Open the Door for Three is fiddle player Liz Knowles, uilleann piper Kieran O’Hare, and Dublin-born singer and bouzouki player Pat Broaders. Their music is a rare combination of unearthed tunes from centuries-old collections, newly composed melodies, fresh arrangements of songs old and new, homages to the musicians and bands they grew up listening to, and the unmatched energy of a trio of good friends playing great Irish music together.
Liz, Kieran, and Pat have been mainstays of the Irish music scene around the world, having distinguished themselves over the last two decades as soloists with Riverdance, Cherish the Ladies, String Sisters, Secret Garden, Anúna, and The New York Pops. As a trio, they have played to a wide range of audiences in venues large and small, from Irish festivals, to concert halls, house concerts, and pubs. They have performed around the world: on Broadway and at Carnegie Hall, at L’Olympia and the Palais des Congrès in Paris, in Malaysian rainforest festivals, in theatres from Shanghai to São Paulo, and even in a bullring in Mallorca. Most recently, they have been featured at The Kennedy Center’s Ireland 100 festival, the Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton, at The Milwaukee Irish Festival, and in The Masters of Tradition series in Bantry, County Cork, Ireland.
Fiddle virtuoso Lisa Ornstein is an outstanding interpreter of the traditional music of French Canada and Appalachia, blending compelling and inventive playing with impeccable tune choice. Befriended by North Carolina fiddle legend Tommy Jarrell while she was in her teens, Lisa quickly became an accomplished fiddler in the Round Peak style. A musical friendship with Franco-American fiddler Louis Beaudoin set her on a path to Quebec in 1978. When La Bottine Souriante — Quebec’s internationally renowned traditional supergroup — invited her to join the band, Lisa’s projected six-month stay began to stretch, eventually lasting twelve years. While in Quebec, Lisa spent countless hours visiting with older musicians and playing in kitchens and dance halls. She also squeezed in a master’s in folklore on the life and music of master fiddler Louis “Pitou” Boudreault. She has taught, concertized, and toured extensively in North America and Europe with some of Quebec’s finest musicians, and recorded for both Smithsonian Folkways and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Her music appears on a number of La Bottine’s albums, and on critically acclaimed CDs with former bandmates André Marchand and Normand Miron.
Yann & Pascal started their musical journey 20 years ago, busking on the streets of Montréal. They have since played over a thousand shows in twenty countries with the Quebecois trio Genticorum, and they now return as a duo to present an intimate show based on the close musical bond forged by years of touring together. Yann and Pascal are both master entertainers, and this format provides plenty of space for their musical personalities to shine. Pascal’s fiddling, Yann’s guitar accompaniment, and the duo’s vast repertoire of traditional songs and tunes are all presented with elegance and effortless musicianship.
Yann Falquet is a very active and creative acoustic guitar player on the Québécois music scene. He has explored many styles of music and completed a Bachelors degree in Jazz. Since then, he has developed a personal guitar style for Québec folk music, inspired by the playing of the accompanists of different cultures (Brittany, Scandinavia, Ireland, North America).
His involvement in the province’s traditional music scene has brought Yann to perform on numerous recordings, and to tour regularly throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia with his main project Genticorum. He also toured for three years with the award winning Celtic and world group The McDades.
Pascal Gemme is a leading light in Quebec’s traditional music scene.Known as much for his original compositions as his fine interpretation of traditional tunes, Pascal is the fiddler, singer and arranger of the band, Genticorum, whose CDs have met with critical acclaim in several countries.
From a young age, the fiddle music and songs of his native province have captivated him. After graduating with a degree in composition and band arrangements at Montreal’s St Laurent College, he immersed himself in the traditional music around him, playing, collecting and recording music found all over Quebec. Pascal has developed a vast knowledge and is a leading exponent of the music.
Pascal also works as a music producer, with his CD, “L’Amant Confesseur” nominated for a Canadian Folk award, as a studio musician, and recently, as the artistic director of the Sutton Fiddle festival, QC.
