New York born fiddler Brian Conway is a leading exponent of the highly ornamented Sligo fiddling style made famous by the late Michael Coleman. Brian performs with a skill, grace and force that are steeped in tradition but distinctively his own. Well known in the Irish/Celtic community, he’s won numerous All-Ireland fiddling competitions, and has been called one of the best fiddlers of his generation. Nothing is missed or missing in Brian Conway’s Sligo-style fiddling.
The winner of two All- Ireland junior titles in 1973 and 1974 and the All-Ireland senior championship of 1986, Brian’s early studies were with his father Jim of Plumbridge County Tyrone and with Limerick born fiddler/teacher Martin Mulvihill. However, it was the legendary fiddler and composer Martin Wynne who taught him the nuances of the County Sligo style. Later, Brian met and befriended the great Andy McGann of New York a direct student of Michael Coleman, who further shaped his precision and skill on the instrument.
Seven-time all-Ireland champion John Whelan is one of the world’s best living Irish button accordion players. John was raised in the vibrant London Irish music scene of the 1970s, and learned his craft from such legends as Lucy Farr, Roger Sherlock, Paddy Taylor, Mick O Connor and his teacher Brendan Mulkaire. He moved to the USA in 1980 and has been inspiring Celtic musicians and fans ever since.
John teams up again with his old pal Brian Conway to play the Havurah Music Stage. John and Brian are part of the group Gailfean, which also featured Máirtin De Cógáin and Don Penzien. Check out Galilfean’s 2016 CD, Won’t You Come Out Tonight, at the independant music store cdbaby.
Brett Newski is an North American nomad, songwriter, illustrator, and folk punk guitarist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 2011, Brett toured Southeast Asia alone for six months until completing his first solo LP, In Between Exits, while on the road. The album was written and recorded in budget hostels and apartments across Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Korea and the Philippines. Coined the “Homeless in Asia Tour”, Newski completed 30 shows in unconventional venues including Couchsurfer Apartments, a Vietnamese convenience store, an underground Korean record shop, and residential rooftops in Hong Kong while also playing club shows. During his time living in Vietnam he wrote advertising jingles for Saatchi & Saatchi.
In 2012, Newski completed a 20-date tour across South Africa in support of “In Between Exits”, traveling exclusively on public transportation. The same year he formed the band “Brett Newski & the Corruption” in Vietnam with drummer Mean Matt Green (UK) and bassist Jeffro Ganter (Vancouver, Canada). The band toured across the US and Asia. Their sound has been compared to Weezer, REM, The Hives, The Pixies, and The Violent Femmes.
In 2014, Newski released his second solo album, American Folk Armageddon, on Good Land Records. The album was picked up by German record label Make My Day Records for European release. Newski toured extensively in 2014 to support the album, including tours with Rocky Votolato in Europe, Pete Donnelly and Carter Hulsey in the US, and Jon Shaban in South Africa.
Newski continued touring in 2015, playing shows in South Africa, Europe and the United States. In June 2015, Newski released the Victor DeLorenzo produced cassette, Hi-fi D.I.Y,” followed by “Land Air Sea Garage” which received notable press in Rolling Stone, Paste and The Boston Globe.
Newski was recently on tour as the opening act for the Violent Femmes. His latest release Life Upside Down received notable praise with Rolling Stone, WXRTin Chicago, WXPN in Philadelphia, KCMP “The Current” in MPLS, WRLT “Lightning 100” in Nashville and Paste, leading to support shows with Pixies, Manchester Orchestra, New Pornographers, Chuck Ragan, and Ike Reilly.
The Lasses are Margot Merah and Sophie Janna, the Amsterdam duo performs traditional folk and original songs with intricate harmonies. Sophie and Margot sing together like sisters. Songs from the Celtic and American traditions and original compositions are sung with clear voices, heavenly harmonies and full hearts.
The Lasses specialize in stories that speak to audiences now as much as when the songs were first written. With honest, effective arrangements on bodhrán and guitar, the beautiful blend of the women’s voices takes the center stage.
Sophie and Margot are excited to play in the Havurah building. “We love to play small, intimate venues and we love to tell a good story. We hope we get to play for you for a long time to come. Thanks for all your support along the way.”
“Since our beginnings at an Irish session in Amsterdam, we’ve had some of our wildest musical dreams come true. We’ve been touring all around the world (Scotland! Japan! The USA!), we’ve recorded three albums (“sublime harmonies”, wrote fRoots) and we still discover beautiful traditional songs as well as write our own.”
Brian Conway, Brett Newski and The Lasses all will be touring and traveling long distances. To keep abreast of any scheduling changes or cancellations subscribe to our newsletter for the latest information.