The National Celtic Festival

The National Celtic Festival

Check out the National Celtic Festival

First Announcements

First Announcements

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The first international headliners to be announced this year are Welsh five-piece Calan, Irish/US combo Kevin Crawford (flute), Patrick Doocey (guitar) and Colin Farrell (fiddle), and Scottish singer-songwriter Paul McKenna. Out from Ireland is traditional musician and teacher Dáire Mulher, and Scottish Gaelic arts school Feis Rois will also feature.

Those representing the local celtic circuit include folk storytelling icon Eric Bogle, and much loved all-Australian ensemble The Bushwackers. Melbourne’s Gavin siblings, An Gabhain will also play, alongside acoustic duo Anna & Jordan, Brisbane based the Barleyshakers, the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, and Australian Idol star Damien Leith – who returns to the festival for his second year in a row!

The National Celtic Festival is not limited to just music, with countless dance, theatre, comedy, literature and instrumental workshops included in the diverse range of activities on offer. Community arts project Lantunda will be one of two national theatre groups performing at the festival, bringing together a mix of shadow puppetry, stories and music focused on themes of place, belonging and Gaelic traditions in Australia.

Calan (Wales)

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Calan bring together the remarkable talents of 5 young musicians giving a fresh and vibrant sound to traditional Welsh music. With a contemporary and lively approach they breathe new life into the old traditions through their sparkling melodies, foot tapping tunes and spirited and energetic performances of Welsh step dancing.

They blast their way through some of the old favourite reels, jigs and hornpipes with fast paced and uplifting arrangements before melting into some of the most beautiful and haunting songs.

Following the release of their debut album, ‘Bling’ in 2008, which attracted four star responses from the critics, the five-piece have been playing to big audiences and rave reviews at concerts and festivals around Britain and Europe, including the coveted Cambridge Festival, Celtic Connections, Glasgow, Shrewsbury Folk Festival; Moseley Folk Festival; Derby Folk Festival; Bromyard Folk Festival, Whitby Folk Festival, a concert tour of Italy, Austria and Belgium along with a number of performances at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Brittany, where they’ve received the award for the best group.

The group, who’ve raised some eyebrows with a deliberate policy of eye-catching clothes and presentation, despite the ancient roots of their music, see themselves as a new generation of ambassadors, striving to take their new sound to new audiences, while raising the profile of Welsh traditional music on an international level.

With their unique instrumental blend of accordion, fiddle, guitar, Welsh pipes, Welsh harp and the percussive sound of the Welsh clogs, Calan have certainly found their musical niche and their plan is to continue to delight audiences far and wide!

http://www.calan-band.com/

 

Kevin Crawford, Patrick Doocey and Colin Farrell (Ireland / US)

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Kevin Crawford – Flute

A virtuoso flute player, Kevin Crawford’s life has been one long journey into Irish music. He was a founding member of Moving Cloud, the Clare-based band who recorded such critically-acclaimed albums as Moving Cloud and Foxglove. He now tours the world with Ireland’s cutting-edge traditional band, Lúnasa.

 

Patrick Doocey – Guitar

An All-Ireland winning multi-instrumentalist, Patrick is quickly becoming one of the most in demand accompanists on the Irish music scene today. Predominately self taught on guitar, Patrick’s exciting style on both nylon and steel string guitar combines influences from many genres. His talents have brought him all over Europe, Asia, America and Africa.  His musical journey so far has seen him perform with artists such as Sharon Shannon, Liz Carroll, Lunasa, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Teada, Buille, Cathal Hayden, Karan Casey, Sean Keane.

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Colin Farrell – Fiddle

Colin Farrell has made a name for himself performing and recording with an array of great musicians in Europe and the US, including such performers and groups as Flook, Grada, John Doyle, Tim O’Brien, Lúnasa, Karen Casey, the Elders, Project West, the Michael McGoldrick Band. Colin is also a composer whose tunes have been played and recorded by numerous bands and musicians.

Dáire Mulhern (Ireland)

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Dáire Mulhern hails from the west of Ireland, the home of traditional music. Having toured extensively, Dáire is also a dedicated teacher of traditional button-accordion music and a skilled composer. The award winning musician will now bring his spirited accordion music to Australian audiences.

Paul McKenna (Scotland)

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“Paul McKenna is a gifted song writer” Folk Radio UK

“Paul’s vehement vocal is strikingly distinctive and intense” fRoots Magazine

“Highly expressive and readily identifiable voice..McKenna delivers perfectly” Folk Words

Front man for the Paul McKenna Band, Paul is touring solo with his contemporary approach to songs, showcasing fresh and innovative arrangements while not straying too far from his Scottish roots.

The Paul McKenna Band have gone from strength to strength touring extensively throughout USA, Canada and Europe. The exciting sound of The Paul McKenna Band is created through Paul’s outstanding vocals and driving guitar, combined with intense fiddle playing, a warm pairing of flute and whistles and dynamic bodhrán and percussion.

http://www.paulmckennaband.com/

Anna & Jordan

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Anna & Jordan weave gentle acoustic sounds together with incredible songwriting and technical talent to produce a truly hypnotising performance.

Barleyshakes

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Brewed in Ireland and distilled in Australia, the Barleyshakes are perhaps the only Irish band in Australia today who truly combine the old with the new. Their Celtic world music style combines intense energy, beautiful harmony and driving dance rhythms. Known throughout Australia and beyond for their “bent” Irish sound, they are winners of the Queensland Music Award for World Music.

www.barleyshakes.com

The Bushwackers

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The Bushwackers, now in their 45thyear, have created 24 Studio albums and won three prestigious Golden Guitar Awards. Well-known for their energetic live shows that have thousands of fans dancing in the aisles, they have performed at a number of celebrated festivals, including Tamworth Country Music Festival .

 The Bushwackers perform their exciting brand of Australian music featuring fiddles, guitars, bass and drums. The music is all-Australian, with all the stories, humour and sense of history that has helped to forge this nation.

Cathie’s Celtic Dance

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Cathie’s Celtic Dance is an energetic group of dancers from Albury-Wodonga and Beechworth. Cathie’s Celtic Dance has grown into a large group of performers of all ages that regularly perform throughout Victoria and New South Wales. The group performs to both traditional and modern music, incorporating both traditional and original choreography of soft shoe, hard shoe, ceili and group dances.

Cill-Airne

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From the timeless emerald fields of Ireland and the rugged windswept southern coast of Victoria come Cill-Airne.  Steeped in a tradition of session playing, Cill-Airne captures the irrepressible Celtic spirit of traditional dances and smokey sessions as lively jigs and driving reels flow around beautiful songs.  With tunes led by button accordion, bodhran and banjo, Irish bouzouki, mandolin guitar and fiddle, let Cill-Airne take you back to a peat fire long ago.