2024 Artist Bios

Angelina Carberry - banjo

Angelina Carberry was born in Manchester, England to a County Longford musical family steeped in traditional music. Starting on the tin whistle, she later moved onto the banjo, following in the footsteps of her father, Peter, and grandfather, Kevin Carberry. Angelina moved to Galway in the late 90’s where she recorded the highly acclaimed album ‘Memories from the Holla’ with her father Peter on accordion and John Blake on guitar and piano. Angelina's playing developed into a unique style, with its own rhythmic qualities. Her distinct banjo sound is featured in her two solo CDs. She has also released duet albums with Dan Brouder, and with accordion player Martin Quinn.

Angelina was a member of the all-female group the Bumblebees and toured with the legendary duo Tony MacMahon and Barney McKenna. She performed for the Margaret Barry Hall of Fame Award, at the 2019 RTE Folk Awards,in Dublin. In 2021, Angelina received the prestigious TG4 Gradam Ceoil, Ceoiltor na Bliana / Musician of the Year Award, and in 2023 became the sixth recipient of the Mike Flanagan Banjo Award.

Angelina is music teacher and a popular banjo tutor at summer schools and festivals throughout Ireland, the U.K. and internationally. Angelina has also played on popular TV series Fleadh Cheoil RTE, Bosca Ceol, HUP, Sé mo Laoch, and Fleadh TV TG4.


Conor Connolly - accordion

TG4 Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana (Young Musician of the Year) for 2019, Conor Connolly is a button accordion player from Clarinbridge, Co. Galway. Conor was destined to play the accordion, inspired by players like Joe Cooley, who came from the area, and Joe Burke, from whom he took lessons. He started playing tin whistle at age 8 and, with encouragement from his parents, moved on to the accordion at age 12. He attended the Anne Conroy Burke and Joe Burke School of Music for a few years while playing with the local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and with local musicians. In his late teens, he heard the music of Joe Cooley for the first time, as well as players Tony MacMahon, Fiachna Ó Mongáin, and Eoin O’Neill which spurred him to change from the conventional B/C style of playing to the C#/D system. Charlie Harris was also a great source of inspiration and encouragement, introducing him to the music of the 78rpm era and such players as P.J Conlon, Sligo fiddlers Morrison, Killoran and Lad O’Beirne, and Joe Derrane. The influence of Uilleann piping is also discernible in his music particularly that of Willie Clancy, Séamus Ennis, and Seán McKiernan.

Conor has toured, performed, and given workshops at many of the Traditional Music festivals at home and abroad, such as Scoil Samhradh Willie Clancy, Rencontres Musicales Irlandaises De Tocane in France, Feakle International Music Festival, and Cooley-Collins Traditional Music Festival in Gort. He has toured New Zealand and Australia with fellow TG4 Young Musician Of Year 2021 recipient Sorcha Costello and guitar accompanist Pádraig Ó Dubhghaill. He has also been featured on broadcasts on RTÉ, TG4, RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta, and Clare FM. 


Nuala Kennedy - flute, whistle, song

Nuala Kennedy is an Irish composer, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. She grew up in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland, where she played piano and flute in a local ceili band and studied classical piano. Dundalk is an area rich in mythology and musical heritage and has strong historical links to Scotland which influenced move to Edinburgh at age eighteen. Nuala holds a post graduate diploma in Education from the University of Edinburgh and a Master of Music from Newcastle University. 

In 2000, Nuala began playing in a weekly session in Edinburgh. The players formed a trio known as Fine Friday and toured in the UK, Europe and Australia, releasing two albums before disbanding. Nuala was recognized as an exceptional interpreter of the tradition with the release of her first solo recording, The New Shoes (2007).  She has gone on to release a number of albums; her latest, Shorelines (2023), was nominated for a Grammy® for Best Folk Album. 

Nuala tours globally as Nuala Kennedy Band, headlining at major festivals including Celtic Connections (UK) Celtic Colours International (CAN) Festival Interceltique de Lorient (FRA) and Milwaukee Irish Festival (US). She is a member of Oirialla playing music from her native Oriel alongside Gerry O'Connor, accordionist Martin Quinn, and Breton guitarist Gilles Le Bigot. Nuala also plays in Irish traditional music power trio The Alt with John Doyle and Eamon O'Leary. 

