November 7, 2020

IrishFest Atlanta


Artist, Workshop Instructor, and Lecturer Bios



Olivia Bradley is a soloist, performer, and open champion level Irish dancer based out of Atlanta, Georgia.  She is a vocal performance major in her senior year on a music scholarship at Clayton State University, and also serves as an intern for Lisa Kelly at The Lisa Kelly Voice Academy.  In 2015, Olivia won first place at the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil as an Irish gaelic singer, qualifying for the All Ireland competition in Sligo as the only American participant. Olivia has also played the lead in a number of musical theater and opera performances, and is a regular performer at IrishFest Atlanta and other events such as Atlanta's Celtic Christmas.

Mick Broderick, of the Broderick's of East Galway, grew up in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin where he learned mandolin under the tutelage of local musician (and postman)  Tom Moran. Some years later Mick found and developed a deep affinity with the bouzouk and quickly became in great demand on the Dublin (Ireland) music scene. Before long he began jamming & recording with many wonderful musicians throughout the country. He went on to be one of the founding members of the headlining band SLIDE with whom he became very familiar to audiences throughout Ireland, Europe and America. Now based in Dublin, Ohio, Mick continues to write, record, and produce music with artists of a variety of musical genres. Following in the footsteps of the great composer Vincent Broderick and piano player with Arcady, Patsy Broderick, Mick continues to invigorate the Irish music tradition, finding unique ways of expression and originality.


Dave Curley is one of Ireland's leading multi-instrumentalists and vocalists. Hailing from Co. Galway on the west coast of Ireland, Curley has brought his wealth of talents to the largest of stages in North America and Western Europe.  For over 10 years, he has worked with the award winning traditional super group ‘SLIDE' and also spent 5 successful years with award winning American Roots band RUNA. More recently, Curley has become an integral member to The Crannua Collective and tours with the Ashley Davis Band, One for the Foxes, Finn Magill and Mick Broderick.


Ashley Davis is an international recording artist and songwriter whose unique style and blending of genres has drawn acclaim throughout the music world.  She has performed in prominent venues and festivals throughout the U. S. and abroad from China to NYC. As both writer and performer she has collaborated with traditional music greats such as Paddy Moloney, Sara Watkins, John Doyle, Eileen Ivers & Moya Brennan and was recently featured as the guest artist on Lúnasa’s 2017 & 18 Christmas tour. The “AD Band” is known for it’s energetic, flowing sets with some of the best musicians in Celtic music making up her band. Ashley is signed to a publishing deal with one of the worlds largest songwriting firms “Downtown Music” as one of their worldwide songwriters.  Her sixth album “Burning Down” was recently released to international acclaim. As the Today Show once said of her during an appearance: “Ashley is new music springing from ancient roots”


Cormac De Barra a third generation harper, raised in a family of traditional musicians and singers in Dublin. He has travelled the globe performing and recording with some of Ireland's best-known artists including The Chieftains, Brian Kennedy, Moya Brennan and Clannad. As well as his work in traditional music, Cormac hosted the Gaelic-language arts series ‘Imeall’ for three years on Ireland’s TG4 channel and has also been involved in music for theatre for over two decades. He has released a total of 10 albums including his most recent CD Timeless with Moya Brennan.


Shannon Dunne is a dancer, musician, actress, performing artist, choreographer, activist, medievalist, amateur anthropologist, comedian, parent, teacher, and ponderer. She makes her home near Washington, D.C. She is best known for her percussive dancing, which the Washington Post described as “Playful musicality, spirited and fun!”Shannon is also a renowned teacher of sean-nós Irish percussive dance. She has studied Connemara sean-nós dance with many of the masters in Ireland.  Shannon is the founder/director of Camp Shenanigans , a child-driven performing arts program for children on Capitol Hill, and Shannon Dunne Dance , a multigenerational sean-nós dance group dedicated to the preserving the steps and values of the dance form. She is the Movement Atelierista at School Within School on Capitol Hill, is graduate of the University of Notre Dame (medieval studies) and holds a certificate from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NYC). 


