About the musicians

Desi Wilkinson is one of the leading exponents of the traditional Irish flute ("the timber flute") and a fine singer, to boot. Desi has recorded 4 albums with Cran, his primary musical group, and 2 solo albums as well. Originally from Belfast, Desi has worked and toured with most of the best-known musicians and groups on the traditional Irish music scene, like De Dannan, Donal Lunny, Liam O'Flynn, Mairtin O'Connor and Andy Irvine. He has toured the U.S.A. as guest star with De Dannan and has arranged and performed music for the theatre. From 1992 - 1994 he lived in Brittany, learning, playing and studying Breton music. Desi, who speaks French fluently, currently teaches at ICMUS, University of Newcastle.

Lena Ullman was introduced to the five-string banjo and American old-time music as a teenager in Sweden. Living in Ireland since the late-70's, she played clawhammer style with The Higglers, an old-time stringband which performed throughout Ireland and Europe. Later she applied the clawhammer banjo style to traditional Irish music and began to compose original music on the instrument. She now sings and plays in Moonshine, with Frank Hall and Johnny Moynihan. She is currently producing a CD of her original music.

Dermot Byrne, TG4's Traditional Musician of the Year 2013, hails from Buncrana in the Inishowen peninsula of Donegal, and has played accordion since a very young age having learned from his father. Meeting all the greats of Donegal music, including Johnny Doherty, Con Cassidy and Tommy Peoples, Danny Meehan and many more made a great impact on the young Dermot, who went on to develop a unique style. His seemingly effortless playing, combined with great subtlety, and a faultless ear, makes him one of the great accordion players of his generation. As well as his mastery of the Donegal style and repertoire, Dermot can turn with ease to other styles and traditions such as French musette, or South American choro music. He guested on two Altan recordings The Red Crow and Island Angel before joining the band in 1994.

Mairtin O'Connor began playing the accordion at the age of nine, and his remarkable career has seen him as a member of many of traditional music's leading groups including, Midnight Well, De Dannan, The Boys of the Lough, and Skylark. Mairtin's infectious and irresistible style and constantly growing status has kept him very busy also as a session musician on recordings by many national and international musicians such as Rod Stewart, Elvis Costello, Mark Knofler, Tanita Tikaram, Townes Van Zandt, Chieftains, the Dubliners, Davy Spillane, Maire Brennan, the Waterboys... in 1995 Mairtin became the first recipient of the Allied Irish Banks, Traditional Musician of the Year.

Frank Hall, from Indiana learned to play old-time fiddle for square dancing in his home town, Bloomington. Branching out into performing bands, he has played with The Indiana Raincrows, Easy Street Stringband, Rhythm in Shoes, and The Monks. He has recorded five albums, including one with Moonshine, based in Ireland. His career has included American forms of step-dancing, square dance calling, as well as an academic study of competitive Irish dancing. He currently resides in Kinvara, Co. Galway.