The Celtic Music Association

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October 24, 2015

Des Moines Playhouse
831 42nd Street
Des Moines, IA 50312
Concert starts at 8 p.m.
Doors open at 7 p.m.

Bua's Web Site


“Bua evokes the good times that Irish trad music so often celebrates,” playing in a manner “largely forgotten in today’s overly polished Irish music world.” With “a precision and intensity that is rarely heard on this side of the Atlantic,” their sound stands out among modern bands in the genre by “keeping the music down the path of tradition” while still being able to “raise the rafters with their playing, charm with their singing, and delight with their contemporary energy.”

Brian Miller is one of the most sought-after guitarists in North America’s Irish music scene. He has performed across North America and in Ireland with various groups including Chulrua, The Mairtin de Cogain Project, The Two Tap Trio, and in duo with Randy Gosa performing songs from the lumber camps of the North Woods. He has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, CBC Radio’s Canada Live and on various RTE television and radio programs in Ireland.

Devin Shepherd began learning the fiddle at an early age. He was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Master-Apprentice grant to study with famed Liz Carroll when he was only 12. During this time he won first prize in the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil fiddle competition for 9 consecutive years. He has played with many native born musicians including Phil Durkin, Frank Burke, Albert Neary, Pat Cloonin, and Una McGlew.

 Sean Gavin plays the flute, whistle and uilleann pipes for Bua. He was first encouraged to take up Irish music by his father, Clare-born fiddle player Mick Gavin. He is a member of another critically acclaimed group NicGaviskey and performs often with the Irish band Teada.

 Brian O hAirt is the only American to have won the coveted All-Ireland senior title in traditional singing (All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Listowel, Co. Kerry in 2002). He has performed and taught extensively in North America and Ireland and has been featured on various NPR and RTE radio programs. He is also an award-winning sean-nos dancer (Cruinniu na mBad, 2003) and accomplished instrumentalist on concertina, accordion, and whistle.

     Ten Strings
and a
Goat Skin

 January 23, 2016
Holy Trinity
2926 Beaver Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50310
Concert starts at 8 p.m.
Doors open at 7 p.m.

Ten Strings and a Goat Skin's Web Site


“A seamless, polished, barrel-drum-tight, rhythmically innovative & wildly entertaining traditional music powerhouse.” (The Guardian)  Winners of the 2015 East Coast Music Association award for World Music Recording of the Year, multiple nominees for the 2013 Canadian Folk Music awards, 2015 ECMA’s & Music PEI Awards, Ten Strings And A Goat Skin are having the time of their lives immersed in the music they love as a trad/folk/fusion bilingual trio.

Playing Irish, Acadian, French & original creations, infused with modern and world rhythms, they have created a fiery, contagious & unique sound that has them touring throughout Canada, the US & Europe.  Industry heavyweights reference their rare musicality as belying the members young ages of 19 & 21 years.

From Prince Edward Island, Canada, with seemingly ceaseless energy, Jesse Périard-guitar, and brothers Rowen Gallant-fiddle,  and Caleb Gallant-percussion, ignite onstage as Ten Strings And A Goat Skin.    

The Elders

 February 13, 2016
 Holy Trinity
2926 Beaver Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50310
Concert starts at 8 p.m.
Doors open at 7 p.m.

The Elders's Web Site

The Elders were founded in 1998 by six gentlemen with a passion for music rooted in Americana and Celtic folk rock.  Their ability to bring together the art of storytelling with elements both musically progressive and rooted in tradition  has won them a broad international fan base as well as critical acclaim in numerous publications such as PASTE Magazine, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange, Music Row Magazine, Goldmine Magazine, TRAD Magazine (France), Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star and many more.

Ian Byrne - vocals, percussion, whistle
Steve Phillips - vocals, guitar, mandolin
Brent Hoad - vocals, keyboards, fiddle, guitar
Norm Dahlor - vocals, bass, guitar, banjo
Kian Byrne - drums, bass, mandolin
Colin Farrell - fiddle, whistle, flute  

Paul McKenna Group

 March 5, 2016
Holy Trinity
2926 Beaver Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50310
Concert starts at 8 p.m.
Doors open at 7 p.m.

The Paul McKenna Group's Web Site                       

The Paul McKenna Band combines their love for traditional and folk music with original songs and tunes. The band has been playing to audiences throughout the UK since 2006 and in North America since 2010. With a contemporary approach to songs, but never straying too far from their roots, their exciting sound is created through outstanding vocals, fiddle playing, driving guitar and bouzouki with a warm pairing of flute and whistles with dynamic, intense percussion.

 Paul McKenna is an outstanding singer and multi-instrumentalist from Glasgow.

 Sean Gray played with Sister Robyn at various clubs and festivals throughout Scotland during his early teens. His final year of secondary school was spent at the National Centre of Excellence in traditional Music at Plockton.

 Ewan Baird took up the bodhran three years ago and in that short time has developed a unique style of playing to a standard which is both impressive and the envy of many players. He also plays Cajon and percussion.

 Shannon Quinn, a fiddler, dancer and composer was born and raised in beautiful Halifax, NS. Her musical style is highly influenced by that of her ancestors, originating from Co. Clare, Ireland. She has been performing with father Tony for 14 years.       


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