These artists appeared at Festival 2017
Séamus Begley Trio Ireland
Séamus Begley (Accordion & Vocals) is regarded as one of the finest Traditional Irish musicians and singers, having reshaped Irish traditional music over the last two decades. He has won Ireland's prestigious National Entertainment Award for Traditional Music for his acclaimed CD Meiteal (Working Together), recorded with Steve Cooney. His album with guitarist Jim Murray Ragairne was acclaimed Folk/Traditional Album of the Year by The Irish Times and Hot Press, the leading music magazine in Ireland.
His latest work, The Bold Kerry Man is an album of songs, produced by John Reynolds (who has worked with Damien Dempsey, Seun Kuti, Sinead O’Connor, Passenger, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Brian Eno and David Bryne)
Séamus is the quintessential Irish musician, an eager storyteller known for his sharp wit and famous for pumping out tunes. He plays with an energy that is alarming, bringing a frisky spontaneity to his box-playing, belting out jigs, slides and polkas with rapid sprays of reckless ornamentation before making a sudden key change into a bitter-sweet air, sung or played on the accordion. His style is unique, and he is the finest player of the dance music of West Kerry. "Begley seems to have successfully married all the wilderness of West Kerry with a sublime talent for the feather-light touch when required." He was awarded a TG 4 Gradam Cheoil Singer of the Year in 2013.
Dezi Donnelly (Fiddle) is a Manchester based fiddle player, is one of the founder members of the legendary band Toss the Feathers. He has collaborated with Sharon Shannon, Stockton's Wing, Jerry Douglas, Ali Bain, Phil Cunningham, Donal Lunny, James Taylor and flautist Michael McGoldrick.
"As an interpreter of traditional music, Dezi stands apart from others of his generation. Despite his young age, his playing bears all the hallmarks of someone who has grown naturally with the music." – Paddy Glackin – from the liner notes of Familiar Footsteps His critically-acclaimed album Welcome, was described as a unique musical experience, the album is a masterpiece of improvised brilliance.
Matt Griffin (Guitar) is a multi-instrumentalist based in Dingle, in the West Kerry Gaeltacht of South West Ireland. He is a rhythm powerhouse, using his guitar to drive and energise the momentum to its limits.
Born in London of Irish parents, Matt grew up playing and learning music within the capital’s vibrant traditional Irish music scene, teaming up with other young local musicians to form the group Mise.
In 2004 Matt relocated to Ireland where he began his studies in Irish traditional music at the University of Limerick. Since arriving in Ireland, Matt’s abilities as a guitar accompanist have been in great demand and he has recorded and performed with a variety of artists including Michael O'Suillleabhain and The Chieftains.