In 2001 a brand new band called Téada burst onto the traditional Irish music scene making headlines on the innovative Irish TV show Flosc. Since then Téada has grown into one of Ireland’s most ground-breaking, inventive and zesty bands, headlining at major music festivals throughout the world, from Ireland to America, Australia to Israel, and throughout Europe.
This week you can catch them on stage Saturday through Sunday at the wonderful Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette, and then in New Orleans itself, where they will be swapping Cajun country for Crescent City to play a smaller but no less welcome Tuesday night concert at the Irish House on St Charles Avenue.
Téada means ‘strings’ in the Irish language and this band definitely has more than one string to its collective bow. Founding member fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada is a graduate in Music Education from Trinity College, Paul Finn is a rising star on button accordion, and flutist Damien Stenston drawing on an extensive repertoire is looking forward to appearing on Ireland’s RTÉ TV series ‘The Reel Deal’ later on this year. Bouzouki and guitar player Seán Mc Elwain is closely involved in running and organizing the annual Scoil Cheoil na Botha, an annual weekend of music in his native Co. Monaghan, and bodhran player Tristan Rosenstock works in television and radio when not touring with the band. As if that was not enough strings for one band to play, Téada has also recently welcomed renowned accordionist, singer and story-teller Séamus Begley as a permanent addition to their number. Not enough? Well then, lets also mention that one of the latest of their many projects involves exploring the common musical connections between Ireland, America and Africa, with the New York City-based The Ebony Hillbillies –described as ‘one of the last black string bands in the US.’ Many strings.
“The connections between the two traditions are fascinating,” explained Oisín Mac Diarmada. “And there are quite a few examples of tunes which most likely originated in Ireland, England and Scotland and later became part of the repertoire of the African-American string bands; a genre which played a large role in the development of bluegrass and country music. In terms of instrumentation, the fiddle as a popular folk instrument provides a huge link between the cultures. It’s an incredible instrument in terms of its sound palette and the range of individual expression. Of major interest also is the journey of the banjo from the US to Ireland, where it has in the past 50 years become a staple of traditional Irish music performance.”
“Being on the road is an unusual existence in some ways, but it’s an experience that I really enjoy,” Oisín said. “It’s not for everyone, but if you can accept the lack of routine, it brings richness in terms of experience. I can’t tell you how excited we are about coming to play in Cajun country.”
Téada will be performing in Lafayette at the Festival International de Louisiane on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April, 29 and in New Orleans at the Irish House, 1432 Saint Charles Avenue on Tuesday, May 1 at 7 pm.
Further information is available at 504-595-6755 and http://www.teada.com/