|Friday March 16 7:00 pm||session / concert at the Irish Cultural Center Canton MA|
|Sunday March 11 2:00 pm||"Traditional Tribute to Saint Patrick" Cotuit Center for the Arts Cotuit MA|
|Saturday January 28||Cape Cod Ceili Weekend Irish Village So. Yarmouth|
|September||Irish Cultural Center Festival, Canton MA|
|August||Sandwich High School Celtic Festival, Sandwich MA|
|January||Cape Cod Ceili Weekend|
Mark Oien, fiddle
|Encouraged by his
musical mother, Mark began playing violin when he was five, and
continued his studies via the Suzuki method until his early teens. He
became seriously interested in Irish traditional music around the age
During his years as a student at Boston University Mark took advantage of the presence in the Boston area of many first-class Irish traditional players, among them Larry Reynolds, Seamus Connolly, and Tommy Peoples, all of whom recognized Mark's fiddling talents and encourage him to continue. Participation in the "session scene" both in Boston and in other venues - notably the great Olde Inn session on the Cape, which was then led by fellow Carraroe member Bill Black - taught Mark the value of listening to other players, regardless of instrument.
Mark's willingness to learn from other trad musicians, both great and not-so-great, has enabled him to synthesize his own style, and his early Suzuki experiences have made it easy for a relatively young musician to accumulate a great repertoire of the "jigs, reels, and hornpipes" that are the heart and soul of Irish traditional music.
Mark has known Bill Black for a number of years, but has only recently met fellow Carraroe members Torrin Ryan and Kevin Daly. Torrin is a regular attendee at Black's Friday night session at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton MA, and he and Mark appreciated each other's talents very quickly. Mark first played music with Kevin at an outdoor concert on Cape Cod in September. After the gig, they went back to a local pub and played at a session for a couple hours. The two of them ended up playing for another three hours in a back room, trading old tunes neither had played in years.
"I was already well aware of Mark's talents," said Black, "and after getting to know Torrin and Kevin, I had a real sense that any group that included all of them would be a first-class band. Now I'm sure of it! It's a great credit to all of them that they blended so well so quickly."
Mark is presently attending medical school at the University of New England in Biddeford ME and plans to specialize in geriatric medicine (and Irish fiddling) as a career.
Kevin Daly, accordion
Raised in a family of Irish musicians, Kevin began playing the piano accordion at the age of 8 years old. His main influence was his father, Leo, a fine button accordionist whose own father came from Co. Donegal. Leo Sr. began playing in the 1950’s at the age of 18. He soon met Kevin’s mother, a recent arrival from Co. Mayo, at the legendary Dudley Street dance halls (whose story is told in Susan Gedutis Lindsay's book See You At the Hall).
Kevin’s six siblings all played various instruments throughout their childhood years. It was a very rare day not to find at least one or two family members or friends playing tunes in the kitchen. Brother Leo Jr., who now lives in Vermont, was a well known banjo player. Kevin's sister Maureen is a fiddler who often attends traditional sessions on the South Shore.
If the members of the Daly household weren't playing tunes themselves, there was a good chance they would be listening to recordings of trad giants like Seán Maguire, Joe Burke, Paddy O’Brien, or Tommy Peoples. The music of many ceili bands - including Boston's own Connaught Ceili Band (CCB) - could often be heard in the background at the Daly house.
Like many another Boston-area resident, Kevin always enjoyed listening to the CCB and knew many of the players in that group.
Another musician who was a particular favorite of Kevin's was the multi-talented Jimmy Kelly (RIP 2001), who was equally at home on the banjo, fiddle, box, or piano and played expertly in many styles (including Cape Breton).
Kevin went to Chiropractic College in Iowa where he met his wife Amy. They have been raising their three children in Pembroke, MA. With initial focus on family duties and establishing his chiropractic career, he welcomes the opportunity to devote more time to his passion for Irish traditional music.
Torrin Ryan, pipes/whistle
Torrin started playing music on the recorder at the age of six, and at nine, took up the tin whistle. He started taking regular lessons at the Irish Cultural Centre with Andrea Mori, whom has been a great influence, teacher, and friend. After seeing Lúnasa piper Cillian Vallely in action at the age of twelve, he picked up a set of pipes, with much encouragement from Andrea, and has been piping ever since.
He has competed several times in the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh held in New York, where he has come in first place for both whistle and pipes. He has also competed in the All-Ireland Fleadh held in Tullamore, Ireland, and attended Scoil Éigse music school.
He has attended the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Boston Music School, is a regular at the Northeast Uilleann Pipers Tionól, and is a member of the Boston Piper’s Club.
Torrin has been heavily influenced by many styles of piping as well as many pipers and likes to incorporate both tight and open piping into his playing. He favors both the ‘tasteful’ piping of Liam O’Flynn and Seamus Ennis as well as ‘traveller style’ or ‘open’ piping of Paddy Keenan and the Doran brothers.
Bill Black, vocals/backup
Group founder Black is a native New Yorker, born in Manhattan to musical parents and raised in Brooklyn. After his marriage in 1969 to Patricia Rogers of Dublin, a very capable piper, Bill got interested in Irish traditional music. And it was a good time to get interested - the session scene was beginning to blossom in New York in the early 70's, and Bill - who had started his musical adventures as a "wannabe" classical guitarist - had the chance to learn the intricacies of Irish music not only from the likes of Joe Burke, Andy McGann, Paddy Reynolds, Johnny Cronin, and Mike Rafferty - all living and playing in the NY area at the time - but also from many of the younger musicians like Joanie Madden, Brian Conway, and Jerry O'Sullivan. By that time Bill had added mandolin, tenor banjo, and eventually bouzouki (his first one was a gift from some Greek friends) to his musical arsenal. Bill and Pat, who have two grown sons, now live in Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA, and Bill remains a key player in the active traditional scene on the Cape. He is founding member of the Northeast Ceili Band, which acts as host band for the Cape Cod Ceili Weekend in January, and is currently "alpha" at two weekly sessions, one in Hyannis and the other at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton. Bill is also a composer (of tunes, songs, and "serious" works like string quartets) and a tune collector whose online archive of jigs, reels, etc. comprises approximately 2500 tunes "and is still growing!" He is also a proud grandfather of McKenna Rose (going on 3) and Theodore Christopher Jr. (going on 1).