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Music Network Announces Spring Season 2015

Music Network today unveiled its Spring Season 2015 with an exceptional line-up of talented Irish and international musicians that will tour to twenty towns and villages across seventeen counties from January to May. The season spans an eclectic range of styles from Irish trad, Nordic jazz and solo piano like you’ve never heard it before, to the inspired pairing of classical mandolin with accordion, and rootsy Americana.

Describing what’s on offer, Music Network CEO Sharon Rollston explains, “We kick off Spring 2015 with Irish vocal legends Maura O’Connell and Karan Casey who share the spotlight in what promises to be a really special tour, aided and abetted by the singular talents of Ed Boyd on guitar and piano accordionist Martin Tourish. Early booking is highly recommended! February offers up a slice of Nordic noir as jazz trio Phronesis, one of the most exhilarating outfits on the European circuit, bring their intelligent and imaginative sound to the stage with its intricate bass lines, hypnotic grooves and spiralling piano patterns.”

She continues, “In March witness the musical phenomenon that is pianist Joanna MacGregor as she performs an eclectic and engaging programme from spine-tingling renditions of Bach via Piazzolla and Thelonious Monk, showcasing her innovative style and individuality. Simply unmissable. There’s more breath-taking virtuosity in store in April when Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital teams up with superstar accordionist Ksenija Sidorova, then the high-octane April Verch Band provides a foot-stomping finale in May with their infectious brand of North American roots music.”

Music Network’s mission is to make live music available and accessible to as many people as possible, giving Irish audiences the chance to experience the very best in international chamber, jazz and traditional music in venues throughout Ireland at affordable prices. Music Network tours are funded by the Arts Council and are presented in association with RTÉ lyric fm. Tickets for all regional concerts are available from individual venues around the country. Single tickets for Dublin range from €13 - €18. Tickets can be purchased by calling Music Network on (01) 475 0224 or booking online at

[Editors: please note that detailed touring dates and concert programmes follow.]

Music Network Presents
Maura O’Connell, voice
Karan Casey, voice
Martin Tourish, accordion/whistle
Ed Boyd, guitar

On Tour 14 – 25 January 2015

“Breathtakingly lovely… emotionally compelling” – The Washington Post on Maura O’Connell

“Casey’s voice is among the loveliest in folk music and she’s a wonderful interpreter of both contemporary and traditional material” – Boston Globe

Our Spring season opens with a truly mouth-watering prospect as the legendary vocalist Maura O’Connell, the “songwriter’s singer”, teams up with the peerless Karan Casey, backed by the virtuoso pairing of Lúnasa’s Ed Boyd on guitar and piano accordionist Martin Tourish of Altan fame.

Blending Irish and progressive American folk singing styles, O’Connell burst onto the trad scene in the 1980s as vocalist with Celtic super group De Danann. The Ennis songbird’s singing career has brought her international acclaim, two Grammy nominations and collaborations with everyone from Bonnie Raitt, Nanci Griffith and Dolly Parton to Alison Krauss, The Chieftains and Van Morrison.

Former lead singer with Solas and a highly-acclaimed solo artist, Casey is one of the most influential and innovative vocalists in Irish or American folk music, performing with such luminaries as James Taylor, Liam Clancy, Peggy Seeger, Mick Moloney, The Dubliners and Imelda May. Her gorgeous, soulful voice has featured on over 50 albums.

Martin Tourish is an accordionist from Co. Donegal whose reputation has grown rapidly since he was named ‘Young musician of the year’ by TG4 in 2008. He is a member of the band Altan, has performed with Carlos Nunez and been a guest soloist with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Ed Boyd is widely considered to be one of the finest acoustic guitarists on the European folk circuit. A founding member of BBC Folk Award-winning group ’Flook’, he is known for his technical brilliance, delicate ensemble playing and unique musical style.

