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2017 Biographies — Celtic

Isaac Alderson

Isaac Alderson

Irish Flute

Isaac Alderson grew up in Chicago, surrounded by all kinds of music. At the age of 12, he discovered Irish traditional music and began obsessively practicing the uilleann pipes, learning from such players as Al Purcell, Patrick Cannady, Kieran O'Hare, and many others. At 14, he began to study the flute and whistle with Laurence Nugent from Co. Fermanagh. Many trips to Ireland over subsequent years helped to fan the flames of his enthusiasm for the music and gave him the opportunity to study and play with many outstanding musicians. At 18, Isaac moved to New York in order to attend college and dive into the city's phenomenal Irish music scene. In 2002, Isaac won the All-Ireland Senior Championships on all three of his main instruments. After finishing college, he toured for two years with Eileen Ivers as part of her band, Immigrant Soul, and afterwards with such diverse groups as Jameson's Revenge, Runa, Millish, and many others, and also played extensively around New York with fiddler Gráinne Murphy and guitarist Alan Murray. He currently performs with his band The Yanks, and also the international quartet Comas, the touring show Celtic Crossroads, Irish bar band The Bronx Boys, and the chamber folk group Ensemble Galilei. He has toured in the US, Canada, Ireland, Colombia, much of western Europe, and recently did a three-month tour of China as the piper in the famed show, Riverdance. Other major industry gigs have included pit orchestra work on Sting's musical, The Last Ship, and sub work in the show Celtic Woman. As a teacher, Isaac has led workshops in flute, whistle, and uilleann pipes at the Great Northern Irish Pipers' Club tionól, the St. Louis Tionól, the Re-Jigged Festival in Nova Scotia, the O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat in Texas, MAD Week in the D.C. area, the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival in Canada, Common Ground in Maryland, the Corofin Trad Fest in Co. Clare, and also had led small workshops for students in Rio Negro and Villa de Leyva, Colombia. He also teaches private lessons online and in person, mainly to advanced students. He is known for his patience and compassion in teaching students of all levels.


Zachary Read

Zachary Read

Highland Bagpipes

Zak Read began playing pipes in 2000 beginning with Cabar Feidh Pipes and Drums and then Windsor Police Pipe Band (Grade III). He received instruction from John Cairns and in the fall of 2006 joined the 78th Fraser Highlanders and played with them until 2011. As of the 2016 competition season Zak has been a member of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. Solo piping highlights include the 2008 PPBSO Champion Supreme designation (Grade I) as well as competing at the George Sheriff Memorial Competition in 2011. He has also received prizes at the Professional competition level at several British Columbia Pipers Association competitions. In addition to piping, Zak is a professional opera singer who graduated with a Masters of Music in Operatic Performance from the University of Toronto in 2014.


Kyle Sanna

Kyle Sanna

Guitar

Kyle Sanna is a multi-dimensional guitarist and composer. A master of genres that include everything from rock to jazz to the traditional music of Ireland, he has performed with some of today's greatest virtuosos, including Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, and Chris Thile. Kyle's arrangements have been performed by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and by Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, among others. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Oregon and has studied composition at the Université Lumière in Lyon, France. Kyle currently lives in New York City.


