1978 (age 39)
Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh is flautist and lead vocalist for the Irish folk-traditional group Danú. Her first language is Irish. This was to affect her later career, due to her early exposure to Irish language song, especially in the Sean nós tradition. She began playing piano and fiddle at an early age, before progressing to the whistle and eventually the flute.
Muireann's first recordings were on a CD of Irish traditional music and song performed by Geantraí, a group of musicians who performed a show of the same name in the Skellig hotel in Dingle. She also recorded on a number of CDs including The Crooked Road by William Coulter, Cello by Barry Phillips, and several compilation CDs. As part of the requirements for her MA in traditional music performance, Muireann produced a solo album of tunes and songs, entitled Réalt na Maidine/Morning Star. A limited edition of this album was distributed, mainly locally in Dingle, although copies were also sold in the United States and Europe.
Muireann's joining of traditional Irish supergroup Danú in 2003 marked a new departure in her musical career. Ciarán O Gealbháin, Danú's former lead singer, left the band in 2003, and Muireann took over as singer and whistle player, occasionally joining band member Tom Doorley in playing the flute. She recorded her first album with Danú in 2003, called The Road Less Travelled (The American release of the album spelled the title Traveled). The addition of Nic Amhlaoibh to the band lineup was hailed as a success. Danú recorded an album of solos in 2004, entitled Up In The Air, and Muireann played and sang on three tracks. 2005 saw the band release the album When All is Said and Done. Muireann participated in the project Hands Across the Water. This was a collaboration album with participation from dozens of high profile traditional and folk musicians and singers, with the proceeds of album sales going to victims of the tsunami in southeast Asia. Muireann released her first major solo CD in 2006, entitled Daybreak/Fáinne an Lae. It featured musicians such as Oisín Mc Auley and Eamonn Doorley from Danú, Gerry O Beirne, and John Doyle from Solas.
Muireann's television appearances include The Highland Sessions, a BBC Four television series featuring Irish and Scottish Gaelic music. Other television work work includes The Late Late Show, Amuigh Faoin Spéir by Éamonn de Buitléir, The History of Irish Dance, Léargas, and An Ghaeilge Bheo. Radio work includes Rattlebag and The Late Session with Aine Hensey on RTE, and An Saol ó Dheas on Radio na Gaeltachta.
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