Born in Manchester, England, into a very musical family to parents from Co.Galway and Co.Cavan, Colin started playing the fiddle and tin whistle from an early age and won numerous titles at the Fleadh Cheoil. Since then, he has made a name for himself performing and recording with an array of great musicians in Europe and the US, including singers and groups such as Flook, Grada, Karen Casey, The Elders, Julie Fowlis, Tim O'Brien, Natalie Merchant , Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Michael McGoldrick Band and is currently playing with the Ashley Davis band and Lúnasa. 

Colin is also a composer whose tunes have been played and recorded by numerous bands and musicians. In 2005, Colin was awarded a Masters Degree in Music from Limerick University. Living in Florida since 2005, when not touring, Colin has been teaching at schools and various camps around the US and Europe. Colin’s 2010 solo debut album ‘On The Move’ was named one of the years 10 best albums by The Irish Echo and his second album ‘Make A Note’ released in 2015 was awarded Instrumental Album of the year by LiveIreland. His latest recording 'Music and Mischief' with Kevin Crawford and Patrick Doocey has just been released. 

PATRICK FINLEY from Atlanta, Georgia is a 2-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion. Patrick chose to play the fiddle at an early age and joined the Atlanta Irish Music School when he was five years old. As Patrick advanced in his playing, he sought out other influences and became a student of Oisín Mac Diarmada from Sligo, Ireland. After being named Midwest Champion multiple times, he headed to the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2014 for the first time. In 2016 Patrick won the Under 18 Fiddle competition and a year later he took first place in the Under 18 Fiddle Slow Airs. Patrick also plays the flute and whistle. 

Patrick’s unique style of play has strong influences from both Sligo, where his family is from, and Clare. His interpretation of tunes is a result of paying close attention to each note and phrase, combining technical ability with an expressive style to create a truly wonderful performance.


Cathy Jordan, as well as being a solo artist has been lead singer and percussion player with award winning Irish traditional power-houses Dervish, for over 25 years and during that time they have made 17 albums and toured extensively, playing their unmistakable style of Irish music in thousands of cities in over 40 countries worldwide. They’ve played at the great wall of China, festivals all over Europe from Neon to Glastonbury, and even at the biggest rock music festival in the world “Rock In Rio” to more than 250 thousand people.

Cathy is also a singer/songwriter, TV and radio presenter, teacher and multi-instrumentalist, and is also a member of Americana trio The Unwanted with Seamie O’Dowd and Rick Epping, exploring the commonalities between Irish traditional music and American old time and bluegrass. The most

recent album from Dervish, on Rounder Records called the Great Irish Songbook comprises of thirteen beautiful Irish songs and features Cathy duetting with the likes of Steve Earl, Imelda May, Vince Gill and David Gray. Included in their many awards and accolades is a lifetime achievement award from the BBC this year.


All-Ireland fiddle finalist, Ropeadope Recording artist and Fulbright Fellow Andrew Finn Magill has been building his career on traditional Irish music for for twenty years. Magill grew up The Swannanoa Gathering music workshops in Asheville, North Carolina where he studied every summer with dozens of the best fiddlers in the world. At age 18 his debut album Drive & Lift was featured on NPR and he has performed with many luminaries of Irish music including John Doyle, Altan, Flook, Liz Carroll and many others. Magill currently tours with Dave Curley (of Slide & One for the Foxes), Alan Murray (The Colin Farrell Band), Seán Gray (The Paul McKenna Band), Brazilian group Canta, Violino!, and as a solo artist.

JOHN MASCHINOT has been performing professionally on the uilleann pipes, Irish wooden flute and tin (penny) whistle for over three decades, and has been teaching for more than 25 years.  John’s teaching method patiently encourages students to learn aurally (“by ear”), especially as they progress in their abilities. John has taught numerous musical workshops and conducted programs on the history and culture of Irish music and dance. He’s performed in schools as a teaching artist for thousands of students over the last two decades both solo and in ensemble. John also teaches privately from his studio in Atlanta.

MARY BRANICK UJDA launched her Irish dance career at the age of 5 in San Francisco.  After competing at the Open Championship level throughout the western region, she took her dancing to the University of Notre Dame, to the West of Ireland, to Hong Kong, and a few places in between, finally settling in Atlanta and becoming a certified Irish Dance Teacher (TCRG) in 2005.  Mary teaches the long-running and exuberant Adults Class with the Drake School of Irish Dance, as well as numerous recreational Irish dance classes for children throughout the Atlanta area.