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The Roaring Twenties Irish Orchestra  •  KGB  •  The Provenance
 The Roaring Twenties Irish Orchestra

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Throughout his musical career Frankie Gavin has been fascinated and inspired by the music of those legendary Irish musicians who emigrated to America in the early part of the twentieth century, giants such as James Morrison, Paddy Killoran and The Flanagan Brothers who left Waterford for New York in 1911. Seventy years later, the 1981 De Dannan album Star-Spangled Molly, which included the band’s hit version of the original  Flanagan Brothers’ song My Irish Molly-O,  reawakened massive Irish interest in the music of this era.

Now Frankie Gavin has put together a new Irish supergroup to play the Flanagan Brothers’ music, a group whose first live performance, on Gala Night at Tradfest, Dublin in January 2018 was a huge success.  Frankie Gavin and his Roaring Twenties Irish Orchestra comprises a four-piece front line of Frankie Gavin on fiddle, Emma Corbett on melodeon, Martin Murray on banjo, and Carl Hession on piano. This core is augmented by a brass section, a clarinet and double-bass.

Frankie Gavin, from Galway, is known best as the co-founder with Alec Finn of the iconic band De Dannan which has existed in various forms since the mid-1970s. In addition to his band work, he has pursued a successful solo career as well as performing with the cream of traditional Irish musicians of his generation and stars from other musical genres: Stéphane Grappelli, Yehudi Menuhuin, James Galway, Elvis Costello and The Rolling Stones. He is generally regarded as the finest traditional Irish fiddle player of his generation.

Emma Corbett, is a young melodeon player from Ballymacarbry, Co. Waterford and is a former student of Bobby Gardiner. She was All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil champion in 2012, 2015 and 2016, has toured Ireland with the group Macalla na hÉireann and is a regular performer with Brú Broú. She is also a music teacher who gives private lessons and works with a number of comhaltas branches.

Martin Murray, from County Tipperary,  is a highly respected banjo, fiddle and mandolin player who has performed in many groups, including Mairtin O’Connor’s Chatterbox Band, and the Chieftains. He has also played and recorded with such luminaries as Bill Whelan, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, and Liam Clancy amongst others. In 1993, he released his own much praised album, A Dark Horse. Martin now specialises in teaching and performing the Mike Flanagan banjo style.

Carl Hession, from Galway, is a notable composer, arranger and pianist.  Together with Frankie Gavin, Carl has arranged the brass and reed parts for this Flanagan Brothers project. He has All-Ireland titles as a soloist and as a member of duets and trios with flute player Matt Malloy and accordionist Joe Burke. He studied music at University College, Cork where he was awarded a BA, specialising in keyboard  improvisation.  Carl performed and arranged the music for the Stephane Grappelli project, and he is now arranging The Grace Kelly Irish Symphonic Suite, which Frankie is writing and which will premier in Monte Carlo later this year, with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic. 

Photos – by Karl Leonard
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K G B

Three of Ireland’s top traditional musicians to form new group

In a move that is sure to energize the Irish traditional music scene, three of Ireland’s finest instrumentalists  have formed a new group.  Paddy Keenan, Frankie Gavin and Dermot Byrne have merged their considerable musical talents for a series of performances at home and abroad which began at the prestigious Celtic Connections music festival in Glasgow on January 21st 2018.  The new group is called KGB.
The trio are synonymous with Irish music, both in their own individual right and as members of some of this country’s most famous traditional bands, dating from the early 1970s to the present day.  All are multiple award winners who have made outstanding contributions to traditional Irish music.
Paddy Keenan is one of Ireland`s finest pipers, best known as a founding member of the Bothy Band, one of Irish music’s most influential bands of the 1970s, with whom he played in venues all over the world. Paddy is also an accomplished low whistle and banjo player whose contributions to traditional Irish music were marked in 2002, when he received the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Musician of the Year award, which is presented to musical heroes of the modern age, and in 2011 by the Irish Music Association, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. http://www.paddykeenan.com

Frankie Gavin
is one of Ireland`s greatest ever fiddle players.  His name is immediately associated with the group De Dannan who were also formed in the 1970s, and are credited with breaking new ground in Irish traditional music through innovative choices of material and arrangements and a unique style of playing.  Frankie has recorded and played every genre of music from rock and roll with the Rolling Stones to jazz with Stephane Grappelli.  He also has the distinction of playing for four US presidents.  In addition to being a world-class fiddle player, Frankie is also a top class tin whistle and concert flute player. https://frankiegavin-dedannan.irish

Dermot Byrne
is one of Ireland’s most outstanding traditional accordion players.  For many years a member of Altan, Dermot performed, recorded and toured extensively with the group along with artists like Donal Lunny, Steve Cooney and Stephane Grapelli, bringing the beauty and joy of traditional Irish music to audiences all over the world.  In other collaborations he has performed previously with Frankie Gavin, Sharon Shannon, and The Stunning along with many other outstanding Irish and international musicians.  For his contribution to Irish music, Dermot was chosen as TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year 2013. http://www.dermotandflo.com
Frankie Gavin & The Provenance

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