Sheila Friel

Uilleann Pipes


Sheila was born in Glasgow with family roots firmly entrenched in the Donegal Gaeltacht on the West Coast of Ireland. She began playing music on tin whistle, then flute for several years, before getting a set of pipes at 16. Growing up in Glasgow, she received tuition from workshops at Scoil Gheimhridh Frankie Kennedy with Gay & Sean McKeon and at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy with Tommy Keane and Mick O’Brien. Sheila credits NPU for continued support in her piping, having frequently travelled to Henrietta Street for tuition and help in maintenance of her pipes, especially from Gay McKeon. She plays chanters by Benedict Koehler and Paddy Hyland with a set by Gordon Galloway.

Sheila features on Na Píobairí Uilleann publications The Rolling Wave CD (A new generation of uilleann pipers) and Pipe Up DVDrom. At the beginning of 2014 Sheila released her first album The Friel Sisters along with her sisters Anna & Clare with whom she has played across Europe, America and in Asia. Along with teaching pipes she has performed at various tionóls, NPU events and at Cumann Píobaireachta Tharlach Mhic Suibhne events promoting uilleann piping in Donegal.

Tony McManus

Guitar


“The best Celtic guitarist in the world.”- John Renbourn

Conjuring a unique but universal language from that most ubiquitous of instruments, the acoustic guitar, Tony McManus has both extended and transcended the parameters of contemporary Celtic music. Ranked by peers and predecessors alike alongside the guitar world’s all-time greats, his fiendishly dexterous, dazzlingly original playing draws on traditions from the entire Celtic diaspora – Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Galicia, Asturias, Cape Breton, Quebec – along with still further-ranging flavours, such as jazz and east European music. Long applauded for his uncanny ability to transpose the delicate, complex ornamentation characteristic of traditional bagpipe or fiddle tunes – even the phrasing of a Gaelic song – onto his own six strings, McManus is increasingly being acknowledged also as a pioneering figure in bridging the realms of Celtic music and other guitar genres.

Few guitarists can present Celtic music with the gusto and nuance they possess when played on fiddles or bagpipes. Tony McManus is one of those few. – Acoustic Guitar Magazine

Liz Carroll

Fiddle


Liz Carroll was born in Chicago of Irish parents. She’s a junior and senior All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, and has toured as a solo artist and with the Greenfields of America, Trian, String Sisters, and as part of the duo Liz Carroll & John Doyle. She’s featured on eleven albums and has appeared on many more. Liz is a recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship Award (1994). In 2010 she became the first Irish-American musician nominated for a Grammy. In 2011 she became the first American-born composer honored with the Cumadóir TG4, Ireland’s most significant traditional music prize.

Liz’s last solo album, On the Offbeat, has been called magnificent and timeless by the critics, and “… one of the best albums of the decade so far” by Irish Music Magazine. You can hear the music and purchase at www.lizcarroll.com and in stores everywhere.

A new collaborative album, produced as companion music to a recent exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, is named “Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840 – The Music.” A mix of period music and new compositions by Liz Carroll, the other artists include Liz Knowles, Kieran O’Hare, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, and Catriona McKay. Released in February, 2016, Daniel Neeley of the Irish Echo praised it, saying “It is a breathtaking companion piece… a spectacular album. It features a beautiful mixture of old and new music from one of the most elite gatherings of musicians.”

Sean Gavin

Flute


Sean Gavin’s playing on the flute, whistle and uilleann pipes reflects his lifelong immersion and love for traditional Irish music. Encouraged by his father, Clare fiddler Mick Gavin, Sean played a variety of Irish instruments until settling on the flute at age ten. Shortly after, he began work on the uilleann pipes with teacher Al Purcell—himself a student of famed piper Leo Rowsome. Currently residing in Chicago, he deeply values his many opportunities to hear, talk with and learn from Sligo flute legend Kevin Henry. Sean is a member of the critically acclaimed group Bua and recently released an album, Music from the Lost Continent, with musicians Jesse Smith, John Blake, and Johnny “Ringo” McDonagh. He’s also the recepient of the 2016 Sean O’Riada gold medal, the first person from outside Ireland to receive that honor. Sean often performs with his family and remains firmly dedicated to playing and teaching traditional Irish music.

