The Blackwater Céilí Band
The Blackwater Céilí Band hails from the Clogher Valley region of County Tyrone, in the heart of Ulster’s musical landscape. Since their formation in 2015, the band have risen to prominence and are widely recognised as one of the finest exponents of Irish Traditional Music. They bring boundless energy and passion to every performance, creating fresh musical interpretations with distinctive character and detail, firmly rooted in the Ulster tradition.
In 2018, the Blackwater made history, claiming the prestigious Senior All-Ireland Céilí Band title at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda. Consequently, they became one of only three Ulster bands to accomplish this feat, cementing their place in the annals of céilí band folklore.
Building upon their landmark success, the band have toured extensively across Ireland and Britain, bringing their signature sound and rhythmical musical style to many captivated audiences. They subsequently released their debut album ‘Music In The Valley’, to critical acclaim in 2019. The recording has been described as “one to savour, showcasing a versatile and orchestrated band at the top of their game”. The Blackwater Céilí Band launched their long-awaited second studio recording, ‘Northern Landscape’ to critical acclaim in July 2022.
Briste are together now for over 5 years and have travelled all over the world bringing their new fresh and exciting sound to many festivals and venues across the globe.
The group consists of Alison Crossey (Bodhrán and Guitar), Emma Robinson (flute and whistle) and Joanna Boyle (banjo and sings).
The girls have been involved in TV programmes BBC’s Trad Ar Fad and TG4’s Oiche nc mBan playing alongside artists such as BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year Rioghnach Connolly, Country singer Lisa McHugh, Pop singer Una Healy and The fantastic John Mcsherry Band and many more. Briste will be launching their debut single Sidetracked at this years Gerry Whelan Weekend.
R U 4 Reel is a 6 piece New Age Traditional Irish folk band… All members hailing from County Monaghan The group plays a selection of Irish Ballads/ jigs & Reels which are sure to get any crowd going. R U 4 Reel are together for over 8 years and love performing their enigmatic and exciting music in front of a live audience.
Michael is a distinguished button accordion player from Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone, and he is recognised as one of Ireland’s finest exponents on his instrument. He has won numerous accolades at provincial and national level over the years, culminating with the highly coveted Senior All Ireland Button Accordion title in 2014.
Michael is frequently sought after for sessions and concerts throughout the country and he has completed tours of Ireland, Britain and America with Comhaltas, as well as travelling and performing extensively in many places around Europe and the US.
Also a highly respected teacher, Michael has featured as a regular tutor at many of the main Traditional and Arts festivals in the country. Michael’s flair and enthusiasm for the music is evident, and with a unique Ulster style of playing it is both energetic and captivating. He is a current member of the Blackwater Ceili band and was a member of the band when they won the prestigious Senior All-Ireland Céilí Band title at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 in Drogheda.
Sinead is an accomplished fiddle player from Co. Monaghan. Coming from a musical family, she has been playing music for nearly 20 years. Performing in numerous esteemed venues throughout Ireland, France, Germany and Scotland, Sinéad has become one of the finest practitioners of traditional Irish fiddle in south Monaghan.
She has also competed in many Fleadhs over the years, achieving numerous Ulster and All Ireland medals, most recently being selected to perform as a finalist at the Fiddler of London competition this year.
As well as providing fiddle lessons in her hometown of Carrickmacross, Sinéad also enjoys nothing more than playing in the local session scene across south Ulster.
James McCaffrey is a flute and whistle player hailing from Dromore, County Tyrone. Recognised for his distinctive style and ability, James regularly performs and teaches music across Ireland and beyond. James is a member of the widely-acclaimed Blackwater Céilí Band and The Ciara Fox Band. Influenced by the rich culture of traditional music found in the Tyrone/Fermanagh area – James’ influences also include the flute and whistle music of Mary Bergin, Kevin Crawford, Mike McGolderick, Dave Sheridan and Joanie Madden. Keenly following folk music from across the world, James also extends a keen interest to Jazz and Bluegrass genres.
James is a competent producer and has worked on the delivery of a diverse range of projects – achieving critical acclaim both locally and nationally. James’ work to date includes – multiple studio recordings, event management, audio/visual production, graphic design and web development.
Externally to music commitments – James is a Management Consultant, specialising in Software Engineering and Public Services.