"Passing on the Tradition" Featuring Brian Mostyn (Button Accordion) Emily Keane (Flute), Catherine Cullen (vocal/tinwhistle /dance), Mick Blake (piano)
We are privileged to have so many musicians willing to share their knowledge of the tradition. There are numerous music schools and dance schools in Leitrim and surrounding area including Carrick Trad and Áirc Damsha. Sharing tunes, steps and wisdom, Brian Mostyn, Mick Blake, Catherine Cullen and Emily Keane tell us how they became part of the tradition.
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Born in Sligo, Brian Mostyn started to play traditional Irish music on the accordion around 7 years of age under the tutelage of a great Sligo accordion player, Alfie Joe Dinneen. His parents had a fondness for the music and, whenever possible, would bring Brian to all sort of musical gatherings around the Sligo area. His mother was from East Galway and as a child, Brian spent a lot of time on holidays in Loughrea, Co. Galway. This brought him into contact with the likes of Joe Burke, Oliver Roland and Paddy Carty and members of The Leitrim Ceili Band - winners of two Senior All-Irelands, in 1959 and 1962. As a result Brian developed a great fondness of the East Galway style and this has remained with him to the present day.
Music took a back seat for a number of years until Brian started attending the Joe Mooney Summer School in Drumshanbo where he met up with so many fine musicians. A spark was ignited and he began playing again of a regular basis. Brian subsequently underwent a course of study in Traditional Irish Music at Drumshanbo College of Further Education where he achieved a FETAC Level 5 award. Brian is now teaching music and has tutored at The Joe Mooney Summer School and tutors at Carrick Trad classes in Carrick on Shannon.
Letterkenny born, Mick Blake is a singer/songwriter based in County Leitrim. His song, “Oblivious” was covered by Christy Moore, and appears on Moore’s latest album, “Lily”. Mick performed alongside Christy Moore, Declan Sinnott and Damien Dempsey at concerts in Vicar Street and at the highly-publicised Centenary Celebration Concert in Dublin in 2016, he has also received plaudits from music legends such as Paul Brady and Steve Wall.
Emily Keane is from Elphin Co.Roscommon and has been playing flute since she was 13 years old. Emily has represented her local Elphin CCÉ and Roscommon CCÉ in All Ireland fleadh competitions, where she won gold at the All Ireland Fleadhfest in Sligo this year. Guidance and encouragement from local Roscommon flute players as well as playing alongside local musicians have influenced Emily’s flute playing. From both attending lessons and playing at local sessions with the strong North Connacht flute tradition, Emily has learned and developed her flute style from experienced local musicians.
From Kiltoghert, co. Leitrim, Catherine Cullen is a talented multi-instrumentalist. Starting on tin whistle when she was 8 years old, Catherine progressed onto flute with local music teacher, Padraig Sweeney. In recent years, Catherine has started learning Uilleann pipes with renowned piper Leonard Barry. An award winning Sean Nós dancer, Catherine has competed at Fleadhanna and Oireachtas na Samhna for many years all around the country. Also taking part in local festivals such as The Joe Mooney Summer School Drumshanbo, The John McKenna Weekend Drumkeeran and Foxford Traditional Weekend in Co. Mayo throughout the years again helped me develop as a musician and develop my own style from being introduced to different styles of music from across the country.