March 12, 2015 · 8:00pm


Kevin Burke


Kevin Burke’s fiddle playing has been at the forefront of traditional music for over 30 years.  He has been established as a first class musician ever since his work in the early 1970’s (with such renowned performers as Arlo Guthrie, Christy Moore and the Bothy Band and with his far-reaching solo album, “If the Cap Fits”).  During his long musical career Kevin has earned international acclaim in both Europe and America as a solo performer, a teacher and as a member of some of folk music’s foremost groups including the exciting Celtic Fiddle Festival and Ireland’s long admired and respected Patrick Street.

Kevin’s contribution to music was acknowledged by The National Endowment for the Arts  when he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship, the USA’s highest honor for excellence in the folk and traditional arts. Previous National Heritage Fellows include B.B. King, Doc Watson, and Bill Monroe.

By 1980 Kevin had settled in the USA and was performing with Bothy Band colleague Micheal O Domhnaill. Their 2 albums, “Promenade” and “Portland”, became, and still are, very influential resources for many traditional musicians.  In 1985 Kevin was a founding member of the group, “Patrick Street”, and this band, highly successful on both sides of the Atlantic, has recently released its 10th album.

Kevin spent much of the 90’s recording and performing in a series of highly successful concert tours with Johnny Cunningham from Scotland and Christian Lemaitre from Brittany, a trio of fiddle players known as “The Celtic Fiddle Festival” and he has also become a featured member of Grammy winner Tim O’Brien’s wonderful ‘crossover’ band, “The Crossing”.

Although Kevin has spent much of his life playing in a group context, he has never lost his love for solo fiddle music – the “naked fiddle” as he himself sometimes puts it.  This is very evident in his live solo release, “In Concert”, a performance of mostly unaccompanied traditional pieces.

In 2007 Kevin set up his own record label, “Loftus Music”, which has already developed a reputation for excellence in both its musical output and its somewhat unique and eco-friendly packaging design. The first release on his new label was the impressive “Across the Black River”, a duo recording with his good friend, composer/arranger Cal Scott. The CD garnered high praise from music critics on both sides of the Atlantic and was hailed by the New York Times as one of the top world music releases of the year. “Suite” was the label’s major release of 2010 and features appearances from the members of “Beoga”, one of Ireland’s most exciting young bands. One of the highlights of this recording is “The Irish Session Suite”, ten traditional tunes arranged for String Quartet.

2010 also saw Kevin’s induction to the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. He was very honored to receive such a tribute from his adopted home state.


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