Nuala Kennedy & Eamon O’Leary–Oct 31, Helm–Nov 2

Nuala Kennedy & Eamon O’Leary

Thursday, October 31

Long-time friends and musical collaborators, Nuala Kennedy and Eamon O’ Leary have toured together widely, both in duo and as part of reknowned traditional trio “The Alt.” Both are internationally recognized members of the traditional music community, noted for their instrumental skills and diverse repertoire of traditional and contemporary song. Both are songwriters who love and research traditional Irish and Scottish songs. With an engaging stage presence and understated virtuosity, they present a timeless selection of songs and instrumentals. Nuala and Eamon offer a memorable concert experience, as their songs range from the ancient Irish tradition to reflections on the present day.

Nuala – flutes, whistles, vocals
Traditional singer, flute player, songwriter and session musician Nuala Kennedy grew up playing music in Dundalk, Ireland, and later moved to Edinburgh. The diversity and spirit of two cultures–Scotland and Ireland–has made Nuala the artist she is today. Nuala released her third solo record ‘Noble Stranger’ to critical acclaim. The Nuala Kennedy Band was nominated for the BBC Alba Scottish Traditional Folk Awards.

“She is not only an exceptional interpreter of the tradition; her own music glistens with freshness…” The Irish Times

Eamon – guitar, bouzouki, vocals
Originally from Dublin, Eamon has lived in New York City for twenty years, touring extensively throughout North America and Europe.  Recent projects include the traditional string band “The Murphy Beds.” Eamon is a highly respected accompanist, a wonderfully talented singer-songwriter and interpreter of traditional Irish song.

Listen to a tune here.

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Helm–music from Turkey and the Middle East

Saturday, November 2

From original compositions, now classics in the worlds of Tribal and Belly Dance, to traditional music from throughout the Mediterranean, Helm has continually expanded their repertoire since the band’s beginning. Based in Marin County, Helm has regularly toured internationally with recent performances in London, Rome, Lima, Saõ Paulo, Moscow, and Australia. In addition to more than 12 albums, Helm has provided sound tracks for both film and television productions. The group includes Ling Shien Bell, Paul Anderson, Lani Rhoades, and Mark Bell. Listen to a tune here.

Ling Shien Bell’s music studies began with the piano at the age of five and her formal training in western music continued at the Music Conservatory in Aix-en-Provence. She began playing Arabic music after meeting Mark in Southern California in 1979, and has studied Arabic and Turkish disciplines “at the source” in Cairo and Istanbul. Ling Shien is the lead vocalist and primary composer of Helm’s original music. Her songs draw on her past and continuing studies of folkloric and classical Middle Eastern music. She plays nay, mizmar (zurna), kawala, accordion and zumara. Ling Shien’s vocal repertoire includes songs from Middle East, Turkey, Armenia, the Balkans, Russia, and her native France.

Mark Bell started playing Middle Eastern percussion in 1972 and got his first gig the same year playing for Bal Anat. He performed for years in both Arabic and Persian nightclubs in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, as well as numerous California Renaissance Faires. Mark has traveled and studied percussion extensively throughout the Arab world and Iran. He won a Grammy in 2005 on the compilation album “Beautiful Dreamer: Songs of Stephen Foster.” Mark plays darbuka, toumbak, davul, cajon, and tambourine (riqq) and frame drums.

Paul Anderson has been playing oud since 2005. He initially began playing Turkish music on the tenor banjo and was tolerated only a short while before the instructor – Sinan Erdemsel – suggested he purchase an oud to calm his rattled nerves. Paul has studied with Sinan ever since and even made a trek to Istanbul where, together, they picked out an oud from one of the premier makers. Other ensembles that Paul has participated in: Wael Kakish’s Arabic Ensemble, the late Elias Lammam’s Arabic Ensemble and Flowers of the Nile.

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Circadian Quartet–Saturday, November 16
Frédéric Rosselet–Saturday, November 30
Renegade Duo–Saturday, December 7
Cahalen Morrison–Saturday, December 14

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