The Boruma Trio

with special guests Eamon Cotter, Karen Ryan & Pete Quinn


Tuesday 15 August




Dánlann an Chláir

The Boruma Trio is a musical collaboration featuring fiddle player Eileen O' Brien from Nenagh in North Tipperary, accordion player Andrew MacNamara from Tulla, East Clare and on piano and tin whistle Dr. Geraldine Cotter from Ennis. It is a unique and exciting musical ensemble, which successfully unites the two stylistic musical traditions of East County Clare and North County Tipperary; exploring the C#/D and B/C accordion playing styles through creative, empathic musical arrangement. The Boruma Trio derives its name from Brian Boru High King of Ireland, who was born at the Fort of Kincora, also known as Béal Boruma.

The title of their debut album Gléas refers to the effect that musical keys have on the interpretation and playing of Irish traditional music.


Eileen O'Brien
Eileen is one of Ireland’s foremost fiddle players. Her musical heritage can be traced back through generations of her family from the O’Briens’ on her father’s side and also through her mother’s family, the Seerys’. She was mentored and influenced by her late father Paddy who not only established the B/C accordion playing style in the 1950’s, but was also one of the most influential composers of Irish traditional music of his generation. Through her original compositions and arrangements, Eileen maintains the continuity of her family tradition of creativity.

Andrew MacNamara
Andrew MacNamara from Tulla in East Clare is one of Ireland’s leading exponents of the C#/D accordion playing style. Andrew’s family background is immersed in the East Clare musical tradition. His sister Mary Mac Namara is one of Ireland’s most highly acclaimed concertina players. Andrew’s playing style has been strongly influenced by local musicians, Joe Bane (Flute/Tin Whistle), Fiddle players: PJ Hayes, Bill O’Malley and accordionist Mattie Ryan. Galway accordionist Joe Cooley has also influenced Andrew’s playing style.

Dr. Geraldine Cotter
Dr. Geraldine Cotter (Piano and Tin Whistle) from Ennis with family musical connections in Kilmihil in West Clare, completes the unification of these diverse playing styles. Geraldine’s mother Dympna was a highly acclaimed pianist and music teacher. Musicians such as Sonny Murray (Concertina), John Kelly (Concertina/Fiddle), Peadar O’Loughlin (Fiddle/Flute/Uilleann Pipes) and Dr. Charlie Lennon (Piano/Fiddle) have all had a profound musical influence on Geraldine’s playing style. From Ennis, County Clare, Dr. Geraldine Cotter is a tin whistle and piano player, teacher and researcher, currently lecturing in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.


Eamonn Cotter
Eamonn Cotter, originally from Ennis, now living in Kilmaley in Co. Clare for over 25 years, is a well known and respected flute player and flute manufacturer. He teaches annually at Scoil Éigse at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, and regularly teaches in the UK, France, Italy, Denmark and the United States. Eamonn is a long term member of Shaskeen. He has recorded on many albums including his solo CDs The Knotted Chord and Traditional Music from Co. Clare, and has been featured on many radio and television programmes including ‘Geantrai’ and ‘Gradam Cheoil TG4 2009’. As well as traditional music Eamonn has a keen interest in Western Art music (he was awarded an ALCM diploma in 1985), and also plays flute in a jazz ensemble as part of the Limerick Jazz Workshop.

Karen Ryan & Pete Quinn
London fiddle player Karen Ryan, whose parents hail from Connemara, and Mayo and Liverpool pianist Pete Quinn are both solo performers and members of various groups.  This husband and wife pairing performed together for 15 years in the highly acclaimed band The London Lasses, performing at major festivals around the world and recording four albums in the process. They recorded together on Karen’s solo album ‘The Coast Road’ on the Cló Iar-Chonnacht label and have recently released a new trio CD entitled ‘From Camden to Tulla’ with Tulla accordion player, Andrew Mac Namara. This album includes a collection of classic tunes that they have enjoyed playing together over the years plus a few East Clare gems thrown in for good measure. Karen is a prominent teacher and promoter of Irish music in London and she is the co-founder and Director of Return to Camden Town Festival, now in its 19th year