Celtic Woman is the realization of a dream for
Composer and Musical Director, David Downes and Show Producer,
Sharon Browne. Together with Dave Kavanagh, Executive Producer
of the Show, they created Celtic Woman to feature the very
special talents of four young Irish female vocalists and a very
exciting young fiddle player.
The five women vocalists, Chloe,
Lisa, Meav and Órla and fiddle player Mairead are led by David
Downes, a prodigious young Irish talent, who has previously
worked as musical director of Riverdance. Celtic Woman portrays
the unique voices and styles of each of the girls as soloists as
well as fantastic ensemble numbers. Performing beautiful and
much-loved songs, Celtic Woman features unique renditions of
Irish songs such as: "Danny Boy," timeless classics like "Ave
Maria", contemporary songs such as Enya's "Orinoco Flow" and
Clannad's "Harry's Game", and a host of spellbinding original
songs created by David Downes.
Celtic Woman started life as a
90-minute show for PBS, which premiered in the US in March 2005.
The show was broadcast on over 300 stations and such was its
success that it was developed into a full scale touring
production. The Celtic Woman CD & DVD were released through
Manhattan Records (EMI) on March 1st 2005. Since its release the
CD has been certified gold and the DVD has been certified
platinum. The CD has also been No 1 in the Billboard World Music
Chart for over 60 weeks.
Mairead Nesbitt: Fiddle Player
Máiréad, who began playing the piano at the age of 4 and the
fiddle at 6, is a former All-Ireland fiddle champion. She began
formal training in music at an early age, at the Ursuline
Convent in Thurles, and continued at The Waterford Institute of
Technology, at the Cork School of Music under Cornelia Zanidache
and at the London Royal Academy, London Trinity College, with
Post Graduate Studies under Emanuel Hurwitz on violin and piano.
She is a past member of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland.
Following her formal training, she became a professional
violinist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in 1991. She also
worked on-stage and in-studio with many well-known musicians,
among them Nigel Kennedy, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor, Clannad,
Emmylou Harris, Aslan, Chris De Burgh and Jimmy Webb, and
including more traditional Irish artists Dónal Lunny, Sharon
Shannon, Paul Brady, Frances Black, Cooney and Begley, and Jimmy
McCarthy. Mairead had the honor of performing privately for HRH
- The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) on her secret visit to
Dublin last September.
“Lisa Lambe is the finest singer and actress of her generation on
whom a whole new foundation of theatre can be built” -The Irish
Lisa Lambe is a renowned Irish actress and vocalist who has starred
in numerous title roles in top theatrical productions throughout
Ireland, Europe and the UK. Regarded as one of the most sought after
performers in Ireland, Lisa Lambe’s natural talent began shining
from the young age of three and was polished with a degree in
performance from Trinity College Dublin.
Lisa Lambe’s career accolades span from the dramatic stage to
musical theater; film and television to radio performances. She has
been a featured soloist with Ireland’s RTE Concert Orchestra, and
was a favorite soloist on Ireland’s popular TV program “The Late
Late Show” leading to collaborations with RTE affiliated musicians
Shay Healy and Frank McNamara.
Lisa Lambe’s critically praised vocal roles include The Shaughraun
directed by John McColgan (under the Musical Direction of David
Downes; The Abbey Theatre), The Wiremen by Shay Healy (The Gaiety
Theatre), Sweeney Todd (The Gate Theatre). Lisa Lambe was nominated
for a Best Actress Award at The Irish Times Theatre Awards for her
performance in the lead role of “Philomena O Shea” in Rough Magic’s
musical Improbable Frequency where she performed at The Edinburgh
Theatre Festival, in Torun (Poland), and in Dublin.
Born in Dublin, Susan McFadden became a star at the age of 11 in the
title role of Annie at the Olympia Theater in Dublin and most
recently starred in London’s West End.
Susan trained from a young age at the famous Billie Barry Stage
School, while performing in theatre and television. Landing her
first professional lead role in Annie at the age of 11 she later
went on to tour in Ireland and the United States with Irish
entertainers such as Tony Kenny, June Rogers and Noel V Ginnity.
