Beoga (gaelic for ‘lively’) are based in County Antrim, in the north of Ireland. The bedrock of their sound lies firmly within the Irish tradition. However, they are not afraid to incorporate other genres’ nuances into their music. From bluesy riffs to Astor Piazzola-style jazz, to a raunchy New Orleans jamboree vibe, their music always returns to a wonderfully bouncy Irish sound. The result is traditional, with a huge sense of fun and adventure and it all works – wonderfully well. The Wall Street Journal describes them as “the most exciting new traditional band to emerge from Ireland this century.” Irish Music Magazine writes, “Beoga are at the forefront of the new Irish wave.”
The band was drawn together in 2002 after ‘jamming’ in a ferocious session at the All-Ireland Fleadh. Their unique sound featured the twin dueling accordions of Damian McKee and multi-instrumentalist Sean Óg Graham pianist Liam Bradley and four times All-Ireland bodhrán champion Eamon Murray. In 2005, the line-up was complete, with the addition of Niamh Dunne, one of Ireland’s premier young talents, on vocals and fiddle.
In 2004, Beoga’s ground-breaking debut album ‘a lovely madness’, earned international critical acclaim. The Irish Times wrote ‘Individually talented and collectively inspired, this is a quartet who speak a language called music with a fluency beloved of the best multi-linguists.’ The album earned 9/10 in Ireland’s Hot Press music magazine and was in the Top Trad/Folk Albums of the year listings. Irish Music magazine nominated Beoga for the best traditional newcomer’s award describing the work as ‘madcap genius, master craftsmen. In Beoga, the Irish music world found another prodigy.”
The group’s second release, entitled ‘Mischief’, firmly catapulted Beoga into the upper stratum of trad bands. ‘Mischief’ received a 9.5/10 rating in Hot Press and earned recognition at the Live Ireland Music Awards, the German Music Awards, and the Best of 2007 listings in many notable publications including the Boston Globe, The Irish Echo, Dirty Linen Magazine and Folk Alley.
Beoga’s music seduces a diverse array of music lovers, and the release of the 2009 album ‘The Incident’ saw the group continue to blaze a pioneering trail, rewarding world music fans with more fresh creative energy. The band’s profile rose to a new level with a front page feature in the St Patrick’s Day edition of the Wall Street Journal. In 2010 ‘The Incident’ was shortlisted for a GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary World Music Album.
TV, radio appearances and hectic tour schedules have followed fast and furious for Beoga, gaining notoriety for it’s charismatic rapport with audiences and the highly inventive, energetic performances. In September 2007, Beoga performed live with the BBC Orchestra to a television audience of millions as part of the prestigious ‘Last night of the Proms’.
“…the most exciting new traditional band to emerge from Ireland this century”
WALL STREET JOURNAL
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