter, multi-Grammy nominee, and an extraordinary master of the Irish guitar whose hard-driving style has influenced generations of players. A founding member of the acclaimed group Solas, his powerful guitar playing provided the signature rhythmic backbone for the band, and his sensitive and emotional fingerstyle playing and creative vocal harmonies can be heard on four of Solas’ recordings as well as dozens of other recordings. John regularly performs solo, and has also toured the world with such artists as Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Linda Thompson, Jerry Douglas, The Alt, Usher’s Island, Liz Carroll, Eileen Ivers, Tim O’Brien, Michael McGoldrick & John McCusker, Alison Brown, Mick Moloney, Kate Rusby and a host of other world-class performers. John has been featured on over 100 recordings of traditional and contemporary Irish, folk and Americana music, and is a great lover of traditional song, and an encouraging and enthusiastic teacher. We’re pleased to welcome one of our Master Music Makers back for his sixteenth Gathering.

Nuala Kennedy | www.nualakennedy.com

Nuala is known for her creative reworking and reimagining of traditional songs and for her unique Irish flute style, formed in Dundalk, Co. Louth and honed in her long-time adopted home of Edinburgh, Scotland. With four solo albums to her credit, and a new record Shorelines in shops this year, Nuala is a musical adventurer who is known world-wide as a superlative performer of traditional music. She has graced the cover of Irish Music magazine, Sing Out! and regularly appears on the mainstage at festivals around the world. Her roots are first and foremost in Irish music, but she’s “something of a genre bender” according to Living Tradition magazine. Nuala performs with Oirialla, playing music from her native area alongside fiddler Gerry O’ Connor, and with The Alt ( John Doyle and Eamon O’Leary) whose second album Day is Come was released last year on Under the Arch Records.

Andrew Finn Magill | www.andrewfinnmagill.com

Andrew Finn Magill grew up attending the Swannanoa Gathering where he became proficient in bluegrass, old-time, Irish, and swing. He has toured the world playing these genres with such artists as John Doyle and Rising Appalachia. He is a sought-after traditional Irish musician, with BBC Musician of the Year Martin Hayes calling Finn “a leading fiddler in a new generation of musicians.” Finn has received acclaim from some of the foremost jazz violinists on the planet as well, including Snarky Puppy’s Zach Brock, who says Magill displays “effortless virtuosity” and Berklee College’s Matt Glaser who calls him “an extraordinary violin virtuoso.” Finn serves as the Coordinator of our Fiddle Week. He tours the country with his original music project fusing Irish, Brazilian, and Jazz styles in a jazz quartet, and is represented by the prestigious Marsalis Mansion Artists agency. 

Kathleen Conneely

Born in Bedford, England, to Irish parents from Galway and Longford, Kathleen began playing Irish music at age twelve, along with her siblings, Bernadette, Michael & Pauline. She took lessons from Co. Clare musician, Brendan Mulkere, a well- regarded teacher in and around London. Her father Michael is a fiddle, accordion, and tin whistle player from Errislannan, Co. Galway, and the Conneely home was always filled with music from records and live sessions with many visiting musicians. Over the years, Kathleen has lived in London, Dublin, Chicago, Rhode Island & Boston, where there was always a lively traditional Irish music scene, which has helped to sustain her passion for the music. She has taught for Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann both in Dublin and Boston, at the Boston College Irish Studies program; Gaelic Roots, the Catskills Irish Arts Week, the Swannanoa Gathering and at various Trad Festivals throughout the U.S. In 2012, she released her first solo CD, The Coming of Spring, and in 2022 released a new CD, All Jokes Aside, collaborating with fellow musicians and friends Sean Clohessy and John Coyne in Boston.

