Tickets are selling fast for this rare opportunity to see an artist who was described by the late Shay Healy as “a touchstone of great singing tradition. He is the past, the present and the future.”
Seán Keane visits Bray’s Mermaid Arts Centre on Saturday, December 2 for one evening of songs such as ‘Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears’, ‘Galway to Graceland’ and ‘Home Away From Home’ which are enduringly popular, together with his more recent material like ‘Paint me a picture of Ireland’, ‘Natures Little Symphony’, and ‘One More Hour’.
Seán was born in a small village called Caherlistrane near Tuam, County Galway and grew up in a family of singers and musicians and learned the Sean-nós style of singing from his mother and his aunts.
From early childhood, singing became a big part of his life. By the time Seán reached his teens he had collected thirteen All-Ireland medals in the Fleadh Ceoil competitions. He was by then an accomplished whistle and flute player and had also taken up the uilleann pipes and bodhrán.
When he joined his first group, Shegui, he had already served a long apprenticeship. After travelling throughout Europe with the band, he left to join Reel Union, a group which also featured sister Dolores and accordion player Máirtín O’Connor. Later, he was part of Arcady, with such well-known names as Johnny ‘Ringo’ McDonagh, Sharon Shannon and Frances Black.
Seán’s musical voice is unique and distinctive, his songs encompass a mixture of traditional Irish folk music, blues, and country. While his roots are in old Ireland with the Keane family tradition of Sean-nós singing, his voice lends itself beautifully to many different genres and his skill on the flute, whistles and pipes with which he punctuates songs, make his work unforgettable.
In 2020 he connected with audiences all over the world with his weekly Facebook live performances known as the Carragh Sunday Sessions. He tours regularly with his band in Ireland, Austria, Germany, the US and Canada as well as appearing at major festivals world-wide and is enjoying his 2023 tour.
“He is a storyteller, whose voice is the sound of everyman,” the great Shay Healy added. “Sometimes he can sound as lonely as an emigrant standing on the prow of a ship taking him away from his native homeland. More times he can sound like a cyber survivor, full of strength and valour that provides comfort to those who battle unequally with the hostile emotional landscape of the modern world.”
Tickets, priced €31, are available online at mermaid.ie
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