Manus McGuire is an acclaimed Irish fiddle player whose exceptional musical gift became widely recognised in 1970 when he won the prestigious Fiddler of Dooney, Irish national fiddle competition at age 14.
Since then, he has gone on to record sixteen albums including: 4 with Buttons and Bows, 2 with Moving Cloud, 3 with Brock McGuire Band, 1 with Shetland group Full Tilt, 1 with Irish/Japanese collaboration, East West Fiddles, released in July 2023, and 2 with his brother, fiddle player, Seamus McGuire.
In addition, he has recorded three solo fiddle albums: Saffron and Blue (Green Linnet Records), Fiddlewings (Compass Records) and The Copperplate Sessions (Independent Label) Earle Hitchner from the Irish Echo and Wall Street Journal in New York, commented on Manus McGuire’s solo album Fiddlewings(2006), saying it “exudes class from first to last note played. Variety, virtuosity and vitality are the lasting impressions created by this recording”.
On his solo album Saffron and Blue,(2000), Bill Margeson, Music critic with The Irish American News commented “ when the buyer purchases this album, he or she is getting in on not only a wonderful piece of work, but a musician at the peak of his powers”
McGuire is honoured to have been voted “Male Irish Traditional Musician of the Year in the U.S” in 2006 by the Irish American News in Chicago, and to have received the Bravo Award from Trad Magazine in France in 2007
Brock McGuire Band, which he co founded in 2000, was awarded “Irish instrumental band of the decade“ by the Irish American News. That band’s last album Green Grass Blue Grass (Compass Records 2012) is a collaboration with 14 time Grammy award winner Ricky Skaggs. It celebrates the musical connections between Irish traditional and American Appalachian music. It was awarded “Top of the World Album Award” by the prestigious U.K. world music magazine, Songlines. In 2014, a full orchestral scoring of their work was commissioned and they performed a full programme with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in Jackson, Mississippi, in March that year.
McGuire’s recordings with Buttons and Bows were celebrated in Ireland and in the U.S. and from one of these albums, The First Month of Summer, the piece “ Inisheer” was used as a soundtrack for the movie, “The Good Mother”, starring Diane Keaton and Liam Neeson. His 2015 recording with Buttons and Bows, The Return of Spring, was awarded traditional album of the year by the Irish Times.
Manus McGuire continues to perform and teach fiddle music at the highest level primarily in the United States and Australia. He has taught fiddle at Swannanoa Celtic week in North Carolina, at the North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas and at Cascadia Irish week in Seattle. In Australia, he has taught fiddle and performed concerts in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide. In 2023, he taught fiddle at a pan Celtic summer school in Whangarei Heads New Zealand, and it was there he met NZ guitarist Adam Ogle with whom he performed on the main stage at the prestigious 50th Auckland Folk Festival.
Adam Ogle is an Auckland based multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, mandolin and bodhrán and a well respected singer. With an Irish musician for a mother, there was no option but to be immersed in the culture of the Celtic music scene from a young age. Going from a teenager, playing tunes in the local bars in Auckland to playing main stage at the Auckland Folk Festival, Adam has picked up a trick or two along his travels.
From playing the lead role in the Auckland season of “Once – the Musical” based on the 2007 film with music written by Glen Hansard, to touring the world as the musician for “Indian Ink Theatre Company” Adam has acquired a taste for varying styles of music that keep his ears perked and his foot tapping. With a general love of all musical genres, you can expect a rhythmic guitar style with some intricate picking, thrown in for good measure, resulting in a cluster of music that is sure to keep you on your toes, while hopefully getting you up on your feet too!
He performs these days with the group Rough Town who are rapidly amassing a cult following and invoking a possessive and patriotic pride within the NZ trad scene. He performed with them and with Manus McGuire at the 50th Auckland Folk Festival in January 2023.
For the March 2024 tour, Manus McGuire and Adam Ogle play folk festivals in Cobargo and the Blue Mountains as well as arts centres and folk clubs in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and venues throughout NSW, VIC and Tasmania. At the Factory Theatre in Marrickville, Sydney, they open for the Sharon Shannon Big Band as part of the Sydney St Patrick’s Day celebrations. One could say the Irish are back in town for this tour……. celebrating in style