The Celtic Junction

Weaving the traditions of Dance, Music, Art & Language

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836 Prior Avenue
St. Paul, MN, 55104

MIM Master Artists' Concert, June 14

7:30pm. Tickets are $23 for Adults and $10 for Children. Tickets may be included in registration for the weekend, or purchased separately. Early bird pricing available.

Oisín Mac Diarmada, Catherine McEvoy, John McEvoy, John Blake, and Rita Gallagher!

Oisín Mac Diarmada - Fiddle

RITA GALLAGHER BW500Fiddle player Oisín Mac Diarmada has been described by The Irish Echo's Earle Hitchner as "one of the most gifted and creative traditional fiddlers playing today." He began playing fiddle at a young age in Co. Clare, subsequently moving to Co. Sligo where he took lessons from the notable fiddle teacher, Paddy Ryan, and developed a deep interest in the playing style of the North Connacht region. In 2001, he founded the traditional Irish group Téada, dubbed "one of the most exciting traditional groups to emerge in recent years,” (Irish World). Oisín has recorded a number of albums on the Gael Linn label with the group and has toured Europe, the U.S., Canada, as well as Australia, the Middle East, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, and Africa. In addition to his work with Téada, Oisín is a regular solo performer and instructor. In 2003, he released the acclaimed solo album Ar an bhFidil on Green Linnet. Oisín has toured frequently in recent years with noted singer/accordion-player Séamus Begley, with whom he released a duo album in March 2012. A follow-up duo recording entitled An Irish Christmas Soundscape was released in December 2012.

A graduate of Trinity College in Dublin with a degree in Music Education, Oisín was appointed Director of SCT, the Traditional Irish Music Examination System administered by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, in 2012. He is also the founder of Ceol Productions, a management, booking, and consultancy agency for traditional Irish artists.

Catherine McEvoy - Flute, Whistle

RITA GALLAGHER BW500Catherine McEvoy was born in Birmingham, England of Roscommon (Irish) parents. With such influences as Josie McDermott, Peg McGrath, Seamus Tansey and Patsy Hanley in her early years, she soon came to prominence as one of the groundbreaking female flute players of her generation. While in her teens, she toured extensively with the Birmingham Ceili Band.

Returning to Ireland in 1977, she became part of the traditional music scene in Dublin playing regularly in the “Four Seasons” pub in Capel Street with musicians such as John Kelly senior, John Jr. and many more. Catherine was also a member of the first all female traditional group Macalla, formed in 1983 with musicians as Mary McNamara, Mairead Ni Mhaoneagh, and Maura O’Keeffe. Catherine has recorded two solo albums, Music in the Sligo Roscommon style with legendary pianist Felix Dolan, now deceased, and The Home Ruler. She has recorded a duet album with her brother John, a well known and respected fiddle player, and a trio with CaoiminO’Raghallaigh and Micheal O’Raghallaigh. All these albums have been voted into the top 4 releases in their respective years by Earle Hitchner, Irish Echo.

Catherine is much in demand as a performer and teacher, and is a Senior Tutor at the Willie Clancy Summer school. She has also taught at the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Gaelic Roots in Boston College and in France, Germany and Spain. Catherine is also a visiting tutor at the University of Limerick where she teaches on the MA and BA courses. Her day job is teaching children with visual Impairment and special needs. She resides in Co. Meath with her husband Tom, also a flute player, and her children who are also fine musicians.

John McEvoy - Fiddle

RITA GALLAGHER BW500With his unique personal style and deep understanding of the tradition John McEvoy is regarded as one of Ireland's finest fiddle players. Born in Birmingham, UK, of Roscommon parentage, John didn't start playing the fiddle until his early 'teens' but almost immediately came under the 'spell' of the Sligo fiddle masters. Prominent in the Dublin music scene in the '80's he learnt much from Clare maestros John Kelly and Joe Ryan and went on to run the legendary 'Thursday Night Club' with fiddle-player John Kelly (Jr). He has toured extensively in Europe and the USA and has taught at numerous festivals and workshops, both in Ireland and abroad. A member of several well-known bands including Bakerswell and Providence he has collaborated with many outstanding musicians including, Sean Potts, renowned flute players Catherine McEvoy and John Wynne and many others. John has released a solo album, Irish Traditional Fiddle' which includes a number of his own compositions. He is also on the much acclaimed CD The Kilmore Fancy with his sister, flute-player Catherine McEvoy. Well-known in Irish traditional music circles as a stylish fiddle player, John’s recent collaborations create a lively and intoxicating sonic blend that pays tribute to Ireland’s northwest flute and fiddle tradition.

John Blake - Guitar, Piano, Flute

RITA GALLAGHER BW500John Blake is a sought-after traditional Irish flute player, guitarist, pianist, producer and sound engineer, who has made a name for himself as a great and versatile musician. Brought up in London, John was immersed in the vibrant Irish music scene there and was tutored by famed Clare fiddler and instructor Brendan Mulkere. John moved to Ireland in 1998 and developed a reputation as an accompanist of note, racking up numerous album credits.

John joined the traditional band Téada in 2001 and toured and recorded with them for three years. Leaving the road, he settled into a job in Na Píobairí Uilleann (The Pipers Club) in Dublin. In addition to the dozens of albums he appears on in a support role (The Kane Sisters, Angelina Carberry among many others), he has recorded several critically-acclaimed trio albums including, Traditional Irish Music From London in 2003 with Lamond Gillespie and Mick Leahy, followed by Humours of Highgate in 2008, and the 2003 release The Tap Room Trio with Harry Bradley and Jesse Smith. The Irish Times noted of John: “Blake is on intimate terms with an unseemly array of instruments, from flute to piano, saxaphone and guitar, but its with the latter instrument that he’s carved a reputation for subtle, incisive accompaniment in recent years.”

These days John is still appearing on many albums, and is to be found in his studio The Lions Den in Raheny, Dublin. John released his debut solo flute album The Narrow Edge in Dublin in December 2013.

Rita Gallagher - Song

RITA GALLAGHER BW500Rita Gallagher is from Ballymacahill, Frosses in County Donegal, and is noted as one of the finest traditional Irish singers. She is a three-time winner of the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann All-Ireland title for female singing in English and regularly participates in festivals, workshops, and singing events throughout the country. Rita has also toured throughout Britain, Canada and the U.S. with Comhaltas.

Rita comes from a family of wonderful singers, including both her parents and her siblings. Although she always sang, she only came to traditional singing in her early twenties. She credits the great traditional singer Paddy Tunney among her most significant influences. Rita’s recordings include The May Morning Dew, a collection of 20 traditional songs in English released in 2010, and her 14-song collection, Easter Snow, recorded in 1997. Bill Margeson of LiveIreland calls the album “a masterpiece from a master singer.” Her low, beautifully rich voice, eloquent ornamentation and restrained delivery make Rita a compelling and much admired singer.