Jenna Moynihan | www.jennamoynihan.com

Jenna Moynihan is regarded as one of the best of the new generation of freestyle fiddlers. Versatile and inventive, her fiddling style draws strongly from the Scottish tradition, but is also influenced by American, Irish, and Swedish styles. Jenna has performed and taught around the world, including performances at Celtic Connections, Celtic Colours, Scots Fiddle Festival, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn and Festival Interceltique, and has toured with The Milk Carton Kids, Old Blind Dogs and Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards. She has performed as a soloist with The Boston Pops, and appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and CBS Sunday Morning. Jenna is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, where she received the Fletcher Bright Award & The American Roots Music Scholarship, both given annually to one outstanding string-player. She released her debut solo album, Woven in 2015 and currently performs in a duo with harpist Màiri Chaimbeul. Jenna is also a dedicated teacher and teaches at various camps and courses throughout the year.

Liz Carroll | www.lizcarroll.com

Since she was 18, when she astounded the Celtic music world by winning the Senior All-Ireland Fiddle Championship, Liz Carroll has been amazing audiences around the globe. She has been called a “virtuoso” (The Irish Times), a “celebrated torchbearer” (Lexington Herald-Leader), and a “master of Irish traditional music” (NPR’s The Thistle & Shamrock). She is a NEA National Heritage Fellow, a 2009 Grammy nominee (“Best Traditional World Album,” Double Play with John Doyle), one of our Master Music Makers, and the first American-born recipient of the TG4 Gradam Cheoil for Cumadoir/Composer – Ireland’s most significant music prize. Liz’s recordings are, in the majority, her own compositions, and they have given her a stature equal to that of her playing. She is celebrated for invigorating the traditional styles of Irish music, and her compositions have entered the repertoire of Irish and Celtic performers throughout the world. Highlights from 2022 included composing music for the Who Do We Say We Are? project for Trinity College’s Long Room and Notre Dame’s Snite Museum; composing music and appearing alongside forty young fiddlers from Ireland and Scotland for the opening night of the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Mullingar; and dressing up, in April, for her induction into the Irish-American Hall of Fame. She continues to talk about composition through her Patreon site, and is working with Liz Knowles on a series of podcasts called, The Lizzes, also on Patreon. Finally, Liz is over the moon excited to return to the Swannanoa Gathering!

Máirtín de Cógáin | www.mairtinmusic.com

Máirtín de Cógáin is a singing, dancing, tale-spinning bodhrán player, playwright and actor descended from a long line of storytellers with two All-Ireland titles for Storytelling under his belt. Máirtín grew up in Carrigaline, Co. Cork, where house parties were frequent, and everyone had to have their ‘party piece’ to perform. His father Barry taught him nearly all he knows, along with great yarnspinners like Éamon Kelly, Pat ‘the Hat’ Speith, Bob Jennings, Éamonn de Barra and many more. Máirtín is also a true promoter of the Ballad and learned from many famous Irish singers such as Danni Maichi Ua Súilleabháin, Séamus Mac Mathúna, and Ciarán Dwyer. A fluent speaker of Irish (Gaelic), he grew up in a bilingual home and later earned a degree in the Irish language from University College Cork. Máirtín has taught the art of storytelling at many festivals and camps, including the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Augusta’s Irish Week, Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival as well as major US festivals including the Kansas City Irish Fest, Milwaukee Irish Fest, CelticFest Mississippi, Minnesota Irish Fair, and La Crosse IrishFest. Máirtín is delighted to be back at the Gathering and looking forward to exploring deeper into the tradition

Mari Black | www.mariblack.com

Called “One of the brightest fiddlers around today” by WGBH radio’s A Celtic Sojourn host Brian O’Donovan, multistyle violinist Mari Black has delighted audiences around the world with her energetic playing, sparkling stage presence, and dazzlingly virtuosic fiddling. Mari made her entrance onto the international stage when she became the Glenfiddich Fiddle Champion of Scotland, a two-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, and a two-time Canadian Maritime Fiddle champion, all within a three-year period. She’s performed at Celtic festivals, Highland Games, celebrated folk venues, world music concert series, and acclaimed classical concert venues including Carnegie Hall. She’s performed in Brazil, Scotland, Canada, China, Korea, Zimbabwe, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy and France, and works as a teacher, performance coach, dancer, competition judge and musical ambassador dedicated to connecting people through music. Mari has taught workshops at the Acadia Trad School, the Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling, the Mark O’Connor fiddle camp, the Tanglewood Festival, the Yale School of Music, and more. Her compositions have won several awards, including a Gold Medal from the MASC International Songwriting Competition.

