Church of Ireland, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Church of Ireland
Co. Roscommon

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Altan have  long been established as the best and foremost traditional Irish band to come out of Ireland.This was recognized on November 7, 2006, when the Irish Government through An Post honoured Altan by issuing a postal stamp featuring the band.This award showed Altan’s immense impact on recent Irish culture at home and abroad and the growing popularity of Irish traditional music generally. With their exquisitely produced award-winning recordings,their ground breaking ‘Island Angel’ recording going to no.2 in the Billboard World Music Charts in 1993, ranging dynamically from the most sensitive and touching ancient ballads all the way to the energetic foot-tapping reels and jigs, and their heart warming engaging live performances, Altan have moved audiances from Donegal all the way to Tokyo, to Sydney,Seattle and beyond.

Altan’s music is steeped in the rich and colourful heritage of County Donegal in the North West of Ireland.Co. Donegal has a strong fiddling tradition from which Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh gets her inspiration and unique repertoire. Mairéad is also from the Gaeltacht area of Gaoth Dobhair where she learned many of the songs which Altan have recorded over the years.

Altan have been touring consistently since their genesis in the early eighties, when Mairéad and her late husband ,Belfast flute player ,Frankie Kennedy decided to leave their teaching jobs and pursue a career in music and tour the world with their friends.

With members Mark Kelly (guitar),Ciaran Curran(bouzouki). Daithí Sproule(guitar) and past members Paul O’Shaughnessy(fiddle) and Dermot Byrne(accordion) and CiaranTourish( fiddle& whistle) and latest member Martin Tourish (accordion), Altan have been to the forefront of traditional Irish music worldwide.

The Boston Globe wrote ,( Altan ) ”The hottest group in the Celtic Realm”.

And the UK’s Q Magazine wrote “The Red Crow is a triumphant statement of the virtues of the traditionalmapproach”

On their last recording ‘The Poison Glen’(2012), Siobhan Long of The Irish Times wrote ”Altan have never sounded better or tighter.”

Altan have always approached their music and arrangements with integrity and openness and have strived to share their culture to new expanding audiences worldwide.

On this new recording , “The Widening Gyre” their spiral of music expands , envelopes and includes friends and music that they have met on the road over their 30 years of touring professionally.

2017 saw Altan celebrate 30 years on the road and Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh the lead singer of the band was announced as the Gradam Ceoil TG4 Traditional Musican of the Year Award which she was awarded it at the televised awards ceremony in February 2017.

A presentation by arrangement with MPI Bands