Scottish duo to perform at Skye Wednesday

4 mins read


Maeve Gilchrist

SOUTH CARTHAGE – New England Celtic Arts will present Internationally famous Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist with double base player Aidan O Donnelld at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in South Carthage on Wednesday, March 31, and at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, April 1. Curtain is at 7 p.m. at Skye and 7:30 pm in Unity. There is a pre-show jam session 45 minutes prior to curtain at all venues. Audience members are encouraged to bring their instruments and jam with the artists for a few minutes.

Maeve Gilchrist was born in Edinburgh, Scotland to an Irish mother and a Scottish father. Surrounded by traditional music from an early age, Maeve began playing piano at seven and picked up the clarsach (Celtic harp) a couple of years later. At ten, Maeve enrolled in the City of Edinburgh Music School where she studied classical piano while continuing to nurture her traditional roots. Towards the end of her school years, Maeve was an in-demand member of the traditional music scene in Scotland, balancing schoolwork with rehearsals and performances around the country.

Maeve became intrigued by her music critique-father’s record collection, which ranged from Ravi Shankar to Joni Mitchell and Ray Charles. This exposure to jazz and world music quickly became obvious in her playing and she started studying jazz vocals. The director of her music school had told her about the Berklee College of Music, and at 17, with the help of the Donald Dewar Award and the Berklee World Scholarship Tour, she enrolled at the college as a voice major. During her time at Berklee College in Boston, Maeve was awarded a full scholarship, the Outstanding Performer of the Year ’04 Award and The Norm Nate Scholarship.

She performed regularly in the Prestigious Performance Centre in Shows such as Singers Showcase, The International Folk Festival, The Commencement Concerts and The Stevie Wonder Tribute Show. She has played and recorded with artists such as Matt Glaser, Kathy Mattea, Meshell Ndegio, Cello, Jamey Haddad, Martyn Bennett, Esperanza Spalding, Frank Ferrell, The Unusual Suspects and Ashley Macisaac. She has performed in Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Canada, USA and all over the British Isles.

Now based in Boston, Maeve is currently performing in a new Acoustic duo with Scottish jazz awards recipient, bassist Aidan O’Donnell blending her traditional Scottish roots with the colors of jazz and improvisation, creating a unique and multicultural sound. Her first CD, ‘Reaching Me’ was released in 2006 to International Acclaim. She is currently working on a new CD project produced by Portland based musician Darol Anger.

Aidan studied Jazz bass at Birmingham Conservatoire from 1999-2003. After finishing his degree, he moved back to Scotland where he joined both the Tommy Smith Quartet and the Colin Steele Quintet. He moved to London in November 2003, where he joined Alan Skidmore’s Quartet, and began freelancing with a wide variety of musicians. He has performed with visiting artists such as Dave Binney, Charles McPherson and David Berkman, and appeared on 6 albums as a sideman

Skye Theater is located 3 miles West of East Dixfield village at 2 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Rd and US RT. 2 in South Carthage. Unity Center for the Performing Arts is at 42 Depot Street in Unity. For reservations call: Skye Theatre at (207) 562-4445, or UCCPA at (207) 948-7469. Tickets are $10 at both Skye and Unity. More information is available at: www.necelticarts.com

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