Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman

Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman (5/24/2016)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 – 7:30 pm

Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman

Blue Ball Barn

1914 West Park Drive (Alapocas Run State Park), Wilmington, Delaware

Tickets: $22.00 Advance Reserved/$25.00 at Door/Age 17 & under FREE when accompanied by a paying adult

Seating is limited and reservations are recommended.  Doors open at 7:00 pm.  Cash or check accepted for payment.  E-mail concert ticket reservations to reservations@greenwillow.org or call 302-456-3242.

The celebrated virtuoso partnership of “the doyenne of Irish harpers” (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY) and “one of the UK’s most staggering and influential acoustic guitarists” (fROOTS) has brought its special musical vision to venues large and small – from the tiniest of historic churches in England, Germany and Italy to palaces in Kyoto and Istanbul, London’s Barbican, Sydney Town Hall and the Philharmonie in Cologne – in twenty-two countries on five continents and now Returning to Delaware, having last performed for Green Willow in 1994. Their performances – described by THE IRISH TIMES as “music of fire and brilliance from the high-wire act in traditional music” – are rooted but eclectic, emotional but adventurous: a breathtaking blend of traditional Irish music, hot jazz, bluegrass and baroque, coupled with striking new compositions and Chris’s delightfully subversive wit.

Máire Ní Chathasaigh (pronounced “Mawra Nee ha ha see”) 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.” 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.”

Chris Newman 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.

For more information, visit www.maireandchris.com