Caitlin Smith & Ciarán Ó’ Maonaigh
Acclaimed musicians each in their own right, Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh have joined forces to create one of traditional music’s most impressive acts.
The pair’s spirited music and dance is rooted in the tradition; brimming with soul and life. Through fiddle, concertina and dance, Caitlín and Ciarán breathe fire into musical pieces, combining their arts with chemistry and energy. Caitlín and Ciarán have a connection as deep as the Irish folk traditions they come out of. Their music is a joyful unleashing of talents learnt at the hearths of their parents, family and friends.
Three time All-Ireland champion on concertina, Caitlín is a regular performer at festivals and in concert halls from North America all the way to Asia. She is also an accomplished dancer and has toured the world with Riverdance as a troupe dancer. Writing tunes since the age of ten, her compositions have been performed in the Cork Opera House and The National Concert Hall, Dublin and recorded by renowned musicians in Ireland and abroad. She teaches concertina annually at summer and winter schools in Ireland, Europe and USA and has performed with the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, Paddy Keenan, Liam Ó Maonlaí, for Presidents and Royalty around the world, most recently at ‘Ceiliúradh’ in the Royal Albert Hall, London as a guest of President Michael D. Higgins. Her debut solo CD release, Caitlín was voted the 2012 ‘CD of the Year’ award by tradconnect.com as well as being labelled the ‘top Irish traditional album of 2012′ by The Wall Street Journal.
A former recipient of TG4 Young Musician of the Year, fiddle player Ciarán Ó Maonaigh hails from the Gaoth Dobhair gaeltacht in Co. Donegal. Growing up, he was heavily influenced by his extended family; his grandfather and teacher Francie Mooney, Altan members Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Frankie Kennedy, Derry fiddle player Dermot McLaughlin as well as the Donegal fiddle legend John Doherty amongst others.
Ciarán first album Ceol a’Ghleanna/The Music of the Glen was released in 2004. He is also a member of the band Fidil along with Aidan O’Donnell and Damien McGeehan, and they have released 3 acclaimed albums. Fidil, released in June 2008, was described by Irish Music Magazine as “One of the most challanging and beautifully austere albums of the last fifty years”, 3 was released in 2009 and was awarded both a 5 star review and CD of the week in The Irish Times. In 2011 The Old Wheel of Fortune was released with Songlines magazine declaring it “one of the finest albums to emerge from Ireland this decade.”