BODHRAN, GUITAR, LOW WHISTLE, TIN WHISTLE, PIANO, BOUZOUKI
Although born in London, Tad’s family roots are firmly in Ireland – his family hails from Castlebar in County Mayo. Starting in his mid-teens on the bodhrán, the Irish drum, Tad learned the music, later adopting his much-loved bouzouki. Noted for his driving percussive style, Tad has a keen ability to create complex and changing rhythm patterns when backing melodic lines.
Tad has worked both in studio and in live performance with many well-known and respected musicians including: Barrule, Celtic Crossroads, Joglaresa, The Bible Code Sundays, The Long Notes, Cara Dillon, Luke Daniels, Sylvain Barou, Kristina Train and Jody Talbot. As member of Ranagri for five years he collaborated with Tony Christie, of ‘Amarillo’ fame, on the album “The Great Irish Song Book” released in 2015.
Playing all over Europe and the USA, Tad has performed in some of the most prestigious venues including The Royal Albert Hall and the National Theatre. In the summer of 2016 he was part of the team at the renowned Globe Theatre in London for the highly praised production of “The Taming of the Shrew”, directed by Caroline Byrne. His festival appearances include Glastonbury, The Hop Farm, Cambridge Folk Festival and the Annual Irish Festival in London’s Trafalgar Square.
Tad is also highly committed to passing on the tradition to the next generation, young though he is! He teaches bodhrán, bouzouki, guitar and piano and is the resident bodhrán and accompaniment tutor at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith.
Órlaith McAuliffe, started playing the tin whistle at the age of seven at her local Comhaltas class. She qualified for her first All Ireland Competition the following year when she was eight years old.
Now, Órlaith has 21 All Ireland Champion Titles under her belt, with a few second and third places thrown in for good measure. As a result, she has played live on RTE Céilí House alongside Kieran Hanrahan, Trafalgar Square with Joe Brown and many other great musicians such as Michael McGoldrick, Emma Sweeney and The London Lassies and Peter Quinn. She is also a member of CrossHarbour. Orlaith is also the Ceílí Max medical expert as she is currently studying medicine and will be shortly be a qualified Doctor.
Colette O’leary, London based accordionist, performs around the UK, Ireland and worldwide. Originally from Ireland, her varied repertoire includes Celtic, Irish, Scottish, French, Italian, Eastern European, Russian and South American.
Colette was born in Sliabh Luachra in Co. Kerry, southwest of Ireland and raised in Dublin. At the age of five, she took her first piano accordion lesson. At age 11, Seamas Meehan of music branch Comhaltas Cluain Tarbh Dublin, became her teacher. It was Seamas who first harvested her inspiration and passion for Irish music. By the age of eighteen, Colette had won two All-Ireland titles.
Colette was a founder member of highly acclaimed all girl Irish group “Bumblebees”. Between 1996-2002, they released two albums Bumblebees and Buzzin’, the latter produced by Trevor Hutchinson (Waterboys, Sharon Shannon band, Lunasa). Their infectious brew of tunes from Ireland, Canada, Cape-Breton, France and Italy won them many accolades. They were festival favourites at Celtic Connections Festival Glasgow and toured worldwide in US, Europe and UK. Buzzin’ was voted one of the top 10 albums by The Echo Newspaper, New York City.
“Acoustic music par excellence” (Hot Press)
VIOLIN, DANCE CALLER
Raised in Edinburgh, Jason was schooled from a very young age in the best traditions of Scottish instrumental playing, studying classical violin and fiddle styles under local virtuoso, Edna Arthur, for 10 years from the age of seven. As a teenager he was selected to tour with some of the brightest talents of his generation, and found himself gracing the many famous concert halls of Europe and North America. It was at this time also, that Jason became drawn into the rarefied world of ‘reeling’, a high energy derivative of the generally more sedate popular folk dance. Plunging headlong into this world in pursuit of this newly discovered ambrosia, he spent many years attending the numerous ‘gatherings’ and ‘meetings’ in the western isles and and highlands of Scotland.
It wasn’t long before his talents as a player and dancer were noticed and he was invited to join The Infamous Grouse band. During his long tenure with them, the band developed from humble beginnings as the intervals band at the Skye Gathering, to international touring, Playing extensively around Central Europe, they regularly perform beyond its fringes, touring annually to such exotic lands as Kazakhstan, Romania and Russia. Taking on a managerial role in the band in 2005, at the behest of the British high Commission, Jason led a tour of India culminating in performances in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. This relationship continues to this day with repeat annual tours at times involving the organising several bands and troupes of display dancers.
