Irish music from Hayes and Cahill tonight

A rare opportunity to see two great musicians up close and personal in will happen in Qualicum Beach

A rare opportunity to see two great musicians up close and personal in will happen in Qualicum Beach, Tuesday, Feb. 28.  Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill will be performing traditional Irish music at St Stephen’s Church.

Hayes is regarded as one of the most extraordinary talents to come out of Ireland in the last 50 years. He is known for his unique sound and his mastery of his chosen instrument — the violin.

A native of County Clare, to which he returns for extended periods several times a year, Hayes has been based in the United States for the past 23 years. He has drawn musical inspiration from sources as diverse as the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the Spanish viola da gamba master, Jordi Savall, and the jazz genius, John Coltrane, but remains grounded in the music he grew up with in Ireland.

Cahill is a master guitarist. The native of Chicago was born to parents from the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. He studied at the city’s prestigious Music College before becoming an active member of the local music scene. Cahill’s essential accompaniment to Hayes’ fiddle is acknowledged as a major breakthrough for guitar in the Irish tradition. In addition to his work with Hayes, Cahill has performed with such renowned fiddlers as Liz Carroll, Eileen Ivers and Kevin Burke, as well as many Irish musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a sought after producer for musical artists whom he records in his own Chicago studio.

Hayes and Cahill met in Chicago in the 1980s. They formed the jazz/rock/fusion band, Midnight Court, which allowed them to experiment with a variety of new music styles. Their touring schedule takes them to Australia, Japan, throughout Europe, the U.K. and Ireland, as well as the United States and Canada. They have also performed in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai as well as Warsaw and Mexico City. In 1997 they released their first duet album, The Lonesome Touch, followed by Live in Seattle in 1999. After a ten-year hiatus, in February 2008, they released the studio album Welcome Here Again.

The duo will be at St Stephen’s Church on Village Way tonight (Feb. 28).  Doors open at 7 with the show going at 7:30 p.m.