Maíre Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman

MarieandChris
7:00 pm

September 4, 2019

“blazing guitar and dancing harp” DIRTY LINEN (USA) – a sensational, contemporary sound with rich and deep traditional roots

MÁIRE is one of Ireland’s most important and influential traditional musicians , in 2001 receiving Irish music’s most prestigious award, that of TRADITIONAL MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR – GRADAM CHEOIL TG4 – “for the excellence and pioneering force of her music, the remarkable growth she has brought to the music of the harp and for the positive influence she has had on the young generation of harpers”. She began to play the harp at the age of eleven. A West Cork background steeped in the oral tradition led her, while still a teenager, to develop new techniques that made it possible for the first time to play traditional music on the harp in a stylistically accurate way. She won the All-Ireland and Pan-Celtic Harp Competitions several times and in 1985 recorded the first harp album ever to concentrate on traditional Irish dance music, The New-Strung Harp – “an intensely passionate and intelligent record and a milestone in Irish harp music” THE IRISH EXAMINER. Her approach has been profoundly influential wherever lever harps are played – “a single-handed reinvention of the harp”. Recent harp festival performances world-wide have included a solo concert at the 11th World Harp Congress, Vancouver; Swiss Harp Festival, International Harp School, Wells, B.C., Canada, and VII Rio Harp Festival, Rio de Janeiro. Two volumes of her arrangements have been published: The Irish Harper Vols. I and II. She contributed two articles about the Irish harp and modes in Irish music to the Companion to Irish Traditional Music (Cork University Press) and is profiled there, in Celtic Women in Music (Quarry Books, Canada) and in the Rough Guide to Irish Music. “Her work restores the harp to its true voice” THE IRISH TIMES.

CHRIS is a “brilliant English master of the acoustic guitar” (THE DAILY TELEGRAPH), a “dazzling player” (ACOUSTIC GUITAR, USA) whose work is “nothing short of brilliant” (DIRTY LINEN, USA). He began to play guitar at the age of four and at fourteen played his first paid gig in a folk club. A prolific composer, arranger and record producer, he’s played with luminaries of many musical worlds: folk (harper Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Boys of the Lough, Aly Bain, Kathryn Tickell, Danny Thompson), jazz (Stéphane Grappelli, Diz Disley and Danny Thompson again) and comedy (Fred Wedlock, the Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra) – receiving a silver disc for producing Fred’s international hit The Oldest Swinger in Town, to which he also composed the tune and which reached No 2 in the charts in the UK and No 1 in several other countries. As Fred’s Musical Director and bandleader, appearances on such iconic national TV progammes as BBC’s Top of the Pops followed. One day in 1985 he decided he’d really rather play interesting music than pursue interesting paychecks, so turned his back on the commercial world and returned to his folk and improvisational roots. He has since concentrated on composition, the traditional music of these islands and beyond, and bluegrass and its intersection with the cutting edge of swing jazz – he and Beppe Gambetta are probably the most highly-regarded American-style flatpickers in the world who are not from the US, and he has shared the stage on a number of occasions with Beppe, Dan Crary, Mark Cosgrove and many other such luminaries. He is a regular flatpick guitar instructor and performer at Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp, held annually in Maryville, TN – here are links to Chris performing there with Dan Crary and with Mark Cosgrove. In addition to his work with Máire, Chris toured until 1997 as a member of Boys of the Lough in North America, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Denmark, China and Italy. He has been principal guitar tutor for Newcastle University’s Folk B.Mus course since its inception. His book of guitar compositions and arrangements Adventures with a Flatpick was published in 2001. His 1998 solo CD Fretwork was “a stunning and stylistically-varied album, heaving with good tunes, from one of the UK’s most staggering and influential acoustic guitarists” FOLK ROOTS (UK) “Dazzling” ACOUSTIC GUITAR (USA) “Revered” TAPLAS (Wales) “Spectacular” TIME OUT. His fourth solo CD Still Getting Away with It was released to critical acclaim in 2010 – see above.

“Music of fire and brilliance from the
high-wire act in traditional music”
– THE IRISH TIMES (Ireland)

“Did things I have never heard a harp do before… Astonishing… an extraordinary event”
– CLASSICAL GUITAR (UK)

“Their blinding technique, sizzling Irish reels and hot jazz improvisation brought an extended standing ovation… Newman has the great gift of being informative and hilarious simultaneously”
– THE WEST AUSTRALIAN

“This celebrated duo took the place by storm. Stately Carolan tunes, jazzy Django-ish numbers, dazzling Doc Watson style flat picking fliers, driving Irish dance tunes – this pair can nonchalantly do the lot. Guitar players applauded and went sadly home to burn their instruments!”
– THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH (Ireland)

“So moving – technical brilliance and beauty
that brings tears to the eyes”
– IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE

“The mood is ever changing – sometimes haunting, sometimes boisterous but always magical. The pair’s imaginations know no bounds…” – THE BRISBANE COURIER-MAIL

“Spectacularly good and technically brilliant guitar and traditional Irish harp duo at the forefront of the renaissance of Celtic music. Simply stunning” – TIME OUT

“I watched (with a mixture of fascination, awe and sheer delight) as their fingers danced on the strings, weaving strands of melody together like ivory spiders on speed. Their introductions to the various pieces were every bit as delightful in their own right as the music itself. I found myself wishing they could stay, and not for musical reasons; their personalities are every bit as charming off stage as on. I think they took a bit of my heart with them when they left. May they return with it soon.” – HARP BEAT (San Francisco)