In 2006 Susan moved from Dublin to London in pursuit of her lifelong
ambition to perform in the West End. Quickly accomplishing this
dream, Susan won the reality ITV show Grease Is the Word, affording
her the opportunity to play “Sandy” in the West End production of
Grease. Susan then played the roll of “Serena” in the original cast
for the UK premier of Legally Blonde the Musical and subsequently
took over the lead of “Elle Woods” which earned her a nomination for
the prestigious ‘What’s on stage Award’ for “Best Take Over.”
Other stage credits include the role of “Kathy” in Singin’ in the
Rain at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin and Everyman Palace Theatre in
Cork; the national tour of Brighton Beach Memoirs at the Andrews
Lane Theatre; Daniel O’Donnell’s Rock ‘n’ Roll tour, “Milly” in
Seven Brides for Seven Brother in the West End. Television credits
include RTE television series’ Bachelors Walk and Relative
Strangers, the four-part mini-series and Daniel O’Donnell’s Rock ‘n’
Roll PBS special.
Born in Derry, in the north of Ireland, Mairead Carlin’s life has
been immersed in music since her early days, coming from a family
whose love of song was passed down to her generation.
“Derry, my hometown, is a very cultured and very musical place,
wherever you turn there’s always music,” she enthuses. “That was
especially true in my family… We’d just sit around the fire, sing
and drink tea – there was no alcohol involved, despite what people
always think about the Irish!”
After finishing her studies at Trinity College of Music in London,
Mairead was signed to Decca Records and has recorded her debut
album, ‘Songbook’, due for release in 2014.
Mairead has performed for the President of Ireland, celebrated the
Irish Anthem for the England-Ireland Rugby International to a TV
audience of millions and shared the stage with the likes of Snow
Patrol and The Priests at the 2013 BBC TV Gala Concert ‘Sons and
Daughters’ to mark Derry’s year as City of Culture- of which she
also recorded the City of Culture anthem ‘Let The River Run’.
She has toured the UK and Ireland with legendary American
singer-songwriter Don McLean, including a sellout concert at the
Royal Albert Hall. Also this year, Mairead made her debut with the
National Symphony Orchestra in the National Concert Hall for RTE TV.
“A motto I’ve used throughout my career so far”, she says, “is a
quote from the award-winning poet Seamus Heaney: ‘Sing yourself to
where the singing comes from.’ I think there’s a lot to be said for
Lynn Hilary trained as a classical soprano at DIT College of Music
in Dublin, graduating with honours in June 2004. She has been a
member of the renowned choir ‘An’na’ for 5 years, performing with
them as a soloist on ‘Songs of Praise’, ‘BBC Proms in the Park’, and
numerous other television appearances. With ‘An’na’ she has traveled
to all corners of the world and features as a soloist on many of
Lynn was the lead vocalist for ‘Riverdance’ at the Special Olympics
opening ceremony, performing to a live audience of over 85,000 and a
television audience of millions. She has also been the lead vocalist
for ‘Riverdance’ at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin for a ten week run
and on tour in the USA, Canada and Europe, including six consecutive
full houses at Radio City Music Hall, New York. She features as a
soloist on the ‘Riverdance’ 10th Anniversary CD and DVD. Lynn has
worked with many artists such as Daniel O’ Donnell, Luka Bloom,
Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club, and Don Mescall, to name but a few.
Lynn has already started working with the Girls readying herself for
her debut performance on the 10th October 2007 in Estero, Florida,
At this time we would like to thank Meav for her contribution to
Celtic Woman over the last three years. We know Meav will be missed
by Celtic Woman fans as much as she will be missed by us. We wish
her every success in her solo pursuits and we look forward to
working with Meav in the future.
Chlöe is a gifted musician studying piano, guitar and
recorder as well as being a magnificent singer. Agnew made her
debut television performance at just four weeks old and first
sang on television at the age of six! She won the Grand Prix at
the first International Children's Song Competition in Cairo in
1998 representing Ireland with a song entitled "The Friendship
She recorded and released her debut album, Chlöe, at the young
age of twelve. Her second Album Walking in the Air, was released
and drew huge attention in the internationally. It was the
interest in her album and Celtic Collections other Irish Female
Soloists that spawned the concept for the Celtic Woman show.
