Called "three of the finest folk violinists anywhere" by The Washington Post, Celtic Fiddle Festival celebrates the violin in all its globe-trotting variations. Fiddlers Kevin Burke (Ireland), Christian Lemaître (Brittany, France) and fresh from his first performance with the group at Celtic Connections 2016, Capercaillie's Charlie McKerron (Scotland) showcase a fascinating juxtaposition of international and individual styles.
Sold-out tours and standing ovations give testimony to the electricity and excitement generated by the group. Along with acclaimed guitarist Nicolas Quemener from Brittany, the quartet combines their talents, musical traditions, and spontaneous humour for an evening of dazzling energy and subtle grace. These traditional masters showcase their regional repertoires and together conjure an experience of breathtaking performances.
Kevin Burke is a world-renowned Irish fiddler whose formidable career includes the seminal Irish groups The Bothy Band and Patrick Street. Playing the fluid, highly-ornamented style of County Sligo, Kevin is a recipient of the NEA's National Heritage Award. Christian Lemaître honed his remarkable skills playing the hypnotic Breton melodies at festou-noz (night dances) throughout Brittany, the Celtic region of France. He is a founding member of the group Kornog. Charlie McKerron, the newest member, is one of Scotland’s finest fiddle players, having touring the world with Capercaillie amongst his many other projects.
In concert each artist plays a solo set, showcasing their individual musical styles and traditions, followed by a collaborative set featuring all three fiddlers. Together, they play with such relentless precision and fire that the tunes transcend all cultural and geographical barriers, leaving the audience with a memorable musical experience.
Celtic Fiddle Festival was originally conceived as a unique touring project in 1992, with Burke, Lemaitre, and the great Scottish fiddler Johnny Cunningham. The group proved such a success that a live recording was released. That first album, simply titled Celtic Fiddle Festival (1993, Green Linnet), received glowing critical reviews and racked up impressive sales. Four albums and numerous international tours later, the ensemble is now one of the most popular on the Celtic circuit. Their most recent album is Equinoxe on Burke's independent label Loftus Music. Sadly, the world lost Cunningham with his unexpected passing in 2003. The Celtic Fiddle Festival’s live CD, Play On (2005, Green Linnet), was dedicated to Johnny.