Celtic Week Staff – July 10-16, 2022

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 world-wide 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.

Jeremy Kittel | www.jeremykittel.com

Jeremy Kittel is a US National Scottish Fiddle Champion, violinist, composer, and producer. He received a Grammy nomination for “Best Instrumental Composition” in 2019 alongside prevalent composers such as John Williams and Terence Blanchard. Fluent in multiple musical genres, his original music draws from traditional roots, Celtic, jazz, classical, electronic music and more. He has composed and arranged for such artists as Abigail Washburn & Bela Fleck, Aoife O’Donovan, My Morning Jacket, Camera Obscura, Jars of Clay, Yo-Yo Ma, Laura Veirs, and the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet (of which he was a member for five years). He has recorded and performed with artists such as Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Mark O’Connor and Jon Batiste, and recently co-wrote Bull Frogs Croon, a new orchestral and chamber work featuring himself and Aoife O’Donovan as soloists. He has been a soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Britt Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony and more, and taught at such programs as Berklee College of Music, Belmont University, The New School, International Music Academy of Pilsen, Zurich University of the Arts, Mark O’Connor Strings Camps, the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School and many times at the Gathering. Kittel has a Master’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and received the 2010 Emerging Artist Award from his alma mater, the University of Michigan. He’s won six Detroit Music Awards, two ASTA Alternative Style awards and was the first recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin.

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 a generation 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 fifteenth 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, 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 this year on Under the Arch Records.

Andrew Finn Magill | www.andrewfinnmagill.com

Asheville native violinist/fiddler Andrew Finn Magill grew up studying traditional Irish music, old-time, bluegrass and swing every summer with the best fiddlers in the world at the Swannanoa Gathering. He is a Fulbright fellow, a North Carolina Arts Council Fellow, a South Arts Emerging Traditional Artist, a recipient of Patreon’s “What the Fund” award, an All-Ireland fiddle finalist and a Ropeadope Records recording artist. He has been featured on MTV-U, TEDx, and multiple times on NPR’s The Thistle & Shamrock. His 2016 recording, Roots (featuring Cillian Vallely of Lúnasa and John Doyle) debuted at number #46 on the Folk DJ charts, and he has performed with such artists as John Doyle, Flook, Rising Appalachia, Liz Carroll, Open the Door for Three, the Paul McKenna Band, Trio Brasileiro, and many others. He is part of several collaborations with whom he tours the country, including duos with Irish singer/multi-instrumentalist Dave Curley and Scottish guitarist/bouzouki-player Alan Murray, his own quartet of original music and various other projects as a side-man and featured soloist. Finn also tours the country as a guest lecturer at universities presenting his interactive performance/lecture “The Evolution of Irish and Scottish Fiddle Traditions in the Appalachian Mountains.”

Kathleen Conneely

Born in Bedford, England to a father from Errislannan, Co. Galway, and a mother from Newtown Forbes, Co. Longford, Kathleen first took lessons in her hometown at an early age from Clare musician Brendan Mulkere, a well-regarded teacher in and around London. She was also heavily influenced by her father, Michael, a well-known fiddle, accordion and tinwhistle player. The Conneely home was often filled with music from records, tapes and live sessions with many visiting musicians. In 1991, she appeared with her father, Mick Sr., brother, Mick Jr., fiddle and banjo player John Carty and flutist Roger Sherlock on RTE’s The Pure Drop. Kathleen has lived, played and taught music in several cities, incuding Birmingham, London, Dublin, Chicago and Boston. She has been privileged to have played with many great musicians over the years and has taught for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (parent organization of the All-Ireland Championships) in Dublin and Boston, at the Boston College Irish Studies Program, the Irish Arts Week in the Catskills. and many years at the Gathering.

Katie McNally | www.katiemcnally.com

Katie McNally grew up playing Scottish and Cape Breton music in Boston, Massachusetts. A member of the cross-genre fiddle supergroup, Childsplay, Katie has also toured with Karan Casey, John Whelan, Galician bagpiper Carlos Núñez, and performs regularly in her own projects, Fàrsan and the Katie McNally Trio. Her 2020 release, Now More Than Ever, was hailed as “Brisk and inventive…taking no prisoners” by The Scotsman. She has appeared at Celtic Colours, Celtic Connections, Newport Folk Festival, and The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, as well as countless folk venues throughout North America and Europe. In addition to her busy touring schedule, she is a devoted educator who teaches regularly at fiddle courses and gives private lessons at her home in Portland, ME.

