The Woolly Jumpers are four traditional Irish musicians from Asheville, NC and Cork, Ireland whose music is full of life, humor and driving rhythms. This band is a unique Trans-Atlantic collaboration between Irish and American-born musicians who collectively have decades of experience playing in the Irish tradition.
Claudine “Beanie” Odell who plays fiddle and Vincent Fogarty on the 10-string bouzouki live in Asheville. Their trio the Red Wellies received critical acclaim in The Irish Times and Irish Music Magazine for their 2007 self-titled recording. Tenor banjo player Jeanne Chirdon, also from Asheville, studied in Ireland where nearly ten years ago she met accordion player Helen Gubbins, from Cork. They met in a legendary session at the Corner House Pub in Cork, renowned for traditional and folk music. The two struck up a musical friendship, and during one of Helen’s trips to the States to see Jeanne, the two connected with Beanie and Vince and soon after The Woolly Jumpers began.
Claudine “Beanie” Odell comes from a large musical family and has been passionate about Irish music since childhood. At age 11 she played in a fife and drum corps where she was introduced to the dance music of Ireland. She actively pursued the music through trips to Ireland and sessions with many great players, and quickly became an accomplished Irish fiddler.
Vincent Fogarty, a native of Tipperary, Ireland, spent most of his formative musical years in County Clare, an area rich in musical tradition. He became a sought after accompanist and played with many greats like Christy Barry, Terry Bingham, and Kevin Griffin. Since moving to Western North Carolina in 1999, he continues to enhance the local Irish music scene as a brilliant and sensitive accompanist.
Jeanne Chirdon was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio amongst a family of traditional Irish musicians. She learned her eloquent but spritely touch on the banjo from the playing of Tom Byrne, flute player from County Sligo. After performing regularly with Cleveland bands Tap the Bow and Smash the Window, she moved to County Cork, Ireland where she performed at festivals and hosted sessions.
Helen Gubbins hails from County Limerick in Ireland, and has been playing music since the age of five. A graduate of University College Cork, Helen is highly involved in the Irish musical scene in general, and is in regular demand in Ireland and abroad as a performer and teacher. She has performed at numerous venues and festivals throughout Ireland, England, Holland and the United States
With Beanie’s sharp ear for a beautiful tune set, Vincent’s stand-out bouzouki accompaniment, Jeanne’s sweet touch on the tenor banjo and Helen’s dynamic sound on the button accordion, the Woolly Jumpers love playing together and want to share their love of Irish music and song with every audience they encounter.
The public is invited to bring a picnic and lawn chairs to enjoy an evening of music with friends and family beside the college lake. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will take place in the Thomas Auditorium in the Sink Building.
For more information contact Martha Howell at 828-694-1743 or at email@example.com.