About Cathy Jordan :
Roscommon born Cathy Jordan has been a professional singer with traditional group Dervish for nearly 30 years. She is a self-taught guitar, bouzouki, bodhrán and bones player.
She has led Dervish as front woman through thousands of concerts in hundreds of cities in nearly 40 countries and has 16 albums under her belt. Among the most notable performances were The Great Wall of China and the biggest rock music festival in the world - Rock in Rio to over 250,000 people. As a songwriter, she has written songs with internationally renowned Brendan Graham, best known for the most successful song of the twentieth century, You Raise Me Up. More recently she has been a teacher providing vocal training and exercises to students in Ireland and abroad, as well as expanding her students traditional song repertoire. In 2014, she took up the role of presenter of Fleadh TV with TG4. Cathy has been an ambassador for Irish culture and music for over a quarter of a century, and has a deep understanding of traditional Irish songs and singing and has collected hundreds of songs which otherwise may have been forgotten. Cathy and Dervish have been invited to accompany Presidents and Taoisigh of Ireland as cultural ambassadors to China, Latvia and Lithuania. Dervish’ most recent album The Great Irish Songbook was released last year on Rounder records and features duets with Vince Gill, Steve Earle, Imelda May, David Gray and more. Over the years Cathy has picked up many awards for her contribution to traditional Irish music including BBC Lifetime Achievement Award 2019, Sligo Cultural Ambassador 2018, Annie McNulty Award 2014 and The Freedom of The City of Sligo in 2010.
Background to the commission
This year 2020 was to be a year of promise. The start of a new decade always brings hope, but it has instead brought a turn in all our lives. It has been a year about distancing in many ways. Bringing to mind losses and remembrance of those who have died and who have not been mourned in our traditional ways. Those in our close community of artists whom we should remember, the peacemaker John Hume, artist Janet Mullarney, the writer Eugene McCabe, the poet Eavan Bolan, musicians and carriers of traditions Mary Mc Partlan and Ben Lennon from Leitrim. And those who are closest and dearest to us. Despite all the concerns the year has brought, in terms of racial and political tension, disturbing and rapid environmental shifts and the everyday concern for the health of our friends, neighbours and communities. This year is a chance for us to reset, rethink and we hope will bring opportunity for change. Can if offer us a chance to be better connectors, more fully mindful of our own and others identities, care and celebration of difference and diversity, love and protection of the living earth? With the ideas of remembrance and our natural environment, and in particular trees in mind, The Dock has commissioned new songs and music that respond to the conditions of all our lives at the moment.