Celtic Ensemble

with Katie McNally & Neil Pearlman

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

8PM

Celtic Ensemble

  • Celtic
  • Fiddle
  • Folk
  • Guitar
  • Instrumental
  • Roots
  • School of Music class

In this class, we will explore the role of both melody players and accompanists, but more importantly the relationship between these two. We will learn a group of tunes from the Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton traditions and discuss the arranging process as we collaborate on our material. We will learn some theory and discuss chord choices, bass lines, and rhythm.

This class is recommended for intermediate-advanced melody players with some tune repertoire already under your belt. For accompanists, knowledge of chords and keys will be expected and you should be able to read through a chord chart. This class is open to any melody instrument as well as guitar and piano.

This class meets on Tuesdays from 8:00-9:15pm on May 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5, 12.

TO REGISTER: Click the orange registration button. The next page will list the class title twice – the smaller title is a link to your shopping cart. Click that and you will be able to register.

Please note: The Passim School of Music is located at 26 Church St. Cambridge, MA. Classrooms are located on the third floor and, unfortunately, we do not have an elevator.  

Katie McNally

“THE NEW FACE OF SCOTTISH FIDDLING IN THE USA” (The Living Tradition), Katie McNally has made waves in both the American folk music scene and abroad since the release of her debut album, Flourish, in 2013. Her latest project synthesizes her elegant and powerful fiddle playing with the talents of genre-crossing pianist Neil Pearlman and bluegrass phenom Shauncey Ali on viola.

The trio recently travelled to Cape Breton to record a brand-new album released in Fall 2016. Under the guidance of producer Wendy MacIsaac (Beolach, Mary Jane Lamond), McNally has curated a collection of tunes that will draw inspiration from raw, mid-century recordings of Cape Breton fiddlers both in Nova Scotia and Massachusetts and be sculpted by the creative energy of the Boston acoustic music scene.

Recent covergirl for Fiddler Magazine, Katie has performed and taught fiddle courses in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Scotland, England, and France. A member of the cross genre fiddle super-group Childsplay since 2009, she appears on their CD and concert video release, “As the Crow Flies,” produced by legendary Irish fiddler, Liz Carroll. McNally performs regularly as a soloist and has collaborated in the past with guitarist Eric McDonald and all-woman trad group, Long Time Courting. In the fall of 2012, she accompanied famed Galician bagpiper Carlos Núñez on his first North American tour to promote the release of his Sony Masterworks double album, “Discover.”

A student of acclaimed fiddler Hanneke Cassel, Katie has played at the Newport Folk Festival, the Barns at Wolf Trap, The Freight and Salvage, The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Benaroya Hall, as well as various folk venues throughout North America. In addition to her busy touring schedule, she is a devoted educator whose teaching style was molded by years of attendance at fiddle camps where learning music is about joy and community and fun! This is her approach whether working with her private students, in workshops, at fiddle camps, in musical outreach programs or at Boston’s Symphony Hall.

Katie attended both The University of Glasgow and The National Piping Centre in Glasgow Scotland where she studied ancient and modern Scottish Literature and Scottish traditional music. Katie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University in 2012 with concentrations in Music, English and Child Development where she earned The Etta and Harry Winokur Award for Outstanding Contribution to Performance.

Neil Pearlman

Pianist and mandolinist Neil Pearlman is rapidly distinguishing himself as a uniquely innovative artist in the contemporary traditional music scene. Called “a tremendous pianist” on BBC Radio Scotland and “a force to be reckoned with” by WGBH’s Brian O’Donovan, Neil is recognized in many Celtic music circles for his unique approach to the piano. Rooted in traditional Cape Breton piano styles, Neil brings in ideas from many other genres and the result is an exciting new sound that remains true to its traditional roots. It was this fresh approach that led legendary Cape Breton fiddler Jerry Holland to say “watching Neil’s hands on the piano was like watching two spiders on crack!”

An accomplished Cape Breton step dancer as well, Neil grew up in the family band Highland Soles, led by father and mother Ed Pearlman and Laura Scott, both influential Scottish music and dance figures in the US. Neil has performed with Natalie MacMaster, Alasdair Fraser, Bruce MacGregor, Natalie Haas, Mike Block, Seamus Connolly, Kimberley Fraser, Maeve Gilchrist, Hanneke Cassel and Mike Vass, opened for Archie Fisher, split a bill with Jerry Holland and worked closely with many others. His career so far has taken him to Scotland, Spain, Mexico, Canada and all across the US.

Neil currently performs with a wide range of musical projects from traditional Scottish fiddle music to contemporary jazz. These include Alba’s Edge (Scottish/Jazz/Latin quartet), Soulsha (Scottish/West African/Funk 8 piece band), The Katie McNally Trio (“The new face of Scottish Fiddle in America” -Living Tradition Magazine), Party of Three (Contradance band) and Neil’s duo with father Ed Pearlman. Check out the “Projects” page of this site for more information.

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