The Chieftains : Biographie

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Les Chieftains sont un groupe de musique irlandais fondé en 1962 connu pour jouer et populariser la musique traditionnelle irlandaise.

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The Chieftains are a Grammy-winning Irish musical group founded in 1963, best known for being the first band to make Irish traditional music popular around the world.

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Le groupe a enregistré de nombreux albums de musique traditionnelle tant instrumentale que chantée. Au delà des rythmes de danses, ils vont s’inspirer de compositeurs anciens comme Turlough O’Carolan, et produire une musique variée, d’une sonorité particulière. Leur répertoire s’étend de la chanson de pub à l’œuvre symphonique composée pour le cinéma.

Ils n’hésitent pas à enrichir leur musique par des apports de différentes cultures, aunsi qu’un nombre important de collaborations avec des musiciens ou chanteurs célèbres de toutes origines musicales. Ils ont notamment joué avec Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Tom Jones, Sinéad O’Connor, Roger Waters, les Rolling Stones, Kepa Junkera et Akiko Yano. Ils ont également montré l’influence de la musique irlandaise sur le country en produisant plusieurs albums à Nashville avec des artistes réputés.

En 1975, le groupe gagna beaucoup en popularité après avoir joué Women of Ireland pour la bande originale du film Barry Lyndon de Stanley Kubrick.

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Leur renommée leur permet de participer à des concerts « historiques » :

* en 1979 : un concert devant Jean-Paul II réunit 1,35 millions de personnes à Dublin
* en 1983 lors d’une tournée en Chine, c’est le premier groupe occidental à jouer sur la Grande Muraille
* en 1983, c’est le premier groupe à donner un concert dans le Capitole à Washington.

Ils ont gagné six Grammy awards et y ont été nominés dix-huit fois.

Membres du groupe

Paddy Moloney est le leader du groupe. Il en compose et arrange la plupart des morceaux. Le groupe a changé plusieurs fois de formation, un noyau dur restant en place tout au long de son histoire pour assurer sa pérennité. Depuis 1976 les membres sont :

* Paddy Moloney (uilleann pipe, tin whistle, accordéon, bodhrán)
* Matt Molloy (flûte, tin whistle)
* Kevin Conneff (bodhrán, voix)
* Seán Keane (fiddle, tin whistle)
* Martin Fay (fiddle, bones)
* Derek Bell (harpe, piano, hautbois)

En 2002 Fay s’est retiré du groupe et Bell est décédé.

Anciens membres

Les autres membres étaient :

* David Fallon (bodhrán)
* Ronnie McShane ( percussions)
* Peadar Mercier (bodhrán)
* Sean Ó Riada (harpsichord)
* Seán Potts (tin whistle, percussions, bodhrán)
* Michael Tubridy (flute et tin whistle)

Discographie

* The Chieftains 1 (1963)
* The Chieftains 2 (1969)
* The Chieftains 3 (1971)
* The Chieftains 4 (1973)
* The Chieftains 5 (1975)
* The Chieftains 6: Bonaparte’s Retreat (1976)
* The Chieftains 7 (1977)
* The Chieftains 8 (1978)
* The Chieftains 9: Boil The Breakfast Early (1979)
* The Chieftains 10: Cotton-Eyed Joe (1981)
* The Year Of The French (1982)
* Concert Orchestra (1982)
* The Chieftains In China (1985)
* Music from Ballad of the Irish Horse (1985)
* Celtic Wedding (1987)
* A Chieftains Celebration (1989)
* Bells Of Dublin (1991)
* Another Country (1992)
* The Long Black Veil (1995)
* Santiago (1996)
* Tears Of Stone (1999)
* Water From The Well (2000)
* The Wide World Over (2002)
* Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville sessions (2002)
* Further Down the Old Plank Road (2003)
* Live From Dublin (2005)

Participations

* 2007 : « My Name Is Buddy » (Nonesuch Records) de Ry Cooder avec Van Dyke Parks, Mike & Pete Seeger, Flaco Jimenez, Bobby King & Terry Evans, Jim Keltner, Jacky Terrasson, Jon Hassell…

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The band’s name came from the book Death of a Chieftain by Irish author John Montague. The word chieftain itself derives from the English language translation of the Irish Gaelic word taoiseach, meaning a clan chief or leader.
Some historians suggest that in ancient Ireland (whence these terms originate), a taoiseach was a minor king. Assisted early on by Garech Browne, they signed with his company Claddagh Records. They needed financial success abroad, and succeeded in this, as within a few years their third album’s sleeve note section was printed in three languages.