Born in Manchester, England, into a very musical family to parents from Co.Galway and Co.Cavan, Colin started playing the fiddle and tin whistle from an early age and won numerous titles at the Fleadh Cheoil. Since then, he has made a name for himself performing and recording with an array of great musicians in Europe and the US, and is currently playing with the band Lúnasa. In 2005, Colin was awarded a Masters Degree in Music from Limerick University. Living in Florida since 2005, when not touring, Colin has been teaching at schools and various camps around the US and Europe. Colin’s solo debut, On The Move was named one of 2010’s 10 Best Albums by The Irish Echo, and his second album, Make A Note, released in 2015, was awarded Instrumental Album of the year by LiveIreland. His latest recording, Music and Mischief with Kevin Crawford and Patrick Doocey has just been released.

Dáithí Sproule | www.daithisproule.com

Dáithí Sproule is a native of Derry in the north of Ireland, a renowned traditional singer in both Irish and English, and one of the world’s premier guitarists in the Irish tradition. He pioneered the use of DADGAD tuning in the accompaniment of Irish music, a style now used around the world, and is a member of the seminal Irish bands Skara Brae (with Mícheál Ó Domhnaill and Maighread & Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill), Trian (with Liz Carroll and Billy McComiskey) and Altan, with whom he continues to tour and record. He has worked with many other greats, including Tommy Peoples, James Kelly, Paddy O’Brien, Randal Bays, Seamus and Manus McGuire, Peter Ostroushko, James Keane and bluesman Dave Ray. Dáithí has also taught Old Irish language, Celtic mythology and Irish music at several universities in Ireland and the U.S., and is the author of a volume of short stories in Irish and several academic articles on early Irish poetry and legend. He currently teaches at the Center for Irish Music in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

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 player from England. 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.

Cathy Jordan | www.cathyjordan.ie

Roscommon born Cathy Jordan has been a professional singer with traditional group Dervish for nearly 30 years. She is a self-taught guitar, bouzouki, bodhrán and bones player and has led Dervish as front woman through thousands of concerts in hundreds of cities in nearly 40 countries and has 16 albums under her belt.  Among the most notable performances were at The Great Wall of China and the biggest rock music festival in the world – ‘Rock in Rio’ to over 250,000 people.  As a songwriter, she has written songs with internationally-renowned Brendan Graham, best known for the most successful song of the twentieth century, “You Raise Me Up”. More recently she has been a teacher providing vocal training and exercises to students in Ireland and abroad, as well as expanding her students’ traditional song repertoire. In 2014, she took up the role of presenter of Fleadh TV with TG4. Cathy has been an ambassador for Irish culture and music for over a quarter of a century, and has a deep understanding of traditional Irish songs and singing and has collected hundreds of songs which otherwise may have been forgotten. Cathy and Dervish have been invited to accompany the President and Taoiseach of Ireland as cultural ambassadors to China, Latvia and Lithuania. Dervish’ most recent album, The Great Irish Songbook, was released last year on Rounder records and features duets with Vince Gill, Steve Earle, Imelda May, David Gray and more. Over the years Cathy has picked up many awards for her contribution to traditional Irish music including BBC’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2019, Sligo Cultural Ambassador 2018, Annie McNulty Award 2014 and The Freedom of The City of Sligo in 2015.

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 skill set. 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.

Dave Cory

Dave Cory has been playing Irish and American folk music on tenor banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, and other fretted instruments for over twenty years. Throughout years of learning, gigging and recording, Dave has contributed to numerous independent projects and releases, from pub sessions to theatrical soundscapes, and instructional camps to touring groups. After early classical guitar lessons, and chance hearings of the Chieftains and the Bothy Band, Dave started spending as much of summer as possible traveling to trad. music festivals and summer schools in Ireland each year, before moving to Boston and working with the wildly active music community there. Since then, Dave has recorded and gigged with The Magic Square, Eliot Grasso, Bridgetown, Lissa Schneckenburger and the McKassons, to name a few of many, and teaches regularly at his home in Oakland, CA.

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 10 years and also spent 5 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 more than two 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 30 years he has gradually moved from academia to full-time performing. He hosts a folk music show on SunRadio.com in Austin, 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 their highly regarded album of flute duets, 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 is one of America’s leading exponents of the bodhrán, the traditional Irish frame drum. A native of Chicago, a city of Irish musical excellence, Anna plays a highly intricate style of drumming with masterful tonal and rhythmic variation. She has taught and performed at festivals across the country, including Catskills Irish Arts Week, Swannanoa’s 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 well as with the Academy of Irish Music in Chicago and the Irish Arts Center in New York. She is a permanent member of the Tune Supply roster, and has played and performed with Cherish the Ladies, Comas, the Paul McKenna Band, Girsa, and others, and completed a three year residency at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where she performed daily at the International Showcase at Epcot Theme Park. Anna is a member of Boston-based traditional music quartet Ship in the Clouds, as well as The Bad Neighbors Rhythm Project, a rhythm-centric collaboration with percussive dancer Danielle Enblom.

