Out of the Green
7:20 – 8:00 pm
Location: Central Park North Stage
Out of the Green is a trio of some of the best exponents of the Irish tradition in the world. John Williams was bread and buttered in Chicago but spent his summers in his father’s Doolin, Co. Clare, a tiny fishing village on the West coast of Ireland famous for a delicate style of Irish music. All Ireland champion five times over, John is best known for his playing of the button accordion and concertina, though he also enjoys wooden flute, bodhran, guitar and piano. He first gained wider international fame in 1995 as founding member of the supergroup Solas, whose first two albums earned NAIRD awards and Grammy nominations. He has been frequently featured on the Irish national broadcasting network RTE, Mountain Stage, A Prairie Home Companion and The Grand Ol’ Opry as well as guest performances with Tim O’Brien, The Chieftains, Nickel Creek, Riverdance, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Irish Chamber Ensemble. Williams appears as bandleader, music consultant, and composer in the Dreamworks movie, Road to Perdition, and is centrally featured in the Academy Award-Nominated score. Regarding the included original piece by Williams, The Los Angeles Times wrote “Closeness is beautifully and wordlessly conveyed in a quiet piano duet…a lovely thing.” Reviewing the entire score, The Denver Post printed “Brilliant, beautiful, brutal…the music in the film feels almost like a character itself.” In August 2003, Chicago Magazine selected Williams in their annual Best of Chicago issue as one of the city’s finest instrumentalists.
Katie Grennan, born and raised in Pittsburgh, reached the highest level of Irish dance at the tender age of 12 by qualifying for the World Championships in Ireland. She has toured across the United States, Europe, and Asia and is the current fiddle player with Gaelic Storm, featured in the movie “The Titanic”. She has also toured with The Trinity Irish Dance Company, Hammerstep, and Irish tenor Michael Londra and made guest appearances with The Chieftains, Cherish the Ladies, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Last year, she was featured on A Prairie Home Companion and released her second solo fiddle and dance album “The Second Story”, featuring traditional Irish tunes and original compositions. Katie has taught hundreds of children through individual classes and workshops at Carnegie Mellon University, the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance, the Burke-Conroy School of Irish Dance, and the Chicago Public School System.
Hailed as “a phenomenon” by TIME magazine, Tim Britton is renowned as one of the leading players of the Irish uillean pipes, one of the sweetest and most complex bagpipes. He is also accomplished on the wooden flute, tin whistle, Highland bagpipes, mandolin, and as a singer and storyteller. Tim’s uniquely evocative style is founded on a profound knowledge of the Celtic tradition. Born into a family central to the Philadelphia folk music scene, Tim was exposed to a panorama of traditions at the many festivals throughout the sixties and seventies. At age ten he became fascinated with his Celtic roots and immersed himself in the culture. He was soon performing with the best Irish musicians on the East Coast. At age fifteen Tim received a grant to return to Ireland for the second time, prompting a local newspaper to acclaim him, “a discovery.” The scarcity of uillean pipes led him to make his own set, quickly gaining respect as a prominent pipe maker. For over forty years Tim has been performing with the likes of Mick Moloney, Liz Carrol, Billy McComiskey, Daithi Sproul, Jimmy Keane, Eileen Ivers, Seamus Egan, John Doyle, Johnny Cunningham, Robbie O’Connell, Gerald Trimble, Bela Fleck, Patrick Ball, Na Casaidigh, James Kelly, Paddy O’Brien, Pat Egan, Brendan Bolger, Bua, and many others, appearing on over forty records. He has played on A Prairie Home Companion, All Things Considered, and countless other radio and television shows. He has taught extensively at piping conventions, festivals, workshops, and on the internet. In 1989 he was designated a master artist by the Iowa Arts Council and was nominated for a Best of Philadelphia Music Award. When not touring, he is in demand as a pipe maker, sound engineer, producer, and audio consultant here in Fairfield where he has been a mainstay of the music scene for the last thirty-five years.