Claudine is best known for her tenor banjo and mandolin playing with Touchstone, Triona NiDhomhnaill’s highly acclaimed Irish-Appalachian fusion band based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the 1980′s. While living in Galway, Ireland, she learned the exciting Irish flat-picked tenor banjo style from Charlie Piggott of De Danann and has led workshops at folk festivals in the US, Canada, and England. She currently performs with the Vermont-based band Gypsy Reel, who have recorded six cds, and been recipients of a National Endowment for the Arts award for touring artists. Claudine maintains a musical connection with the traditional music of the Maritime provinces of Canada, especially Nova Scotia, home of her father.
Conor and Rory Makem continue the lineage of one of Irish music’s dynasties, begun by their grandmother Sarah Makem, who was sought after by song collectors for her store of traditional Irish songs. Their father is Tommy Makem, the modern day Bard of Armagh. The Spain Brothers also learned Irish songs at their father’s knee. Mickey’s rich, baritone voice and Liam’s mastery of stringed instruments quickly found a home when the Makems met the Spains and the brothers realized the power of their combined talents. With a host of instruments and precise harmonies, the Makem and Spain Brothers honour the legacy of Irish folk songs.
Bruce Molsky stands today as the premier old-time fiddler in the world, the defining virtuoso of Appalachia’s timeless folk music traditions. In addition to a prolific solo career, performing on fiddle, guitar, and banjo, Molsky frequently joins genre-busting supergroups like the Grammy-nominated Fiddlers Four, Mozaik, and Celtic giant Donal Lunny. He also performs in a trio with Scottish fiddler Aly Bain and Sweden’s great Ale Moller. In the spring of 2012, Bruce become a member of the Berklee faculty for a semester teaching old-time and traditional music. Bruce returns to Celtic Colours this year after being Artist in Residence at the Festival last year.
Abby Newton is well known for her groundbreaking work in the revival of cello in American and Scottish traditional music. She began recording in the seventies and has produced and performed on over a hundred folk recordings, including 16 with Scottish singer Jean Redpath. Abby’s solo CDs, “Crossing to Scotland” (1997) and “Castles, Kirks, and Caves” (2001), have earned her critical acclaim both in the US and abroad, and her influence on the folk cello movement has been the subject of a feature on National Public Radio in the US. The tunes from each recording are also available in book form. Abby first came to Celtic Colours with Ferintosh in 2003. She returns this year as part of the Fiddletree project.