PETER BRICE, CATRIÓNA FEE, & INNOCENT SMITH
Peter Brice (voice, button accordion), Catrióna Fee (concertina), and Innocent Smith (flute) will present a concert of traditional music from Ireland and Irish America, drawing on a repertoire of 18th and 19th century dance music. Maryland songs will be included for good measure. The concert will also feature Keira Noonan (fiddle, step dance) and Claire Noonan (button accordion, step dance). Saturday, 23 September 2023. 8:00 pm. $20. 49 West at 49 West Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. See www.newcenturyirisharts.com/brice-fee-smith
PETER BRICE sings old songs in a traditional style, and plays Irish traditional music on the button accordion. A native Annapolitan and an exponent of Baltimore, Maryland’s Irish traditional music community, Peter’s work blends singing and musicianship with musicology and history, humor, colorful design, and a vision for traditional culture as a foundation for an intellectual life.
A lifelong singer, Peter has married a repertoire of American historical songs with a wide-ranging English-language style that he gleaned from his mentors Dónal Maguire, Louisa Jo Killen, and Lisa Null, as well as from members of his family.
His playing reflects his admiration for Galway accordionists such as Joe Cooley and Kevin Keegan—a style into which he was initiated by Brooklyn-born accordionist and National Heritage Fellow Billy McComiskey. He advanced his playing under the tutelage of Derek Hickey from Adare, County Limerick.
The core of Peter’s public work is the collection and revival of traditional music from Maryland, to which end, even as a teenager, he was rescuing orally-transmitted songs from local people who were born in the early 20th century. He has collected and collated the compositions of Billy McComiskey, and is continuously collecting Irish and American traditional music in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County.
He is a former vice-chair of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s O’Neill-Malcom Branch in Washington, D.C. and a past co-coordinator of the Washington Folk Festival. He founded the Baltimore Singers Club with singers Andy O’Brien and Pat Egan to promote traditional singing in Maryland, and was a founding member of the Old Bay Ceili Band. With singers Lisa Null and Judy Cook, he created a project—Yankee Frolics—to revive traditional songs about the War of 1812 for the bicentennial of that conflict.
In 2014, he and his mentor Billy McComiskey were recognized by the Maryland State Arts Council as a traditional arts master-apprentice pair. He received the Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award again in 2019 with singer Lisa Null. He has independently written over $32,000 in awarded grants for Maryland’s Irish traditional music community. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory Preparatory program, Peter also holds a BA in Irish Traditional Music and Dance from the University of Limerick. He has served the New Century American Irish-Arts Company as its executive director since its inception in 2011.
CATRIÓNA FEE is a concertina player from Cold Spring, New York who is currently based in Washington, D.C. She is a triplet, the sister of Mairead Fee and Angela Fee, who play the flute and the fiddle respectively. Having two other musicians in the house had a profound impact on her playing, leading her to emphasize the importance of playing in a group rather than focusing solely on solo playing. She got her start on the concertina with Ann Dylan, and greatly benefitted from the local music scene in Cold Spring. Catrióna studied concertina with Lexie Boatright and Patty Furlong, and her style is also influenced heavily by the playing of Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh.
Catrióna is a multiple Mid Atlantic Fleadh champion on the concertina and has competed several times in the All Ireland Fleadh. As a youth she played in ceili band and grupa cheoil competitions in the US and Ireland with the Pearl River School of Irish Music.
Catrióna has taught concertina at the Catskills Irish Arts Week and and to individuals of all ages. She also had the privilege of teaching the concertina to and recording with Steve Martin for the first season of the hit TV show ‘Only Murders in the Building.’
INNOCENT SMITH is a Dominican friar and a flute player based in Washington, DC. He began playing the flute as a teenager and had the opportunity to study with the flute players John Creaven and Mike Rafferty from County Galway and to play frequently with Kevin Henry and Albert Neary from County Mayo. Innocent studied music and philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, and did a doctorate in liturgical studies at the University of Regensburg in Germany.
The New Century American Irish-Arts Company
M: 410 693 0147
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