Iarla Ó Lionáird (vocals, harmonium)
Iarla Ó Lionáird grew up and learned his craft in the musical heartland of Cúil Aodha in the West Cork Gaeltacht. From his iconic early recording of the vision song “Aisling Gheal” whilst still a boy, through many recordings, Ó Lionáird established himself both as a masterful exponent of Sean Nós Song and as a pioneer in its renewal and development. 2011 saw the release of Ó Lionáird’s latest solo album “Foxlight” on Realworld Records.
Always an artist on his own journey Ó Lionáird signed to the prestigious Real World label in the mid 1990’s with whom he would go on to make many groundbreaking recordings with the multi-million selling Afro Celt Sound System receiving two Grammy nominations. Solo albums “Seven Steps to Mercy” (1997, produced by Michael Brook) and “Invisible Fields” (2005) brought widespread acclaim confirming Ó Lionáird as one of contemporary music’s most ambitious singers and recording artists.
Ó Lionáird has always been a collaborator and an artist seeking new fields of engagement. From his collaborations with Peter Gabriel on Ovo, this has taken an increasingly classical form. His song-cycle with Gavin Bryars, Anail De (The Breath of God) reflects a deep artistic collaboration and friendship with the composer. Similarly he has worked extensively with acclaimed Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy and his group The Crash Ensemble. He is also a featured soloist on the Nonesuch debut label release of Dennehy’s “Grá agus Bás “ with Dawn Upshaw and Crash Ensemble which he performed live at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in the Spring of 2013.
Iarla is a member of the band The Gloaming, featuring Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Thomas Bartlett and Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh. He tours the U.S. every year with the ensemble, Masters of Tradition.