Irish music by Chulrua keeps it traditionalChulrua (cool-ROO-ah), a traditional Irish music trio consisting of guitar, vocals, and flute, will perform in concert on St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17, at 7 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts.
Chulrua (cool-ROO-ah), a traditional Irish music trio consisting of guitar, vocals, and flute, will perform in concert on St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17, at 7 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts.
“The music we play is the old instrumental dance music of Ireland: jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas, and slides. We also play walking marches, songs, slow airs, set dances, and the harp music of Turlough O’Carolan and others. We strive to present these tunes and songs in keeping with the old tradition - as they were handed down from generation to generation in Ireland,” explains O’Brien.
A product of County Offaly in the midlands of Ireland, O’Brien is regarded by serious players and collectors of Irish traditional music as one of the tradition’s most important repositories. In a musical career that spans nearly 40 years, he has collected more than 3,000 compositions, including many rare and unusual tunes. His mastery of the two-row button accordion was also acknowledged through prestigious awards: he was named Oireachtas champion four times and All-Ireland senior accordion champion.
In Ireland, he played and recorded with the famed Castle Ceili Band and Ceoltoiri Laighean. In 1978, O’Brien began playing regularly in the United States, in Washington D.C., Saint Louis, Saint Paul, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and many places between. He has been featured on numerous recordings.
In 2012, O’Brien was selected as Ireland’s TG4 Gradam Ceoil Cumadóir, or Traditional Composer of the Year, among the highest honors in Irish traditional music.
In his younger years, Gourley made regular stage appearances as a guest fiddler in many of his father’s bands, such as Stone Soup, Buffalo Trail, and Rosewood Moct. Now settled in the Twin Cities, he is also a member of The Two Tap Trio, The Doon Ceili Band, and O’Rourke’s Feast, and is active in numerous Irish sessions.
Miller’s primary instrument has always been the guitar and over the years his backing style using the DADGAD tuning has earned him a strong reputation throughout North American Irish music circles. Also a strong traditional singer, he is the founder of the Traditional Singers Club of the Twin Cities. He learned to play the Irish flute in 2000 while studying Irish music in Cork.
As a member of a number of traditional Irish music groups and duos including Bua, Norah Rendell and Brian Miller, and The Two Tap Trio, Miller has performed throughout the U.S. and in parts of Canada and Ireland. He has been featured on RTE television and RTE radio in Ireland as well as the Irish language TV station TG4. He has also performed on CBC Radio in Canada and on Minnesota Public Radio.
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Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for students of all ages. Reservations may be made by contacting The Phipps ticket office at (715) 386-8409 or online at The Phipps.