Last year’s newest addition, the Trad Stage, brings the traditional side of the Irish music to the South Buffalo Irish Festival. Located inside the Cazenovia Casino
Abanalan, Irish for “Beautiful River”, officially launched at Pausa Art House on Saturday, April 3rd, 2016 to a standing room-only crowd. The band includes regional standouts in the Irish trad scene (left to right): Stephanie Benson (fiddle), Tim Benson (Uilleann pipes, flute, whistles, fiddle), Maureen Bluett (vocals, bodhran and mandolin), and Mark Warford (cittern, tenor guitar, vocals). Abanalan features inspired sets of Irish dance tunes and song arrangements infused with a unique alchemy.
Catch members around town at the Saturday afternoon Celtic Seisiún at Nietzsche’s or the First Friday Seisiún at Del Denby’s Pub. Tim and Stephanie, in addition to being accomplished Irish traditional musicians, are Uilleann pipe makers by trade. Check out their website: BensonCorneliusPipes.com
// JOHN MICHAEL RYAN
Multi-instrumentalist John Michael Ryan was born into Rochester’s vibrant Irish cultural scene, where he and his brother and sisters grew up immersed in music and dance from an early age. While his siblings distinguished themselves as prominent Irish step dancers, John emerged as one of the Rochester’s most active young musicians and by his 20s was a much sought after session player, leading jams with his hard-driving yet lilting style. In addition to playing sessions and festivals and teaching traditional music, he studies history at SUNY Brockport and is proud father and husband. On accordion, whistle, bodhran, and concertina, John will get your toes tapping even if he has to shake the floorboards himself!
KINDRED is the husband and wife team of David and Felicia Meyer. Schooled in theatre and classical music as well as folk and popular song, they bring a compelling stage presence to their wide ranging repertoire capturing the hearts of audiences throughout the United States and Canada. With Felicia Meyer's incredible voice and guitar, and Dave Meyer's dynamic and versatile cello playing, KINDRED brings to life both old and new music in the Celtic tradition.
// TIM BALL & MAX NEWMAN
After 20 years performing in Celtic and contra dance bands and a lifetime of playing traditional fiddle music, Tim Ball takes center stage with his upcoming solo release Upstate Crossroads. His playing breathes new life into nearly-forgotten tunes and old favorites from all corners of New York State, drawing repertoire and inspiration from the surrounding Irish-American, New England, Canadian, and Bluegrass traditions. From these deep roots in dance tunes and folk songs, Tim’s music tells stories about hard work, immigration, community, and simple pleasures.
Max Newman will join Tim for the South Buffalo Irish Festival, playing guitar, piano, and mandolin. A member of the nationally-known contra dance band Stringrays, Max’s playing is refreshing, fun, and creative, and has allowed him to collaborate with a great variety of traditional musicians. He’s made several albums with the Stringrays and others, and has also been profiled in Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. When not on the road, Max can often be found at his local contra dance in Concord, Massachusetts.
// CHARLIE COUGHLIN & LEAH RANKIN
With a brand new expression and expansion of folk music, Charlie Coughlin brings new life to old music and old sounds to new tunes. Born in Buffalo, New York, Charlie grew up playing violin and irish fiddle from a young age. He now draws inspiration from the folk tales of Irish trad, Old-time, and modern artists such as Kishi Bashi and Arcade Fire to create new Post-Trad/Indie Folk music.
Charlie Coughlin has played the fiddle/violin for over 10 years. He also sings in the sean nós Irish style and plays various other instruments including guitar, mandolin, button accordion, and whistle. As a solo artist and with groups like The Brothers Blue, Crikwater, and more, he has played venues and festivals including the Town Ballroom, Sportsmans Tavern, Duende at Silo City, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Old Tone festival, An Beal Bocht, Folkfaces Fest, the Buffalo Irish Festival, the South Buffalo Irish Festival, the Hornell Irish Festival, and other great locations and festivals. He has also taught master classes at SUNY Plattsburgh, Honeoye Highschool, the South Buffalo Music school, and more.
Having recently relocated back to her hometown of Buffalo, NY from New York City, Leah Rankin is one of the leading cellists playing traditional Irish music today. Since studying cello performance with Alan Harris at the Eastman School of Music, and with renowned Celtic cellist Natalie Haas, she has played alongside some of the most reputable musicians in the Irish music world and has appeared on close to a dozen albums in a variety of genres. Notable live performances include The Ferryman on Broadway, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Irish Arts Center, The American Irish Historical Society, NYC Irish American Writers & Artists Salon, NYC Tartan Week, BB King Blues Club, Rockwood Music Hall, Fairport Music Festival, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and all three stages at Carnegie Hall where she worked for nearly eight years.