As a caller he is considered amongst the best on the current ceilidh scene and is regular with several of the UK’s top ceilidh bands including Licence to Ceilidh. Performing on fiddle and call a ceilidh for Sting at his private birthday party. Other persons of note or infamy depending on your view, to whom he has performed include, Steven Fry, Robert Downey Jnr, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kevin Spacey, Guy Ritchie, Thandie Newton, Saffron Burroughs, Jodie Kidd, Jemima Goldsmith. TV and radio credits include numerous plays on BBC’s Radio1, Radio2 and Radio6, and the major terrestrial TV channels. Including Channel 4, performing with License to Ceilidh for Gok Wan’s Fashion Fix’s to be broadcast in June 2010.
UILLEANN PIPER, TIN WHISTLE & GUITAR
Dominic Henderson is an accomplished uilleann piper and whistle player from North London. An All-Ireland competitor and a lover of contemporary music, he crosses many bridges between the traditional playing styles of Johnny Doran and Willie Clancy to the more familiar sounds of modern piping. He is known for his stunning arrangements of traditional tunes as well as his own compositions, and his playing is most influenced by Irish musicians such as Moving Hearts, Brian Finnegan, Davy Spillane and John McSherry, as well as Jazz legend John Coltraine and keyboardist Herbie Hancock.
Becoming a self-taught piper at the age of fourteen, Dominic has since been finding ways to push the boundaries of what this versatile instrument is capable of, and has worked with an eclectic mix of artists, from small chamber groups, baroque music to Irish punk bands and has collaborated with well-known English and Irish folk musicians such as Pat Kilbride, Brian Kelly and Jez Hellard.
“Boundless energy, imagination and instrumental expertise” – Neil McFadyen, Folk Radio.
JAMES PATRICK GAVIN
GUITAR & FIDDLE
James Patrick Gavin, hailing from North London, is a multi-instrumentalist composer with musical and family roots running from Northern Ireland to the Basque Country.
Steeped in Irish music, his unique approach to guitar and fiddle is described as “magnificent in its irreverence” (Folk Radio UK). James’s critically acclaimed solo project ‘Chewing The Fat’ was launched in 2018. Working at the forefront of London’s folk music scene, James can also be found amongst the ranks numerous ensembles including The Rad Orchestra and Jez Hellard & The Djukella Orchestra.
DHOL & DHOLAK DRUMS
Jeevan Singh is an extremely gifted musician hailing from Bristol with Indian roots. He is an all-round, multi-instrumentalist, but his expertise lies in rhythm and percussion, namely Dholak, Dhol, and Tabla.
Jeevan Singh has played with various artists all over the musical spectrum including Bhangra Artists , XLNC, Dippa Satrang, Hans Raj Hans, Harbhjan Talwar, Meshi Eshara, Daljit Mattu (Captain Bhangreh Da) , Mika, Manak-E,Tariq Legacy, Surjit Anakhi, Jassi Sidhu, Sukhdhinder Shinda and Jazzy B, and has also featured with various local bands such as Malarchy, SmallAxe,Laid Blak, Flynn and Flora, The Ambling Band to name but a few.
Jeevan met Tad Sargent when they both worked at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Where Bhangra Ceildh was born
FIDDLE & DANCE CALLER
Alexis studied performance at the Guildhall School with Jane Rogers. He has performed widely with early music ensembles including the Dufay Collective, Florilegium, Horses Brawl and Musicians of London Wall and has appeared at Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Cadogan Hall.
Alexis is an active folk musician, with over ten years of experience as a ceilidh caller and fiddler, often appearing with Ceili Max. He has taught at Dartington International Summer School, and is a member of the London-based old-time band The Croshaw Family.
A First Class Honours graduate from the Trinity College of Music, London, the Irish flautist Eimear McGeown has established a busy and varied career both classically and on the Traditional Irish flute. She has appeared as a soloist in North and South America, South Korea, Japan, The Philippines and throughout Europe. Two of her most notable performances have been on BBC’s Last Night of the Proms and the World Premiere of Dave Morris’ Concerto in the Library of Congress in Washington DC. She has recorded with various artists on albums for Decca, Universal and Chandos Record labels and played on BBC Radio, Classic FM and RTE Lyric FM. Having performed for President Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and Prince Edward, Eimear received an invitation by Her Majesty the Queen, to attend a Royal Reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate her achievements in the Performing Arts.
On the Irish flute, she holds two All Ireland titles and has released a Celtic EP on iTunes. She has recorded with Barry Douglas on two of his Celtic albums which feature several of her own compositions and also recently performed them together with Camerata Ireland in the Kennedy Center, Washington DC. Eimear has recorded at the Abbey Road Studios, for the video game Runescape and played in Lord of the Rings in the West End, London. She performed at the Sori International Music Festival in South Korea with the Irish Memory Orchestra and recently as a featured soloist with Libera in Tokyo’s Opera City Concert Hall. She is also involved in the Pop music scene and played with the X Factor winner Matt Cardle on the National Television Awards, the rock band Amsterdam at the Glastonbury Festival, and played support to The Pogues in the Echo Arena, Liverpool.