On Tour:

• Wednesday 14 January: The Sugar Club, Dublin 2 (8pm, €18 / €13, 01 4750224 / Promoted by Music Network
• Thursday 15 January: Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray (8pm, €16 / €14, 01 2724030 /
• Friday 16 January: Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire (8pm, €20 / €18, 01 2312929 /
• Saturday 17 January: Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny (8pm, €12 / €10, 074 9120777 (An Grianán)/
• Sunday 18 January: glór, Ennis (8pm, €20 / €18 / €16, 065 6843103 /
• Tuesday 20 January: Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar (8pm, €16 / €14, 094 9023733 /
• Wednesday 21 January: Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo (8pm, €18 / €15, 071 9161518 /
• Thursday 22 January: Triskel Christchurch, Cork (8pm, €18 / €16, 021 4272022 /
• Friday 23 January: Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge (8pm, €15 / €12, 045 448327 /
• Saturday 24 January: Roscommon Arts Centre, Roscommon (8pm, €16 / €14, 0906 625824 /
• Sunday 25 January: Station House Theatre, Clifden (8pm, €15 / €12, Tickets on the door, 095 21699 (info only) - Promoted by Clifden Arts Society)

Music Network Presents
Phronesis (Denmark/UK/Sweden)

Jasper Høiby, double bass
Ivo Neame, piano
Anton Eger, drums

On Tour 4 – 9 February 2015

“One of the most exciting bands on the planet today” – Jazzwise

“Phronesis creates music from the heart and soul and makes the world just that little bit better” – All About Jazz

Hailed a few years back as “the most exciting and imaginative piano trio since EST”, Phronesis have more than lived up to the hype, evolving into one of the most exhilarating jazz trios in Europe and attracting rave reviews and a slew of awards along the way. Their explosive live performances packed with killer riffs and pulsing grooves, have captured the hearts and minds of audiences from Sydney to Monterey.

Phronesis is defined by the extraordinary empathy and interplay between the three musicians. At the heart of the band sits the big-toned bass of Dane Jasper Høiby, framed by the delicate lyricism of British pianist Ivo Neame and the serpentine polyrhythms of Swedish drummer Anton Eger. It’s a unique, uncompromising sound, using Høiby’s original compositions as a launch pad for collective conjuring where genre-bending and risk-taking is the norm.

On Tour:
• Wednesday 4 February: Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge (8pm, €15 / €12, 045 448327 /
• Thursday 5 February: Triskel Christchurch, Cork (8pm, €18 / €16, 021 4272022 /
• Friday 6 February: The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon (8:30pm, €15 / €12, 071 9650828 /
• Saturday 7 February: Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny (8pm, €12 / €10, 074 9120777 (An Grianán) /
• Sunday 8 February: Whelan’s, Dublin 2 (8pm, €18 / €13, 01 4750224 / Promoted by Music Network
• Monday 9 February: Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar (8pm, €16 / €14, 094 9023733 /

Music Network Presents
Joanna MacGregor (UK) solo piano
On Tour 19 – 28 March 2015

“Sublime…” – The Guardian

“One of contemporary music’s great individualists, a uniquely enlivening presence who slices her way through all the barriers she sees as false and limiting” – The Independent

Once dubbed “wild child of the piano world” due to her trademark dreadlocks and unique performance style, Joanna MacGregor is a force of nature. Since coming to prominence in the 1980s, she has built a formidable reputation as one of the world’s most innovative – and tireless – musicians. A renowned concert pianist lauded for her dazzling technique, irrepressible energy and musical intellect, she is also a highly-respected composer, curator, conductor and teacher.

Throughout her career, MacGregor has repeatedly broken the mould, thanks in part to a hugely diverse repertoire stretching from the Baroque canon to improvised jazz and North American avant-garde. A veteran of over thirty solo recordings, she has collaborated with an amazing array of artists, including Django Bates, Moses Molelekwa, Andy Sheppard, Brian Eno and Nitin Sawhney, as well as performing with such eminent conductors as Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle and Michael Tilson Thomas.

