dermot byrne and steve cooney achill harp

Dermot Byrne
& Steve Cooney

Friday 23 October Concert 8pm

Dermot Byrne, from Buncrana in Co. Donegal has played accordion from a very young age having learned from his father Tomás Ó Beirn. Dermot had the good fortune to meet all the greats of Donegal music including Johnny Doherty, Con Cassidy, Tommy Peoples, Danny Meehan and many more, these influences helped Dermot to develop his unique style of music. His seemingly effortless playing, combined with great subtlety, and a faultless ear, makes him one of the great accordion players of his generation. For many years a member of Altan, Dermot performed, recorded and toured extensively with the group along with artists such as Donal Lunny and Steve Cooney. He has played on collaborations with many great musicians including Seamus McGuire and Manus McGuire, Frankie Gavin, Pierre Schryer, Salsa Celtica and the late jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. For his contribution to Irish music Dermot was chosen as TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year 2013.

Steve Cooney is best known for his development of an influential style of guitar accompaniment to the traditional dance music of West Kerry, for which he won the National Entertainment Award in 1997. Born in Australia, he came to Ireland in 1980. He has participated in making more than 250 CD’s, either as a guitar or bass player or as producer and engineer. Also a poet and songwriter, he has worked with many iconic international artists in rock and country music but his primary focus is Irish traditional music, and fusions of that genre, including a recent release of solo guitar interpretations of ancient harp tune. He completed a Ph.D. in 2018 on an intuitive musical notation system that he has developed for early learners.

‘Master Cooney restores the ancient link between lyre and lyric, between poetry and performance, the rhapsody and rascality’

–Séámus Heaney, Fiddler’s Green awards, Rostrevor