Grainne Hambly | www.grainne.harp.net

Gráinne Hambly comes from Co. Mayo in the west of Ireland. She started to play Irish music on the tinwhistle at an early age, before moving on to the concertina and later the harp. She lived in Belfast for six years, where she completed a Master’s Degree in Musicology at Queen’s University. Her main research topic concerned folk music collections and the harp in 18th-century Ireland. In 1994, she was awarded first prize in the senior All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil competitions for harp and concertina. As well as being an established performer touring extensively throughout Europe and North America, she is also a qualified teacher of traditional Irish music and is in great demand at summer schools and festivals both in Ireland and abroad. Gráinne was awarded the T.T.C.T. (a certificate for teaching traditional Irish music at advanced level, credited by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and the Irish Department of Education), and has also received her Graduate Diploma in Education (Music) from the University of Limerick. She has released three widely-acclaimed solo harp CDs and a collaborative CD with Billy Jackson, as well as appearing on a number of other recordings.

Born in London, in his youth John was blessed to play with some great names of an older generation of players, such as Lucy Farr, Brian Rooney and Bobby Casey, to name but a few. After winning three All-Ireland button accordion competitions, he recorded his first LP, The Pride of Wexford, at the age of fourteen and an EP with Christine Considine, produced by the legendary Finbarr Dwyer. He made several appearances on RTE and British television before moving to the US in 1980 where he teamed up with Eileen Ivers, culminating in the recording, Fresh Takes with Mark Simos on guitar. In 1996, he signed with Narada Records and wrote, recorded and produced seven CDs, bringing him into the Top Ten on the Billboard World Music charts with sales in excess of one million. John has taught no less than four All-Ireland Button Accordion Champions, two of whom became professional players. Teaching has always been a passion for John and is not limited to just button accordion: he also taught the great Karen Tweed, five-time All-Ireland Piano Accordion Champion. John has also appeared on the Conan O’Brien Show and in two films, Ride with the Devil, directed by Ang Lee and Gods & Generals, directed by Ron Maxwell. He recently formed a new band called Gailfean, featuring lifelong friend Brian Conway, with Máirtín de Cógáin and Don Penzien.

Cathie Ryan | www.cathieryan.com

Cathie Ryan has devoted her life to singing Irish songs. Her 45-year career is distinguished by an unerring taste in song, critically acclaimed songwriting, and a history of excellence in recording and performance. She has released numerous CDs, is featured on myriad compilations of Celtic music, and tours internationally with her band headlining at performing arts centers, festivals, and with symphony orchestras. Born in Detroit to Irish parents from Kerry and Tipperary, she grew up in a home steeped in song and storytelling and continues to research the myths and excavate the old songs. Cathie has taught workshops on Irish traditional singing and myth & folklore throughout North America and Europe, including several years at the Gathering. She makes her home in County Louth, Ireland. 

Cillian Vallely | www.cillianvallely.com

At age seven, Cillian Vallely began learning the whistle and pipes from his parents, Brian and Eithne at the Armagh Pipers Club, a group that has fostered the revival of traditional music in the north of Ireland for over four decades. Since leaving college, he has played professionally and toured all over North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He appears on over sixty albums including guest spots with Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Merchant and Alan Simon’s Excalibur project with Fairport Convention and the Moody Blues. He has also performed and toured with Riverdance, Tim O’Brien, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Whirligig, and the Celtic Jazz Collective. Since 1999, he has been a member of Lúnasa, one of the world’s premier Irish bands, with whom he has recorded nine albums and played at many major festivals and venues including WOMAD, Glastonbury, Edmonton Folk Festival, Carnegie Hall and The Hollywood Bowl.

