Leitrim County Council launches Leitrim Equation 4 Traditional Music Residency

Following on from the three previous very successful Leitrim Equation Residencies, the most recent of which comprised Dónal Lunny, John Carty & Séamus Begley, the county is now prepares to welcome the fourth group to take up the role of Leitrim Equation traditional musicians in residence.

Organised as part of Leitrim County Council's Arts Strategy, the aim of the Leitrim Equation programme is to promote and develop traditional music both in Leitrim and of Leitrim. For Leitrim Equation 4, the lead musicians are all seasoned professionals from Leitrim, namely Eleanor Shanley, Dave Sheridan, Padraig McGovern and John McCartin. As such everything that emanates from this fourth residency will inevitably carry a Leitrim label. This provides the opportunity for us to celebrate the fact that Leitrim has a wealth of musicians of this calibre here in the county. To kick off the residency, Leitrim County Council is delighted to present the Leitrim Equation 4 group in concert at the Dock on Wednesday 16th April at 8.30pm.

One of Ireland’s foremost singers, Eleanor Shanley, from Keshcarrigan is renowned for her unique interpretation of Irish traditional and folk songs. She has been at the top of her profession since her first appearance as the singer with traditional group De Danann, and subsequently with the inimitable Ronnie Drew. She has released seven solo albums and guested on numerous others and was nominated for a Meteor award in 2005. She has also toured with Christy Moore and Sharon Shannon and as a soloist both in Ireland and abroad, where she is much in demand at top music festivals.

Piper, Padraig McGovern hails from Ballymagovern on the Cavan-Leitrim border.  His music reflects this placement with influences of both counties evident. He was taught by master piper P.J. Flood and developed his music as a member of the Ceolas Céili Band under the tutorship of Fr. John Quinn of Gortletteragh. A highly regarded tutor of the Uilleann Pipes, Padraig also has a big interest in researching old tunes. He has toured extensively with CCÉ and performed with many household names such as Téada, Dervish, Lúnasa, and many more.

John McCartin from Newtowngore is both a guitar and fiddle player. In 2008 he became one of the first people to receive an MA in Traditional Music Performance from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. John has a particular interest in accompaniment in traditional music, and it is his accompaniment on guitar which has brought him to most prominence, playing with many noted musicians including Eleanor Shanley, Lunasa, and Dervish.

Multi instrumentalist Dave Sheridan is from Killargue and began playing at the age of twelve. His flute playing was described by Hot Press Magazine as having "a highly accomplished free flowing fluid style, with sound technique and solid driving rhythm”. He has recorded two highly acclaimed flute albums, "Sheridan’s Guesthouse" and "Drivin' Leitrim Timber". Dave has recorded with artists from renowned traditional groups like Lunasa, Dervish,  De Danann and Téada.

Eleanor, Dave, Padraig and John have been meeting regularly over the last few weeks honing their sound and developing a repertoire combining song and tune from Leitrim and further afield. Each of the four are masters of their craft and together they make a considerable musical force.

Coupled with a performance programme based on the music of Leitrim, musicians from all over the county will have the opportunity to avail of a wide ranging programme of professional development and mentoring over the course of the programme. The residency takes place over eighteen months and will see the group make a number of visits throughout Leitrim, meeting local musicians, and linking up with different community and school groups.

For this residency Leitrim’s leading filmmakers will follow the progress of the group up and down the county as they meet and play with communities and musicians young and old.

For more information on the Leitrim Equation, contact Leitrim County Council Arts Office on 071 9621694. Musicians interested in taking part in the professional development programme should contact Maureen Carty on 071 96 68063.

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