CORDEEN-The Story Behind the band & its members
FOUR ACCLAIMED MUSICIANS : TWO CULTURALLY CONNECTED ISLANDS : ONE COMMON INSTRUMENT
Cordeen is a group comprised of four of Ireland & Newfoundland's finest exponents of the button accordion, some also great vocalists! The title 'Cordeen' derives from the Newfoundland expression for the Accordion, a phonetic of the Irish Gaelic word 'Cairdín'.
Benny McCarthy(Danú) and Conor Moriarty (All-Ireland Champion 2010) hail from historic counties Waterford and Kerry in Ireland. Billy Sutton(The Fables) and Graham Well's(ex-The Irish Descendants) are from Harbour Grace & St.Johns in Newfoundland. All the members bring over two decades of experience in the music industry, from International touring artists to studio and concert producers. The cultural connection between Ireland and Newfoundland is at the musical heart of Cordeen, everything from the lively foot tapping tune to heartfelt Songs and airs.
A Cordeen concert is a truly unique musical experience full of energy, emotion and wit.
Four centuries after the first Irish immigrants set foot on the shores of Newfoundland, a group of talented musicians came together under the name of their beloved instrument: Cordeen, from Irish cairdín, the native term for the button accordion those pioneering players brought with them from the old world to the new.
Since the first Irish fishermen travelled west, captivated by the promises of this abundant land, Newfoundland has been a bastion of Ireland’s enchanting cultural heritage. It is a place where people still speak with the unmistakable lilt of their distant ancestors and where the rhythms of traditional music echo ancient tunes brought from far across the ocean. Their immigrant forefathers, of strong Munster stock, braved the harsh winds and tumultuous waves. By the mid-1800s, they comprised half the population of Newfoundland, leaving an indelible mark on the history, society and culture of the province. Through a unique musical lens, Cordeen will explore the legacy of the Irish in Newfoundland as they trace the story of traditional music, from songs of home to fresh new fusions.
Each of the band’s members brings a unique style of playing deeply influenced by the rhythms of their towns and villages, echoing the journeys they have taken to mastery. Waterford’s Benny McCarthy, founding member of iconic traditional music group Danú, is a soft-spoken player with a dry wit and a twinkle in his eye. Hailing from the rich musical heartland of Sliabh Luachra, Conor Moriority is an All-Ireland Accordion champion who learned to play at the knees of great players like John Brosnan and Jimmy Doyle. Graham Wells, previously of the renowned band The Irish Descendants, is a true blue Newfoundlander from St John’s whose grandfather passed down the art of the box by taking him to play at parties and dances across the island. Also from Newfoundland is Billy Sutton of popular trad/rock group The Fables- not only a master accordionist but a prodigious talent on the bouzouki, fiddle and mandola!
“a complex yet seamless interplay between four boxes, each with it's own voice”
— IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE
Benny McCarthy (Co.Waterford, Ireland) Began his musical voyage at the age of 13. He was crowned All-Ireland Oireactas champion on both Button Accordion and Melodeon in 1994.He teamed up with some friends to form the now iconic band 'Danú', a group he still performs and manages today . Benny has featured on over 30 albums since he began his professional career. Benny has performed/recorded with many leading Internationally known Artists over the years such as Liam Clancy(The Clancy Brothers), John Sheahan (The Dubliners), Tom Paxton (USA), Donovan (UK), Donal Lunny (The Bothy Band Planxty) Sean O'Sé (ILegendary Irish Tenor) to mention a few. Theatre projects over the years include collaborations with Irish comedian/actor Jon Kenny (D'Unblievables) and Irish hit show 'Teac A Bloc' with the great visual artist Des Dillon. Benny has also performed as part of some State/Trade delegations to USA (Culture Ireland delegation in 2010 & 2011), India (Trade/Culture delegation with Ireland's PrimeMinister in 2006), Bulgaria (State visit with Ireland's President in 2009) and Europe (EU presidency event in 2007) . Recorded and produced many albums and theatre soundtracks over the years in his own studio in Co.Waterford. Benny is regularly featured with his various groups on Irish TV and Radio (RTE, RnaG, TG4 etc) ,International and Online radio & TV broadcasts (BBC, CBC etc)
BENNY'S DISCOGRAPHY1994 Knocknagow Ceili band Album/1996 Amba EP/1997 Danu-debut/1998 Rattle The Boards-debut/2000 Danu-Think before you think/2002 Danu-All things considered/2003 Danu-The road less traveled/2004 Teac A Bloc-Music The show/2004 Up in the air-Members Of Danú/2005 Danu-When all is said and done/2005 Danu-One night stand (DVD)/2006 Pure Irish Drops-Music of Deise/2006 Tech A Bloc-Traditional Irish Madness (DVD)/2008 Rattle the Boards - The Parish Platform/2008 Pure Irish Drops-20th Anniversary/2010 Danu-Seanchas/2011 Raw Bar Collective-Millhouse measures/2011 Gough, Clancy, Bracken & McCarthy- Sessions found 1995-2002/2011 Pure Irish Drops-Harmonicas and Harmonies/2011 Danu-Nollaig In Eireann/Christmas In Ireland/2012 The Tin Sandwich Band-By Hook or by Crook/2014 Pure Irish Drops-Irish Accordion Connection/2015 Danú-Buan/2016-Raw Bar Collective-Ag Fogairt An Lae/2017-Cordeen-Musical Bridge
Billy Sutton(Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, Canada) Billy Sutton is an award winning multi-Instrumentalist/Producer/Arranger and has been a huge part of the music scene in Newfoundland for the past 25 years. He played a major role in the success of the multi award winning celtic fusion band The Fables whom he toured with extensively. He performed for many years with the legendary song writer Ron Hynes. Over the past decade Billy has worked/produced some major acts like, The Ennis Sisters, The Catch, Shanneyganock, The Irish Descendants & The Navigators. He is also major producer in Newfoundland and produced many award winning albums.Billy has also been involved in countless, CBC radio and Television productions, with a variety of different people.