Will MacMorran | www.willmacmorran.com

Will MacMorran is a multi-talented musician, audio engineer, and educator based in Johnson City, TN. Will has had the honor of touring with The Chieftains as their guitar player for the past few years and has spent 15 years touring nationally and internationally with well-known artists in the Celtic, pop, and country genres. Will started piping at a young age and quickly added the guitar, whistles, accordion, and bouzouki, among other instruments, to his skillset. In addition to touring, Will currently teaches in East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies Program and is the Department Head of Entertainment Technology at Northeast State Community College.

Billy Jackson | www.wjharp.com

Billy Jackson was a founding member of the influential folk group Ossian in 1976, a band whose outstanding recordings remain a benchmark for Scottish music, and a member of the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. Acclaimed for his musicality on the Celtic harp, he is also a renowned composer whose work is inspired by the history and landscape of Scotland. In 1999, his song, “Land of Light” was selected as the winner of The Glasgow Herald’s year-long “Song For Scotland” competition, coinciding with the restoration of the Scottish Parliament, to select a “new anthem for a new era in Scotland.” As a solo performer, he has toured extensively throughout Europe and North America, and has taught harp at many international festivals. Billy is also a trained music therapist, and in 2004, he received our Master Music Maker Award for lifetime achievement. Billy has performed with, and composed for, a variety of orchestras including The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Asheville Symphony and Cape Cod Symphony. Billy headed the music therapy program at Mission Hospital in Asheville for 10 years, and he now works part-time in music therapy in Sligo, Ireland.

Martin Howley

Martin Howley has been at the forefront of Irish mandolin and banjo for over a decade. He is a seven-time All-Ireland Champion on mandolin and banjo and was the first Irish banjo and mandolinist to play at the hallowed Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. Martin is a founding member of We Banjo 3, one of the biggest bands to come out of Ireland in the last two decades, with two Billboard World No.1 albums and a Billboard Bluegrass No.1 record, as well as recognition as RTE’s “Folk Album of the Year”. We Banjo 3 were architects of a genre fusing Irish with Americana and bluegrass, having headlined many of the major Irish, bluegrass and folk festivals across the US with tours as far afield as Colombia and Japan. Martin is the mandolin and guitar soloist on the first national tour of Broadway’s Tony Award-winning Come From Away, playing in some of North America’s most prestigious venues including the Kennedy Center in DC, Boston Opera House, & Place Des Arts, Montreal. He is leading the vanguard of Irish mandolin, bringing the instrument to new levels of virtuosity and innovation, and introducing Irish banjo and mandolin to new audiences throughout the world. He has performed with The Chieftains, Bela Fleck, Ricky Skaggs, Eileen Ivers, Sharon Shannon, Carlos Nunez, Steve Earle, Altan and Mumford & Sons among others.

Dave Curley is one of Ireland’s leading multi-instrumentalists, vocalists and a champion step dancer. Hailing from Co. Galway on the west coast of Ireland, Curley has worked with the award-winning traditional group, Slide, for the past ten years and also spent five successful years with award-winning American Roots band, Runa. More recently, Curley has joined forces with musically diverse multi-instrumentalist Andrew Finn Magill, and is also a creative member of Crannua, featuring Moya Brennan, John Doyle, Ashley Davis, Mick McCauley and Eamonn & Cormac DeBarra. Curley has a BA in Irish Music and Dance from the University of Limerick, four years teaching experience at The Music Academy, State College PA, and has taught at O’Flaherty’s Retreat in Texas, the Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music, and has presented many music workshops at colleges, festivals and music schools around the US with Slide, Runa and Sligo fiddler, Manus McGuire.

