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The University of Hartford

Notes from Celtic Airs
With your host Steve Dieterich November / December 1999

    Tabache are a very young band, but it’s not their combined youth that will knock you out, it’s their combined talent!
    The duo of Claire Mann and Aidan O’Rourke, joined by a variety of top notch accompanists, are often compared to Altan in it’s fledgling days when Frankie Kennedy and Maighread ni Mhonaigh played regularly with guitarist Ciaran Curran.
    In another parallel with Altan, Tabache’s identity is a mixture of Scottish and Irish. Donegal based Altan were influenced by the music of Scotland. Aidan O’Rourke comes from the West Highlands of Scotland, an area musically influenced by Ireland. Claire Mann is from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, an English community with a thriving Irish music scene.
    Aidan and Claire have been playing together since she was 16 and he was 18. They are currently 20 and 22, and are joined for this tour by 22 year old guitarist Ross Martin, like Aidan, from the West Highlands of Scotland. All now live in Edinburgh, the "happening city" for young traditionally based Celtic musicians these days.
    Aidan O’ Rourke is from the Isle of Seil off Oban in the West Highlands. He took up the fiddle at age 9 and by 13 had won the Scottish National Fiddle Championships in the under 18 category. At 14, he was a finalist in Scotland’s most prestigious open fiddle competition, the Glennfiddich Fiddle Championships. In addition to his work with Tabache, he has toured with the bands Deaf Shepherd, Tannas and Capercaille.
    Claire Mann began playing fiddle at age 8, and between the ages of 10 and 12 took up whistle, flute and uillean pipes. Today, the flute is her primary instrument though she does do alto of duet fiddle work with Aidan as well. Though raised in England, her musical influences were mostly Irish, beginning with her father who plays in a ceili band in Tyneside. Between the ages of 15 and 17, she won All Ireland titles for flute and whistle, and was a finalist on fiddle and singing as well!
    The young duo released their first album Are You Willing to critical acclaim in 1996. Their second, more adventurous outing Waves of Rush includes some of Aidan’s original tunes. Released in 1999, it too has been widely praised.
    Tabache will be performing on Saturday, November 6 at 7:30 PM in the Wilde Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1.800-274-8587 or 768-4228. I hope you will be there to enjoy this dynamic young trio.
    The WWUH Celtic Concert series will continue into the new millennium. Tentative artists for the year 2000 series include The John Whelan Band, Old Blind Dogs, Beginish, Karan Casey, Danu, Dervish, Anam and Cathie Ryan. I hope you will continue to support our efforts to bring highly talented Celtic musicians such as these to the Hartford area. Enjoying this music live is a whole different experience from hearing it on CD. Please do take the opportunity to discover this yourself. Having done so once, I know you’ll be back again and again.
    Best wishes for a happy holiday season from Celtic Airs and WWUH radio

Copyright©WWUH: November/December Program Guide, 1999

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