Gráinne Brady confirmed for July

11 Feb 20
by Nathon Jones

Gráinne Brady

We are delighted to have secured outstanding fiddle player and composer Gráinne Brady for this year's Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival. Gráinne will perform on Saturday 11th July at the McMillan Hall along with Ulaid. It's going to be some night!

Gráinne Brady is a Glasgow based fiddle player and composer, originally from Co. Cavan, Ireland.

Coming from a musical household in Loughduff, Gráinne’s Dad was her first fiddle music teacher. She then went on to perform regularly at traditional music festivals throughout Ireland and rapidly built from that a broad repertoire of tunes. Her fiddle playing style emanates from the musical lyricism of counties Cavan, Leitrim and Clare, and has more recently evolved to incorporate newfound Scottish influences.
Gráinne’s style of music is tethered by tradition while spanning the sky-wide scope of a composer’s imagination.

Gráinne’s debut solo album, 'The Road Across the Hills', was inspired by the 1914 novel 'Children of the Dead End', which is considered canonical in classic Irish and Scottish literature. Thanks to her Dad, Gráinne and her siblings were early advocates for the writings of Donegal born Patrick MacGill. All of this came alive again for her in Glasgow, culminating in her first album. Gráinne recognised MacGill as a significant literary witness to a very particular and unexplored story of poverty among the Irish and the Scottish at the time, depicting the unthinkable hardships endured by the so-called lower classes, the navvies, the potato pickers, the down-trodden. She composed all the music herself, much of it within the traditional idiom, and the album is enriched by the writer’s poetry, recited by Donegal native and fiddler, Jack Houston.

"...a composer of enormous talents.  ...Her composition approaches take many directions, all of which show unique connections to the chosen stories behind each piece, from magical rhythms to roaring high tempo melodies, all of which connect to you as a listener. " - Pádraig Rynne, NOTIFY

"Irish/Scottish and contemporary influences infuse Brady’s vibrant rhythms and rich lyrical patterns, illuminating peaks and troughs of the emigrant experience and the extremities of poverty. Arrangements evoke both adversity and lively inner strength." - RnR Magazine 5*****

"This is an intoxicating piece of work, and while individual excerpts enthral, its effectiveness is best engaged within its seamless unity when its manifold beauties, strengths, diversions and unexpected twists can be best enjoyed." - The Living Tradition

Gráinne’s second solo album 'Newcomer', produced by award winning musician and composer Mike Vass, is currently under production with guest musicians; Innes White (guitar), Andrew Waite (accordion), Michael Biggins (piano), Steve Forman (percussion), Christine MacGinley (French horn), Seonaid Aitken (violin), Sarah Leonard (viola), Su-a Lee (cello), Tina Jordan Rees (flute) and Jack Houston (spoken word). Newcomer will focus on the story of Norah Ryan, a literary heroine explored in MacGill’s novel The Rat Pit – Norah was a woman of strength and beauty, who nevertheless was vulnerable to poverty, sexual exploitation, and great emotional loss.

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6th annual music festival

The 6th annual Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival will take place over 12th-14th July 2019 and, after another outstanding programme of events in 2018 which saw us hosting Scottish Highland Dancing competitions and, as ever, some of the biggest names in traditional music, it looks set to be another packed programme and is really living up to it's reputation as one of the best rural arts festivals in Dumfries & Galloway.

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