March 13 & 14
6pm Doors, 8pm Show
at City Winery Boston
Celebrating 30 years, no traditional Irish band has had a wider impact on audiences and music lovers throughout the world than Altan. They have moved audiences from Donegal to Tokyo to Seattle with their heartwarming, dynamic live performances and with their exquisitely produced, award-winning recordings that range from the most touching old Irish songs to hard-hitting reels and jigs. Throughout their career, Altan has shown unwavering commitment to bringing the beauty of traditional music to contempo- rary audiences, particularly that of the Donegal fiddlers and singers. On their upcoming new album, The Widening Gyre (2015 Compass Record), Altan explores and celebrates the musical connection between the traditional music of Ireland and the roots and bluegrass music from their across the pond cousin.
To experience this band is to experience the living legacy of Irish music. The seeds of Altan lie in the music and spontaneity of sessions in kitchens and pubs in their hometown of Donegal, where their music was heard in an atmosphere of respect and intimacy. It is here that the band’s heart still lies, whether they are performing on TV in Australia or jamming with Ricky Skaggs on the west coast of the United States. Founded by Gweedore singer and fiddler, Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh and her now deceased partner Frankie Kennedy, Altan’s commitment to good natured fun was second only to their commitment to excellence in all things musical. Thus, the band members gathered were inevitably top-notch. Altan has always been a band of virtuosos. The earliest addition was a bouzouki-player, Ciaran Curran, then US based Derry guitarist Daithi Sproule whom they met during their first tours of the US. Followed by Donegal fiddler, Ciaran Tourish, a player with a special love for the weaving of spontaneous harmony and coun- terpoint round the melodies of the other lead players. Ciaran’s nephew, Martin Tourish is the newest band member on accordion.
Altan’s international status and success found a very practical recognition when they were signed in 1996 to Virgin Records, the first Irish band of their kind to be signed by a major label. The band gained gold and platinum albums in Ireland and toured larger venues, literally throughout the world, with tours in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe as well as regular successful U.S. tours. In spite of a hectic touring and recording schedule, Altan continue fresh in their vision of bringing the beauty and joy of traditional music to audiences everywhere, and have always promised themselves to continue as long as it’s fun — fortunately, it still is!
More Info: altan.ie/