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Groundbreaking local band create trad/salsa fusion

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The Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

What do you get when you cross trad with salsa? Find out when Baile an Salsa play Monroe’s Live on Saturday next August 24. The ten-piece band is made up of lead singer Andres Martorell, Alan Preims (congas), Antonio Aguilar (bass), Michael Chang (fiddle), Frailan Moran (Bata/percussion), Peter Brazier (mandolin/guitar), Ger Chambers (accordion), Brid Dunne (piano) Rags Ferguson (timbales/bodhrán) and Gabriel G. Diges (flute and bouzouki).

Baile an Salsa is the brainchild of Uruguayan native Andres and the singer recalls how the notion came about.

“I had the idea five or six years ago,” he says “We used to play salsa in Massimo’s [on Sea Road], and we used to go to The Crane Bar for a pint on our break. I told Alan and he said it was a good idea, so the two of us started to pick up people from different places. He contacted Mike, and then we called Antonio and different people and we put it together like that.”

“I know Andres from the salsa band,” continues Antonio. “I was playing piano at that time; Alan was also part of the band. When Andres asked me to join the project, I was playing the double bass. I said ‘well, I’ll do that for the band’.

“I’m originally from Mexico, so I’ve played some Latin music in the past,” Antonio adds. “It’s great to be part of this; there are a lot of similarities between Irish traditional music and Latin rhythms. 6/8 rhythms are also very common in Afro-Cuban drumming.”

Alan Preims is Baile an Salsa’s conga player. What challenges does the band present to him, as a percussionist?

“I think the challenges are to choose the right Latin/Afro centric rhythms and not to be, I guess, repetitive,” he says. “You can put something together quickly, but if you don’t give it thought they can kind of neutralise each other.

“I think selecting the rhythms that we put together from the Irish with the salsa is the challenge, to keep the Afro- Cuban elusive, so that it’s supporting the Irish.”

The band started to rehearse last summer, and began working on a four-track EP shortly after that. When did Anders know that band were ready to start gigging?

“I don’t think we are ready yet!” he laughs. “We believe that it’s going to work, but we still have a lot to do. We did the first EP in a bit of a hurry, just to show the music that we do. The first songs we put together were the four songs we put on the EP.

“We have way more things now that, I believe, show the band a little bit better. The EP didn’t do too badly, we’re very happy with it.”

They may have fleshed out their set since then, but the EP gives a good sense of what Baile an Salsa are about. Some bands are overly fussy about their debut recording, but Anders and the band were keen to get some music out there.

“We recorded it in Nenagh, in record time!” he says All the instruments in one day – ten people. In three or four days we had the whole thing done. 

“We had a lot of discussions with the traditional musicians [in the band], because I would consider myself a Latin musician,” adds Antonio.  “Half of the band have their roots in Irish music, so we’re always trying to make this vision work, how to bring certain motifs of Irish music into Latin, and vice versa.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Sisters in perfect tune for unique musical snapshot

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Breda and Claire Keville, photographed by Nutan. (Inset) The sisters, as depicted by artist Isabel Alegria, on the cover of the album.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

“A snapshot in time,” is how musician and composer Claire Keville from Claran, near Headford, describes Music from Galway, the new CD which she and her sister Breda have just released.

With Breda on fiddle and Claire on concertina, it’s a gorgeous collection of music from all parts of Galway and beyond, a mix of slow airs, gigs, reels and marches. The sisters are accompanied by guitarist and longtime musical friend Terence O’Reilly on several tracks, which they recorded in the studio of his East Clare home in April of this year.

Claire, a French and Music teacher in Coláiste Iognáid (the Jes) in the city for the past decade, and Breda, who works as a radiation therapist in UHG, have previously released solo albums. Breda’s, The Hop Down, was released in 2006 and The Daisy Field, from Clare came out in 2009. Each guested on the other’s album, but this is their first joint recording, a project they’d been discussing for years.

When it did finally happen, it came together a lot more quickly than either of them had anticipated.

“I didn’t think we’d have it done this year,” says Breda, as Claire recalls that they discussed its timeframe in April, while driving from Galway to Terence’s home in Clare.

After that first day, when they recorded 10 tracks and realised that most of them would make the album, they reckoned it was achievable. Another session in An Spidéal with musician, ‘talented engineer and general all-rounder’,  Ronan Browne, convinced them it was and Music from Galway was launched at the Willie Clancy Festival in Miltown Malbay in July.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Telebox channel youthful energy into mature sound

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Telebox...new single and Róisín gig.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Guitar-driven, alternative rock four-piece Telebox are the latest product of the talented youth music scene in Galway. And having packed out the Róisín Dubh in all all-ages gig in May, they are returning to the Dominick Street venue this Sunday at 2.30pm to celebrate the release of their second single.

The group consists of frontman Joe Kelly, guitarist Conall Ó Floinn, drummer Stevie Healy and bassist Eoin Killeen – and their Signs of Joy is available on streaming platforms from this Thursday. It is a smooth and hook-laden follow-up to Platonic Plague, a debut reminiscent of The La’s in its ringing guitars and post-punk pop melodies.

Telebox are a shining example of the ability that exists among teenage Galway musicians, and they serve as a reminder of the need for arts spaces that welcome crowds of all ages.

“For us, the reason we did [the Róisín gig] was that half of us are still underage,” Joe explains. “We find it really hard to get pub gigs and we have connections to the Róisín, so we went to them and said we’d love to do an all-ages thing.

“A lot of our friends are underage as well, so it was a chance for everyone to come together again. No one can go to pubs or anything like that and we’re too old for discos and that sort of thing. It’s a nice middle ground.”

“It was unbelievable,” Eoin recalls. “We couldn’t believe the energy that people brought. It’s like 2pm, 3pm in the day. People aren’t drinking, everyone is sober, and they’re still dancing and enjoying themselves.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Tunes in the Church returns with August concert series

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Tunes in the Church returns with August concert series

The Tunes in the Church concert series returns to Galway after a two-year break. The award-winning, series held in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, will run for the next two weeks, taking place on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

The concerts will feature some of Galway’s finest musicians, singers and dancers, with two musicians and a dancer performing each night. During the interval, there will be a short historical tour of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, which celebrated 700 years in existence in 2020.

Tunes in the Church began in 2010, set up by Kerry musician and Galway resident Cormac Begley, who wanted a way of presenting traditional music that was family-friendly and respected the tradition. It is an acoustic, authentic, personal and interactive representation of Irish music, song and dance.

Interaction between the audience and performers is central to the experience, Cormac explains, with relaxed, natural, conversation being a feature of all the concerts.

Tunes in the Church provides a respectful and family-friendly setting for the listener and creates a platform where leading exponents of traditional music can showcase their talents. For more information and to book go to www.tunesinthechurch.com

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