About

The Celtic Keys Scottish and Irish Ceilidh (Ceili) Band are England’s premier band for weddings, ceili’s, barndances, concerts, corporate events and parties. All supremely accomplished musicians with multiple All -Ireland and All-Britain titles, The Celtic Keys are Colette Ni Laoire (accordion), James Smith (fiddle, caller), Pat Gallagher (guitar and vocals) and Brian O Ceallaigh(banjo/mandolin).

One of the most respected bands on the circuit for the past six years, they have performed for Sting, Her Excellence President Mary McAleese and the Latvian President at Dublin Castle, Princess Anne at the Guildhalll, Irish Ambassador Mr. David Cooney at the Irish Embassy, Mayor of London, Jasper Conran, Antonio Carluccio, Rolf Harris, Thandie Newton, and Stephen Rea to name but a few. The Celtic Keys have also played at countless Scottish and Irish weddings and corporate events both in the UK and on the Amalfi coast, Italy.

Their diverse repertoire ranges from enthralling reels, jigs, hornpipes and marches to meltingly beautiful airs and songs from Scotland and Ireland. In addition, they weave a rich tapestry of melodies from France, Galicia, Italy, Canada, Cape Breton and Louisiana with style and cosmopolitan taste. In London they have performed at the Barbican, Royal Festival Hall and Return to Camden Festival to name but a few. International appearances include L’Orient Interceltique Festival Brittany, Milwaukee Festival US. They have toured extensively throughout Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

With their driving energy and exuberance, they are guaranteed to bring any festival, concert, conference, wedding, ceili, ceilidh, barndance, event or celebration to life!

Press Release – The Celtic Keys
Described by the Scotsman in a five-star review as ‘truly something else’, The Celtic Keys unite the revered talents of accordionist Colette O’Leary, fiddler Jamie Smith and banjo and mandolin player Brian Kelly. All three musicians have a wealth of touring experience and came together as a group through north London’s ever-vibrant folk scene.

The Celtic Keys ’ ensemble synergy magically surpasses the sum of its parts, with captivating arrangements of Scottish, Irish, French, Galician, contemporary and original tunes, their playing “nothing short of sublime, the dance sets implausibly quick yet immaculately detailed, brilliantly intense yet utterly supple, silkily dovetailed in a thrilling panoply of colour, texture and taut-sprung rhythms”. (The Scotsman)

Colette’s playing is exquisite and heartfelt, honed through years of touring with the highly successful all-girl Irish folk group The Bumblebees. Together with Mary Shannon, Laoise Kelly and Liz Doherty, they enjoyed a rapturous reception wherever they played; in the UK, Europe and the US.

Jamie Smith is a well-known fiddler who emerged through the Glasgow session scene before moving to London. He founded Celtic Connections favourites Beneche before recording his solo album which received great reviews. He produced The Celtic Keys album in December 2007.

Brian Kelly has been a stalwart of the London Irish scene since he was twelve years old. He’s won multiple all-Ireland titles on banjo and mandolin and toured extensively with Shane McGowan and the Popes. His astoundingly fleet-fingered playing never fails to thrill.

The Celtic Keys are delighted to be joined for this concert by their friend, guitarist and singer Steve Burns.