The Irish fiddle player with a name to conjure with, founder of supergroup The Gloaming, presents his new band in their UK debut
With roots in traditional Irish music, the Common Ground Ensemble possesses talent spanning improvisation, jazz, avant-garde and cutting-edge contemporary classical.
The Gloaming’s self-titled debut won the Meteor Choice Music Prize for Best Irish Album.
Hayes has collaborated with everyone from Bill Frisell and Yo-Yo Ma to Sting and Paul Simon. His long-term creative partnership with Dennis Cahill saw the duo perform for President Obama at the White House.
When pulling together ensembles for festivals under time pressure, Hayes reflected on what might be possible with fewer restrictions.
‘I started thinking about how, in an ideal world, I’d actually set that up. If I had complete autonomy, what artists would I choose? And how would I create the most flexible gathering of musicians to become a core band?’
The line-up emerged to encompass Cormac McCarthy (piano, Cottage Evolution), Kate Ellis (cello, artistic director of Crash Ensemble), Kyle Sanna (guitar, a collaborator with Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile) and Brian Donnellan (a performer on bouzouki, harmonium and concertina, and, like Hayes, formerly of The Tulla Céilí Band).
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