With a career in Irish music for 35 years, Altan has achieved legendary status in a genre that has been equally shaped by the band’s influence and genius. Audiences from Ireland to Japan to Australia to Europe have embraced their heartwarming, dynamic live performances and their exquisitely produced, award-winning recordings. Over a dozen releases to date, ranging from the most touching old Irish songs to hard-hitting reels and jigs. Altan’s newest release (street date March 2, 2018 on Compass Records), The Gap Of Dreams, follows their acclaimed 2015 album on the same label, The Widening Gyre.
Event Length (Approximate):
1 hour, 30 minutes
Adding to their long list of awards and honors, fiddler, singer and founding member Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh was the recipient of the Gradam Ceoil/Traditional Musician of the Year in 2017. Though the band received the same award for Band of the Year in 2001, Mairéad was glad to be recognized on her own in a genre that has been slow to recognize female musicians. She is only the third woman in twenty years to receive the main award.
Throughout their career, you’ll find Altan’s unwavering commitment to bringing the beauty of traditional music to contemporary audiences, particularly that of the fiddlers and singers of their hometown in Donegal. Their new book publication, The Tunes (©️2017 Altan), marks the first-ever printed collection of this instrumental music. Spanning thirty years, twelve studio albums and comprising 222 tunes across its 206 pages, the book delves into the history, folklore and the composers and musical heroes from whom the music was collected.
The seeds of Altan lie in the music and spontaneity of sessions in kitchens and pubs in their hometown of Donegal, where their music was heard in an atmosphere of respect and intimacy. It is here that the band’s heart still lies, whether they are performing on TV in Australia or jamming with Ricky Skaggs on the west coast of the United States. In spite of a hectic touring and recording schedule, Altan continue fresh in their vision of bringing the beauty and joy of traditional music to audiences everywhere, and have always promised themselves to continue as long as it’s fun — fortunately, it still is!
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Sunday, March 29, 2020
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