MWSFF Concert: House of Hamill, and Liz Carroll with Nic Gareiss and Harpist Maeve Gilchrist
Friday, January 31, 2020 @ 7:30 pm
Chicago’s premier Irish Fiddler, Liz Carroll is joined by Harpest Maeve Gilchrist, and Lansing’s own dance phenom Nic Gareiss.
“Brilliant…She does more than run through her fingertwisting reels and sustained slow airs. Carroll – and her listeners – continually rediscover each melody.” -The New York Times
“A show-stopper…the most inventive and expressive step dancer on the scene. The nimble Gareiss called forth visions of Fred Astaire.” – Daniel Gewertz, The Boston Herald
Liz is a recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship Award (1994). In 2010 she became the first Irish-American musician nominated for a Grammy. In 2011 she became the first American-born composer honored with the Cumadóir TG4, Ireland’s most significant traditional music prize.
Dancer Nic Gareiss has been hailed by the New York Times for his “dexterous melding of Irish and Appalachian dance.” He re-imagines movement as a musical practice, recasting dance as medium that appeals to both eyes and ears. Based in Lansing, Michigan, Gareiss draws from many percussive dance traditions, weaving together a dance technique facilitating his love of improvisation, traditional dance footwork vocabulary, and musical collaboration. He has concertized in fifteen countries for over ten years with many of the luminaries of traditional music and dance including performances at London’s Barbican Centre, the Irish National Concert Hall, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Kennedy Center.
MAEVE GILCHRIST, harpist, singer, composer and producer
Described by one critic as “a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity”, Maeve Gilchrist has taken the Celtic (lever) harp to new levels of performance and visibility.
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Maeve‘s innovative approach to her instrument stretches its harmonic limits and improvisational possibilities. She is as at home as a soloist with an internationally renowned orchestra as she is playing with a traditional Irish folk group or using electronic augmentation in a more contemporary, improvisatory setting.
HOUSE OF HAMILL:
Intricate, unpredictable arrangements of traditional songs and fiddle tunes; compelling and catchy original songs and completely unexpected covers – Philadelphia’s “House of Hamill” will keep you guessing (and laughing) and leave you with a whole new appreciation for what a fiddle can do in traditional and contemporary music.
Rose Baldino and Brian Buchanan met 10 years ago, late one night backstage at a theatre in rural Pennsylvania.
Brian’s band Enter The Haggis and Rose’s group Burning Bridget Cleary were sharing a stage that evening, and the two bonded over a love of Irish fiddle tunes, Radiohead, and 4 AM whiskey. Their paths crossed a dozen times over the next decade on the road, but it wasn’t until the International Folk Alliance 2014 conference in Kansas City that they finally became musical collaborators. Burning Bridget Cleary’s guitarist and drummer had their flights canceled at the last minute, and Rose (in desperation) asked Brian to grab a guitar and join her onstage. The two performed with virtually no rehearsal for over an hour, and their connection was powerful and immediate. A few months later Brian moved from Canada to Philadelphia, and as a tribute to the first tune Rose ever taught Brian, House of Hamill was born.
Brian and Rose are both accomplished traditional fiddle players and classical violinists, and despite being young, have almost 30 years of writing and performance experience between them. Together, they write unusual new fiddle tunes and exciting, unpredictable original songs while also breathing new life into traditional and contemporary songs. Both are confident and unique lead vocalists, and the blend of their two voices in harmony is hypnotic and irresistible.
Whether House of Hamill is playing songs from their debut album “”Wide Awake”” (September 2016) or stomping through a set of original jigs and reels from their follow-up “”March Through Storms”” (2018), their chemistry onstage is always engaging and often hilarious. In the summer of 2018, their quirky all-violin cover of “”Sweet Child Of Mine”” went viral, amassing over 15 million views and more than 400,000 shares on Facebook in just a few weeks, and was picked up by publications all over the world.
House of Hamill is on the bleeding edge of a new generation of traditional musicians.