“Through his solo and duet work, as well as performances with the group Dé Danann, Frankie Gavin has proved to be a unique, creative talent, as well as one of Ireland’s most dynamic traditional musicians.” – The Journal of Music
We are delighted to begin the second season of The Santa Rita Concerts at The Little Museum of Dublin with a fascinating Irish traditional music project. Renowned fiddle player Frankie Gavin, who co-founded the highly influential supergroup Dé Danann, joins forces with the father-and-son duo of Malachy Bourke (fiddle) and Brian Bourke (bodhrán) to explore the spry and athletic repertoire of early twentieth-century Sligo-American fiddler, Paddy Killoran (1904-1965).
The evening will see the launch of the trio’s new album on the Ergodos label, The master’s return: A tribute to Paddy Killoran, and the performance will feature their joyous, quicksilver versions of the tunes that Killoran played – tunes popularised through 78rpm recordings made in New York after the First World War.
“The cheerful lift of Killoran’s style catches you every time,” says Frankie Gavin, “and while the pain of emigration can be sensed in his music, it still embodies the life and soul of Irish traditional music.”
“When I was given a tape of Paddy Killoran as a child, the penny dropped,” says Malachy Bourke, who plays a fiddle once owned by Killoran. “The music was beautifully raw and wild. This was the music I wanted to play.”
A luminary of Irish traditional music, Frankie Gavin was born in Corrandulla, County Galway in 1956. In the early 1970s he co-founded Dé Danann, with whom he recorded several critically acclaimed albums. Gavin has also performed with such diverse musicians as Andy Irvine, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello and Stéphane Grapelli.
Malachy Bourke took lessons with Frankie Gavin, and, as a teenager, attended Tommy Peoples’ fiddle class at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay. Bourke’s debut solo record, Draw the Bow was released in 2001, followed by Live at the Steeple Sessions, an album with fiddle player Toner Quinn, released on the Ergodos label in 2013.
Brian Bourke is an Irish artist, Aosdána member, and bodhrán player. His first solo exhibition was in 1965. A retrospective of his work was held in 2010. He has known Frankie Gavin since he moved to Galway in the 1970s, and has often performed with him. He lives in Rosscahill, Co. Galway, with his wife, the painter Jay Murphy.
The Santa Rita Concerts provide a unique, deeply immersive audience experience. Each evening begin at 7pm with a Santa Rita wine reception, and a pre-concert interview with the evening’s musicians. The performances take place at 8pm in the museum’s beautifully resonant downstairs gallery. The space is candlelit and the atmosphere highly intimate – a concentrated ritual shared by performer and audience.
The Santa Rita Concerts are curated by Ergodos, a Dublin-based record label and production company run by composers Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and Garrett Sholdice. The programme features a distinctive and diverse mix of soloists, ensembles, singer-songwriters and sound artists. Full details can be found here, and a discounted season ticket may be purchased online here.