2019 Festival instructors

We’re looking forward to welcoming the following guest instructors for the 2019 festival:

Dale Russ, fiddle

Dale started playing the fiddle in 1973 when first moving to Washington State from his native Connecticut. In 1990 he was invited to perform at the first Boston College Irish Music Festival “My Love is in America” featuring 16 of the finest Irish fiddle players living in the States. The concert was recorded and released by Green Linnet Records and won an award from the Smithsonian Institute as “Traditional Recording of the Year.” His playing is known for its balance of power and elegance. He was a founding member in 1977 of the Seattle Irish band No Comhaile and is also a former member of the Seattle Irish band The Suffering Gaels. He is a founder and currently plays with Crumac.

John Whelan, Accordion

Although John grew up near London in Dunstable, England, he was raised on the fiddle and pipe music of Ireland. Dunstable has a large Irish community, and his father, Denis, was from Ireland’s County Wexford. “Ours was a very traditional household,” John says. “My father didn’t have any major vices – his only addiction was to Irish music.” Denis Whelan carried a reel-to-reel tape recorder to many shows, collecting hours of live music. Songs of home elicited sentimental tears, even when the words were not in English. “It was not the words but the emotion of the music that moved me.” He has recorded multiple albums, including Celtic Fire and Come to Dance, and is currently touring with the John Whelan Band.

Colm MacCárthaigh, Guitar and Irish Language