RUAIRI HURLEY - GUITAR & VOCALS
Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1971, Ruairí Hurley is the youngest of 10 children. Family members like to recount stories of a four-year-old Ruairí sitting at the family piano and sound out familiar tunes by ear. As a teenager he was given an electric guitar, however he had no amplifier. For years he played along with his favorite rock ‘n’ roll records, barely hearing his own guitar, but learning all of his favorite songs. Once he got an amplifier, Ruairí began playing out in bands around Dublin. By day, he was a bookseller at the famous Hodges Figgis bookstore while he worked on his degree from Trinity College, where he majored in the Irish language and religious studies.
In 1995, Ruairí moved to the US where, in the years that followed, he discovered his love for the traditional Irish music of his homeland. Currently Ruairí works for the Cuyahoga county library system and continues to study his craft at home in the evenings and in several of Cleveland‘s favorite Irish pubs by night.
BRIAN HOLLERAN - Irish flute
Brian Holleran grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey in an Irish family. His interest in Traditional Irish Music was first piqued at the age of twelve after listening to the session recording, Music at Matt Molloy's and later with his father's trad vinyl collection.
His mother found him initial tin whistle lessons with Maura Vesey and finally flute lessons with Mike Rafferty of Ballinakill, East County Galway. Mike taught Brian the bulk of his music and would become Brian's biggest influence and source of encouragement. In addition to many tunes, Mike also taught Brian about the many musicians who came out of East Galway and the distinctive traits of that regional style. Brian was also influenced by Willie Kelly and Patrick Ourceau, two of the greatest exponents of Traditional Irish Fiddle Playing in the United States. They shared a love and common respect for the music Mike played as well as the music of Jack Coen who would also later influence Brian's playing. In addition to these four men, Brian has also found inspiration in recordings of Joe Cooley, Bobby Casey, and Matt Molloy.
He has taught at the Chris Langan weekend in Toronto and at Irish Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Virginia.
BRIAN BIGLEY - UILLEANN PIPES, IRISH FLUTE, WHISTLES AND TRADITIONAL IRISH DANCE
Brian Bigley has studied the Irish Uilleann pipes for nearly 25 years as a player, as well as a maker, of the instrument. He has toured North America and Europe extensively as both a musician and a dancer, appearing in shows such as Tomàseen Foley's A Celtic Christmas, the Omaha Symphony's Celtic Journey, and the Apollo's Fire Countryside Concert Series. In 2002 and 2003 Brian competed with great distinction at the World Irish Dance Championships held in Glasgow and Killarney. He has recently released his fourth recording of traditional Irish music Dance the Town Green in conjunction with the New York School of Irish Dance.
Brian now lives near Cleveland, Ohio, with his fiddler wife, Kristen, and their dancing children, James and Kathleen.