Nuala and her husband, Appalachian singer-songwriter A. J. Roach, live in Ennis, Co Clare, Ireland with their two small children.


Photograph by Eamon Ward

Aidan Connolly - fiddle

Aidan Connolly is known for his unique style of fiddle playing and has been described as "a leading fiddle player of the current wave of great Irish traditional music". Aidan was born into a musical family in Rathfarnham, Dublin, and has been playing from a very early age. 

While Aidan’s music is rooted in the rich heritage of his mother’s native area, Sliabh Luachra, he has listened and played extensively with musicians from all over Ireland and beyond, forging a mature playing style informed by many diverse influences. From 2018 and 2020 he relocated to Spain, where he was heavily influenced by the diverse musical landscape to be found across that country. 

Aidan has released four commercial albums to date; Be Off (2016), Away On Up the Road (2019, with John Daly), The Portland Bow (2021), and Keane/Connolly/McGorman (2023, with Pádraic Keane and Fergus & Ruairí McGorman).  He has performed widely in Ireland, the UK, Europe, and Japan and was nominated for the category of Best Folk Instrumentalist at the RTÉ Folk Awards in 2022.  

Aidan is also a primary school teacher with many years of experience, and he speaks several languages, including Spanish, French, Romanian, Italian, and Irish Gaeilge. 


Eamon O'Leary - guitar, bouzouki, song

Singer, songwriter, guitar, bouzouki, and banjo player Eamon O'Leary is originally from Dublin and now lives in New York City. He has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, performing and recording with many of Irish music's great players. 

In 2004, Eamon and Patrick Ourceau released a live recording, Live at Mona's, documenting their many years hosting a session on New York's Lower East Side. In 2012, he and Jefferson Hamer released an album of traditional songs, The Murphy Beds, described by the Huffington Post as "ten beautiful, crystalline songs." He has collaborated with artists such as Sam Amidon, Beth Orton, Anais Mitchell, and Martin Hayes, and has released five recordings of original songs: Old Clump, All Souls, Sister in Song, Bernadette, and The Silver Sun. Eamon also regularly appears and records with old friends Nuala Kennedy and John Doyle as The Alt. Their first album, The Alt, was released in 2014 with a second The Alt album, Day is Come, released in 2022.



Josh Dukes - guitar, flute

Josh Dukes is an All Ireland champion accompanist and a highly sought after music teacher in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. A multi-instrumentalist whose talents embrace the ceili drums, guitar, bouzouki, bodhran, flute, and tin whistle, Josh has established a reputation for providing sensitive, tasteful support for traditional Irish music. 

As a high school student, Josh studied the oboe, tenor/alto saxophone, drum set and baritone horn, and learned the art of ancient rudimental drumming outside the classroom. Josh enlisted in the U.S. Army and has earned the rank of Master Sergeant, serving as one of three Drum Majors for the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, “The Official Escort to the President,” the only military unit of its kind.

Josh continues to perform Irish music, playing ceili drums regularly with the Old Bay Ceili Band. He has shared the stage with such renowned musicians as John Doyle, Paddy Keenan, Billy and Sean McComiskey, Brendan Mulvihill, Kevin Crawford, Zan McLeod, and Myron Bretholz. Josh lives in greater D.C. Area with his wife and two daughters.


Rose Flanagan - fiddle

Rose Conway Flanagan originally began Irish music lessons with Martin Mulvihill while growing up in the Bronx, and further developed her New York Sligo style of fiddling with the help of family friend and mentor Martin Wynne and her older brother Brian Conway. In 2013, Rose was inducted into the Mid Atlantic Region CCE hall of fame alongside her father Jim and her brother Brian.

She currently has a large music school in her hometown of Pearl River where she is preparing the next generation of great traditional musicians, which include several All-Ireland winners and medalists. Among Rose’s past students are all the fiddlers in Girsa and senior fiddle champion Dylan Foley.

