Currently touring “Noble Stranger", her third solo release on Nashville's Compass Records Label, Nuala Kennedy is an Irish singer and flute player with hauntingly beautiful vocals, adventurous instrumentation, and an imaginative mix of influences. At the Auburn House Concert she will be by Eamon O’Leary on the guitar and bouzouki.

"Kennedy doesn't so much imbibe or inhale as swallow, whole and unadulterated, melodic and rhythmic influences from beyond her kith and kin. A delicious mix of influences abound, without ever sacrificing musical identity."The Irish Times 2010

Nuala Kennedy's singing and flute playing springs from the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland, and from the fathomless realms of her own imagination. A consummate performer with a buoyant personality, her music has been described as unique, evocative, and soul-satisfying.

"Fresh, zesty and magical with underlayer's of mystery and otherworldliness"Padraigin Ni Uallachain (2010)

Nuala grew up in Dundalk, Co. Louth, a musical area which has long historical links with Scotland and where she was a member of a local ceilidh band 'Ceoltoiri Oga Oghrialla'. She also studied classical piano under Professor John O'Connor at the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin.

It was in Edinburgh that Nuala's passion for traditional music was further strengthened and where she honed her instrumental skills. The result was a comprehensive repertoire of Scottish tunes, as well as Irish tunes, and led to the formation of the trio Fine Friday, alongside guitarist Kris Drever and fiddler Anna-Wendy Stevenson. The trio toured widely in Europe, Canada and Australia, before disbanding in 2006, after released two critically acclaimed albums; Gone Dancing and Mowing the Machair.

"A startlingly varied and imaginative album of instrumental music and song. Nuala Kennedy's masterly skill on wooden flute and whistle reflects her Irish traditional roots."Scotland on Sunday.

At the same time Nuala's on-going interest in Scottish Gaelic song was beginning to come to the fore, adding to her already large repertoire of Irish songs. In 2007 she decided to deepen her knowledge of Scots Gaelic and moved to Inverness in the Highlands to undertake a year of intensive study. The combination of the best influences of the two cultures, Scotland and Ireland, is what has made Nuala the artist she is today.

In 2007 Nuala released her first solo CD The New Shoes, to critical acclaim:

"A dazzling debut. Unhurried yet freewheeling, loose-limbed yet disciplined, her voice is a natural, earthy instrument entirely in concert with her woody flute lines. She is not only an exceptional interpreter of the tradition: her own tunes glisten with freshness. Spellbinding.THE IRISH TIMES

The New Shoes was voted traditional album of the week by The Irish Times, featured in BBC Scotland's top albums of 2008 and traditional highlight of the year by Hotpress Music Magazine. That year she was commissioned to write the on going show 'Astar' for Glasgow's Celtic Connections International Festival featuring an international line up of ten musicians:

"a great big gorgeous musical event, one seamless segue of breathtaking music and tight vocal harmonies"THE HERALD

Nuala's sophomore solo album Tune In was inspired by a vintage radio dial and released in 2010:

"Quietly expressive, cheerfully brash, complex or simple, Radio Kennedy is never static."THE SCOTSMAN 2010

Amongst others she has performed and recorded with American hipster and indie-poet Will Oldham, an album which received 5 stars from MOJO magazine, and cutting-edge Canadian composer Oliver Schroer, with whom she recorded Enthralled a duo album of original compositions, nominated for a Canadian Folk Award in 2012.

Nuala is also part of the traditional Irish group OIRIALLA: performing the music and song of her native South-East Ulster, which features Irish music legends Gerry 'fiddle' O'Connor, accordionist Martin Quinn and the acclaimed Breton guitarist Gilles le Bigot.

Nuala decided to continue her interest in education and further her knowledge of the tradition by undertaking a Masters Degree in Music Performance and Composition, which she completed with distinction from Newcastle University in 2011. The result of this was an even deeper understanding of, and commitment to traditional music, which is evident in the powerful and passionate performances she currently gives, wherever she is on tour.

Her latest release Noble Stranger (Compass Records 2012) was recorded live in the Scottish borders with her touring band, mixed and mastered by Paul Savage of Chemikal Records in Glasgow. It has seen her grace the cover of Irish Music Magazine and Sing Out!, and has been receiving plaudits around the world for its fresh, dynamic sound:

"This is an outstanding CD from an exceptional talent"Penguin Eggs 2012

"Cheeky, dynamically textured and full of ideas, this distinctive sound is new but already fully formed."Scotland on Sunday Pick of the Week 2012

"frisky, excitingly vital and wonderfully original"Songlines 2013

"Nuala's flute soars, dances, capers and chuckles"FolkWord 2013

"This album makes you happy."Bright Young Folk 2013

Nuala Kennedy
Irish singer and flute player
February 5, 2015
7:00 PM