The band has recorded many albums of instrumental Irish folk music, as well as multiple collaborations with popular musicians of many genres, including Country music, Galician traditional music, Cape Breton and Newfoundland music, and rock and roll.
They have performed with Van Morrison, Moya Brennan, Mark Knopfler, Loreena McKennitt, Mick Jagger, Elvis Costello, Roger Daltrey, Nanci Griffith, Tom Jones, Sinéad O’Connor, James Galway, The Corrs, Art Garfunkel, Sting, Rosanne Cash, Jim White, Tom Partington, Ziggy Marley, Lyle Lovett, and numerous Country-western artists.

In 1975, the group won praise for their playing of Women of Ireland for Stanley Kubrick’s movie Barry Lyndon.
In May 1986 they performed at Self Aid, a benefit concert held in Dublin that focused on the problem of chronic unemployment which was widespread in Ireland at that time. In 1994 they appeared in Roger Daltrey’s production, album and video of A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who.

The group have won six Grammy Awards and have been nominated eighteen times. They have also won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Genie. In 2002 they were given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the UK’s BBC Radio 2.
Two of their singles have been minor hits. Have I Told You Lately (credited to The Chieftains with Van Morrison) reached number 71 in 1995.
I Know My Love (credited to The Chieftains featuring The Corrs) reached number 37 in 2002.

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Band members

Paddy Moloney is the band’s leader, and composes or arranges most of the band’s music. While the band’s members changed numerous times in the band’s early history, the membership solidified in 1979 when Matt Molloy replaced Michael Tubridy. From then until 2002, members included:

* Paddy Moloney (uilleann pipes, tin whistle, button accordion, bodhrán)
* Matt Molloy (flute, tin whistle)
* Kevin Conneff (bodhrán, vocals)
* Seán Keane (fiddle, tin whistle)
* Martin Fay (fiddle, bones)
* Derek Bell (Irish harp, keyboard instruments, oboe)

In 2002, Fay retired from active membership and Bell died.

The front covers of the first four albums were designed by Edward Delaney.

Discography

All albums are available worldwide from www.claddaghrecords.com

* The Chieftains 1 (1963)
* The Chieftains 2 (1969)
* The Chieftains 3 (1971)
* The Chieftains 4 (1973)
* The Chieftains 5 (1975)
* The Chieftains 6: Bonaparte’s Retreat (1976)
* The Chieftains 7 (1977)
* The Chieftains Live! (1977)
* The Chieftains 8 (1978)
* The Chieftains 9: Boil the Breakfast Early (1979)
* The Chieftains 10: Cotton-Eyed Joe (1981)
* The Year of the French (1982)
* Concert Orchestra (1982)
* The Chieftains in China (1985)
* Ballad of the Irish Horse (1986)
* Celtic Wedding (1987)
* In Ireland (1987)
* Irish Heartbeat – With Van Morrison (1988)
* The Tailor Of Gloucester (1988)
* A Chieftains Celebration (1989)
* Over the Sea To Skye: The Celtic Connection – With James Galway (1990)
* Bells of Dublin (1991)
* Another Country (1992)
* An Irish Evening (1992)
* The Celtic Harp: A Tribute To Edward Bunting (1993)
* The Long Black Veil (1995)
* Film Cuts (1996)
* Santiago (1996)
* Long Journey Home (1998)
* Fire in the Kitchen (1998)
* Tears of Stone (1999)
* Water From the Well (2000)
* The Wide World Over (2002)
* Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions (2002)
* Further Down the Old Plank Road (2003)
* The Long Black Veil (2004 Mobile Fidelity Gold CD reissue)
* Live From Dublin: A Tribute To Derek Bell (2005)
* The Essential Chieftains (2006)

Former members

Other former members include:

* David Fallon (bodhrán)
* Ronnie McShane (percussion)
* Peadar Mercier (bodhrán, bones)
* Seán Potts (tin whistle, bones, bodhrán)
* Michael Tubridy (flute, concertina, and tin whistle)

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