Irish Nights: Karan Casey with Buille

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Opened Nov 21, 2009
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WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Karan Casey has been critically acclaimed from Japan to America as one of Ireland's greatest singers, The Wall Street Journal describing her as one of the true glories of Irish music today. Karan has learned from a variety of musical sources, starting with church choir in her own parish Ballyduff Lower in County Waterford. After moving to Dublin for university studies in Italian and Classics, she also trained in piano and voice at the Irish School of Music and The Royal Irish Academy of Music. Meanwhile she sang in the jazz band Bourbon Street, was the resident singer in George's Bistro for two years and performed her own original songs with the group Dorothy. In 1993 Karan emigrated to New York and began a jazz degree in Brooklyn's Long Island University. Making the rounds of the sessions in New York she was asked to join Atlantic Bridge. Later she joined Seamus Egan, Winifred Horan, John Doyle and John Williams to form the group Solas. The band recorded three albums in just four years, and won NAIRD awards for each. They played with Bela Fleck, Iris De Ment, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, The Chieftains, Donal Lunny, Sharon Shannon and Paul Winter while touring extensively in America, Europe and Japan. During this period Karan recorded her first solo album SONGLINES, released in 1997, and also found time to do some solo touring in Ireland. Other recent recordings include the Grammy-winning CELTIC SOLSTICE with Paul Winter and Friends (Best New Age Album 1999), and the PBS documentary (and Rykodisc album) AFRICANS IN AMERICA with Sweet Honey in the Rock's Bernice Johnson Reagon. On her sunbsequent solo albums THE WINDS BEGIN TO SING and DISTANT SHORE, Karan explores the boundaries of traditional Irish song. Fully versed in the genre's subtleties (and comfortable singing several selections in Gaelic), she is equally at home while transforming Billie Holiday's jazz classic "Strange Fruit" into a chilling Irish ballad from beyond the Pale. Her most recent CHASING THE SUN was a major critical success and featured several of her self-written songs. Karan Casey has already performed at many prestigious venues, including the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center, WOMAD USA, A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, Symphony Space, Knitting Factory, Kentucky Center for the Arts, and (participating in Paul Winter's Solstice Celebrations) the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

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