World renowned traditional singer and flute player Nuala Kennedy grew up playing Irish music in Dundalk, County Louth and currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her Appalachian singer husband A. J. Roach and their two young children. Her fourth solo release 'Behave the Bravest' (2016) received accolades from reviewers and fans around the globe and was recorded over six months on three continents while on tour as ‘Nuala Kennedy Band’. (Sydney Australia, Los Angeles, California and Edinburgh, Scotland.) The album was mixed by renowned producer Paul Savage of Chem 19 Studios, Glasgow and mastered by GRAMMY-nominated engineer Adam Berg in L.A.
Nuala Kennedy Band are: Matthias Kunzli (NYC/LA), Nuala Kennedy (NC), Eamon O' Leary (NYC) and Johnny Connolly (OR)
Nuala Kennedy’s origins as a player and singer of traditional music in Ireland shine through on Behave the Bravest. Old traditional ballads of love, loss and immigration, are recomposed by Kennedy and continue to find resonance in the modern world, while two of the songs reworked and sung in Irish Gaelic, attest to her love of the national and first official language of Ireland. Kennedy is well known for her creative reworking and reimagining of traditional songs. The jewel in the record is her flowing interpretation of ‘Fair Annie of the Loch Royanne’ one of the great traditional story-ballads and one of several songs on the album with a strong female lead character. Recorded live in studio, Behave the Bravest bears witness to the formidable performance skills of Kennedy and her fellow musicians, whose care and deference for the songs is almost palpable.
Holding a Masters in Performance and Composition from Newcastle University, and a post-graduate degree in education from the University of Edinburgh, Kennedy enjoys researching traditional song. As a performer, she weds a serious pedigree of musicianship and a deep understanding of the history of her native music, with a light-hearted musical spontaneity. Each of her recordings have a bold, unique sound and as a producer she is known for exploring the confluence of traditional and contemporary music. The Irish Times described Nuala Kennedy as “a flute player and composer of remarkable finesse, fearless of the unknown”.
From Glasgow to Hawaii, The Yukon to Cape Cod, California to Drogheda, Nuala Kennedy is a musical adventurer who is known world wide as a superlative performer of traditional music. She has graced the cover of Irish Music Magazine, Sing Out! and regularly appears on the mainstage at festivals around the world including Rudolstadt (GER) Celtic Connections (UK) Milwaukee Irish festival (USA) Telemark (NOR) Eurofonik (FRA) National Folk Festival (AU) and Celtic Colors (CAN).
Recognized for her international collaborations, she has performed, toured and recorded with American songwriter Will Oldham (an album that received 5 stars from MOJO magazine), Danish ‘global roots’ band Himmerland, and cutting-edge Canadian composer the late Oliver Schroer (nominated for two 2012 Canadian Folk Awards). Nuala Kennedy is also a founder member of the following international music groups: