Celtic music and dance to chase the winter away
Two nights! This year's Ceili will feature: the Gavin Family, Mick (fiddle and accordian), Michael ( fiddle banjo, guitar, bouzouki, songs), Sean (flute, pipes, whistle); Kelsey Lutz (fiddle) and Holland Raper (fiddle); Colleen Shanks (flute, pipes, whistle); Rachel Pearson (bass, songs), and Irish dancers from the Erin Quinn school of Irish dance.
Special guests will be Devin Shepherd (fiddle) and Marta Cook (Irish harp).
Devin Shepherd began learning the fiddle at an early age and soon became enamored with Irish music, which was nurtured by his mother who immersed him in the deep-rooted Irish music scene of his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Devin was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Master- Apprentice grant to study with famed Liz Carroll when he was only twelve years of age. During this formative period he won first prize in the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil fiddle competition for nine consecutive years—another testament to his dedication to the tradition. Shepherd learned much about the styles and repertoire of Chicago by playing with many native born musicians including Phil Durkin, Frank Burke, Albert Neary, Pat Cloonan, and Úna McGlew. Most recently he has enriched his style through the recordings of legendary fiddlers Bobby Casey, Michael Coleman, and John Doherty, as well as living legends James Kelly and Paddy Cronin. Since 2000, Devin has been a full-time teacher and performer of Irish music throughout the US and abroad. Devin is a member of the Irish trad band Bua, winners of the 2009 Irish Music Award for "best traditional band," and a former member of Chicago Reel.
Marta Cook's music reflects a special interest in extending the sound palette and technical language of harps large and small to translate inspiration from great pipers, fiddlers and singers of the past and present. She is particularly inspired by the traditional music legacies of her homes, Chicago and New York.
Having won a senior All-Ireland title at the age of 19, in recent years Marta has traveled extensively, performing and teaching throughout Europe and North America. Highlights include the World Harp Congress, the Spoleto Festival, Paris' Espace Culturel Bertin Poirée, and every major North American harp festival. Marta is also an improviser and studio musician; her playing is featured on many recordings, notably psychedelic pop group of Montreal's 2011 release Paralytic Stalks, as well as Songs of Joy and Peace, Yo-Yo Ma's 2010 double GRAMMY-winning album. She is an exclusive sponsored artist of William Rees Instruments.
Marta is also a longtime teacher and coach. She's taught everyone from beginners of all ages to multiple All-Ireland prizewinners and the legendary harpist Deborah Henson-Conant (who coached intensively with Marta for DHC's collaboration with guitar virtuoso Steve Vai on his 2012 Story of Light tour.) Her own training is greatly indebted to Sarah Bullen and Máire Ní Chathasaigh, as well as many, many musicians in Chicago and New York.