Méav Ni Mhaolcatha
Méav has a broad range of performing experience
in Ireland and abroad. Her first solo album, Méav, has sold
extremely well in the US, Japan and Korea. Her second solo
album, Silver Sea, has recently been released and is available
in specialist music stores across Europe and America under the
Celtic Collections Label.
Méav has been invited to perform her own music at many festivals
worldwide. She headlined at a major open-air festival in Seoul
as part of the Korean World Cup celebrations and launched her
second album there. She recently performed to great acclaim at a
prestigious Celtic Festival in Tokyo and sang in the Beo
Festival of Irish Music at the National Concert Hall Dublin.
Orla: Harpist & Singer
Orla has featured as a soloist in concerts around Ireland at
such venues as The National Concert Hall, Dublin, The Opera
House, Belfast and The Waterfront Theatre, Belfast. She has
recorded, performed and toured with Internationally renowned
groups Clannad and Anuna, as well as the oboist David Agnew.
A popular soloist in the corporate sector in Dublin, Orla
appears regularly at such venues as Dublin Castle, Humewood
Castle, The Royal Hospital Kilmainham and Luttrellstown Castle.
Orla was invited to play for The Pope in Rome and she is invited
regularly to perform at Aras An Uactarain for The President Of
Ireland. Orla’s debut album The Water is Wide has earned her
much critical acclaim and has led to countless television and
radio broadcasts. She has toured extensively throughout Europe
and North America where her reputation is steadily growing for
her renditions of haunting Irish airs as well as her own vocal
and instrumental compositions.
Lisa was born in Dublin and has been singing since the age
of 7. Classically trained in both piano and singing, Lisa
started her professional career in musicals. She has played many
roles including “Velma Kelly” in Chicago, “Florence” in Chess,
“Laurie” in Oklahoma and “Sandy” in Grease. Lisa has also
performed in many concerts at Dublin’s National Concert Hall
including: “The Magic of Gershwin,” “The Music of Cole Porter,”
and “From Romberg to Rodgers” to name but a few.
Lisa was the lead female vocalist of Riverdance. It was here
that she met her husband Scott and they toured with the show for
four years taking in cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San
Francisco, New York, Miami, Toronto and many more. Lisa recorded
her debut album entitled Lisa. Now a mother to two boys, Cian
and Jack, Lisa has just finished filming her first Solo DVD.
David Downes: Musical Director/Composer
David Downes is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where he
studied music and composition. Previously Downes had been Musical
Director of Riverdance for the US touring company, European touring
company, and on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre. He was also the
orchestrator of Riverdance On Broadway. As a producer David has
recorded four albums with oboist David Agnew, achieving Gold status
in Ireland and Europe, and recently the Gold debut album of young
Irish singer Chlöe. He has also worked as orchestrator and arranger
for Bonnie Tyler, Charlotte Church, and Secret Garden.
Recording credits as soloist include Grammy-award winning Michael W.
Smith, Michael Crawford (on his Disney album), Clannad, Moya
Brennan, and Bill Whelan.
BASS / TOURING MUSICAL DIRECTOR
In a career spanning almost forty years Eoghan OʼNeill has recorded and
performed a large and varied cross section of contemporary music. He was
a member of the original version of the highly acclaimed Irish music
crossover band Moving Hearts and his playing with this band got him
noticed as a session player. His credits range from people as far apart
on the musical map as Tammy Wynette and Terence Trent DʼArby. During the
eighties he recorded five albums with British songwriter Chris Rea
including the massively successful On The Beach. Eoghan was a member of
the original Riverdance Orchestra and held the post of musical director
in the U.S. touring show (The Lee Company) until it was disbanded. Since
then he has been playing on and producing albums. Among these are two
productions for Celts Heritage star Dan ar Bras, and Breton legend
Gilles Servat. Eoghan is one of the original members of the Celtic Woman
band and has been on tour with us since 2005.
PIPES AND WHISTLES
Tommy Martin took his first Uilleann Pipes lesson from Dublin piper,
Mick O’Brien in 1984 at the age of 12. By 1988, with the great help of
Mick’s tuition he won first place at the Annual Fleadh Cheoil na
hEireann (traditional music competition), an event run by “Comhaltas
Ceoltoiri Eireann”, (Literally, traditional musicians of Ireland).