BILLY'S DISCOGRAPHY 1998 The Fables-Tear The House Down/1999 The Fables-A Time/1999 Island to Island-Traditional Music from Ireland & Newfoundland/2000 The Fables-St.John/2001 The Fables-Kings and Little Ones/2001-Chris Andrews–By The Hush/2008 Graham Wells-Traditional Music From Newfoundland/2009 Ennis-Lessons learned/2009 The Navigators–Sea Miner/2010 Shanneyganock – Live on George St./ 2010 Matthew Byrne-Ballads/2010 Graham Wells and Dave Clark/2011 Shanneyganock-A Tribute To The McNulty’s/2011 Kim Stockwood-Back To The Water/ 2011 The Navigators– Soldiers and Sailors/2012 Ennis-The Fortunate Ones/2012 The Ennis Sisters-It's Christmas/2013 Shanneyganock Rockin' On The Water/2014 Aaron Collis and Emilia Bartellas/2014 Matthew Byrne-Hearts & Heros/2014 Figgy Duff–Shakespeare’s Tempest:An Original Score/2014 The Freels/2014 The Ennis Sisters-Stages/2015-The Blue Drop-Greater Things/2016 Rum Ragged-Self Titled/2016 Doug Dorward-Waves/2016 Dave Penny-All Turned Around/2016 The Ennis Siters-Upon A Winter's Day/2017 Shanneyganock-Home In My Harbour/2017 Matthew Byrne-Horizon Lines/2017 Cordeen-Musical Bridge
Graham Wells (St.Johns, Newfoundland) A multi-instrumentalist and powerful singer of both Newfoundland and Irish traditional songs. Graham was immersed in the traditional music of Newfoundland and Ireland almost from birth and learned his first music from his Grandfather, Edward Walsh, an accordion and mouth organ player. Graham is not only one of Newfoundland’s most accomplished accordion players, but is an innovator in Newfoundland traditional button accordion playing and music. In the late nineties, he introduced the semi-tone tuned button accordion system to Newfoundland traditional music. In 1999, Graham began his career as a professional musician, his first recording project was an Irish/Newfoundland collaborative album called Island to Island featuring Seamus Creagh & Aidan Coffey and a group of Newfoundland musicians organized by Graham. He has recorded and toured extensively with Newfoundland bands “A Crowd of Bold Sharemen,” and Juno Award-Winning band “The Irish Descendants.” Graham’s debut solo album Traditional Music from Newfoundland, was released in 2008, it won the Folk/Roots Album of the Year at the MusicNL awards. In 2010, Graham founded Feile Seamus Creagh, an annual traditional music festival now in it’s 9th year, featuring the finest traditional musicians and dancers from Ireland and Newfoundland, taking place in 4 different locations around the Avalon Peninsula. It has become a highlight of the festival scene in Newfoundland and Labrador and of the traditional music scene in Canada. Graham remains a director of the festival and serves as Artistic Director.Graham received an MA in Traditional Irish Music Performance from the University of Limerick with honors in 2013, becoming the first Newfoundlander to earn either undergraduate or post-graduate degree in the performance of traditional music
GRAHAM'S DISCOGRAPHY 1999 Island to Island-Traditional Music from Ireland & Newfoundland/2008 Graham Wells-Traditional Music From Newfoundland/2010 Graham Wells and Dave Clark/2014 Pure Irish Drops-Irish Accordion Connection/2017 Cordeen-Musical Bridge
Conor Moriarty (Co.Kerry, Ireland) Conor is one of Irelands great young musicians, he learnt his music from many of the great players in his native Sliabh Luachra region of Co.Kerry. Conor was crowned All-Ireland champion at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann on melodeon in 2009 and Button Accordion the following year. In 2010 he also graduated with a Masters in Traditional Irish Music Perfromance from University of Limerick. His solo album in 2012 'All In A Days Play' garnished critical acclaim, The Irish Times 4 star review described the album A three dimensional, glorious debut. In 2013 Conor has worked as musical director with Siamsa Tire(The National Folk Theatre Of Ireland) and their great music/dance show 'Turas'. In 2014 he alongside a few music contemporaries formed the band The Trí Tones a band since renamed Rianta, they toured all over Ireland & Europe and released a critically acclaimed album which earned Tradconnects award of 'Album Of The Year'. He has also toured Europe & Canada with the Irish Dance show 'Celtic Legends'. In recent years he has performed with Disney Cruise line in the Carribrean and Mediterranean seas. Conor is a much sought after musician and continues to tour extensively with different bands and shows.
CONOR'S DISCOGRAPHY 2004 Siamsa Tíre-Oilean/2011 The Deenagh Ceili Band-round the house/2012 Conor Moriarty-All in a days play/2013 Pure Irish Drops "From the Heart of Ireland/2014 Siamsa Tíre-Turas/2014 Pure Irish Drops-Irish Accordion Connection/2014 The Trí Tones/2017 Celtic Legends/2017 Elle Marie Dwyer-On a day like this/2017 Cordeen-Musical Bridge