From the folk clubs of Scotland in the 1960s and 70s to the festivals, coffeehouses and music camps of America, Ed Miller has steadily established himself as one of the finest Scottish singers of both contemporary and traditional songs. He has been a regular staff member of Swannanoa’s Celtic Week for three decades, where his love and knowledge of Scots song, paired with a droll sense of humor, made him an excellent and popular teacher. Originally from Edinburgh, Ed has been based in Austin, TX for many years, where he received a PhD in Folklore from the University of Texas, but over the past 35 years he has gradually moved from academia to full-time performing. He hosts Across the Pond on SunRadio in Austin (KDRP.org), leads folk music tours to Scotland each summer, and has released ten CDs of traditional and contemporary Scottish song, including his most recent, Follow the Music.

John Skelton

London-born flute and whistle player John Skelton is probably best known to American audiences from his work with The House Band, with whom he recorded eight albums on the Green Linnet label. He has also released a solo album, One At a Time, and Double Barrelled, a highly regarded album of flute duets with Kieran O’Hare, as well as a series of tune collection books, imaginatively titled A Few Tunes, A Few More Tunes, Yet More Tunes and Some Breton Tunes. John has performed at most of the major folk festivals in North America, Europe and Australia. He is an experienced teacher, and has taught at summer schools in the United States, Europe and Africa, and nineteen previous years at the Gathering. In addition to his background in Irish music, John is also well-schooled in the music of Brittany. He visits there regularly, and is a highly-regarded player of the Breton bombarde, a double-reed folk shawm. NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock described him as “the finest bombarde player outside of Brittany.” He also plays the ‘Piston’ (Low Bombarde), the ‘Veuze’ (the bagpipe of eastern Brittany) and the ‘Gaita Gallega’ (Galician pipes). In 2014, John and Kieran O’Hare recorded the CD, Two Tone, a follow-up to Double-Barrelled. John serves as the Celtic Week Host.

Eamon O’Leary

Originally from Dublin, Eamon has lived in New York City for the last twenty years. He has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, performing and recording with many of Irish music’s great players. In addition to his performance schedule, Eamon has taught at numerous music programs including the Augusta Heritage Center, the Catskills Irish Arts Week, the Alaska Irish Music Camp and many years at the Gathering. In 2004, he and Patrick Ourceau released a live recording, Live at Mona’s, documenting their many years hosting a session on New York’s Lower East Side, and in 2012, Eamon released a recording of traditional songs, The Murphy Beds, with Jefferson Hamer, described by the Huffington Post as “ten beautiful, crystalline songs.” He has also teamed up with old friends John Doyle and Nuala Kennedy to form The Alt. Their self-titled debut album was released in November 2014.

Anna Colliton |

Anna Colliton’s distinctively buoyant and imaginative playing has made her one of the leading exponents of the bodhrán, the traditional Irish frame drum. Anna has appeared with Cherish the Ladies, Eileen Ivers, Comas and the Paul McKenna Band among others, worked as a dedicated sub for the Broadway hit musical, Come From Away, and completed a three-year residency at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. She has performed and taught at dozens of festivals across the country, including Catskills Irish Arts Week, The Swannanoa Gathering Celtic Week, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, The O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat, The St. Louis Tionol, CCE MAD Week, Tune Junkie Weekend, and Augusta Celtic Week. As a teacher dedicated to advancing the tradition of bodhrán playing, Anna inspires students of all levels to incorporate both ‘the old’ and ‘the new’ into their playing, emphasizing the importance of personal style in traditional music.