His professional career started in 1990 when offered a place in the band
for Jury’s Irish Cabaret. A position, which he shared with Mick O’Brien.
Then in 1996 Tommy took a job organising and playing at Irish music
nights in Irish pubs in Hong Kong.
This led to more work in Asian cities
such as Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore and Tokyo over the coming
years. Back in Europe, Tommy’s talent and experience took him to perform
in almost every country with many different bands. Performances varied
from solo events to playing with 5 piece folk bands. Since then his gigs
have as diverse as being an Uilleann Pipes tutor in New Zealand to
performing with “Riverdance” in New York to recording with past members
of rock band “Thin Lizzy”. In January 2004 Tommy had the honor to play a
newly composed piece of music with the Chicago Virtuosi Symphony
As part of the Celtic Woman Christmas Symphony tour in 2011 Tommy
performed with the Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony
Orchestra, the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra and many others.
solo CD, “Uilleann Piper”, was released in 2000 which was followed by
his second release, “Shady Woods” in 2005.
Tommy now lives in St. Louis, Missouri. When not working with Irelands
Music Awards winners Teada and Emmy nominated Celtic Woman he also makes
Uilleann pipes and penny whistles.
GUITARS, BOUZOUKI, MANDOLIN, VOCALS
Ewan Cowley is a graduate in Music and Composition from Trinity College,
Dublin. A producer, orchestrator and arranger, Ewan is also an
accomplished multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist performing on
acoustic, classical and electric guitars, bouzouki, mandolin, Irish
whistles and piano.
His recent music productions include works by Irish composer Paul Flynn
(2013), the debut EP ‘Hazy Summer Morning’ from singer/songwriter Noel
Cowley (2012) and ‘The Fields Of Athenry’ by The High Kings from their
platinum-selling album Memory Lane (2010).
As an orchestrator/arranger, he transcribed in 2012 orchestrations for
the ‘Believe’ DVD by Emmy nominated and platinum-selling group Celtic
Woman. In 2010 he prepared vocal and orchestral scores for that group’s
Isle Of Hope 2009 US Tour and Songs From The Heart DVD. He also composed
arrangements for Memory Lane and The High Kings – Live In Dublin’ CDs by
The High Kings (2010/11).
As a studio musician he has contributed to Grammy nominated albums and
worldwide selling recordings by Bill Whelan, Celtic Woman, The High
Kings, Tommy Fleming, Camille O’Sullivan, Ronnie Drew, Phil Coulter and
Moya Brennan. He has also recorded with many other Irish artists
including Jim McCann, Stephen McKeon (Movie Composer), Anna Rice (Irish
Composer, Abbey Theatre), Noel Cowley, Naoise Stuart – Kelly, Eoin
Cannon, Roisin Sullivan, Rebecca Winckworth and Roisin O’Reilly.
Ewan has performed worldwide at leading concert venues including Radio
City Music Hall NYC, Red Rocks Amphitheatre Colorado, The Nokia Theater
LA, O2 Berlin, Frankfurt Opera House and the Tokyo Dome Japan.
He has completed many tours and live shows in the US, Asia, South
Africa, Ireland and UK with Celtic Woman, Riverdance – The Show, Tommy
Fleming, Moya Brennan and Orla Fallon.
Ewan has featured in many TV and Radio (RTE, BBC, EU and US networks)
performing with the above artists and also with Ronan Keating, Kate
Walsh, Mica Paris, Gabriella Cilmi, Sharon Corr (The Corrs), Danny Jones
(McFly), Brian Kennedy, Eddi Reader, Matt Cardle and Eddi Reader. In
addition, Ewan has made several concert appearances with the RTE
National Symphony Orchestra.
From 2011 to 2013 he has worked on RTE TV’s The Voice Of Ireland as a
rehearsal pianist and also as a multi-instrumentalist in the live band.
In 2010 he also worked in the ‘house band’ on RTE TV’s Tonight With
Ewan was born in Churchtown, south Dublin, Ireland. He was brought up in
both Dublin and Derry, Ireland and also in London, England.
