"Fiárock is a wonderful group of master musicians creating a very unique blend of lovely music."
- Benny McCarthy
Fiárock is a four-piece Irish traditional band that tells a story steeped in sound. Hailing from both sides of the Atlantic, the quartet masterfully treads the line of staying true to the tradition while embracing the diversity of influences from each member’s personal background, enriching their sound with jazz harmonies, American old-time melodies, and Mexican folk song. Concertina, banjo, piano, bodhrán, and vocals join together in powerful arrangements, from rip-roaring polkas to mesmerizing slow airs, in ways that will enchant and enrapture both trad-heads and newcomers alike.
Fiárock (pronounced Fee-AH-rock) is a combination of two Irish words: Feabhra, meaning February, which marks the month of the band’s founding, and Airneánach, which translates as “Night-visiting”, a long-standing Irish tradition of night-time social house visits where tunes, songs, and stories were shared. Having come together in 2021 in the midst of the pandemic, the group was determined to carry on the spirit of airneánach and celebrate human connections through music despite physical isolation. Since then, they have garnered a host of noteworthy live performances to captive audiences across Ireland, including a night at Dublin’s legendary trad pub The Cobblestone, multiple radio spots on RTE’s Raidió na Gaeltachta, and a debut on Irish national television with a live performance for Fleadh TV. They were also recently a finalist of the Robinson Emerging Artist Showcase for Canada's premiere Celtic festival - Goderich Celtic Roots Festival, and were the only Irish finalist among over 70 entries from around the world.
Fiárock’s members, Clíona Halley, Darragh Carey-Kennedy, Evan Powell, and Nicolle Fig, each bring a wealth of individual acclaim with them as well, with a handful of university music degrees between them, instructor and performer positions at various fleadhs (Irish trad music competitions for youth and adults alike), festivals, spots on TG4 (Ireland's national Irish-language broadcaster), and performances at the World Expo in Dubai. With their powers combined, they make for an unforgettable experience both dazzling and deep, engaging meaningfully with their audience no matter the setting, from intimate house concerts to festival workshops to stage performances with massive audiences.
With the band’s first album currently in the works and their summer 2023 tour kicking off in Youghal, Ireland, Fiárock is going full speed ahead. Fiarock's plans for 2024 include European and North American tours, forging their way into the future with plenty of craic!
Clíona Halley is a concertina, fiddle and traditional piano player from Castlemartyr, Co. Cork. Besides Irish traditional music, she is also fully trained on classical violin and piano. Clíona has performed worldwide and was part of the Comhaltas Tour of Ireland, Britain and Canada in 2014. In 2019, she performed on the main stage at Disneyland Paris for St. Patrick's Day. She recently represented Ireland, performing Irish music at the World Expo in Dubai. Clíona has many accolades to her name, which includes being part of the 2019 Oireachtas na Samhna winning traditional music duet. Clíona completed her Masters in Irish Traditional Music Performance at the University of Limerick in 2019 and graduated with a First Class Honours. She enjoys teaching concertina workshops at festivals around Ireland and has recently been a tutor at the renowned Meitheal Summer School.
Nicolle Fig was born in Mexico City. Years later, she moved to Texas and then Ireland, where she developed a passion for Irish culture, its music and its people. Nicolle specialises in bodhrán and traditional singing. Nicolle’s distinctive lyrical style of bodhrán playing has made her a highly sought-after musician and accompanist, both at home and abroad. She is also an in-demand teacher. Her success is reflected by her large following on YouTube, where she has developed a strong professional reputation as a welcoming and skillful teacher. Nicolle attended the University of Limerick, where she studied under renowned masters of music. She graduated with Honours in 2016 and later in 2020 and earned both a BA and an MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance. Recently, Nicolle had the honour of representing Ireland at the World Expo in Dubai 2020 and toured in Spain with Crisol – Flamenco Celt.
Evan’s love for the piano reaches back to his early years, but his journey into Irish traditional music began while studying for his Bachelor’s degree in jazz performance at Florida State University. His style of accompaniment bears the subtle tracings of his jazz roots, where the intricate harmonies of artists such as Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett hold a strong influence. He is also a passionate educator, and has been a guest lecturer on the topics of harmony and improvisation both in the United States and abroad. He currently resides in Austin, Texas where he works as a web developer.
Darragh Carey-Kennedy is an Irish traditional banjo player from Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. He has won numerous All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil titles in a range of different instruments, including the mandolin and miscellaneous competitions. Darragh recently graduated with a First Class Honours Bachelor’s degree in Irish Music from the University of Limerick. He was also a recipient of the FLCM from the London College of Music in Irish Traditional Music Performance. Darragh recently received his TTCT qualification from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and achieved the high achiever's award in this course. He has been teaching Irish traditional music from a very young age and has given workshops on the banjo at various festivals, including Scoil Éigse at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2019 and 2021 and Meitheal Irish Traditional Music Summer School in 2022. Darragh is currently the Youth Officer of his local Comhaltas branch and loves promoting Irish traditional music to the younger generation.