Maurice Lennon, Ciara Brennan & Chris Dawson
An inherently and instinctively musical trio, Maurice Lennon, Ciara Brennan and Chris Dawson combine their unique performative talents to create a dynamic and diverse repertoire of traditional and newly composed music. Maurice, of course, needs no introduction as, a founding member of Stockton’s Wing, one of Ireland’s leading fiddle players and the creator of innumerable, well-known and much-loved compositions. Ciara and Chris, having performed, composed and recorded intensely together over recent years, had already become well acquainted and connected as a duo. Having played together for Maurice’s Brian Boru suite, Maurice and Ciara join two very different violin styles. With Chris, they conjure a musical intimacy and connection that can be seen, heard and felt by all. Expect an evening of exquisite musicianship and a truly transporting performance.
“Ciara Brennan is an all-Ireland champion fiddler and singer and her performance here shows clearly why she deserves both these titles.” fROOTS Magazine
From Dublin, Ciara is a musician and singer songwriter of notable gift who has won all Ireland titles on violin, solo singing and in the not so common art of Lilting.
As a musician descended from the great musical heritage of the Rowsome and Brennan families, Ciara has been surrounded by music all her life. As soon as she could hold an instrument she was playing, she began on the fiddle and went on to become a highly accomplished musician playing violin, singing and playing some mandolin, concertina and piano along the way.
From an early age Ciara was part of several of the Comhaltas Ceolteori hEireann (CCE) tours, such as the British tour and the tour of North America and Canada and she has played in countries such as, Belgium, Hungary, Austria and France to name a few, playing for delighted audiences at concerts, events and sessions. She also anchored the summer show, Sessiun, in the CCE headquarters in Dublin for many years.
As a testament to her ability, a young Ciara was invited to play as second violinist to Stockton’s Wing’s Maurice Lennon’s solo violin for the “Brian Boru The High King of Tara” suite. A Musical Portrait by Maurice Lennon himself.
In more recent years, Ciara has also performed on stage with Michael McGoldrick, John Doyle and John McCusker.
“quality celtic/folk”, “sterling results!” fROOTS Magazine
Multi-instrumentalist , Chris plays traditional flutes/whistles, and cittern/bouzouki, but also other instruments including bodhran, mandolin and didgeridoo. Chris is also one of the rare flute players who can play the flute using circular breathing, a technique which allows to play indefinitely without a break in the notes… and has worked alongside some notable musicians such as Sylvain Barou (Triad, Guidewires), Dan Ar Braz, Michael McGoldrick, Annie Ebrel, Alain Genty (Barzaz).
Having grown up amongst the musical diversity in north-west UK, he likes to keep an open mind and attitude towards other musical styles and influences while at the same time staying close to his trad musical roots.
Beside the traditional music his early professional experiences also saw him working regularly in a soul/funk band touring all over UK and Europe and also working in diverse studios with a top recording artist (music chart top ten hits) in other musical styles and proved to be a great learning curve in both musical and technical aspects, with the traditional music taking on a professional level in the early 90’s.
Also worth to note, completely self taught, Chris has also for over twenty years been making and playing his own professional quality bamboo flutes. Michael McGoldrick was the first person to realise their potential and play them in the early 90’s and has continued to play them to this day, along with Sylvain Barou (Guidewires), Jean-Michel Veillon, Eric Cunningham (Frankie Gavin & De Dannan), and many others.
“Maurice Lennon makes literal the cliché about making a fiddle talk” Sandra Flavin The Sunday Tribune
Maurice Lennon is a name recognised by many people in the now vast world that is Irish Music. Maurice began playing traditional music at the age of thirteen. At the age of nineteen he won the Senior All Ireland Fiddle Championship, following in the footsteps of such great players as Seamus Connolly, Brendan McGlinchy and Liz Carroll. He was later followed by players such as of Desi Donnelly, Eileen Ivers, and Martin Hayes.
The Lennon family is well-known amongst lovers of Irish music. Maurice’s father, Ben Lennon, is well-known as a master of the Leitrim style of traditional fiddle, and his uncle, Charlie Lennon is renowned as a composer, piano accompanist and fiddler. Maurice showed that this musical legacy had been passed on to him when, at age nineteen, he became the youngest person to win the Senior Fiddle Championship at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil, held in Ennis in 1977. The 1980’s were to prove an exciting time for Maurice, he was a founding member of ‘Stockton’s Wing’, with whom he composed, recorded and performed for the next twenty-seven years. ‘Stockton’s Wing’ went on to attain almost super-group status. While playing with ‘The Wing’, Maurice had the great pleasure of sharing the same stage with a host of world renowned artists including, Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr., Stephan Grapelli, Michael Jackson, as well as performing and appearing in the superb Irish film, “The Field”, which featured Richard Harris, Sean Bean, John Hurt, and Tom Berringer amongst others.
Since ending his long time love affair with “The Wing” Maurice continued playing as a solo musician as well as performing and touring with Finbar Furey and Sean Keane. He has also been concentrating on his first real love of composing music and writing lyrics. His compositions have featured on Daniel O’Donnell’s Greatest Hits album, and have been performed by the ‘Nova Scotia Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Louisiana choir. His composition ‘If Ever You Were Mine’ has been recorded by ‘Cherish the Ladies’ and ‘Natalie McMaster’. Working with such diverse producers as Bill Whelan, John Ryan, Shaun Davey, P.J.Curtis, Steve Cooney and Donal Lunny, Maurice now also works as a producer in his own right.
The man with music in his veins, Maurice Lennon’s meticulous scholarship and creative energy are what define all of what he has done and will continue to do and he has never been a musician to shy away from any challenge.
Performance is still a very integral part of Maurice’s music and the next few years will see Maurice open more new doors, continue to entertain, and above all, touch people with what surely is “a gift”.
“As folk musicians and rockers, the band (Stockton’s Wing) has virtuosity to spare – particularly the fiddler Maurice Lennon”New York Times
“Maurice Lennon (ex-Stockton’s Wing) played the fiddle like a man possessed” Dick O’Riordan The Sunday Business Post
“His musical heritage makes its own distinctive mark” | Ragus The Show