A rare collaboration between violinist/fiddler Jeremy Kittel & Uilleann Piper/whistle player Cillian Vallely.
Jeremy Kittel has earned a reputation as one of the most exceptional violinists and fiddlers of his generation. With tremendous musicality; a rare mastery of styles as diverse as jazz, Scottish and Irish fiddle, bluegrass, classical music, and more; a unique compositional voice, and an “exhilarating stage presence” (Strings Magazine), Kittel inspires listeners and fans worldwide through his solo work and collaborations.
As a leader, he performs with his own Jeremy Kittel Band (quartet), as well as intimate duo and trio formats, and also as a soloist with orchestras. In collaboration, he is frequently called upon by some of today’s most influential and vibrant artists in a variety of genres; he has recorded and performed with musical giants My Morning Jacket, Jars of Clay, Mark O’Connor, Abigail Washburn, Camera Obscura, Bela Fleck, Laura Veirs, Aoife O’Donovan, Paquito D’Rivera, Stefon Harris, and many more. He also recently completed a five-year full time position in the Grammy-winning Turtle Island String Quartet.
His most recent solo recording, Chasing Sparks (Compass), features his original compositions with a stellar cast of musicians including special guests Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and Mike Marshall, and has garnered rave reviews among acoustic music circles worldwide.
Committed to nurturing future generations of musicians, he is a passionate clinician and educator and regularly teaches at programs such as Belmont Strings Crossings, International Music Academy of Pilsen, Mark O’Connor Strings Conference, Swannanoa Gathering, and schools and universities worldwide.
Starting at age 7, Cillian Vallely learned the whistle and uilleann pipes from his parents Brian and Eithne at the Armagh Pipers Club, a group that for over 4 decades has fostered the revival of traditional music in the north of Ireland. Since leaving college, he has played professionally and has toured all over North America and Europe in addition to Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.
Since 1999, Cillian has been a member of the acclaimed Irish band “Lunasa”, with whom he has recorded 7 albums and played at many major festivals including The Hollywood Bowl, Glastonbury, Womad, Edmonton & Winnipeg Folk Festivals, and Lorient Interceltique. He has also performed and toured with “Riverdance”, Natalie Merchant, Tim O Brien & Mary Chapin-Carpenter in “The Crossing”, New York-based “Whirligig”, and the “Celtic Jazz Collective” with David O’Rourke, Lewis Nash and Peter Washington. In the past couple of years, he has worked on various collaborations between traditional and classical music, along with his brother Niall and the composer Micheal O’Suilleabhain. In 2013, Cillian and the other members of Lunasa recorded a groundbreaking album with the Ireland’s national RTE Concert Orchestra.
He has recorded on over 50 other albums including “Callan Bridge” with his brother Niall, “On Common Ground” with Kevin Crawford and various guest spots with Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Merchant, Alan Simon’s “Excalibur” project with Fairport Convention and Moody Blues, “GAIA” with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, and Karan Casey. He has recently recorded on two movie soundtracks, “Irish Jam” and “The Golden Boys” and played uilleann pipes on the BBC’s “Flight of the Earls” soundtrack. In January 2014, his piping and whistle playing was featured on the new Bruce Springsteen album “High Hopes”, a recording which topped the charts in 14 countries.
Accompanying them will be New York state singer and guitarist, Ryan McGiver, known on either side of the Atlantic for his unique blend open of string guitar and
breathy vocals. Over the past decade he has performed
extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia and his music
has been showcased on the BBC, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, NPR and The
He has recorded and shared the stage with an eclectic blend of folk
and rock musicians including Susan McKeown, Jolie Holland, Pádraig
Rynne, Doug Wieselman, Vishtèn, Cillian Vallely and Shahzad Ismaily to
name a few. His recent debut solo album entitled 'Troubled in Mind' is
receiving international acclaim. fRoots Magazine describes it as “An
absorbing and plaintive collection of mainly Appalachian ballads
filtered through a myriad musical influences and sensibilities.”