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Irish Music & Dance in London announces two fabulous events for lovers of Irish traditional music during the month of June

1. On Wednesday 14 June, we present a concert featuring John and Maggie Carty, who will launch their CD, Settle out of Court, at the Fiddler’s Elbow, 1 Malden Road, London NW5 3HS. Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets are £10, available at John and Maggie will be joined by some special guests on 14 June. This is sure to be a popular event and we advise booking early.

2. On Wednesday 28 June, we are staging our annual Irish Hooley, which this year will take place in the beautiful surrounds of Kings Place (Hall One), 90 York Way, London N1 9AG. The concert will feature CrossHarbour, The London Lasses and Chris O’Malley, Le Chéile, Artisan Row and The Trad Gathering. Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets are just £15.50, available at This is the third fundraising event of 2017 by Irish Music & Dance in London. Proceeds of the concert will help with the staging of the 19th Return to Camden Town Festival on 24-30 October 2017.

See for further information.

Artist information – Wednesday 14 June

John Carty is one of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians. Born in London, John, who is a master on the fiddle, banjo and flute, has established himself among the elite in Irish traditional music and is a respected supporter of its preservation. He developed his love for the music through his father, who was a member of the Glenside Ceili Band in London during the 1960s.

John, who now lives in Roscommon, released his 1994 debut banjo album, The Cat that Ate the Candle. His first fiddle album, Last Night’s Fun, was released on Shanachie Records in 1996 and was followed by two further solo fiddle albums, Yeh, That’s All It Is and At It Again. These albums are acknowledged as milestones in recorded fiddle music.

In 1997 he formed At the Racket, a free-spirited dance band, named after an old Flanagan Brothers record. The group has released three acclaimed CDs on John’s own label, Racket Records, and continues to appear at major European festivals. 2005 saw the launch of I Will If I Can, a solo CD, featuring John’s banjo and tenor guitar playing, on which he was accompanied by Alec Finn, Brian McGrath and Johnny McDonagh,

Irish television station, TG4, named him Traditional Musician of the Year in 2003. He joined distinguished previous winners such as Chieftains flautist, Matt Molloy, master fiddler Tommy Peoples and Uilleann piper, Paddy Keenan. John performs regularly with Matt Molloy, exploring the North Connaught tradition they both love. In 2008, they released Pathway to the Well, on which they were accompanied by renowned guitarist, Arty McGlynn. In 2011 John collaborated with Sligo poet Ann Joyce on The Crimson Path, a CD of original poetry and music, for which he composed all the music.

This was followed by At Complete Ease, a duet fiddle album with the legendary fiddle player, Brian Rooney from Kiltclogher, Co Leitrim. This CD has already been described as one of the all time great albums of duet playing. John is also a member of Irish super group, Patrick Street, in which he performs with Andy Irvine and Kevin Burke and has appeared in concert as a special guest with the Chieftains and De Danaan.

In 2012/13 John was part of the County Leitrim traditional group in residency project, which included two other legends of traditional music, Seamus Begley on accordion and vocals, and Donál Lunny on bouzouki and guitar. Their album, Leitrim Equation 3, which includes contributions from the many Leitrim musicians they met and performed with during the residency, was launched in 2013.

More recently John has performed in two feature films, Jimmy’s Hall and Brooklyn, for which he arranged all the traditional music. He is also a tutor on the BA course at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick and much in demand as a teacher for workshops and summer schools.

Following very much in the Carty family tradition, John’s daughter Maggie is a fine banjo player with a unique singing voice. Settle out of Court, the first recorded collaboration between her and John, is a collection of traditional tunes and songs from a variety of sources - from different musical dialects and from the Cartys’ wide family of musical friends. See

Artist information – Wednesday 28 June

1. The London Lasses and Chris O’Malley

This internationally renowned six-piece band delivers a wealth of traditional material from all over Ireland, including songs in Irish and English, plus the full range of Irish dance tunes, from ancient to newly composed. The London Lasses released their fifth album, The One I Loved the Best, with Leeds pianist and guitarist, Chris O’Malley.

