Artist Profiles

Meet the artists performing in the 30th William Kennedy Piping Festival. (PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

Michael McGoldrick, John Carty and Matt Griffin

John Carty (fiddle and banjo) has released several solo and duet albums since being named the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Traditional Musician of the Year in 2003. These include collaborations with flute-player Matt Molloy, fiddler Brian Rooney, John’s daughter Maggie Carty and his son James Carty. Manchester-born Mike McGoldrick (uilleann pipes and flute) has appeared in renowned groups such as Flook, Lúnasa and Capercaillie, and has toured internationally with Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler. He has released three solo albums and leads the Michael McGoldrick Band. John and Mike will be accompanied on guitar by London-born multi-instrumentalist Matt Griffin, who has recorded and/or performed with leading names including The Chieftains and Mícheál Ó Suilleabháin.

 

Cillian Vallely, David Doocey and Patrick Doocey

Best known as the uilleann piper with the supergroup Lúnasa, Cillian Vallely also plays the low whistle. He has toured worldwide and performed on over 50 albums. Boston-born brothers David Doocey (fiddle) and 
Patrick Doocey
(guitar and other instruments) are based in Mayo, and over the past decade have performed with Lúnasa, Stephen Doherty, Sean Keane, Sharon Shannon, Teada and many others. Cillian and David have just released a new album, The Yew and the Orchard. 

 

Paddi Benson and Grace Lemon with James Patrick Gavin (Ireland/England)

When uilleann piper Paddi Benson (MA in Traditional Music, U. Limerick) moved to London, she fell in with another piper, Grace Lemon (four times All-Ireland champion), and they joined forces in 2017 to play and compose, using electronics to expand the possibilities of piping. They are accompanied on guitar by James Patrick Gavin.

 

 

Duo Lagrange Rutkowski (France)

Old friends of the Piping Festival, Seb Lagrange (accordion) and Gaël Rutkowski (uilleann and other bagpipes) have appeared on numerous occasions since 2011, in their long-established duo or as part of the Morvan Massif or Double-Double. Seb, from the Morvan region infused with Celtic culture, started his career around 30 years ago with the folk-rock group Krypto. Gaël, from the mountainous Jura, is also an accomplished wood- and metal-worker producing jewellery and giftware.

 

ZampogneriA (Italy) with Eric Montbel (France)

The release in 2016 of the album Fiumerapido brought together pipe-based music traditions of southern Europe and the Celtic nations. This “A to Z” of piping, reflected in the Z to A of ZampogneriA, featured a core group of Italian musicians along with the likes of Galicia’s Susana Seivane, France’s Eric Montbel who plays chabretas, musette and cornemuse, and the English fiddler Dave Shepherd. Eric, who has made several previous Festival appearances, has since performed internationally with ZampogneriA. The Festival lineup is to be confirmed but the ensemble has recently featured Eric on the cornemuse du Centre, sordellina from Marco Iamele, zampogna from Marco Tomassi, and Giorgio Pinai on the cromhorn.

 

Angus and Kenneth MacKenzie (Cape Breton)

More than two centuries of migration from Scotland to Nova Scotia on Canada’s Eastern coast left a particular mark on the island of Cape Breton, where the Gàidhlig language still survives and is reflected in many placenames. The musical traditions of Scotland, particularly the western isles, also endure to this day, and are personified in the brothers MacKenzie, whose mastery of pipes and whistles (Angus) and pipes and fiddle (Kenneth) has made them equally popular, and equally at home, in Cape Breton and in Scotland. Their return appearance at this 30th WKPF is sponsored by the Celtic Arts Foundation, which promotes all forms of Celtic cultural traditions on the opposite coast of North America, in Washington State. 

 

Éamonn Curran

The senior uilleann pipes tutor with Armagh Pipers Club, Éamonn was formerly a professional musician touring extensively with Dolores Keane and others. He then had a career as a primary teacher and is now a pipe-maker based in Monaghan.

 

 

 

Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn

A uilleann piper from Monaghan, Tiarnán has achieved many awards for his playing, including the Seán Ó Riada Bonn Óir (gold medal) and five All-Ireland Fleadh Ceoil titles. He has featured on dozens of albums and many broadcasts, and has appeared in festivals and concerts in many countries. He is a piping tutor with Armagh Pipers Club.

 

Maeve O’Donnell

A young but very accomplished piper from Co. Tyrone, and a former student at Armagh Pipers Club, Maeve’s first solo Kennedy Festival appearance was in 2023. She holds an All-Ireland title for solo uilleann pipes. She features on the compilation CD Bláth na Finne.