Dervish have been bringing Irish traditional music to the world for more than 25 years. Described by the BBC as “an icon of Irish music”, the band have played at festivals from Rio to Glastonbury. They accompanied the Irish President on state visits to Latvia and Lithuania and Prime Minister of Ireland on a trade mission to China as Cultural Ambassadors taking time out to play an impromptu session on the Great Wall of China.
Dervish have a line-up which includes some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians. Formed in 1989 when four of the founding members met while playing sessions in the pubs of Sligo – Shane Mitchell (accordion),Liam Kelly (flute/whistle), Brian McDonagh (mandola/mandolin) and Michael Holmes (bouzouki). They were soon joined by one of the country’s best-known singers Cathy Jordan, and later by all Ireland Fiddle Champion Tom Morrow. All six members of Dervish are steeped in the musical traditions of counties Sligo and Leitrim in north-west Ireland. It’s an area which matches Atlantic coastline with storied mountains and rural landscapes and has inspired a host of musicians, artists and writers, including the Nobel Prize-winning poet W. B. Yeats.
The Guardian newspaper commented: “Dervish are simply brilliant… they carry Irish history with them.” They’re renowned for live performances, which match dazzling sets of tunes with stunning interpretations of traditional songs. Their studio and live albums – 13 to date – make up one of the outstanding catalogues in Irish music.
They are regular visitors to the US, performing sold out shows from coast to coast, and their fan base stretches across several continents, including Europe, Asia, and South America. They were the first Irish band to play the world’s biggest music festival, Rock in Rio, performing to an estimated 250,000 people. Over the years they’ve been on the same bill as artists such as James Brown, Neil Young, Sting and Iron Maiden.
Recently signed to US roots label Rounder Records, they will release their first album on the label in 2018 featuring guest appearances by artists including Vince Gill, Steve Earl, David Gray and many others.
“Arguably the best Irish album ever”