Andrew Vickers

Andrew Vickers

Irish Dance

Andrew Vickers (Galway, Ireland) is an internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer and teacher with over 17 years professional experience. His extensive career has seen him perform on almost every continent including tours of Australia, USA, Canada, China, Germany, UK, UAE, Bahrain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. He has collaborated and shared the stage with a number of bands, trad groups and orchestras including Frankie Gavin and De Dannan, Teada, Seamus Begley and Jim Murray, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin Buille, David Munnelly, Zoe Conway, Mairitin O'Connor, Niall Vallely, Cillian Vallely, Brian Morrissey, Caitlin Warbelow, RURA, Connla, The Dubai Philharmonic Orchestra, The Orchestra of Ireland. Prestigious venues and events include The Irish National Concert Hall, INEC Killarney, The Waterfront Belfast, Joyce SoHo NYC, Symphony Space NYC, Alte Opera Frankfurt, Konzerthaus Berlin, The Berlin film festival for audiences including Liam Neeson, Leonardo DeCaprio, Mikhail Gorbachev, Christopher Lee and other dignitaries. At the young age of 14, Andrew earned a position with RIVERDANCE as part of their flying squad. After a number of rehearsals with the company he was headhunted by one of Ireland’s leading Irish Music and Dance producers and began performing internationally as principal dancer for their shows Spirit of Ireland, To Dance on the Moon, Dance of Desire and Magic of The Dance. It wasn't long before Andrew took up the position of choreographer for some of these productions as well as being credited with choreography for Canadian based productions The Magic of Ireland and The Echoes of Ireland, the latter, a stage show written by Limerick brothers Frank McCourt and Malachy McCourt. Since graduating from The University of Limerick with a Masters Degree in Traditional Dance Performance Andrew has gone on to work with Dance Theatre of Ireland and their collaboration with Soul Steps (NYC) entitled Every Little Step...The Rhythm of Hope. This show premiered at The Joyce SoHo NYC in 2011. Most recently since moving to the USA Andrew has been invited to teach, Choreograph and appear as featured artist for The Trinity Irish Dance Company (Chicago). Throughout his career Andrew has been influenced by many dancers and styles of percussive dance including sean nos (old style Irish Dance) tap dance, African American Stepping and more. Although his unique style of Irish Dance blends these different genres at times, he believes it is important to remember the roots of his training and the traditional dance form that shaped him as a performer today: stepping forward while looking back. Workshops and Masterclasses Andrew has given span the world over including the National Ballet of Zimbabwe, University of Limerick, Trinity Academy of Irish Dance, The Irish Arts Center NYC and The Childrens Museum of Arts NYC to name but a few. Andrew resides in New Jersey with his wife Erin and daughter Isla. Together they teach Irish Dance in a non- competitive setting through their organization Club Rince – The Irish Dance Club. Recently Andrew produced his own stage show, Imagine Ireland which premiered in New Jersey and will go on to tour in 2017 sharing live Irish Music, Song and Dance with the people of America and beyond! Andrew specializes in all styles of Irish Dance performance and education from modern and contemporary to, sean nos and older regional styles. His experience, musicality and flair for percussive Irish Dance make him a unique addition to any event including workshops, masterclasses, festivals, camps, and productions.


Caitlin Warbelow

Caitlin Warbelow

Irish Fiddle

Originally from Fairbanks and currently residing in Brooklyn, Caitlin performs, records, and teaches in NYC and around the country in a variety of genres including Irish traditional and rock, country and bluegrass, Texas swing and contest fiddling, and on occasion returns to her roots as a classical violinist. Caitlin is currently the violinist/fiddler for Riverdance's new touring production, "Heartbeat of Home", and recently performed on Broadway with Sting's musical "The Last Ship". An in-demand teacher with a unique self-developed curriculum blending classical technique and theory with folk music's oral tradition and styles, Caitlin is on the faculty at Manhattan's Irish Arts Center and maintains a large private teaching studio in Manhattan. A former All-Ireland and New England Fiddle Champion, Caitlin has toured nationally with Cherish the Ladies, Trinity Dance Company, Mick Moloney and the Green Fields of America, and Celtic Fire.


James Yoshizawa

James Yoshizawa

Percussion

James Yoshizawa is a versatile drummer/percussionist living in Los Angeles, CA with a BM in Percussion Performance from California State University, Long Beach. While a student, he received the PAS Armand Zildjian Percussion Scholarship, the Fine Arts Affiliates Scholarship, and the Komaroff Scholarship. Since graduating, he has been an active performer and educator in Los Angeles and around the country. Some recent, noteworthy engagements include a 3-month run as the percussionist and bodhran soloist in the touring production of the Broadway musical, "Come From Away," a guest performance with the band NYCO accompanied by the Alabama Symphony in Birmingham, AL, and the recording of all the percussion tracks for an upcoming show at Tokyo Disney. He has also been a guest artist at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival since 2013. As an educator, he maintains a private lesson studio and has taught at many nationally acclaimed high school percussion programs around Southern California.


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