“In the decades to come, we’ll surely talk of having seen this man in the way others talk of Miles Davis or Jimi Hendrix or John Coltrane.”
— The Irish Times
“Hayes has a sublime lyrical and melodic sensibility that transforms all that jiggety-jig scraping into heartbreaking musical washes of the deepest melancholy and moments of sheer, sparkling exuberance.”
— Sydney Morning Herald
Martin Hayes is regarded as one of the most extraordinary talents to emerge in the world of Irish traditional music. His unique sound, his mastery of the fiddle and his acknowledgement of the past and his shaping of the future of the music, combine to create an astonishing and formidable artistic intelligence. He has drawn musical inspiration from sources as diverse as the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the Spanish viola da gamba master, Jordi Savall, and the jazz genius, John Coltrane, but remains grounded in the music he grew up with in his own locality, in Feakle County Clare where the music which he learned from his late father, P. Joe Hayes, the renowned founder/ leader of the long-lived Tulla Ceili Band, profoundly influenced his musical accent and ideas. His latest performing project is with The Gloaming, a band which has burst on the music scene with a rare combination of Irish tunes, ancient sean-nós song, brave explorations and exhilarating and explosive medleys with a distinctive new sound, moving into an entirely new musical dimension of rhythm, melody and texture.
Dennis Cahill is a master guitarist, a native of Chicago born to parents from the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. He studied at the city’s prestigious Music College before becoming an active member of the local music scene. Cahill’s spare, essential accompaniment to Martin Hayes’ fiddle is acknowledged as a major breakthrough for guitar in the Irish tradition. In addition to his work with Martin, Dennis has performed with such renowned fiddlers as Liz Carroll, Eileen Ivers and Kevin Burke, as well as many Irish musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a sought after producer for musical artists whom he records in his own Chicago studio and is also an accomplished photographer. Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill met in
Chicago in the 1980s. They formed the jazz/rock/fusion band, Midnight Court, which allowed them to experiment with a variety of new music styles. When Martin reclaimed his traditional roots, reinvigorated, and after recording two solo albums, he began a new musical relationship with Cahill, beginning with the lyrical music of East Clare. They played long, sometimes thirty-minute, multi-tune sets in their concerts, starting from the simplest of melodies, building in intensity, but never abandoning musicality and ideas.
“Sparsely accompanied fiddle music has rarely sounded so complete and so essential.”