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Music Network Announces Young Musicwide Awardees

Galway trio, We Banjo 3 selected to participate in Music Network’s unique professional development award programme

“We Banjo 3 are terrific. There really isn’t a better way to say it. Wonderful musicianship of the first order. Best of all, they are different.”

Bill Margeson, Irish Music Writer

Music Network is delighted to announce We Banjo 3 as awardees of Young Musicwide 2011, a unique professional development programme designed to support musicians in the early stages of their performing career. We Banjo 3 from Galway features Enda Scahill, Martin Howley and David Howley playing tenor banjos, mandolins, tenor guitars, guitars, banjolin and vocals. Playing with swing and soul, We Banjo 3 effortlessly combines the best of Irish and Bluegrass banjo music, mining the rich vein of the American Old Time tradition and thoroughly reinventing the banjo band sound. Modern rhythms, traditional melodies, virtuosic technique and innovative arrangements of music and song add up to an incredible feast of banjo and mandolin music.

Enda Scahill has been at the forefront of Irish banjo playing for some time and is highly regarded for his technical wizardry and innovative style. His debut album ‘Pick It Up’ is one of the top rated and largest selling banjo albums on the market. In 2010 he recorded ‘Green Grass Blue Grass’, a collaboration between Brock McGuire Band and Ricky Skaggs, an album which has been recognised as one of the most important collaborative recordings in many years. His album ‘Humdinger’ with Paul Brock was awarded Traditional Album of the Year by the Irish Times. In 2008 Enda published his Irish Banjo Tutor book and CD to rave reviews. He has been a member of the Brock McGuire band for over ten years. They were recently voted Instrumental Band of the Decade by Irish American News.

Seven-time All-Ireland Banjo Champion Martin Howley is one of the young guns of Irish banjo. The first Irish banjo player to play at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Martin has developed a reputation as a musician with great musical taste and innovation. Now teaching young banjo players, Martin is passing his craft on to the next generation. Martin has toured with The Brock McGuire Band, been a member of folk band Siamsa na Gaillimhe and has performed at festivals across Europe and North America.

David Howley is Martin’s younger brother and is a hugely talented multi-instrumentalist and singer. Dave plays banjo, guitar and mandolin and effortlessly provides We Banjo 3 with its rhythm section. Dave is the band’s vocalist and sports a voice deep beyond his young years. David is also an accomplished music teacher. Both Martin and David are regular session and gig performers around the country in both the traditional and folk/roots genres.

Developed in 2001 by Music Network, Young Musicwide provides an incentive for highly talented young Irish musicians to pursue a professional career and gives promoters nationwide access to the very best in young Irish talent.  Auditions for a place on the programme took place in September and were open to outstanding ensembles with a proven interest in trad performance.  Six short-listed ensembles performed for a panel that included composer Neil Martin, musician Emer Mayock and Sharon Rollston, Acting CEO, Music Network. Previous recipients of the award include the Callino Quartet (2001); voice and piano duo Ailish Tynan and Deborah Kelleher (2002); clarinetist Carol McGonnell (2003); Organics jazz trio (2004); traditional Irish group Slide (2005), piano, cello and violin trio The Syrius Trio (2006) and harp, flute and viola trio, Triocca (2006), jazz quartet Trihornophone (2007), fiddle trio Fidil (2008), piano quartet Cappa Ensemble (2009) and jazz quintet Thought-Fox in 2010.

For further information/images, please contact: Louise Walsh, PR & Marketing Manager, Music Network:  (01) 671 9429 or

Permalink - Posted: October 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm