In collaboration with Grand Canyon Celtic Arts Academy, Living Traditions Presentations is excited to bring you Zac Léger, Runa, and Masters of the Celtic Harp: Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson.
Zac Léger – July 18, 2013 at 7:30pm Riordan Mansion Visitor Center
Zac Léger has been touring and playing music professionally for over a decade. He holds numerous medals on various instruments from both the U.S. and Ireland, including an All-Ireland piping medal, one of few Americans to hold this prestigious title. He has recorded on over a two dozen albums and has played, recorded and performed with the likes of The Border Collies, John Doyle (ex-Solas), Mike Dugger, Glen Road, Liz Carroll, Rathkeltair, cittern player Joseph Sobol, Oisre (of which he was a founding member), fiddler Charlene Adzima, accordionist John Whelan and world-renowned finger-style guitarist Al Petteway to name a few. In 2005, he spent 8 months traveling under a program bringing traditional music to schools all across the country. In 2007 he was the principle uilleann piper in the Irish dance show “Emerald Beat”, based at Busch Gardens theme parks and in 2011 and 2012 he was the musical director for “Ireland: The Show” which premiered in Los Angeles and New York. He was a member of the critically acclaimed Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul as well as the Irish-based show “Celtic Crossroads”. He is currently the touring accompanist for Scottish fiddler Jamie Laval and often joins young Canadian prodigies, Qristina and Quinn Bachand, on pipes and woodwinds. As a performer, Zac brings a deep respect for the tradition, coupled with an intuitive grasp of melodic structure on the Irish pipes, wooden flute, whistles, tenor banjo and mandolin. As an accompanist on guitar and bouzouki, he provides innovative rhythmic, counter-point and harmonic lines which add energy and pulse to dance tunes, coupled with tasteful finger-style playing that breathes new life into his singing of traditional songs. He has toured all over the U.S, Canada and Ireland and currently resides in Los Angeles where he teaches music, records and plays both freelance and in numerous bands including Indie Rock/Jazz/Trad fusion band The Brilliant Gypsies. Zac will be teaching flute and Irish Whistle at Grand Canyon Celtic Arts Academy.
Runa – July 19 at 8:00pm – Shepherd of the Hills Church
“There is truly a mystical quality to their playing. They create a lyrical sound that is at once unique as well as seamless.” – Lori Lander Murphy, Irish Philadelphia
RUNA draws on the diverse musical backgrounds of its band members and offers a contemporary and refreshing approach to traditional and more recently composed Celtic material. Through their repertoire of both highly energetic and graceful, acoustic melodies, along with their fusion of music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the United States, this vocal and instrumental ensemble gives its arrangements of traditional songs and tunes a fresh sound.
“Best of all, RUNA sounds like no one else.” – Travis Rogers, Jr., Music Life and Times
Members of RUNA have played with Solas, Riverdance, Slide, Clannad, Fiddlers’ Bid, Moya Brennan, Eileen Ivers, Hazel O’Conner, Full Frontal Folk, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Barcó, Téada, and the Guy Mendilow Band.
RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Dave Curley on mandolin, vocals, bodhrán, and step-dancing, and Maggie Estes of Nashville on the fiddle.
The band won several awards at the 2010 Montgomery Buck Music Awards, including Best Entertaining Band, Best Folk Artist, Best Female Vocalist, and Best Album – “Jealousy”. They were recently recognized on an international level in the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Song in the World Traditional Category for “Amhrán Mhuighinse” (Somewhere Along the Road) and in the Irish Music Awards with a nomination for Best Female Vocalist for 2012. Jim Allford of PA Music Scene writes, “The band is going to be reckoned with and I really feel they are Grammy bound within time.”
RUNA recently released their third album, Somewhere Along the Road – hailed by Irish Philadelphia as “an inspired group that has found its voice, and its place, in the world of Irish music”.
“For contemporary Celtic music at its very best – do yourself a favor and check out RUNA.. brilliant!” – Gene Shay, co-founder of the Philadelphia Folk Festival; WXPN-FM
Runa will be teaching a variety of classes at the Grand Canyon Celtic Arts Academy, including fiddle, bodhrán, guitar, Irish dancing, singing, Irish language, tenor banjo/mandolin, auxiliary percussion, and sound production. For more information, email Kari@GrandCanyonCelticArts.org.
Masters of the Celtic Harp: Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson July 25, 2013 at 7:30pm. Riordan Mansion Visitor Center.
“…a lively program of mainly traditional music that sounds as fresh as though it were composed yesterday.”
Rarely has Irish and Scottish music been heard together in a way that compares with the music of Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson. Quite simply, Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson are two of the foremost harpers of Ireland and Scotland. Combining their extraordinary talents on harp as well as concertina, tinwhistle and bouzouki, The Masters of the Celtic Harp, have been performing all over the country and dazzling audiences with their artistry. With demanding solo careers that often have them performing on different continents, their Two Sides of Celtic show is a special treat.
“…the most creative interpretations of Irish and Scottish traditional music you’re likely to hear.”
“…soaring airs and more down-to-earth dance music, and both genres are beautifully handled.”
–Alex Monaghan, Irish Music Magazine