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, his debut duo CD with harp champion Sue Richards, Highland Ramble. Robin co-hosts the monthly Carolina Celtic concert series in Black Mountain, NC, leads the annual Robinwood Guitar Retreat in Sharpsburg, MD, and teaches guitar and mandolin anywhere in the world via Skype. 2020 marks the twenty-fifth consecutive Swannanoa Gathering for Robin, now a proud resident of nearby Black Mountain.

Caitlin Warbelow | www.caitlinwarbelow.com

Originally from Fairbanks, Alaska, Caitlin Warbelow is a violinist and fiddler based in Manhattan. Currently the violinist/fiddler for the Tony-award winning Broadway musical Come From Away, Caitlin previously performed with Riverdance’s Heartbeat of Home as well as Sting’s Broadway musical, The Last Ship. She has toured with Cherish the Ladies, The Alt, Mick Moloney and the Green Fields of America, Michael Londra & Celtic Fire, Trinity Dance Company, and the Cathie Ryan Band, among many others. Along with her partner Chris Ranney, Caitlin is also the co-founder of Tune Supply, a pandemic-era online traditional music platform. Caitlin performs, records, and teaches extensively in a variety of traditional and popular Irish and American genres, and occasionally returns to her roots as a classical violinist. Caitlin holds honors from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, the National Suzuki Conference, the New England Fiddle Championship, and the Fleadh Cheoil, and she is on the faculty at Manhattan’s Irish Arts Center as well as the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and the Far North Fiddle Festival. Caitlin holds a Masters degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a Bachelors degree from Boston University in Violin Performance and Anthropology.

Janis Ian | www.janisian.com

Janis Ian keeps a sign above her workspace that guides her after more than five decades as a revered songwriter who dares to say what no one else w ill. “Do not be held hostage by your legacy.” When you’ve written, starting at age 14, some of pop music’s most evergreen songs – “Society’s Child,” “At Seventeen,” “Jesse,” and “Stars,” among them – it’s no wonder she’d need a reminder to shake free of expectations. Now, at 71, Ian is embracing a new milestone: the art of the farewell. Calling The Light at the End of the Line her “last solo studio album”, it bookends a kaleidoscopic catalog that began with her 1967 self-titled debut. Her first album of new material in 15 years, Light also sets the stage for her final North American tour in 2022. These 12 new songs present intimate portraits of getting older but wiser: (“I’m Still Standing”), knowing when to stand up and not take any more crap: (“Resist”), celebrating life’s fleeting beauty: (“Swannanoa”), paying homage to a lifelong influence and that artist’s own demons: (“Nina,” as in Simone). Ian is at her most primal as a vocalist here. Every note, every cadence, every beat is in the perfect place. If The Light at the End of the Line ends up being Ian’s swan song, it’s as graceful an exit as fans could want. She’s always cut through to the heart of things, striking a universal chord as timely then as it is today. We’re still having the same conversations around race and racism that she ignited in 1966’s “Society’s Child,” her teenage ode to a white woman who brings home a black boyfriend. And in the age of social media, 1975’s “At Seventeen” is more resonant than ever as a meditation on feeling isolated and ostracized. She has been a regular columnist for two national magazines, and ringleader of a lively online fan community. She’s dabbled in science-fiction short stories and for the past thirty-plus years devoted much of her time and effort to her philanthropic endeavors, the Pearl Foundation and the Better Times Project. If there has been any common thread, it’s this: Ian has always been down for the ride. “The journey has always been more interesting to me than wherever I end up,” she says, which brings us back to that sign above her desk. “The idea of not being held hostage by your legacy lets you move forward. You have to acknowledge them, but you don’t have to stay there. And I never have.”

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 also acts as Coordinator for our Contemporary Folk and Mando & Banjo Weeks. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was awarded the first Fellowship in Songwriting and Composition from the North Carolina Arts Council. He directed the Celtic Series of Mainstage Concerts at Asheville’s Diana Wortham Theatre for more than twenty years.  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 appearances 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 fourteen 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.