Robin Bullock | www.robinbullock.com

Ranked among the “100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists” by DigitalDreamDoor.com, Robin Bullock has been hailed as “one of the best folk instrumentalists in the business” by Sing Out! magazine, “breathtaking” by Guitar Player magazine and a “Celtic guitar god” by Baltimore City Paper. His honors include Editor’s Pick and Player’s Choice Awards from Acoustic Guitar magazine, the Association for Independent Music’s prestigious INDIE Award (with the world-music trio Helicon), multiple Washington Area Music Association WAMMIE Awards, a Governor’s Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, a bronze medal at the National Mandolin Championships in Winfield, KS and the Gathering’s Master Music Maker Award. Robin maintains a busy international touring schedule, performing solo, with Guitar Week colleague Steve Baughman, and with four-time National Scottish Harp Champion Sue Richards. He’s also played several hundred concerts as a sideman with Grammy Award-winning folk legend Tom Paxton, including four “Together At Last” tours with Tom’s fellow Grammy-winner Janis Ian. Robin’s discography of nearly two dozen solo, collaborative and group CDs includes the first volume of the Bach Cello Suites on solo mandolin; The Carolan Collection, a compilation of the legendary Irish bard’s compositions, sales of which benefit North Carolina animal rescue organizations; and most recently, Helicon and Friends Live at the Winter Solstice Concert. An experienced and articulate instructor, Robin has taught workshops all over North America and now teaches guitar and mandolin anywhere in the world via Zoom and Skype. Now a proud resident of nearby Black Mountain, Robin has been a staff instructor at every Swannanoa Gathering since 1996.

Kiana June Weber | www.kianajune.com

Kiana June combines her classical training with her love for American and Irish folk music. Kiana graduated with a BM in violin performance from University of Michigan SMTD, and gave the commencement speech to her graduating class. At only 19, she was scouted by the violin troupe Barrage and toured internationally for three years. In 2012 she made a splash as the fiddler player in one of Celtic music’s most popular bands, Gaelic Storm, with whom she recorded 4 Billboard World No.1 albums. In 2017, she left the band to pursue her own career and toured as a special guest with Grammy award-winning artist, Carlos Nunez. In 2018, she was the fiddle player for the first national tour of Broadway’s hit, Come From Away. Kiana is an educator par excellence, with a unique pedagogic philosophy that yields measurable success in all learning styles. She founded her own company to further contemporary violin education. American-born and living in the west of Ireland, Kiana tours internationally much of the year and enjoys openly sharing her experience.

Siobhan Butler | www.siobhanbutler.com

Siobhan is an acclaimed performer and teacher of Irish traditional dances. She has collaborated and performed with leading artists including Kevin Burke, Nuala Kennedy, Nic Gareiss, Cherish the Ladies, Tony Demarco, Kieran Jordan, and Sandy Silva, along with a European tour with the renowned dance show, Rhythm of the Dance. Inspired by the rich history of set dance battering from County Clare, Siobhan’s dancing is at once musical and rooted in tradition. She is informed by over 20 years of study and ethnographic research and her expertise in Irish dance styles can be seen through her in-demand workshops, demonstrations, and lectures. In 2022, Siobhan launched her new online education platform for Irish dance: Bánóg Irish Dance. She is a graduate of Goddard College and the University of Limerick, where she received a BA in Anthropology and MA in Ethnochoreology respectively.

Jim Magill | www.magillarts.com

The Coordinator of Celtic Week is an award-winning songwriter and instrumentalist and the founding Director of the Swannanoa Gathering Folk Arts Workshops at Warren Wilson College. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and also acts as Coordinator for our Contemporary Folk and Mando & Banjo Weeks. He directed the Celtic Series of Mainstage Concerts at Asheville’s Diana Wortham Theatre for more than twenty years, and was awarded the first Fellowship in Songwriting and Composition from the North Carolina Arts Council. He performs solo on guitar, mandolin and vocals, and with his wife Beth (flute) and son Andrew Finn (fiddle) as the Celtic trio, The Magills. With numerous album and performance credits, including performances with Emmy Lou Harris and Tom Paxton, Jim’s original songs have been covered by such artists as Mike Cross, The Smith Sisters, Cucanandy and the Shaw Brothers, and have been featured numerous times on NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock. In the world of graphic arts, his cover designs for the Gathering’s catalogs have won fifteen design awards; he’s twice been a finalist for Photoshop World’s Guru Awards; and he has served as a consultant on website design for several luthiers.