Rose has been an instructor at the Alaska fiddle camp, The Catskills Irish Arts week, The Swannanoa Celtic Gathering, The O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat, Fiddle and Pick Irish Camp, The Baltimore Trad Fest, and MAD Week in the U.S. She has also taught at the DeDanaan Dance Camp in Vancouver, British Columbia and Scoile Eigse in Cavan and Sligo, Ireland. She has taught workshops at the Northeast Tionol, Cape Cod Ceili Weekend and at various CCE conventions. In addition to her teaching, Rose runs sessions and performs bot with her group the Green Gates Ceili Band and in various concerts throughout her local area. In 2014, she released a duo cd with flute player Laura Byrne, "Forget Me Not," which was met with great reviews.

Rose Flanagan IMG_1708

Joey Abarta - uilleann pipes, whistle

Joey Abarta has spent more than half his life traveling, teaching, and performing music on the uilleann pipes. Originally from California, he first received instruction on the pipes from Dubliner Pat D’Arcy, a founding member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club.

In 2009, Joey’s accomplished playing won him second place at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. In 2014 Joey won first prize at the An tOireachtas, becoming the first American uilleann piper to do so since 1969. In 2015 Joey received a traditional arts apprenticeship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and was recently awarded an Artist Fellowship in the Traditional Arts from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Currently based in Boston, Joey divides his attention between performance, teaching, and recording. In addition to performing solo, he performs with his wife, old-style step dancer Jaclyn O'Riley, Nathan Gourley of “Life is all Checkered", and has toured with Mick Moloney and the group The Green Fields of America. He is currently the acting President of the Boston Pipers Club (1908-present) and organizes uilleann piping workshops and concerts for its members and public. Joey is also the president of The Patrick J. Touhey Memorial Weekend. In 2018 Joey was invited by Na Píobairí Uilleann to represent piping in America by performing for the president of Ireland at the Abbey Theater in Dublin Ireland, part of the country's celebration of uilleann piping being recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.


Brianna Brown - concertina

Brianna Brown is a multi-instrumentalist from St. Louis, MO, living in Chicago, IL. She started off playing Irish music and dancing in her grandparents basement with her school, the St Louis Irish Arts from the age of 3. She has had the privilege of learning from some of the finest musicians in Irish music world such as Florence Fahy, Noel Hill, Edel Fox, Caítlin Nic Gabhann, and Eileen and PJ Gannon. She has earned several All-Ireland titles in both concertina and mouth organ. She is the youngest American to ever win a world title at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, and the first to ever win in the concertina and mouth organ Under-12 categories. In Chicago, she hosts a session at the well-known pub, the Galway Arms, alongside Lexia Kennedy, Timothy Fleming, and more. She also frequents performing with the Irish and folk band, Small Batch, and around the Chicagoland area.


Hannah Flowers - harp

Hannah Flowers is an award-winning harpist and singer based in St. Paul, Minnesota with two solo albums to her name,  “Amhrán na Cruite/Song of the Harp” and "Hall-Gate House.” She holds a B.A. in music, a Master's Degree in Irish Traditional Music Performance from Maynooth University in Ireland, and received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue postgraduate research in Irish harp accompaniment in 2020. Hannah has studied in Ireland with master harpists such as Grainne Hambley, Michael Rooney, and Michelle Mulcahy.

A skilled and well-loved instructor at the Center for Irish music, Hannah has also taught and performed at the Milwaukee Irish Fest, La Crosse Irish Fest, Minnesota Irish Fair, and performed many solo shows, programs, and workshops across the US and Ireland.



Dáithí Sproule - song, lecture

Dáithí, originally from Derry in the North of Ireland, is one of the pioneers of guitar in Irish music, with a wide repertoire of traditional songs in both English and Irish (Gaelic). He has toured the world with the band Altan, and has performed and recorded with many other great Irish musicians including Trian, Fingal, Skara Brae, Liz Carroll, Paddy O'Brien, James Kelly, and Tommy Peoples. As well as traditional music, Dáithí  teaches Irish language, mythology, and Celtic culture.




Brian Miller - Trad Immersion Camp

A native of Bemidji, Minnesota, Brian Miller fell in love with Irish traditional music as a teenager in the crowd at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and never looked back. Based in St. Paul since

1998, Brian is active as a musician, researcher, teacher and librarian. He has toured nationally with the band Bua and performs these days in a duo with Dublin fiddler, Danny Diamond, the Lost Forty and the Two Tap Trio. 

