Return to London Town Festival 2020 - Ashford Place - Banjo Workshop - John Carty

Traditional Irish Banjo Workshop 11:30am-1pm
Intermediate – Advanced Level
Tutor: John Carty

About this Event

Ashford Place is a Covid secure venue with capacity monitoring, social distancing, sanitising measures and a one way system in place.

Please arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before your workshop start time to register (wearing a face covering, unless exempt). Please sanitise your hands on arrival and adhere to all social distancing guidelines.

The on-site cafe will be open for drinks and snacks during your visit.

Please note that this workshop is aimed at Intermediate to Advanced level players (not beginners).

John Carty

John Carty is one of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians having been awarded the Irish Television station, TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year in 2003. Born in London, fiddle and banjo player John Carty has established himself among the elite in Irish traditional music and as a staunch supporter of its preservation. Carty developed his love for fiddle, banjo, and flute, all of which he has mastered, through his multi-instrumentalist father who was a member of the Glenside Ceili Band in London in the 1960’s. Soon after settling in Boyle, Co Roscommon, Carty released his 1994 debut banjo album, ‘The Cat that Ate the Candle’ to positive reviews. This led to his first fiddle album, ‘Last Night’s Fun’, released on Shanachie Records in 1996 and was closely followed by two further solo fiddle albums ‘Yeh, That’s All It Is’ and ‘At It Again’. These albums have been described as milestones in recorded fiddle music. In 1997 he formed At the Racket, a fun, loose, free-spirited dance band named after an old Flanagan Brothers 78 rpm. The group has recorded three highly acclaimed CDs all on John’s own label Racket Records. 2005 saw the launch of ‘I Will If I Can’ Carty’s latest solo CD featuring banjo and tenor guitar.

Accompanied by Alec Finn, Brian McGrath and Johnny McDonagh. John performs regularly with Chieftain’s flautist Matt Molloy exploring the North Connaught tradition they both love. In 2008 they released ‘Pathway to the Well’ a CD of their music accompanied by Arty McGlynn and recently released a follow up ‘Out of the Ashes’.

In 2011 John released ‘The Crimson Path’, collaboration with Sligo poet Ann Joyce, which is a CD of original poetry and music for which John composed all the music. This was quickly followed by the release of ‘At Complete Ease’, a duet fiddle album with Bryan Rooney from Kiltyclogher, Co Leitrim. This CD has already been described as one of the all time greats of duet playing. John is a member of super group, Patrick Street which includes legendary musicians Andy Irvine and Kevin Burke. He has also appeared as a special guest with the Chieftains and De Dannan.

More recently, John put together a new eight piece band, The John Carty Festival band which was launched in summer 2012 and has since played at festivals in Ireland and the UK. In 2012/13 John was part of the County Leitrim Traditional group in residency scheme which comprises of himself and two other legends of traditional music namely Séamus Begley on accordion and vocals, and Dónal Lunny on bouzouki and guitar. In 2013 they launched the album, ‘Leitrim Equation 3’, which includes many Leitrim guests they met during the residency.

John has performed in two feature films ‘Jimmy’s Hall’ and ‘Brooklyn’, for which he also arranged all the traditional music pieces. John released a duet album ‘Settle Out of Court’ with his daughter Maggie, showcasing her unique singing voice and introducing another generation to the tradition. The pair have completed many tours and have appeared many times on Irish TV. 2020 sees the release of another family duet album, this time with his son, James. This album, ‘The Wavy Bow Collection’, explores the repertoire of north Connaught and beyond. In addition, John is a tutor on the BA course at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick and with such experience, is a highly sought tutor for workshops and summer schools. He has recently been appointed joint director of the Leitrim Youth Trad Orchestra.

For more details regarding events taking place as part of ‘Return to London Town’ London’s 22nd Festival of traditional Irish music, song and dance (Fri 23 – Sat 25 Oct 2020) please see and