The Friel Sister
The Friel Sisters, Anna, Sheila and Clare Friel are young traditional musicians born and brought up in Glasgow with their family roots firmly entrenched in the Donegal Gaeltacht. They play a mixture of music interspersed with songs in English and Irish, many from their family repertoire. Being siblings, they achieve a close blend on fiddle, flute and uilleann pipes.
Since the launch of their debut album, they have performed in various venues and festivals across Europe, America and Asia and have appeared as guests on stage or toured with acts such as Altan, The Chieftains, Lúnasa, Sharon Shannon, The Máirtín O’Connor Trio, Cherish the Ladies, Solas and Fidil. In 2016, the girls performed at Festival Interceltique de Lorient, and won the prestigious Trophée Loïc Raison.
2017 has been a very exciting time for the girls as they recorded and prepared for release of their new album ‘Before the Sun’ with Hajime Takahashi and Cathal Ó Curráin, produced by Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and recorded by Jack Talty. This was released at Celtic Connections in January 2018.
In November 2017, Clare was announced as the recipient of TG4 Gradam Ceoil Ceoiltóir Óg/Young Musician of the Year 2018. She is completely honoured to be accepting this award in February 2018, with other recipients for other awards on the night including Frankie Gavin (Musician of the Year), Patsy Hanly (Lifetime Achievement), Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin (Outstanding Contribution), Máire Ní Chéileachair (Traditional Singer) and a special once-off award to The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band: in recognition of their excellence in piping. It’s a huge achievement to be included in such an incredible line up for the night, and also to be added to a list of amazing past winners, as well as being the first person in Scotland to win the award.
Caitlín & Ciarán with Cathal Ó Curráin
Irish Music, Song & Dance
Acclaimed musicians each in their own right, Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh have joined forces with singer and accompanist Cathal Ó Curráin to create one of traditional music’s most impressive acts. Their spirited music and dance is rooted in the tradition; brimming with soul and life. Cathal’s songs raise the rafters and melt the soul with aplomb as Caitlín & Ciarán breathe fire into musical pieces, combining their arts with chemistry and energy.
Caitlín, Ciarán & Cathal have a connection as deep as the Irish folk traditions they come out of. Their music is a joyful unleashing of talents learnt at the hearths of their parents, family and friends.
Ciarán’s fiddle is complimented by Caitlín’s concertina and dance, her footsteps expertly tapping out the rhythms and elevating the duo’s musical excellence.
“Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán O Maonaigh are two of the finest instrumentalists on the Irish traditional scene. Individually they are stunning but together they bring a freshness and excitement to the music that is uniquely their own. ”
Robbie O’Connell (The Clancy Brother) “Ciarán has that Donegal fiddlers’ knack of being technically exact, fearless and free. Caitlín’s concertina is no less thrilling as she expands perceptions of the instrument. It was her feet that lifted us though in the showpiece ‘Belfast Hornpipe/Ms. McLeod’s’ with sublime synchronisation of her dancing shoes and Ciarán’s playful fiddle. The gasps were audible”
New York Irish Arts – March 2015