Piper Mick O’Brien was born in Dublin in 1961. He began his musical education on the uilleann pipes at the city’s famous Thomas Street Pipers Club. The O’Briens are a musical family; Mick’s father and four brothers played and Mick recorded his first album with them when he was just 13 years old. He later joined Na Piobairí Uilleann, an organisation founded to promote piping, where he refined his playing still further. His highly acclaimed solo CD, May Morning Dew, was released in 1996 and in 2003, he released Kitty Lie Over with fiddler Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh. It was named best traditional album of the year by New York’s Irish Echo. The duo’s second album was released in 2011.
He has broadcast and recorded extensively. His playing can be heard on numerous recordings with artists such as The Dubliners, Frankie Gavin, Charlie Lennon, Charlotte Church, Boys of the Lough, Altan and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. For the past five years, he has performed and travelled with Norwegian group Secret Garden and has played on their last two albums, Dawn of a New Century and Once in a Red Moon.
He is much in demand as a teacher and has toured extensively and given master classes throughout Europe and North America. He lives in Dublin with his wife and three children and holds down a full time job as a teacher at St Davids School in Artane, where he teaches geography and Irish and looks after the school’s hurlers.
Mick’s daughter, Aoife, began playing the violin at a very young age and was a member of Young European Strings. She studied with Maeve Broderick in Dublin and Constantin Serban in France, where she was awarded the Prix D’Or for exceptional students. She has performed extensively as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTE Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Musici Ireland, Korean Chamber Orchestra, the HMT Leipzig Symphony Orchestra and many others. She is leader of the Clare Memory Orchestra and performs regularly with the contemporary group Crash Ensemble.
Aoife has won many honours in classical and traditional Irish music including 7 All Ireland Titles at the Fleadh Cheoil, Bonn Oir Sheáin Uí Riada 2010, Fiddler of Dooney 2009 and Camerata Ireland Young Musician of the Year Award 2011 and a TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2014, the for her playing on the CD, Tunes from the Goodman Manuscripts,that she recorded with her father and flautist Emer Mayock.
She has worked with many new composers in Ireland, toured with the European Union Youth Orchestra and performed alongside musicians such as Martin Hayes & Denis Cahill, Mariana Sirbu, Massimo Paris, Finghin Collins, Tatjiana Masurenku and Frank Reinecke.
Multi-instrumentalist Caoimhín Ó Fearghail hails from An Rinn in the west Waterford Gaeltacht. He began to learn the tin-whistle at the age of eight and quickly progressed to the uilleann pipes. His influences include Séamus Ennis, Willie Clancy, Tommy Reck and Patsy Touhey. He is also much in demand as a flute and guitar player.
Caoimhín was named TG4 Young Musician of the Year in 2012. He has appeared on a number of albums, including Caitlín Nic Gabhann’s album, Caitlín and Edel Fox and Neill Byrne’s The Sunny Banks, both voted Album of the Year Tradconnect. In 2013, he released the album Lá ag Ól Uisce with his brother Seán and Tomás Ó Gealbháin. He is a member of Caladh Nua and has performed with Danú on numerous occasions and on a variety of instruments. He has also featured regularly over the past six years in the Booley House show, broadcast out of Ballyduff, Co. Waterford.
Le Chéile was formed in the early 1970s by musicians who played regularly in the famous sessions at The White Hart, on Fulham Broadway. The 1960s and ‘70s were golden years for traditional Irish music in London, when musicians played to packed houses and sparked the revival which went on to spread back home and around the globe.
Le Chéile was the cult Irish band of 1970s London. Their classic album, Lord Mayo, was reissued on CD in 2006. To coincide with that release, the surviving original band members – master fiddler Danny Meehan, Liam Farrell (banjo), John Roe (piano) and Kevin Boyle (guitar) – reformed alongside new recruits, flautist Paul Gallagher and accordionist Andy Martyn.
Now they’re back, with a slightly changed line up, adding powerful momentum to the revivalist movement within Irish music today with their exciting big band mix of back to basics traditional music from Donegal and Galway. Their third album, Out of the West, was released in 2010.
Des Hurley is a highly respected fiddle player in both Britain and Ireland. Based in Leeds, he is Chief Executive of the Irish Arts Foundation in the city. His colleague in the Irish Arts Foundation, Chris O’Malley, is guitar and piano player with The London Lasses and is much in demand as an accompanist, guitar and accordion player.
Paul Daly, originally from Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, carries on the fine flute playing tradition of the north Connaught region.
Afternoon Concert – Mick O’Brien, Aoife Ní Bhríain and Caoimhín Ó Fearghaill/Le Chéile/ Des Hurley, Paul Daly and Chris O’Malley
London Irish Centre (Pres)
Sat 28th Oct
2pm – £10 / £6 under 18s