PIANO, KEYBOARD, VOCALS
Multi-instrumentalist 24 year old Brian Mc Grane from Navan Co. Meath,
is one of the most original and aspiring young Irish composers and
musicians. From the age of 7, Brian showed a keen interest in piano and
was playing many popular and religious tunes by ear.
At 12 he decided
to further his knowledge in piano and began to study with the royal
Irish academy of music where he completed all grades. During this time
Brian also showed a huge interest in guitar, percussion, orchestral and
traditional instruments. In 2005 he joined the Navan silver band,
playing trombone for two years. Meanwhile the young musician was playing
guitar and keyboards country-wide with his own rock band.
He has also
accompanied many local choirs on organ from a very young age. From
2007-2011 Brian decided to further his creativity in a completely
different area and graduated with an honours degree in Product Design
from the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)
Through a large network of college friends and colleagues,
coincidentally, he met David Downes who asked him to join Celtic Woman.
Brian has also played percussion along side Ray Fean for the 2014 Celtic
Woman Australian tour. The young musician and composer has also toured
as pianist with the highly established and respected Brian Kennedy since
2011, and has collaborated with many young Irish artists since 2007. He
has recently been working on a number of other Film and TV productions.
Brian is currently in the process of building new mixing and editing
rooms to cater more comfortably for artists, directors, producers and
BAGPIPES, SMALLPIPES, WHISTLE, CAJON
Anthony began playing pipes when he was 11 years old in the Arklow Pipe
Band, with whom he won a RSPBA World Championship Medal in 2007. He has
played competitively in Ireland, Scotland and France and has performed
on stage at festivals all across Europe, The United States, Sri Lanka,
Ireland and the U.K. In 2004, he won the International “Kitchen Piping”
solo competition in Brittany, France, beating off such players as Fred
Morrison and Stuart Cassells of The Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
In 2000 Anthony played for Pope John Paul II in The Vatican City and
also attended an Audience With The Pope. In 2003 he performed on stage
at the Opening Ceremony of The Special Olympics in Croke Park, Dublin,
to a live audience of 90,000 people, alongside such performers as U2 and
Riverdance. In 2008 Anthony toured The United States and Ireland with
Irish band The High Kings and is featured on their CDs and DVD.
In 2010, Anthony played with Horslips on their comeback tour in the O2
and also featured in a live performance with Westlife for an RTE special
“Westlife – For One Night Only”.
Anthony first performed with Celtic Woman in 2009 when he played as solo
bagpiper on their production “Songs from the Heart”. He has been touring
with Celtic Woman since 2010, and has recorded on “Believe”, “Home for
Christmas”, and most recently “Emerald.
Anthony released his solo album “Celtic Piper” in 2011, which features
fellow Celtic Woman band members Eoghan O’Neill and Ewan Cowley. Anthony
is proudly endorsed by Scottish bagpipe makers McCallum, and plays a set
of their fully engraved AB pipes and chanter.
Dublin born Andy Reilly began playing Drums and Percussion at the age of
7. He studied with the renowned Irish drummer, Jon Murray. This led him
to study Percussion at The College of Music, Dublin. By age 11, Andy
began to gain a valuable amount of experience playing with many bands,
orchestras and variety shows. This included playing in Ireland’s oldest
band, The St. James Brass and Reed Band Est. in 1737 and as principal
percussionist with The National Youth Orchestra of Ireland.
At 15, Andy performed in the very first performance of Riverdance at The
Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 and went on to tour for eight years as
their percussionist on the North American production of Riverdance The
Show. During this time Andy performed at such events as The Royal
Variety Performance and The 39th Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden.
Having moved to Los Angeles and graduating from Musicians Institute
Hollywood in 2006, Andy began to teach music with Sound Art LA as Head
of their Percussion Department teaching disadvantaged children
throughout the city of Los Angeles. He has recorded and played with many
artists on the LA music scene, recorded numerous movie scores for Disney
and has worked along side composer, James Newton Howard.
Andy was the percussionist with The High Kings on their first U.S. and
Irish tours. Now having recorded albums, DVD’s and touring five
continents, Andy is very proud to be part of The Celtic Woman family.
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