The FSO does not perform in this Ensemble concert.
The Outside Track
Winner of Best Group in both the Live Ireland awards and the TIR awards, The Outside Track are one of the top Celtic acts in the world. A stunning synthesis of virtuosity and energy, their marriage of Celtic music, song, dance has been rapturously received around the world. Hailing from Scotland, Ireland, and Cape Breton, its five members are united by a love of traditional music and a commitment to creating new music on this as a foundation. They effortlessly fuse traditional and contemporary with winning joie de vivre. Recently joined by acclaimed singer Aoife Scott, the next generation of the legendary Black Family from Ireland, they blend fiddle, accordion, harp, guitar, whistle, step-dance and vocals with breathtaking vitality. ‘Among the top groups in the world. Traditional, creative, and brilliant’ (LiveIreland.com).
Mairi joined the band at the beginning of the Canadian tour in 2009, Mairi is now a fully committed full-time band-member. One of the hugely influential Rankin Family – legends on the Canadian music scene – she plays fiddle, sings and also step-dances up a storm. Born in Mabou, Nova Scotia, Mairi has been influenced by some of the best Cape Breton traditional musicians and instructors on the island. She has developed her own unique style by being immersed in such a rich musical culture. She has toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist, a sideman and is a member of the Cape Breton Celtic super group Beolach.
Aofie Scott has been surrounded by and immersed in music from an early age, from listening to her grandparents, mother, aunt and uncles making music around the fire, to observing the backstage workings of festivals both here and abroad. Now she is making her own way in the music business. Aoife moved to the west coast of Ireland several years ago and her passion for the native Irish language spoken there is reflected in her choice of songs. She possesses a voice that evokes the wild western landscape: fragile one minute and forceful the next. Her work includes prestigious performances with some of Ireland’s finest musicians and international acts including Sharon Shannon, Séamus Begley, Brian Kennedy, Altan, Cherish the Ladies, Eddi Reader, John Prine, and of course the Black Family.
Ailie Robertson from Edinburgh is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s leading young traditional musicians. She is a musician in the broadest sense: composer, arranger, teacher, improviser and harp virtuoso. Her accomplishment on the clarsach is such that leading Irish flautist Niall Keegan said: “Ailie’s synthesis of Irish, Scottish and contemporary harping technique into an individual style represents the realisation of otherwise unimagined possibilities for the Celtic harp.” Ailie grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was immersed in the harp world from an early age.. A five-time National Mod Gold Medalist and a BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2008 finalist, Ailie also won first prize at the inaugural London Harp Competition, was judged best overall musician at the Edinburgh Competition Festival and won the St Albans New Roots award. Her debut solo album ‘First things first’ was released in 2008 to great critical acclaim, and won a ‘Live Ireland’ award for ‘Best Instrumental Cut of the Year’. As a soloist for Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now! programme, Ailie has given recitals all over Scotland, including performing for HRH the Queen, and giving a private concert for the Lord High Commissioner and his distinguished guests.
From the Highland village of Evanton, Fiona Black developed a love of music and dance from a young age. The feisean movement provided her the opportunity to nurture her passion through learning to play the piano accordion. Fiona went on to attend the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music where she honed her skills as an accordionist and gained valuable experience arranging, performing, composing and recording. Being a Highland girl who is always up for a challenge and a new adventure, Fiona set off for Limerick in 2005 where she completed a BA with Honours in Irish Music and Dance. During this degree, Fiona further developed her skills as a performer, arranger, teacher and composer while also traveling to Cape Breton during her third year of studies. Fiona’s accordion style incorporates many different influences, intertwining her native Scottish style with Irish, Swedish and Cape Breton repertoire, always adding her distinctive rhythm and vibrancy.
Born In Hamburg, Germany to a German mother and an Irish father, Cillian O’Dálaigh has been surrounded by Irish music from day one. Cillian’s father played with Irish band, Cromlach and Cillian learned from him – and learned well. The family moved to Ireland when Cillian was eight years of age and Irish music quickly became a major part of their family life when they formed the family band, Trazz, including all the O’Dálaigh brothers, one sister and their father. Performing on stage with Trazz since he was fourteen, Cillian has toured extensively in Ireland, Germany, France and the UK as both a guitarist and flute player. Cillian has recently graduated with a BA in Irish Music and Dance from the University of Limerick.
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