Blazing Trails: Women in Traditional Irish Music

Victoria Menchaca, Ordway 3/17/15

Trained in traditional Irish music, musicians Kate Dowling, Norah Rendell, and Brian Miller captivate audiences worldwide with the lush tradition of collecting memories and stories through music. In this ORDWAY EXTRA, the panelists delve into the role of Irish women in creating music; they ask: what has been the prominence of women in the development of traditional Irish music?

Videography/Photography: Sherine Onukwuwe, Souleye Films

Speaker Bios

Kate Dowling
Center for Irish Music Co-Founder and Musician

Kate Dowling co-founded the Center for Irish Music with her husband, Jode, in 2004. An accomplished musician, Dowling plays the flute and the tin whistle for the HiBs, a traditional Irish music band.

Norah Rendell
Center for Irish Music Executive Director and Musician

With over ten years of experience in arts administration and management, Norah Rendell is the Executive Director of the Center for Irish Music. An award-winning singer and Irish flautist, Rendell graduated with a bachelor of music from McGill University and holds a Masters in Irish traditional Music from the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Brian Miller
Irish Music Historian, Folklorist, and Musician

Known for his intricate yet driving guitar style, Brian Miller plays and teaches the guitar, bouzouki, Irish flute, tin whistle, and tenor banjo for the Center of Irish Music. Miller has been featured on MPR’s All Things Considered and CBC Radio’s Canada Live among others and is a two-time recipient Artist Initiative grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the 2014 recipient of the Parsons Fund Award from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Cherish the Ladies is a Grammy-nominated, Irish-American group of extraordinary women celebrating traditional Irish music and their 30th year as a group. They’ve won recognition as BBC’s Best Musical Group of the Year and have collaborated with musicians like The Boston Pops, Pete Seeger, Don Henley, and Vince Gill among others.

View more photos in an online gallery >

Cherish the Ladies

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