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Paddy O’Brien & Nathan Gourley

21 November 2014
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Burlington Violin Shop

presented by Young Tradition Vermont and Vermont Violins

A product of County Offaly in the midlands of Ireland, Paddy O’Brien is regarded by serious players and collectors of Irish traditional music as one of the tradition’s most important repositories; in a musical career that spans more than fifty years, he has collected more than 4,000 compositions—jigs, reels, hornpipes, airs, and marches, including many rare and unusual tunes. Paddy’s mastery of the two-row button accordion was also acknowledged through many prestigious awards: he was named Oireachtas champion four times, and All-Ireland senior accordion champion in 1975. In Ireland, he played and recorded with the famed Castle Ceili Band and Ceoltoiri Laighean.

In 1978, Paddy began playing regularly in the United States, in Washington D.C., Saint Louis, Saint Paul, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and many places between. He has been featured on six recordings with Shanachie Records since 1978, and in 1988 released his first solo album, “Stranger at the Gate,” on the Green Linnet label. His second solo recording, “Mixing the Punch,” was released in 2011, and his work has been included on many live recordings and compilations of Irish traditional music.

Paddy has taught at the Swannanoa Gathering, the Goderich Celtic Week, and the Catskills Irish Arts Week, and at the prestigious Willie Clancy Summer School held in Milltown Malbay, County Clare, and has served several times as a master artist in the Minnesota State Arts Board Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program. He has played and toured with many wonderful musicians,including James Kelly, Martin Hayes, Susan McKeown, Tommy Peoples, Peter Ostroushko, and many others at concerts and festivals all around North America, Ireland, and Europe. In 2007 he was invited to play Irish traditional music for enthusiastic audiences in Moscow.

In 1994, Paddy embarked on what was to become a milestone project in Irish traditional music, to record and assemble background information on 500 jigs and reels from his vast repertoire of traditional tunes; the result of that effort, Volume One of The Paddy OBrien Tune Collection: A Personal Treasury of Irish Traditional Music, received accolades from players of Irish music around the world. In 2011, he released Volume Two of this ground-breaking work, featuring another 500 tunes, this time jigs and reels, but also hornpipes, slip jigs, and polkas. A third volume is now in progress.

Fiddler Nathan Gourley hails from Madison, Wisconsin, where he grew up in a musical family that often traveled to folk and fiddle festivals across the country. Now based in the Twin Cities, Nathan puts his passion for Irish music into practice as a member of The Máirtín de Cógáin Project, The Doon Ceili Band, and O’Rourke’s Feast. He can also be found at the MSP airport en route to many yearly excursions to Ireland, New York, Chicago and other hotbeds of traditional Irish music.  His high energy fiddle playing brings both sweetness and drive to the duo sound.

$15 suggested donation, reservations via e-mail mark.sustic(at)gmail.com