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The University of Hartford

Notes from Celtic Airs
With your host Steve Dieterich May/June 2009

The Celtic Airs Concert Series rumbles on toward its 15th anniversary in August of 2009. Our first guest performers were the Scottish band Ceolbeg. That seems long ago!! Ceolbeg’s lead vocalist was Davy Steele. A few years later, he moved on to become a member of the Battlefield Band. Sadly, during his short tenure with those icons of the Scottish folk revival, he developed a brain tumor and died in April of 2004.
            On a lighter note, Celtic Airs and WWUH will present the 134th concert in our series on May 15th, 2009. Our guest performers that evening will be the Irish traditional band Teada. In Irish, Teada means “strings”, a fitting name as the group’s founding member is the well known fiddler Oisin Mac Diarmada. Oisin put the original ensemble together in 2001 purely to make an appearance on the Irish television series “Flosc.” Their unexpected success kept them together and in the years since then, they’ve toured the world including stops in America, Canada, continental Europe, Israel, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand. They christened their latest CD/DVD release Inne Amarach at a concert for 30,000 fans in Brittany.
            Though many traditional musicians gravitate toward more contemporary, main stream music as their careers develop, Teada remain strict adherents to the traditional style. They’re some of the leading exponents of this music on international stages, driven by a fascination with the timeless expressive force of the music they’ve inherited from previous generations of unknown, unnamed musicians.
            Oisin Mac Diarmada began playing fiddle at a young age in County Clare where he was born. His family moved to County Sligo when he was quite young, and he developed a deep interest in the playing style of that region.  He released a solo album,  Ar an bhFidil, in 2003 bringing him to the attention of The Irish Echo’s Earle Hitchner who described Oisin as “one of the most gifted and creative traditional fiddle players of today.”
            Damien Stenson, also from Co. Sligo, is noted for his flowing style on the flute and his extensive repertoire of traditional tunes.
            Paul Finn, from Co. Laois, is one of the rising stars of the button accordion in Ireland today. His talents were prominently featured in major touring dance productions like River Dance and Feet of Fire before he joined Teada.
            Tristan Rosenstock from Glenageary, Co. Dublin, has a distinctive style on bodhran characterized by a sensitivity unusual for players of this goat skin covered Irish frame drum.
            Sean McElwain form Monaghan makes his presence known via a dynamic style on the guitar and bouzouki.
            The Irish music critics love Teada and I know you will too!! The Hot Press said “Teada are unrepentantly old school, but perform with a drive and dynamism that should put their elders and betters to shame.” The Irish Times noted “Teada revel in the forces of the tradition while adding their own tincture of personality for deliciously good measure.”  Irish Music Magazine’s concert reviewer was duly impressed and stated “the band displayed a fierce familiarity with the old ways, producing a deeply authentic sound while moving towards the cutting edge of the next generation of traditional practitioners.”
            I encourage you to make plans to see Teada May 15,2009 at 7:30 PM in the University of Hartford’s Wilde Auditorium. You’ll find it was well worth the effort!!!
            Tickets can only be obtained from The University Box Office. Call 768-4228 or 1-800-274-8587 OR get yours on line at www.hartford.edu/tickets!
            Thanks to all my faithful Celtic Airs listeners and concert attendees. I’d like to ask you to do a friend, relative or neighbor a favor by introducing them to the sometimes lively, sometimes melancholy, always moving music of the seven Celtic nations available on my show every Tuesday from 6:00 to 9:00 am on WWUH, 91.3 FM and on the stage of the Wilde Auditorium

Copyright©WWUH: May/June Program Guide, 2009

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