No Irish traditional band in the last twenty years has had a wider impact on audiences and music lovers throughout the world than Altan. Now, in celebration of their 25th year as a band, Altan are releasing the 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, recorded at RTE Studios in Dublin with the RTE Concert Orchestra and featuring 15 of the bands favorite songs and tunes from throughout their storied career. Simultaneously weaving together Altan’s magical skill at choosing songs (delivered as always by the iconic voice of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh) with classic (or soon to be) tunes, both traditional and original, the 25th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION shows the band at the peak of their skills. This new release firmly places them in the pantheon of Irish music alongside genre icons such as The Chieftains and The Dubliners all the while demonstrating an elegance and grace rarely found in the tradition.
The seeds of the band lie in the music and fun of gatherings and sessions in kitchens and pubs in Donegal where virtuoso music was heard in an atmosphere of respect and intimacy—it is here that the band’s heart lies still. With their exquisitely produced award-winning recordings—ranging dynamically from the most sensitive and touching old Irish songs all the way to hard hitting jigs and reels—and with their heartwarming, dynamic live performances, Altan have moved audiences all around the world. Throughout, there has been the unwavering commitment of the band to bringing the beauty of traditional music, particularly that of the Donegal fiddlers and singers, to contemporary audiences in a way that brings out all its qualities and destroys none. In fact, Altan have always believed that Irish traditional music is a modern music in every sense and its influence and popularity have proved them right.
Altan is composed of singer and fiddler, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, accordionist Dermot Byrne, bouzouki-player Ciarán Curran, fiddler Ciaran Tourish, and guitarist Mark Kelly.