Debbie Quigley

Uilleann Pipes



Deb Quigley was born in Newtownards, County Down and lived during the early 70’s in the town of Bangor where she was first introduced to the native music of Ireland. Chris (Charlie Ferguson) R.I.P. whistle and flute player also from Bangor was a huge influence on her music during the formative years. During the late 80’s she was once again inspired musically by the playing and teaching of the late Chris Langan Uillean piper, instrument maker, and music teacher originally from Rush, County Dublin who lived for many years in Toronto. Deb credits much of her music to the patient, and informative teaching style of her mentor and friend.

Patrick Ourceau

Fiddle


Fiddle Player Patrick Ourceau, based in Toronto and for many years resident of New York City, has for over twenty years been performing and teaching Irish Music all over North America and Europe. He has released and been featured on a host recordings, most notably on Tracin’ with concertina player Gearoid O hAllmhurain; Live at Mona’s with Guitarist Eamon O’Leary; on the Chulrua release The Singing Kettle; on flute player Cathal McConnell’s Long Expectant comes at Last; on accordion player John Whelan’s Celtic Roots; and on theTG4 CD and DVD release Geantrai, a compilation celebrating the first ten years of the popular traditional Irish music television program.

Patrick has been very active in the promotion of Irish music in Toronto, mainly though his private teaching but also through workshops, sessions and various performances. He taught for several years in the Irish music after school program at St. Paul school in Regent Park and for the last few years, has been helping with other local musicians to organize the Chris Langan Weekend.

Ena O'Brien

Button accordion



Hailed from Co. Galway in Ireland and continued to play traditional music in Canada. Played professionally with a Folk/Traditional group, travelling all over Canada and the US including the North West Territories. Active member of Comhaltas promoting traditional Irish music across North America. Teaches music, and provides music for Irish dancing competitions throughout Canada and the US. Was invited back to Ireland for the “Gathering”to perform at a trad festival. This was a project put forward by the Irish Government to encourage emigrants to return home to Ireland for a visit.

Pat O'Gorman

Flute / Whistle


Pat O’Gorman (pipes, whistle, flute) began playing bagpipes in the Ontario Highland Piping world in the 60’s and played under Chris Langan in 1971 in the Glenmor Pipe Band in Toronto, the beginning of a 20 year friendship…Chris taught Pat his first Irish tunes on the Highland Pipes. Pat continued to expand his knowledge of Irish music with local masters, Ena O’Brien, Kevin Finnegan, and Jimmy Noonan, and as well during a 2-month long, Canada Council-supported period with Peter Horan in Ireland in 1993. Over the years he has performed pipes, flute and whistle professionally with Na Cabarfeidh, Rare Air, Morgaine Le Fay, Windbags, and most recently with The Brian Pickell Band, as well as for numerous television, radio and movie soundtracks. He performs regularly with his family band “The O’Schraves” (the O’Gorman/Schryer/Lefebvre Family), which was awarded best new emerging group by Live Ireland and best new group by the Chicago Irish Times for their 2014 release “Family Day”. Pat has been involved with the Chris Langan Weekend since the beginning, both as an instructor and committee member. He has lived in the Algoma region for 15 years and is a founder and artistic director, with Julie Schryer, of AlgomaTrad: The Algoma Traditional Music and Dance organization.

David 'Papper' Papazian

Fiddle


David Papazian, more commonly known as Papper to his friends, was born and raised in Toronto and can’t remember a time when he wasn’t enamoured with music. “I began playing the cello in high school and continued for years after, playing folk music in ‘bands’ – the last of which was Speed the Plough in PEI. Lennie Gallant was the lead singer. I began playing the fiddle in the 1970’s in PEI and was introduced to Irish music in Toronto in the late 1970’s.”

Numerous visits to Ireland since then and close friendships with Toronto-area musicians have nourished his love of the culture, people and music. After living in Quebec for a dozen years, Papper moved further east to Cape Breton, where he presently lives and works as a violin-maker.

Papper was a friend of Chris Langan and has, to the gratitude of the Toronto Irish music community, been a fixture of the Chris Langan Weekend where he has been inspiring generations of players. This year Papper leads a free session in the Tranzac Main Hall from 11:45am to 1:15pm. Come early, the place will be jammed!