Undoubtedly the greatest Irish fiddler of his generation, Martin Hayes’ playing defies ordinary descriptions. Together he and his musical partner, guitarist Dennis Cahill, have achieved the delicate balance of tradition versus creativity and innovation, carefully paying respect to the roots of the music whilst creating an engaging new sound.
For Martin, the music speaks to him and inspires him, and he constantly seeks to express that inspiration.
With Dennis Cahill’s understated guitar outlining and intensifying the tunes, the duo are adventurous, enabling them to stretch the music while remaining true to its essential qualities.
Their live concerts are legendary, tunes which seem to caress and enter the soul, the listener enters a time-warp unaware of how long or short the tunes are played for, sets that run the gauntlet of highs and lows of mesmerizing intensity, leaving audiences stunned but emotionally fulfilled.
Martin and Dennis possess a rare musical kinship, ranking them among the most memorable partnerships of our era. Together they have garnered international renown for taking traditional music to the very edge of the genre, holding listeners spellbound with their slow-building, fiery performances.
The New York Times calls them “a Celtic complement to Steve Reich’s quartets or Miles Davis’ ‘Sketches of Spain.” Martin Hayes has been an All-Ireland fiddle champion six times over; he was awarded the prestigious 2008 Musician of the Year award from Ireland’s Irish language television TG4, and at the inaugural BBC Radio2 Folk Awards. Recently he led a group of fellow musicians to sold out performances at the Sydney Opera House in his role as Artistic Director of The Masters of Tradition.
Dennis Cahill is a master guitarist, whose innovative accompaniment is acknowledged as being a major breakthrough for guitar in the Irish tradition. This year they performed on Capitol Hill and the White House for a Saint Patrick’s Day Reception hosted by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. They toured Japan within weeks of the earthquake and are due to return there again in November. In tribute to Martin’s father, the late P. Joe Hayes, founder and leader of the Tulla Ceili Band for over 50 years, they have re-mixed and released a CD version of The Shores of Lough Graney, an album recorded over 20 years ago by Martin and his father.
They play the Leitrim Live Music Club at The Dock at 8.30pm on Friday 29th June. Tickets are selling fast. Book yours now on www.thedock.ie by calling 071 96 50828 or calling into The Dock Box Office.