Noel Hill was born in Caherea in West County Clare into a big family with 7 siblings. His parents and grandparents were all concertina players. He was particularly influenced by his uncle, Padraig A Chnoic, (Paddy Hill). He lived in a house which was the last house in the area to hold the traditional Irish House dance, where musicians were always welcomed; particularly towards the end of the year when farm work was done. It was at these events that he learned his early tunes, rather than from the radio, books or records. He started playing at 9 and was lucky to have heard endless hours of Willie Clancy, Paddy Canny, Peter O’Loughlin, Paddy Murphy, and Micky Hanrahan. Much of the music in his repertoire today comes from the music he learned as a child from these great players. Noel wanted to be a piper, but pipes were not readily available. He played the concertina which had been initially purchased for his older brother.
Noel Hill joined up with Tony Linnane, Tony Callanan and Kieran Hanrahan to form the group Inchiquin. They recorded one album. Hanrahan and Callanan then left to form Stockton’s Wing. His most celebrated album is Noel Hill and Tony Linnane (1979) with Tony Linnane (fiddle), Matt Molloy (flute), Alec Finn (bouzouki and mando-cello) and Micheal O’Domhnaill (church harmonium). Inchiquin continued with Noel, Tony and Barry Moore (Luka Bloom) and toured Germany. He has been a professional concertinist since the late 1970s. In the mid 1980s he lived in New York City.
Noel’s recordings include Í gCnoc Na Graí (In Knocknagre), together with button accordionist Tony MacMahon, recorded live in Dan O’Connell’s pub with a group of Clare set dancers in 1985; The Irish Concertina One 1988, voted Irish Folk Album of the Year in 1988; Music of Dreams (Aislingí Céoil) in 1993, with Tony MacMahon and Iarla Ó Lionáird and The Irish Concertina Two 2005 with Alec Finn, Arty McGlynn, Brian McGrath, Liam O’Connor and Steve Cooney.
Noel has toured worldwide including Europe, USA, Canada, China, Hong Kong, and Australia. He teaches concertina at the The Noel Hill Irish Concertina Schools in Ireland and throughout the United States. He now lives with his two children in Connemara in the Irish speaking region of southwest County Galway. Among the many concertinas that he plays, he has a miniature made by Charles Jeffries, which is 2 inches by 2 inches. This is sometimes claimed as being the smallest concertina in the world.
Jack Talty is a traditional musician, composer, producer, and educator from Lissycasey in county Clare. As a performer Jack has travelled extensively throughout Europe, the United States, Australia, and Asia, and has contributed to over 40 albums to date as a musician, producer, composer, arranger, and engineer. A regular contributor to traditional music programmes on television and radio, Jack has worked with musicians such as Tommy Peoples, Finbarr Dwyer, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Frankie Gavin, Noel Hill, Tony Linnane, Sharon Shannon, Mairtín Ó Connor, Téada, Steve Cooney, Séamus Begley, Brendan Begley, Le Chéile, Bobby Gardiner, Jesse Smith, Colm Gannon, Alec Finn, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Geraldine Cotter, The RTÉ Concert Orchestra with conductor David Brophy, and Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra.In 2011 Jack released the critically acclaimed Na Fir Bolg with fellow concertina player Cormac Begley on his own Raelach Records label, and also formed Ensemble Ériu with double bass and flute player Neil O’ Loghlen. The band’s eponymous debut album, released by Raelach Records in October 2013 was described by Jim Carroll of the Irish Times as “one of the best Irish albums of 2013”. In January 2015, Ensemble Ériu was announced as winner of the prestigious Gradam Comharcheol TG4 (musical collaboration award presented by Ireland’s national Irish language broadcaster). Since 2013 Jack has also performed as a section leader with Dave Flynn’s Clare Memory Orchestra.
A Licentiate of the London College of Music, and a BA and BMus graduate of University College Cork, Jack has been awarded the Mary V. Hart Memorial Award, The Seán Ó Riada Memorial Award, a University College Cork Societies Guild Bene Merenti award, and a University College Cork Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann award. In 2009 Jack completed an MA in Music Technology at the Centre for Computational Musicology and Computer Music at the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Limerick.
In 2013 Jack was awarded the prestigious Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Award by the Irish Research Council for ongoing PhD research at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, under the supervision of Dr. Aileen Dillane. The research, due for completion in early 2016, explores the institutionalisation of Irish traditional music in Irish higher education.
An experienced educator, Jack has taught at numerous festivals including the Willie Clancy Summer School, the South Sligo Summer School, the Joe Mooney Summer School Drumshanbo, Meitheal, Corofin Traditional Festival, Return to Camden Town London, New South Wales Fleadh Nua Festival Australia, Ennis Traditional Festival, Scoil Ceoil an Earraigh, Scoil Cheoil na Botha, Éigse Mrs. Crotty, The Concertina Cruinniú Miltown Malbay, Consairtín Concertina Festival Ennis, the Fleadh Nua, the Joseph Browne School of Traditional Music, Ceardlann Earraigh, and also teaches regularly on the BA in Irish Music and Dance, and the MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance, at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.
In November 2016, Jack released his debut solo concertina album, In Flow on Raelach Records. Jack is currently the Education Officer with ICTM Ireland and is editor of Spéis, ICTM Ireland’s newsletter.
Ann Droney Kirrane
Ann Kirrane comes from a long musical tradition. Her father, Chris Droney, is one of the most respected concertina players in Ireland. Ann herself learned concertina from her father Chris and grandfather Jim and won the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil three times, but her soaring, lilting voice is now her primary instrument.
Ann moved to Tuam Co.Galway and it ws there she began to sing, releasing her debut album, One Small Star to critical acclaim in 2012.
Ann launched her latest album Behind Yon Mountain, at a memorable concert during the Fleadh in Ennis in 2016.
Moher is a 6 piece Clare based traditional music group founded in 1989. To date they have 2 albums recorded the first, Moher – Out on the Ocean was released in 1991 and the second, Moher – Over the Edge, was released in 1998.
The members include Inagh man Michael Queally on fiddle, Noel O’Donoghue on concert flute from Kilfenora, Ennis guitarist and singer Liam Murphy, John Moloney on bodhrán from O’Callaghans Mills Pat Marsh from Broadford on bouzouki and mandolin and Paul O’Driscoll from Birmingham on double bass and vocals.
Tickets for this event can be purchased here.