The musical passport of recording artist and songwriter Ashley Davis offers a rich display of colorful stamps from Ireland and Scotland, but also heavily draws from the influences of her birthplace, the Kansas plains, and the country music traditions borne of the Appalachian Mountains. An internationally recognized recording artist and songwriter, Ashley has collaborated with such musical luminaries as the Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney, fiddle player Eileen Ivers, harpist Cormac De Barra, singer-songwriters John Doyle and John Spillane, and the “First Lady of Celtic Music,” Moya Brennan. Throughout her career, she has, to quote NBC’s “Today Show” co-host Meredith Vieira, thrilled audiences with “new music springing from ancient roots.” But in a greater sense, she has become a pioneer, navigating new frontiers and sharing her genre-defying musical vision with an ever-increasing fanbase.
Born in Manchester, England, into a very musical family to parents from Co.Galway and Co.Cavan, Colin started playing the fiddle and tinwhistle from an early age and won numerous titles at the Fleadh Cheoil. He began playing with St. Malachy’s Ceili Band when he was 12 years old, and was a founding member of the band Ceile, with whom he recorded the album Mancunian Way. Since then, he has made a name for himself performing and recording with an array of great musicians in Europe and the US, including such groups as Flook, Grada, Karen Casey, John Doyle, Tim O’Brien, The Elders, Julie Fowlis, The Michael McGoldrick Band and is currently playing with the band Lúnasa. Colin has also played and recorded with numerous dance shows such as Spirit of Ireland, Dance of Desire and Magical Rhythms of Ireland. Colin is also a composer whose tunes have been played and recorded by numerous bands and musicians. In 2005, Colin was awarded a Masters Degree in Music from Limerick University. Living in Florida since 2005, when not touring Colin has been teaching at schools and various camps around the US and Europe. Colin’s 2010 solo debut album ‘On The Move’ was named one of the years 10 best albums by The Irish Echo and his second album ‘Make A Note’ released in 2015 was awarded Instrumental Album of the year by liveIreland.
Darlin’ Corey is the unparalleled duo of Portland, Maine’s Erica Brown and Matt Shipman.
Erica Brown developed an interest in music at an early age. At the age of seven, she was competing in fiddle contests with kids twice her age. At age nine, she was traveling throughout New England, Canada, and even Louisiana with the Maine French Fiddlers. Erica also performed as a special guest with Mac McHale And The Old-Time Radio Gang for five years.
As well as performing with Darlin’ Corey, she also has her own bluegrass band, Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection, which performs all over New England. Her talent for combining the precision of classical music with the spontaneity of country and bluegrass fiddle makes for a fun-filled performance every time she plays.
Performance highlights include opening for Grammy award winning country music superstar Dwight Yoakam, as well as Grammy award winning bluegrass performer Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
Calling Maine his home for many years, Matt Shipman is no stranger to the performance circuit throughout New England and afar. Having studied and played traditional music for many years, Matt is also a songwriter. His main instruments are guitar, mandolin, bouzouki and clawhammer banjo. Matt can be heard playing with Darlin’ Corey, Erica Brown and the Bluegrass Connection, High Range, and in various Irish music ensembles and sessions. Matt has put out 2 of his own recordings as well as with High Range and Erica Brown and most recently “When Evening Falls” with Erica and Matt’s duo Darlin’ Corey.
One of the foremost exponents of the Concertina and Button Accordion in the Irish style, Christian “Junior” Stevens has spent two decades surrounded by the thriving Irish music community in America. He has studied with the legendary Noel Hill, and received a performance degree in Piano from the University of Massachusetts. A highly regarded educator, he taught for many years as part of the faculty at the Hanafin-Cooley CCÉ Music School, has been invited to some of the country’s prominent music camps, and currently instructs a large body of private students. In 2017, he was named a Master musician by the Maine Arts Commission, receiving an Artist Fellowship. He is a talented performer with a unique style, and has been featured on many recordings and stages from local dance halls to the Library of Congress.
Amanda Gale is well known as a consummate Classical flautist, with a degree from Bard Conservatory and performances across France, Italy, Germany, Mexico and her native Australia with some of the worlds most highly regarded musicians. She serves as Director of Music at First Parish Congregational Church in Yarmouth and is on the faculty at 317 Main Community Music Center, teaching voice, flute and piano to students of all ages. In performance with her husband, she shines as a sensitive piano accompanist and dynamic vocalist, adding a distinct voice to traditional songs old and new.
Raised on contradances, fiddle contests, and Irish sessions, Liz and Dan Faiella bring to life the traditional Irish and New England music of their roots with Liz’s lyrical fiddle and vocals and Dan’s spirited low whistle and guitar.
