“…the best Irish traditional music band in the world right now.”
traditional CELTIC music
“One of the band’s greatest collective talents is their ability to pull off technically difficult and precise music with a casual, fun air, almost as if the five met for the first time with their various instruments at a pub and joined together spontaneously for a session.” The Wild Geese.com
“One of Ireland’s most highly-acclaimed interpreters of the genre …an unmistakable authenticity.” The Examiner
“It’s all there: jaunty jigs, melancholy melodies, mad passion, soft beauty. A wall of sound created by traditional Irish acoustic instruments enhanced by the restrained, but not understated,playing of the orchestra.” International Review of Music
“Ireland’s all-star acoustic band” Pollstar
“…bridging the gap between the energy of the small pub and the grandiosity of a concert performance …panoramic beauty …an absolute corker.” Jazz Weekly
“The group doesn’t just play jigs and reels as they have been handed down for generations …
but rather more textured and nuanced variants of the Irish dance music, displaying not only their notable skills on their respective instruments, but also their creativity and arrangements.” Irish Central
Music is one of Ireland’s most celebrated exports, and Lúnasa, a band like no other, has been at the forefront of that musical migration.
Since the release of their 1997 recording debut LÚNASA and the band’s first tour of the U.S.—when word-of-mouth led to SRO shows and rave reviews (“This is the hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet” said The New York Times)—the all-star quintet has become one of the most popular bands on the international Celtic music scene.
Since coming together in 1996, Lúnasa has performed over 1500 concerts and achieved a worldwide reputation as a different kind of Irish traditional music band. The all-instrumental quintet is noted for double bass and guitar-driven rhythms, original
compositions mixed with material from Celtic regions such as Brittany, Galicia and Asturias and a surprising focus on slower melodies involving three-part harmonies played on the traditional pipes, fiddle and flute.
Comprising Seán Smyth (fiddle and low whistles), Kevin Crawford (flute, low whistles and tin whistles), Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes and low whistles), Trevor Hutchinson (double bass) and the group’s newest member Ed Boyd (guitar), Lúnasa delivers music with a passion that informs every note and continues to define and redefine the genre. Their innovative arrangements and unique approach to the music create a singular sound that has propelled Irish acoustic music from familiar ground into surprising and exciting new territory.
“Lúnasa is a very different Irish band in many ways,” explains Cillian Vallely. “It’s an all-instrumental band. We have a double bass. We play a very diverse selection of music, including our own compositions, melodies from other Celtic regions such as Brittany, Galicia, Asturias, and Scotland, and slower melodies, often involving three-part harmonies. The melodies are played on the traditional instruments of pipes, fiddle and flute, but the rhythmic and harmonic style—the bass and guitar style—give the band a very contemporary sound.”
It’s a sound that moves beyond the long established boundaries of traditional music, and it has earned the group a following that encompasses music fans of all ages and tastes around the world. Lúnasa is also a collective that courts opportunities to grow and change, to try something different. With eight albums already in its discography, as well as solo CDs and recording and performing credits with many of Ireland’s and the world’s most well-known talents, the quintet ‘s latest release is LÚNASA WITH THE RTÉ CONCERT ORCHESTRA. A glittering collection of tunes sparked from a brilliant union of two of Ireland’s brightest musical stars—a remarkable traditional Irish music band and Ireland’s treasured national orchestra which has long prided itself on its dynamic programs and stylistic range. Their first joint effort was a sold-out performance at Dublin’s National Concert Hall on June 19, 2012 that was later broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 and followed by the recording of the album
In the years since those early concerts and CDs catapulted the band to the forefront of traditional Irish music, the members of Lúnasa have gathered a long list of credits and honors in addition to the legion of fans that spans the globe, fitting achievements for a band that takes its name from the old Celtic harvest festival in honour of the god Lugh, patron of the arts.
SUNDAY MARCH 2nd THE FACTORY THEATRE, Sydney NSW
with ALTAN – The Ultimate Irish Double Bill Tickets: factorytheatre.com.au ph (02) 9550 3666
WEDNESDAY MARCH 5th THE THORNBUY THEATRE, Melbourne VIC
Tickets: www.thethornburytheatre.com ph: 1300 762 545
FRIDAY MARCH 7th, SATURDAY MARCH 8th & SUNDAY MARCH 9th PORT FAIRY FOLK FESTIVAL, Port Fairy VIC