Harry Bradley, Dónal O’Connor & Libby McCrohan
Harry Bradley & Dónal O’Connor first met in the late 1990’s on the vibrant Belfast traditional music session scene. Narrow entries, leading to dark and smoke-filled pubs, pouring with fiery flute and fiddle music, was the backdrop to this initial, musical coming together. A common grá for the music of South Ulster and North Connaught was the thread on which they shared interests. However, they ventured on their own unique musical journeys thereafter. Since Harry’s recent return to Belfast, they have rekindled a musical friendship and are mining the rich repository of northern music which has been left behind by the likes of Andy Dixon, Cathal McConnell, Ciaran Carson, Desi Wilkinson, Tara Bingham, Johnny & Sean Maguire, Gary Hastings and many more.
Tonight's performance is a new musical coming together with one of Dublin’s finest young musical accompanists Libby McCrohan.
Harry Bradley was born in South Belfast. The vibrant recording heritage from the 1920s and 30s has had a huge influence on his flute-playing style as has the playing of musicians such as Seamus Tansey, Desi Wilkinson and piper Seamus Ennis, to name but a few. Noted for his unique tone and driving rhythm, Harry has come to be recognized as one of the most distinctive flute players in Ireland today. He has toured internationally and recorded both as a soloist and with groups such as Cran and Altan. In 2014 he was the recipient of the TG4 Gradam Cheoil Traditional Musician of the Year Award.
Dónal O’Connor has inherited a musical legacy of five generations of fiddle playing. His style is heavily influenced by his family, the Oriel tradition and the great northern fiddle masters such as Sean Maguire, Brendan McGlinchey, Bríd Harper & Tommy Peoples. Having toured the world and recorded critically acclaimed albums with groups such as Lá Lugh, At First Light and more recently Ulaid, he has since established himself as one of Ireland’s leading television and music producers. He has performed and recorded with the likes of Niall Hanna, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, John McSherry, Duke Special, Ríoghnach Connolly, Michael McGoldrick, Davy Spillane, Four Men and a Dog, Steve Cooney, Mary Dillon & The Horslips to name but a few. He has composed music for theatre, television and film and has presented and produced music programmes for RTÉ, BBC ALBA, BBC NI, TG4, BBC Radio Ulster and Raidio Na Gaeltachta.
Libby McCrohan is a bouzouki player from Dublin. She plays an original round back Greek bouzouki. Her approach to accompaniment is sensitive, subtle, and rhythmical, taking inspiration from the regulator playing of uilleann pipers. She has been influenced by such accompanists as Alec Finn, Andy Irvine, John Faulkner, Paul Doyle, John Flynn, and Ruairí McGorman. Libby has performed all over Ireland and abroad and has featured on two albums to date - the critically acclaimed ‘Heard a Long Gone Song’ by Lisa O’Neill and ‘Not Before Time... 39 Years in the Making’ by Páraic Mac Donnchadha.