For this tour Joanna will perform a musical sketch of her life: from the Bach preludes and Gospel songs she played as a child, through to her first jazz love - Thelonious Monk – and her first ‘difficult’ composer – Charles Ives; from her travels across the Deep South of the United States, and first journeys in Latin America.

• J.S. Bach and Dmitri Shostakovich: Five Preludes and Fugues
(Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C major BWV 846 – Shostakovich, Prelude and Fugue in C major – Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C minor BWV 847 – Shostakovich, Prelude and Fugue in E flat major – Bach, Prelude and Fugue in E flat minor BWV 853 – Shostakovich, Prelude and Fugue in D flat major)
• Frédéric Chopin: Six Mazurkas
(Op 6 no 1 in F sharp minor; Op 17 no 2 in E minor; Op 59 no 2 in A flat major; Op 30 no 3 in D flat major; Op 17 no 4 in A minor; Op 50 no 3 in C sharp minor)
• A New Commission by Conor Linehan
• Lost Highways and American Journeys
(Charles Ives, The Alcotts – Thelonious Monk, Monk’s Point – Traditional, Deep River – Professor Longhair, Big Chief – Traditional, Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down)
• Astor Piazzolla: Four Tangos (arr. MacGregor)
(Tanguedia; Buenos Aires Hora Cero; Milonga del Angel; Libertango)

On Tour:
• Thursday 19 March: Cork School of Music, Cork (8pm, €22 / €16 / €10, Box office opens 45 mins before performance - Promoted by Cork Orchestral Society)
• Friday 20 March: venue TBC, Dublin (8pm, €18 / €13, 01 4750224 / Promoted by Music Network
• Sunday 22 March: The Model, Sligo (6pm, €20 / €10, 071 9161518 (Hawk’s Well Theatre) / Promoted by Con Brio
• Monday 23 March: Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar (8pm, €16 / €14, 094 9023733 /
• Wednesday 25 March: Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire (8pm, €18 / €16, 01 2312929 /
• Thursday 26 March: Georgian Large Room, City Hall, Waterford (8pm, €18 / €5, 051 874402 (Theatre Royal) / - Promoted by Waterford Music)
• Saturday 28 March: Tullynally Castle, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath (8pm, €20, 044 9666344 / - Promoted by Derravaragh Music Association)
Tour continues to Northern Ireland with
• Sunday 29 March: The MAC, Belfast
• Tuesday 31 March: Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre, Limavady
• Wednesday 1 April: Marketplace Theatre & Arts Centre, Armagh

Music Network Presents
Avi Avital and Ksenija Sidorova (Israel/Latvia)
Avi Avital, mandolin
Ksenija Sidorova, accordion

On Tour 22 – 27 April 2015

“Avi Avital’s programme of music for solo mandolin boldly bypasses the obvious with playing of sheer brilliance” – The Telegraph

“Dazzling flair…with light, shade, delicacy – and breath-taking virtuosity.” – The Observer on Sidorova

Legend has it that the humble mandolin was first used to serenade passengers on gondolas in Venice, so it’s only fitting that mandolinist Avi Avital has been captivating audiences across the globe with the sheer brilliance and lyrical subtlety of his playing. Recognised by The New York Times for his “exquisitely sensitive playing” and “stunning agility”, in 2010 Avital became the first mandolin player to receive a Grammy nomination in the category “Best Instrumental Soloist.”

His finesse, energy, and breath-taking virtuosity are matched by the star accordionist Ksenija Sidorova, who joins him for this very special Music Network tour. Like Avital, the young Latvian goes far beyond her instrument’s folk roots, whether stealing hearts with some smokily beguiling tangos, or transfixing audiences with her delicate but staggeringly precise transcriptions of Bach and Scarlatti.
With two such charismatic performers sharing the stage, prepare to be utterly seduced!

