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Equally innovative on acoustic and electric guitars, Michael has gained a reputation as one of the leading guitarists in European jazz. He has performed with international artists including; Kenny Wheeler, Larry Coryell, Kenny Werner, Jason Moran, Simon Nabatov, Eric Revis, Michael Moore, Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman with whom he toured Europe in 2001 and New Zealand/Australia in 2004. As an offshoot of his PhD research, he formed a microtonal trio, Crimo Trio, and performed on the same bill as Jeff Ballard’s Fairgrounds for Note Productions, 2015. Most recent performances include the Galway Jazz festival in duo with Simon Nabatov and as a solo guitarist; Cork Jazz Festival with saxophonist Andy Middleton; the Sligo International Summer School and Jazz Festival with Virgil Donati, Steve Hamilton, Paul Clarvis and John Goldsby and a recording and video in Abby Road Studios with Irish Singer Sibéal for Universal Records. Mike features on 19 recordings as leader and sideman and recently release a 2nd solo CD, Solo Sound Recipes: Improvisations, for Model Citizen records (www.modelcitizenrecords.com), in addition to, a video featuring microtonal guitar and voice (PhD project: https://youtu.be/dpUq2eMjVuY), and a new live microtonal recording (Arts Council Project Award) Crimo Quartet, https://youtu.be/ENw6QUb---8 As a composer Mike was commissioned by Newpark Comprehensive School to compose music for choir celebrating their 25th anniversary (1997), the Kilkenny Arts Festival to compose for jazz quintet featuring trumpeter Guy Barker (2001) and the Ulster University Classical Department to compose music for guitar quartet (2004), by Temple Bar Properties to compose for jazz quintet, featuring Jason Moran (2003) and on two occasions to compose for the Improvised Music Company’s octet TIME (1997). Six of his original compositions feature in the publication Dublin Jazz Book (2014) and over 100 of his works are registered with the Irish Music Rights Organization; many feature on his recordings. While Mike writes for various ensembles as leader, he is currently the recipient of an Arts Council Project Award to assist with the development of his microtonal group the Crimo Trio. What the critics say: “Guitarist Mike Nielsen is certainly one of the most innovative European jazz musicians of his generation”. Irish Times (2018) “A new age of jazz is being spawned by an exciting and innovative crop of Irish musicians...the spadework was done by pioneering musicians such as Mike Nielsen.” Sunday Times (2016) “Mike Nielsen is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of Europe’s most distinctive and iconoclastic guitar voices, equally innovative on electric and acoustic guitars.” Sunday Tribune “I have always loved Mike’s unusual approach to guitar and music in general. Truly a unique, one of a kind voice, the music here burns with creativity and passion”. Solo guitar CD sleeve note by Dave Liebman ...sort of chops that lead many to consider him as the best guitarist in Ireland.” Ian Patterson, All That Jazz (2015). Michael features on over fifteen recordings including two with Dave Liebman. Teaching since 1979, he lectures worldwide on jazz guitar, improvisation and microtonal composition.
Richard’s credits include Van Morrison and Paul Brady, but his discography is even more impressive. When asked how many albums he has played on, he smirked ‘I gave up counting after it got past 1,200.’ If you have heard any pedal steel guitar swells on any Irish country tracks over the past 30 years, chances are it was Richard Nelson’s skilfully crafted lines that permeated the sound of that genre.
From the Irish word for ‘working collaboratively.’ Meitheal is Modal Citizen Records’ in-house trad-project band. The band can range from a duo to an entire 12-piece depending on the circumstances. It features some of the finest performers of traditional music from South Donegal, North Leitrim, and West Fermanagh. Regular members include Seanan Brennan (multi-instrumentalist with Kila), Fiona Fitzpatrick (The Messages), Ulster Fleadh-winner Farrah Bogle on fiddle and vocals and Marc Geagan (Ronan Gallagher Band) on guitar and dobro and Eoghan Maguire on banjo.
Since winning 1st prize at the Tomassoni International Piano Competition, Cologne in 2001, Lance Coburn has established himself as a charismatic performer with an exceptional facility. He has performed with most of the major Australian orchestras including the Sydney Symphony and many international symphony orchestras including the RTE NSO and WDR Rundfunkkorchester Köln. Beginning his studies in his homeland of New Zealand, Lance graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with the school’s highest honours. He furthered his studies in the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. During his studies, Lance was the recipient of numerous first prizes, including the inaugural Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition, the Australian Young Performers’ Award, the David Paul Landa Scholarship and the Hephizibah Menuhin Scholarship. He won the Australian National Piano award in 1996 - returning as a jury member in 2018. Lance’s reputation as a chamber musician has grown in recent years. He regularly plays with Irelands’ leading chamber musicians and has performed – as both a soloist and chamber musician - in many notable festivals. Highlights include The Beethoven International Festival in Bonn, The Dublin International Piano Festival and The Great Music in Irish Houses Festival. In 2012 Lance collaborated on a critically acclaimed CD of Esposito Sonatas with violinist Mia Cooper and cellist William Butt for the Champs Hill label. Then in 2018 he recorded an album of lesser known but equally varied and engaging Tchaikovsky solo piano works entitled Potpourri which was released by Naxos. Frequently adjudicating in Irish music festivals, Lance also gives masterclasses nationally and internationally. He is a piano lecturer in the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. Lance is a Blüthner Artist.
Having not lifted a guitar in his life until he was in his mid-fifties, the man from Mohill, Ronan Gallagher, certainly took to it like a duck to water! Six months after buying his first guitar, he had written over 10 songs. After many gigs locally, he spread his wings to north Leitrim and Donegal, where he joined forces with local musicians in the area. His debut album ‘Always Broke, Never Broken’ was released on Modal Citizen Records in 2019 and contains ten of those first songs. In 2021, Ronan finished recording his second album 'Time Waits for No One', which was launched in May of that year.
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