Laoise Kelly is from Westport, Co. Mayo. She has three critically acclaimed solo albums ‘Just Harp’ (1999), ‘Ceis’ (2010), and ‘Fáilte Uí Cheallaigh’ (2015), and ‘The Wishing Well’ (2010) a live duo album with fiddle player Michelle O’Brien. Laoise was a founding member of traditional group ‘Bumblebees’ with whom she recorded two albums (1997, 1999) and toured extensively internationally.
Throughout her solo career she has recorded on over 60 albums with many of Ireland’s foremost artists including The Chieftains, Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon, Dónal Lunny, Tommy Makem, Matt Molloy, Mary Black, Maighread & Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Eimear Quinn as well as Kate Bush and American country/bluegrass icon Tim O’Brien.
She continues to tour with Trad legends Tommy Peoples & Breanndán Begley since their Music Network tour 2011, and more recently has a number of collaborations including a duo with Uilleann Piper Tiarnan Ó Duinnchinn; ‘Albiez Trio’ – Cormac Breatnach & Tola Custy; award winning Scottish Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes; fiddler Michelle O’Brien; Double Bassist Martin Brunsden and is also a member of ‘Fiddletree’, a group from Cape Breton Island in Canada who play instruments all made from the same tree!
Allan MacDonald was born in 1956 and raised in the Gaelic-speaking community of Glenuig in a family that includes two equally famous piping MacDonald brothers: Iain and Dr. Angus. Allan was taught first by Pipe Major John MacKenzie of Campbelltown at Queen Victoria School in Dunblane, and later by Bob Nicol and Roddy MacDonald of South Uist.
Though he won the Gold Medal at Inverness in 1984, and two straight Clasps there in 1989 and 1990, his style has more often been the antithesis of the successful competitive piper, particular in piobaireachd. He has been strongly influenced by a wide range of traditional music plays Scottish smallpipes, Border pipes, whistle, harmonica, button accordion and Jew's harp. Like that of his brothers, his playing reflects a style of power and rhythm deeply rooted in the Highlands of Scotland.