Béla Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances (Jocul cu Bâtă | Brâul | Pe Loc | Buciumeana | Poarga Românească | Mărunţel)
Manuel de Falla: 6 Canzoni Popolari Spagnole (El Paño Moruno | Asturiana | Jota | Nana | Canción | Polo)
J. S. Bach: Partita BWV 1004 in D minor / Ciaccona
Fritz Kreisler: Prelude and Allegro
Ian Wilson: Spilliaert’s Beach
Alfred Schnittke: Revis Fairytale (1. Chichikov’s Childhood 2. Officials 3. Waltz 4. Polka)
Astor Piazzolla: Histoire du Tango (Café 1930 | Night-club 1960)
Nikolai Budashkin: Concerto in A minor

On Tour:
• Wednesday 22 April: Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire (8pm, €16/€14, 01 2312929)
• Thursday 23 April: Georgian Large Room, City Hall, Waterford (8pm, €18 / €5, 051 874402 (Theatre Royal) / - Promoted by Waterford Music)
• Friday 24 April: The Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely (8:30pm, €16/€14, 0402 38529 /
• Saturday 25 April: Mullingar Arts Centre, Mullingar (8pm, €15/€12, 044 9347777 /
• Sunday 26 April: City Assembly House, 58 South William Street, Dublin 2 (8pm, €18 / €13, 01 4750224 / Promoted by Music Network
• Monday 27 April: Station House Theatre, Clifden (8pm, €12 / €10, 095 21699 Tickets on the door (info only) - Promoted by Clifden Arts Society)

Music Network Presents
The April Verch Band (Canada/USA)
April Verch (fiddle, vocals)
Hayes Griffin (guitar)
Cody Walters (bass, banjo)
On Tour 6 – 15 May 2015

“A transcendent level of musicianship where hard-earned technique can be safely abandoned” – Toronto Star

“Award-winning fiddler, step dancing expert, and vocalist April Verch brings new meaning to the word multi-tasking…” – Fiddler Magazine

The April Verch Band’s fondness for a killer dance tune leads it on a joyful journey through North American roots music, from bluegrass and old-time to western swing, and honours its myriad of influences including French, Irish and Scottish traditional musics.

Their legendary performances are a lesson in how to win fans for life: April is a world-class fiddler, a champion Ottawa Valley step dancer, an acclaimed composer, and a singer whose voice has been hailed as “absolutely captivating” by the Toronto Star. The band — rounded out by bassist and clawhammer banjo player Cody Walters and guitarist Hayes Griffin — is an energetic, skilful, tradition-celebrating outfit. They have established a reputation as consummate performers, winning over audiences not only with sheer virtuosity on their respective instruments, but also with charm, humour and boundless energy on stage.

On Tour:
• Wednesday 6 May: The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon (8:30pm, €15 / €12, 071 9650828 /
• Thursday 7 May: St John’s Theatre & Arts Centre, Listowel (8pm, €12 / €10, 068 22566)
• Friday 8 May: Wexford Opera House, Wexford (8pm, €16 / €14, 053 9122144 /
• Saturday 9 May: Triskel Christchurch, Cork (8pm, €15 / €12, 021 4272022 /
• Sunday 10 May: Baltimore Fiddle Fair, 3pm. Details to be announced at
• Tuesday 12 May: Station House Theatre, Clifden (8pm, €12 / €10, Tickets on the door, 095 21699 (info only) - Promoted by Clifden Arts Society)
• Wednesday 13 May: The Sugar Club, Dublin 2 (8pm, €18 / €13, 01 4750224 / Promoted by Music Network
• Thursday 14 May: Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray (8pm, €16 / €14, 01 2724030 /
• Friday 15 May: Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda (8:30pm, €16 / €14, 041 9833946 /
Tour continues to Northern Ireland with
• Sunday 17 May: Black Box, Belfast
• Thursday 21 May: Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart
• Friday 22 May: Island Arts Centre, Lisburn

For Further information/images, please contact:
Louise Walsh, Communications Manager, Music Network: (01) 475 0224 or

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