Born in Dublin into a musical family, Evey travelled the world for a number of years before settling in Aotearoa New Zealand. Although she has lived in Nelson since 1987, she has never lost touch with her Irish roots. As well as being a founding member of the all women group, Cairde, she has enjoyed performing with her multi instrumentalist husband, Bob Bickerton. No stranger to Ceol Aneas, having attended each year since its foundation, Evey is happy to share her knowledge of Irish song, in both Irish Gaelic and English, with those keen to learn.
Muireann Banks is a banjo player hailing from Dublin, Ireland. Born into a musical family, she began playing traditional Irish music on tin whistle at the age of five, progressing onto the mandolin and banjo in the years that followed. Over the years, Muireann has been a founding member of numerous ceilí bands and groups and continues to be part of the lively traditional music scene in Dublin. She is an in-demand performer and tutor in Dublin and at many festivals across Ireland and abroad including, Fleadhanna Ceoil, The Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, The South Sligo Summer School in Tubbercurry, Rencontres Musicales Irlandaises de Tocane Saint Apre, Féile Chois Cuain in Louisburgh, Co. Mayo and Kincora Tradfest, Ballina, Tipperary.
Aisling is the current INA Musician in Residence and a well known and highly regarded musician, dancer and singer from Co. Cork, Ireland. She has toured extensively around Ireland, Europe and America and has had the honour of touring with Comhaltas Ceolóirí Éireann as a musician and dancer several times. Aisling has also enjoyed great success at competition level, winning five All-Ireland Titles at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. A music and Irish language teacher by trade, Aisling is also highly regarded for her outstanding teaching skills and was awarded by Comhaltas for her exceptional results in the TTCT teaching diploma in Irish Traditional Music. She has been an active member of her local Comhaltas Branch in Ballincollig, Co. Cork from an early age where she has been teaching for the past 4 years alongside her own musical mentor Martin Power. Aisling is a key member of the traditional group “Ceoltóirí Mhuscraí” and endeavours to actively promote the Gaelic culture at home and abroad.
Dara O’Coisdealbha is an award-winning accordion player from a hugely talented musical family steeped in traditional Irish music and based in Co. Tipperary. Currently based in Australia, Dara is already in huge demand due to his fine musicianship and lively performances.
Ben started musical education at the age of 6 on tin whistle. Born in Dublin and bought up in London of Irish and French parents. He moved on to piano and violin and over the period of a couple of years fell in love for the first time : with the violin under the careful guidance of his violin mummy Sarah Drury. Hearing Yehudi Menuhin playing the Brahms violin concerto … changed his life.
He graduated at the Royal College of Music and Trinity College of Music London with Gillian Findlay, Hugh Bean- in violin performance postgraduate.
As a multi instrumentalist and multi-genre artist, Ben toured extensively from the age of 15 till the current day. He toured with the internationally renowned show Barrage, then on to a number of other renowned shows : Riverdance, Gael force, Irish Celtic , Celtic legends , Dance Masters, Celtic nights.. to name a few.
Also as a freelance musician Ben has performed in the west end and Broadway New York with various shows and has been approached often to work as music director for new show concepts. Ben has also played on many films and tv/ shows and adverts , namely Lord of the rings, the hobbit , Wolfblood , Harry Potter .
He also played in many bands , namely the classical Ensemble ‘The Michael Nyman band’ , Shane MacGowen and the Popes, Steph Geremia band..the Craicheads, The Bible code SUNDAYS ..to name a few. Ben has also been a part of Many festivals such as Celtic connections.
He won competitions such as the under 16 All Ireland fiddle competition, the Bach unaccompanied violin competitions across conservatoires in London . Recently, Ben has worked in Florida, Disney, with Raglan Road as guest artistic director and performer early 2019.
Ben is currently enjoying his second year performing with the international touring show Seven Drunken Nights.
Irish flautist and singer, highly regarded as one of the top musicians of her generation and perhaps best known as a mainstay member of the critically acclaimed Irish group, Alan Kelly Gang, Steph Geremia brings a wealth of musical scholarship to her love for Ireland’s North Connaught tradition, as displayed on her sparkling 2018 release Up She Flew. “Exceptional skill and musicality. . . a masterclass in Irish flute” (Folkworld) ★★★★ RnR ★★★★ Songlines. As a founding member of the Alan Kelly Gang with whom she has worked for the past 12 years, Steph has toured extensively around the globe and performed at top world and folk music festivals including WOMADelaide, Port Fairy Folk Festival and The National Folk Festival in Australia. Steph also regularly tours with the outstanding Scottish songstress, Eddi Reader and in the past has performed with critically acclaimed artists including the Grammy award winning Chieftains, Sea Road Sessions, Kris Drever (Lau), Ian Carr, Johnny ‘Ringo’ McDonagh (De Dannan), John McCusker & Heidi Talbot, Líadan and many more. Steph is a highly sought after teacher who has taught masterclasses at international festivals, developed the beginner flute course for the Online Academy of Irish Music and teaches regularly via Skype and in Galway Ireland, where she is based.
“as good an album of top-drawer Irish tradition as is imaginable” RnR
“fabulous flute playing… a masterclass in Irish flute” FolkWorld
“effortless… a peach of a record that demands your attention” Living Tradition
“flawless… a must have for your collection” Irish Music Magazine
Learn more about Steph on on her website: https://stephgeremia.com/
London Born Tad Sargent, whose family roots hale from Castlebar in county Mayo, started playing music at a young age on the piano. Learning about Irish music took years of attending sessions run by the London Irish banjo player Mick O’Connor. He played guitar, bouzouki, bodhran, harmonium, piano, and mandocello on Matt Tighe’s debut album, and composed the reel First Born (dedicated to the McAuliffe family) which was used on James Patrick Gavin’s debut album Chewing the Fat.
A multi-instrumentalist, Tad has performed/recorded and worked with many great musicians and groups such as Tony Christie, The Kelly Family, Angelo Kelly, Brian McNeill, Sylvain Barou, Michael McGoldrick, Mohsen Amini, Benedict Morris, Cara Dillon, Steph Geremia, Orlaith McAuliffe, Emma Kirkby, Joby Talbot, Barrule, Kristina Train, Celtic Crossroads, Belinda Sykes & Joglaresa, Luke Daniels, The Dhol Foundation, Ranagri, Crossharbour, Bible Code Sundays, and The Long Notes. He made an album with the Breton uilleann piper Loïc Bléjean which was released in Autumn 2016. His playing can also be heard on recordings and films including the 2010 film “Burke and Hare” (John Landis), Barulle’s album “Mananans Cloak”, Crossharbour album “CrossHarbour”, Ranagri “Tradition”, Tony Christie album “The Great Irish Song Book”.