Ensemble Ériu

Ensemble Ériu draw on the hypnotic repetitions of minimalist music and the improvisatory spirit of jazz to weave rich acoustic tapestries around traditional melodies. Founded by concertina player Jack Talty and double bassist and flute player Neil O’ Loghlen, Ensemble Ériu brings together a chamber ensemble of some of Ireland’s most exciting young musicians from a range of performance backgrounds. The result is a unique combination of the fresh and familiar, a soundscape that is creatively progressive yet rooted in tradition.

Ensemble Ériu are an unusual crossover septet featuring some of Ireland’s most exciting young trad and jazz musicians producing a sound that rings very true to its origins but which has never quite been heard before. (“Very developed, soulful and meditative music from an impressive musical intelligence.” – Tony MacMahon) They weave a charmed jazz and contemporary soundscape around beautiful Irish traditional tunes in a style deeply faithful to the original melodies in settings developed from traditional playing and motifs. (“It feels like they are approaching trad and jazz with equal respect.” – Brendan Taaffe).

Ahead of their Feile na Bealtaine concert in St James’ Church in Dingle in May, and their appearance later in the summer at the Masters of Tradition Festival in Bantry, the Ensemble are embarking on a small Irish tour taking in Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Clonmel (in association with Clonmel Junction Festival). With seven musicians living in different parts of the world involved, this is quite an undertaking.

Galway resident Jack Talty and Neil O’Loghlen grew up in Co Clare playing traditional music together from a young age. O’Loghlen’s training in jazz music and Talty’s involvement in all kinds of music eventually brought them together again to explore some jazz-trad crossover ideas they had, and out of that has come Ensemble Ériu.

They released their eponymous debut CD last year and it has received high praise from many quarters. (“A very fine album… There’s some interesting stuff on here I’ll tell you. A good mixture of musicians and all sorts of mad sounds appearing on it… It features some very, very fine musicians … I’m all for it, me.” – John Kelly of Lyric FM; “I think the album is great.” – Donal Dineen of RTÉ 2FM)

Ultimately, though, with such talented musicians involved, the chemistry of the live concert performance is what they most love. When Talty (on concertina) and O’Loghlen (on double bass, flute and whistle) get together with Matthew Berrill (Clare Memory Orchestra) on clarinet, Maeve O’Hara (CNAG) on marimba, Matthew Jacobson (ReDiViDeR) on drums, Paddy Groenland (Leafzang) on guitar, and Jeremy Spencer (Nuada) on fiddle, something magical happens.

“Absolutely captivating and enchanting stuff … very refreshing and original.” – Ellen Cranitch of Lyric FM



Ainm: Ensemble Ériu
Dataí: 19 April 2014

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