Brian plays and teaches guitar, bouzouki, flute and tenor banjo. He has taught Irish music at the Center for Irish Music since 2006 and at camps and workshops from Washington state to Washington DC. He is also the director of the Eoin McKiernan Library at Celtic Junction Arts Center. Brian is a leading figure in the research and revival of song traditions from the white pine regions of the northern US and Canada. As a singer, and through his blog Northwoods Songs, he explores ties between Ireland and these rich, underexplored songs and stories. He is a past recipient of the Parsons Award from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.


Mary Vanorny - Trad Immersion Camp

Mary Vanorny is an esteemed Minnesota-based Irish fiddle player and instructor. She performs with Brass Lassie, the Kickin’ It Irish band, and Two Tap Trio. Mary grew up playing both classical and fiddle music, joining and touring with many orchestras as a violinist/concertmaster and also teaching the Suzuki method before turning her attention to Irish fiddling full-time. She studied fiddle with Brian Conway, and is a musical leader at local sessions. 

Mary has released two albums “First Light of Day” (2018) and “In the Tap Room” (2021) and has been a guest artist/presenter at Minnesota Celtic Fiddlers, Pint of Irish Celtic Music Retreat (CA), and Spanish Peaks International Celtic Festival (CO). She founded and hosts the all-female MnáFiddlers group, is co-director of the Headwaters Fiddle Camp in Bemidji. Mary recently completed her Suzuki Teacher Training. An integral instructor at the Center for Irish Music (CIM), Mary teaches fiddle, youth ensembles, coordinates summer camps, has directed céilí bands, and has taught at the Minnesota Irish Music Weekend. Mary holds a degree in Environmental Education and Early Childhood Education.



Danny Diamond - Teen Program

Danny Diamond is an award-winning fiddle player from Ireland. He plays fiddle, sings, composes music, and works as a recording engineer/producer. Danny comes from a renowned family of traditional musicians with a deep cultural heritage in the North of Ireland. Previously fiddle player with the bands Slow Moving Clouds and Mórga, Danny has toured worldwide, playing venues such as the Sydney Opera House, The Southbank Centre (London) and National Concert Hall (Ireland); and has shared the stage with artists such as The National and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). 

Danny has toured internationally as fiddle player and Music Co-Ordinator with Teac Damsa’s multi award-winning dance theatre show Swan Lake /Loch na hEala, for which he also co-wrote and arranged the score. Other collaborations include the traditional fiddle duo NORTH (with Conor Caldwell) and What To Bring When We Leave, a two-man show with Irish poet Tom French. Danny performs with multi-instrumentalist and singer Brian Miller. Danny has been a guest artist/lecturer for the Minnesota Irish Music Weekend and has worked with the Minnesota Irish Music Weekend Teen program for the past several years.



Norah Rendell - Teen Program

Named “Best Female Vocalist" two years in a row in the Live Ireland Awards, Norah is equally dedicated to performing and teaching. She has a master's in Irish traditional music performance from the University of Limerick in Ireland and a bachelor of music degree with a major in Music Education and Early Music Performance from McGill University. Norah is also an award-winning singer and Irish flute-player with an active performing career as a soloist and with the Two Tap Trio.  From 2006-2013, she toured internationally as lead vocalist of UK/Ireland-based band, The Outside Track.

Norah has given guest lectures and workshops at University College Cork, the University of Limerick, the Folk Steps Conference in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia. Her performances have been featured live on MPR's Heartland Radio, CBC's Canada Live, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and Radio nan Gaidheal. Norah's recordings have been broadcast on the CBC, BBC, RTÉ Radio na Gaeltachta (Ireland) and on folk shows across Canada and the United States. Norah has released a solo vocal album called “Spinning Yarns” (2015).



Kate Wade - Teen Program

Kate Wade grew up Irish step-dancing and playing music in an Irish-Italian immigrant neighborhood in Chicago, where maintaining one's heritage was a natural way of life. She learned music with Noel Rice (Co. Offaly) and dancing with Jim McGing and Mark Howard (later Trinity).

A world-championship level dancer, and multiple Midwest Fleadh winner, Kate later focused solely on music and performed and recorded with groups including Baltiorum, the Doon Céilí Band and the HiBs. Kate was one of the founding members of the Center for Irish Music (CIM) in 2004. Through teaching, sessions, and performances, Kate loves sharing the joy the music has been bringing her for over 35 years.