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Laoise Kelly (harp) and Tola Custy (violin) first performed together at the ‘Celticimes’ music festival in France in 2013. Since then they have performed at many festivals, including Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Soma in Co.Down, St. Patrick’s Festival in Brittany.
Both are influential musicians who have toured and recorded extensively world wide and they have represented Ireland with the Irish President.
Laoise Kelly from Westport, Co. Mayo is regarded as the most significant harper of her generation. She has pioneered a new style of driving instrumental harping showcased in herthree critically acclaimed solo albums. She has recorded on over 70 albums with the foremost artists in Irish music from The Chieftains to Kate Bush. She tours regularly with uilleann piper Tiarnan Ó Duinnchinn, Scottish gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes, and whistle player Cormac Breatnach. She is the director of the Achill International Harp Festival.
Tola Custy comes from the well–known musical family from Toonagh, County Clare. His early influences came from legendary musicians such as Kevin Burke and Jacky Molard. Tola has created a sound of his own whilst remaining sympathetic to Irish traditional music. Travelling exposed him to Breton, Galician and Asturian styles and inspired him compose the spirit–tingling sounds for which he is renowned. Tola made his acclaimed solo album ‘Setting Free’ in 1993 and went on to form influential groups Calico, The Bowhouse Quintet, Guidewires and Tradivarious.Laoise and Tola are both visiting tutors at the Irish World Academy of Music in the University of Limerick.‘In Good Company’ (formerly ‘Fair Plé Ladies of London’)
This 30–strong group of the finest traditional Irish musicians and singers, first came together as the ‘Fair Plé Ladies of London’ to perform at the prestigious Cadogan Hall in June 2018.The Fair Plé movement was started in Ireland last year by internationally renowned singer/ songwriter Karan Casey to raise awareness about and promote gender equality in traditional and folk music (www.fairple.com). The Group went on to perform at the 20th Return to Camden Town Festival and most recently at an International Women’s Day double bill concert with The Mulcahy Family at the Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith.
The group, who have recently been renamed ‘In Good Company’ was founded by Dublin accordion player, Paula Hanley and London fiddler, Karen Ryan. Each group performance features a representation from the 80 female musicians and singers who are committed to the project, and accompaniment by former London Lasses pianist, Pete Quinn.
This evening the group will play a number of selections from the repertoire of The London Lasses, followed by a selection of new sets arranged specifically for the International Women’s Day earlier this year, featuring traditional Irish dance tunes composed by prominent female musicians/ composers within the genre. This evening ‘In Good Company’ will also present traditional Irish (sean nós) songs, airs and Irish ballads.
Watch the video of International Women’s Day Concert performance.