Over the past seventeen years The London Lasses have taken their music to some of the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls, including Cambridge Folk Festival, the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Glastonbury, Dublin City Hall, Philadelphia Irish Festival and the Royal Albert Hall, where they performed the first ever BBC Proms céilí as part of the 2008 season and supported The Chieftains on their 50th Anniversary tour.

“One of the best bands on the scene today.” Irish Music Magazine. See

2. CrossHarbour

A dynamic young band from London’s thriving Irish music scene. Fusing well-loved traditional tunes and songs with original compositions and innovative arrangements, CrossHarbour has gained a reputation for its virtuosic, energetic and polished performances.

The band features the remarkable abilities of winner of no less than 19 All-Ireland titles, flute and whistle virtuoso and composer Órlaith McAuliffe, fiddler Sam Proctor, whose 2008 debut solo album, Natural Progression, was chosen by the Irish Times as one of the traditional albums of the year, multi-instrumentalist Philippe Barnes, bodhrán and bouzouki player Tad Sargent, who performed at The Globe Theatre last year for a season of The Taming of the Shrew with Brittany piper, Loïc Bléjean (the two went on to record a duet album) and singer Rosie Hodgson, who was a finalist in the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards.

“A fine example of how traditional Irish music is still thriving in a modern way.” The Daily Telegraph. See

3. Le Chéile

Le Chéile was formed in the early 1970s by musicians who played regularly in the famous sessions at The White Hart, on Fulham Broadway. The 1960s and ‘70s were golden years for traditional Irish music in London, when musicians played to packed houses and sparked the revival which went on to spread back home and around the globe.

Le Chéile was the cult Irish band of 1970s London. Their classic album, Lord Mayo, was reissued on CD in 2006. To coincide with that release, the surviving original band members – master fiddler Danny Meehan, Liam Farrell (banjo), John Roe (piano) and Kevin Boyle (guitar) – reformed alongside new recruits, flautist Paul Gallagher and accordionist Andy Martyn.

Now they’re back, adding powerful momentum to the revivalist movement within Irish music today with their exciting big band mix of back to basics traditional music from Donegal and Galway. Their third album, Out of the West, was released in 2010.

“The cult Irish band of 1970s London, producing some of the most memorable recordings of the time.” Folk Radio UK. See

4. Artisan Row

Celebrating the timeless melodic beauty of traditional Irish music and more, Artisan Row brings together four well-known figures from London’s traditional Irish music scene. First performing together in this combination at the 2012 Ennis Trad Festival, the quartet uses its rich textural palette to set the material in striking and ear-catching ways while always respecting the primacy of the melody.

Artisan Row are: from Derry, Conor Doherty (vocal and guitar), from Kerry, Elma McElligott (sax, flute, whistles and backing vocals), from London, Karen Ryan (banjo, mandola, fiddle and whistles) and from Liverpool, Pete Quinn (piano and backing vocals). The band has just released its debut album, Wild Winds, which features traditional and newly composed tunes and songs in the Irish genre plus music from the Eastern European music traditions.

“A fresh new force on the London Irish scene.”  Irish Music Magazine. See

5. The Trad Gathering

The Trad Gathering brings together a large number of the best young traditional Irish musicians from across London and further afield to work on big collaborative projects. The group was initially formed in 2008 to perform as part of the BBC Folk Proms. Other early performances included the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham Conservatoire. In 2009, Return to Camden Town Festival commissioned the renowned Leitrim composer, Charlie Lennon, to write a suite of music for the group, Recollections of Camden Town, which they went on to perform at the Festival and the Royal Festival Hall.

In 2017, after a 6 year break, group leaders Karen Ryan and Pete Quinn relaunched the project, featuring the next wave of great young musicians from in and around the capital. Playing tunes from the repertoire of London/Leitrim fiddling hero, Bryan Rooney, this new 66 strong group performed this year at Camden Lock and on the Trafalgar Square stage as part of the Lord Mayor of London’s St Patrick’s Festival.

“The Trad Gathering were FANTASTIC – such great tunes that soared around the (Royal Albert) Hall. We couldn’t have had a better start to the second half.” Lincoln Abbots, Chief Executive, Music for Youth. See

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