Doors open 7pm. Show 8pm
Dezi ‘Fiddle on Fire’ Donnelly is a Manchester based Fiddle player. One of the founder members of the legendary Celtic Rock Band ‘Toss the Feathers’. Often seen collaborating with the likes of Sharon Shannon and BBC instrumentalist of the Year Mike McGoldrick.
” As an interpreter of traditional music, Dezi Donnelly stands apart from others of his generation. Despite his young age his playing bears all the hallmarks of someone who has grown naturally with the music.” – Paddy Glackin – from the liner notes of Familiar Footsteps
It is a well known cliche, to describe a fiddle player as “a devil fiddler” but in Dezi Donnelly’s case this is more of an understatement! The sibling of a Manchester fiddler dynasty is both All Britain and All Ireland Champion, a title truly deserved for his brilliant jigs and reels.
Having played the fiddle since the age of 7, Dezi was North West and All Britain fiddle champion by the age of 9. Amazingly, by the age of 15, he had won the All Ireland championship an astounding 5 times! He also won the ‘Fiddler of London’ twice; a competition held in the memory of Dezi’s uncle Des Donnelly who was tragically killed in a building site accident in June 1973, four days before Dezi was born.
Dezi joined legendary Manchester-Irish band, Toss The Feathers, whilst still in his teens. Between 1988-91 and 1994-95 he appeared on the brilliant “Columbus Eclipse” and “Awakenings” albums.
It was during this period (in 1989 to be precise) that Dezi recorded some tracks with Mancunian flutist Michael McGoldrick. Mike’s flute and Dezi’s fiddle gently spar on most of the tracks, however each take the lead when required and the arrangements allow them to swap leads within sets to great effect. The tracks were later released on the album, “Champions Of The North”, and Dezi also featured on Mike’s amazing “Fused” album.He also played on McGoldricks ‘Wired’ and the latest release ‘Aurora’.
Dezi went one better in 1999, scooping the “All Ireland Young Traditional Musician Of The Year”. The award pocketed him IR£5000 and a recording contract.
The “All Ireland” award created a very productive period for Dezi. He was invited to join Irish traditionalists, Stockton’s Wing in May ’99 and by July he had released his debut solo album. “Familiar Footsteps”.
“Familiar Footsteps” is already recognised as one of the greatest traditional fiddle albums of all time and has won rave reviews.
In 2009 Dezi was asked to appear on the BBC’s ‘Transatlantic Sessions’ and performed alongside Jerry Douglas,Ali Bain,Phil Cunningham,Donal Lunny and James Taylor.
Michael McGoldrick has been a member of several influential bands. In 1994 he was awarded the BBC Young Tradition Award, and in 2001 he was given the Instrumentalist of the Year award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
McGoldrick was a founder-member of the Celtic rock band Toss the Feathers while still at school.
McGoldrick formed the band Fluke! (later renamed as Flook) with Brian Finnegan and Sarah Allen in November 1995. After one tour, he left to pursue other projects.
He was an early member of Lúnasa from 1997 until roughly 2000 and played on their first albums. He also joined Capercaillie in 1997, playing on four albums.
In 1999 recorded three albums with Edens bridge, “All in a Life,” “Isle of Tides,” and “Live – In a Little Room.” He also recorded two albums with members of the band, “The View From the North” under the band name of Northern Lights, and “Celtic Melt.”
McGoldrick has played regularly for Afro-Celt Sound System and Kate Rusby’s band. As of 2011 he leads the Michael McGoldrick Band.
In 2010 Michael replaced John McCusker, joining Tim O’Brien on Mark Knopfler’s US leg of the Get Lucky Tour. This being a success, he was invited (and accepted) to stay on for the remainder of the World Tour in Europe when John McCusker had returned. He went on to play on the next Mark Knopfler album, Privateering and played with the band for the subsequent World Tour. McGoldrick also recorded for the ‘Ceol Tacsi’ project with many other British and Irish artists.
Support from Belfast born fantastic singer and songwriter Anthony John Clarke.
Full festival ticket here for £30 +booking fee.