This sibling folk duo has captivated audiences at premier folk venues, contradances, and festivals around New England. Liz and Dan have performed at Club Passim, the Boston Celtic Music Festival, the New England Folk Festival, the Acadia Trad Festival, Maine Celtic Celebration, and New Hampshire’s Seacoast Irish Festival. They have received music and dance scholarships from the New England Folk Festival Association and the Country Dance and Song Society; and have shared the stage with celebrated New England folk musicians including David Surette, Randy Miller, Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman, Matt and Shannon Heaton, and Grammy winner Dan Zanes.
Liz’s study of Irish fiddling, classical violin training, and love of contradancing have shaped her musical approach. In 2015, she was selected by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts to conduct fieldwork on the history of contradancing in New Hampshire. Liz teaches fiddle lessons and coaches folk ensembles on the faculty of the Concord Community Music School in Concord, NH, where she is chair of the Folk, Jazz, and Popular Music Department and organizes the Music School’s annual Fall Fiddle Festival. She has had the opportunity to learn from fiddlers Liz Carroll, Liz Knowles, and Lissa Schneckenburger, and she studied sean-nós Irish singing with Bridget Fitzgerald at Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Boston. Liz has led workshops for the Strathspey and Reel Society of NH, Maine Fiddle Camp, and Acadia School of Traditional Music & Arts.
Dan has performed at the Capitol Center for the Arts, the Boston Celtic Music Festival, and the New Hampshire Statehouse. He has studied with folk musician David Surette and classical guitarist David Newsam, and honed his Irish low whistle playing at Boston’s Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Boston. Dan has performed with some of the Northeast’s premier fiddlers including Dan Foster, Alden Robinson, and Winifred Horan, among many others. He has had the opportunity to learn from top-notch Irish and New England folk musicians including flute player Shannon Heaton, guitarists Owen Marshall and John Doyle, and fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger.
Their concerts feature traditional Celtic and New England music, both instrumental settings and songs. Audience members are taken on a journey through the folk traditions of the duo’s Irish heritage and New Hampshire roots, from haunting ballads, to the lyrical compositions of Turlough O’Carolan, to snappy and danceable jig and reel medleys, to mesmerizing fingerstyle guitar arrangements of slow airs.
Haley is the 2015 Junior Fiddler of Dooney, the 2013 All Ireland Champion winning in both under 12 solo fiddle and under 12 fiddle slow airs, and 2017 All Ireland under 15 slow air champion.
After asking to learn to play the violin at age two, Haley began Suzuki violin lessons at the age of three.. Her enthusiasm and love of playing was quickly recognized and at four she began lessons with Gerry Rice of Haddonfield NJ who remained her teacher until fall 2015. Haley currently studies classical violin with Madison Day of Audobon, NJ.
Before her 5th birthday, Haley fell in love with Irish music inspired by fiddler Kevin Burke during a live performance. She began learning fiddle tunes from Kevin’s How to Play Celtic Fiddle DVD and by listening to his CD and playing along while riding in the car. Formal study of Irish fiddle began with Kathy DeAngelo of Voorhees, NJ in August of 2007. In July 2009, after winning her first MidAtlantic under 12 Irish fiddle competition at just six years old, she met fiddling legend and teacher, Brian Conway, who became her teacher a couple months later. By April 2014, Haley was a 6X MidAtlantic Region under 12 Irish fiddle champion. She is a 3X MidAtlantic Fleadh Under 15 solo fiddle championship and 2X Under 15 fiddle slow airs champion, bringing the number of MidAtlantic solo fiddle wins to nine consecutive championships. She has placed numerous times in the All Ireland competition in both solo fiddle, fiddle slow airs, and in trio competitions including second place in both under 15 solo fiddle and fiddle slow airs in August 2016.
In addition to being a dynamic solo performer, Haley has performed with many of the most well-known names in Irish music today including The Chieftains, Altan, Dervish, Mick Moloney, Pride of New York, Liz Carroll with Cherish the Ladies, John Whelan, Paddy Keenan, and is a regular member of Green Fields of American and The John Whelan Band. She has also participated as the band fiddler in the Studio2Stage Irish dance production, That’s Dancing, from 2014-2017.