Regarded as one of the most influential musicians in his genre, Martin Hayes brings his fiddle back to Celtic Connections. With a soulful interpretation of traditional Irish music, Hayes and his latest project, The Common Ground Ensemble, perform songs from the 2023 album Peggy’s Dream.
Collectively, his assembled ensemble, comprising Cormac McCarthy (piano), Kate Ellis (cello), Kyle Sanna (guitar), and Brian Donnellan (bouzouki/ harmonium/ oncertina), possess an otherworldly wealth of talent, all with roots in traditional Irish music — hence the name “The Common Ground”. However, they also masterfully weave together jazz improvisation, avant-garde arrangement, and cutting-edge contemporary classical, all led by Hayes’ unerring musical vision.
Support comes from Tern, a multinational five-piece band named after the migrating bird of the Nordic regions. 2023’s Danny Kyle Open Stage Finalists, Tern crafts contemporary arrangements of traditional and original material, drawing on the music of Shetland, Mainland Scotland, and Scandinavia.