Armagh-born Niall Vallely has established himself in recent years as one of the most original and distinctive voices in Irish music. A former member of Cork-based band NOMOS, he has been acclaimed throughout the world as one of Ireland’s greatest concertina players. Niall began learning the concertina at the age of seven, taught by his parents Brian and Eithne Vallely, founders of the Armagh Pipers’ Club, and over the years he has developed a unique approach to playing the instrument.
A resident of Cork since 1988, Niall completed a degree in music at U.C.C. in 1992. As a student he was involved in various musical projects with composer/pianist Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin.
In 1992 Niall was featured on the highly acclaimed BBC/RTE television series ’A River of Sound’, and had a track included on the Virgin album and BBC video that accompanied the series. In 1990 Niall formed NOMOS who went on to become internationally recognised as one of the most important Irish bands of recent times. They recorded two critically acclaimed albums, before splitting up in 2000.
In more recent years Niall has been performing in a solo capacity and with musicians such as Karan Casey, Tim O’Brien,
Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Paddy Keenan, Mel Mercier, and others. In 1999 he released his debut solo album, BEYOND WORDS, and in 2003“Callan Bridge”
(Compass Records) with his brother Cillian on pipes.
Paul grew up and started learning Irish music in Manchester in the midst of a flourishing scene which also produced the likes of Mike McGoldrick and Dezi Donnelly. In his early teens Paul moved back to Middletown, County Armagh with his family. He quickly established himself as a rising star on the banjo, while more recently spending a lot of time on the guitar.
He spent a few years living in Cork City where he became a member of the highly acclaimed North Cregg, with whom he recorded three albums. He has also spent a number of years touring and recording with Dorsa and the Karan Casey Band. He is currently a member of one of Ireland’s foremost traditional bands, Lunasa. In recent years Paul has also appeared on stage with the likes of Altan, At the Racket, Paddy Keenan, Tommy Peoples and Liz Carroll.
Like his older brother, Niall, CaoimhÃn grew up in Armagh and began tin whistle lessons at the Armagh Pipers Club before moving on to learn the fiddle. He also started classical piano lessons at this time. On leaving school he went to University College Cork to study music. From there he moved on to the University of Limerick where he studied for an M.A. in Traditional Music Performance.
He has played and recorded with many different bands and individuals over the past ten years including North Cregg, Upstairs in a Tent (along with Brian Finnegan now of Flook, and Kathryn Tickell), Nomos, The Karan Casey Band, Alan Kelly, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and Mel Mercier, Barry Kerr, and Martin Meehan. In late 2005, he released his debut solo piano album, entitled “Strayaway”.