Eileen Ivers Print E-mail

Eileen IversTo Billboard magazine she is "a sensation" and according to the New York Times, Eileen Ivers is "the Jimi Hendrix of the violin."  Ask Eileen and she'll describe what she plays as fiddle, having been nine times named All-Ireland Fiddle Champion.  No matter, as in either style, she will certainly change the way you think about the instrument.  Eileen Ivers grew up in the culturally diverse neighborhood of the Bronx, NY and became intrigued by the multicultural mix that soundtracked her childhood.  Her own artistic journey showcases how Irish music has integrated with other ethnic traditions as she creates the rhythmic and melodic cross-fertilization of Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul.  Here are 20 Questions for...Eileen Ivers.

1. Earliest music memory.

Recently an uncle in Ireland mentioned this - and I also have this vague memory - of going around our Bronx apartment with a pink plastic guitar and wooden spoon playing some sort of 'violin.'

2. First instrument. 


3. Favorite albums in your collection.  Do you have a top ten?

I don't really have a top 10, but some favorites are:
Bothy Band, "Afterhours"
Planxty, "After the Break"
Miles Davis, "Kind of Blue"
John Coltrane, "Love Supreme"
Stephane Grappelli, "Verve Jazz Masters 11"
The Police, "Synchronicity"
U2, "War"
Paul Simon, "Graceland"
Thelonious Monk, "The Essential Thelonious Monk"
Juan Manuel Canizares, "Noches de Iman y Luna"

4. Apart from your own shows, do you attend live gigs?  Where?

There are a few great spots around our home in NY for checking out live gigs.  Some favorites are clubs "The Turning Point" and "The Blue Note".  Of course, the local Irish session is always a blast!

5. Major live music experience (artist, venue, whatever).

Chick Corea at the Blue Note. Beautiful.

6. Musical hero you'd most like to meet.

Perhaps in a session in heaven‚ I would love to have a chat with Bach!

7. Emerging artist(s) to grab your attention lately.

Millish‚ a wonderful Michigan based band.
Adele‚ British soul singer.

8. Surprise us - other music genres you're drawn to.

Drawn to a lot, as long as it's honest and good.

9. And those you avoid.

Gangsta rap!

10. Guilty musical pleasures.

Attempting ceili band drumming during sound check. Love it!

11. Album title you wish you'd thought of first.

Because of my tendency of breaking bow hairs, a friend of mine thought I should have named one of my albums, "The Horse She Bowed In On"

12. Best way to discover new music.

Spending time with my 19 year old niece Kia and her friends.

13. Do you watch music DVDs?

Yes. One of my favorites is the U2 classic, "Under a Blood Red Sky."

15. Your all-time any-genre dream band line-up would include:

What a fun question!
Chick Corea, piano; Bakithi Kumalo, fretless bass; Canizares, guitar; Steve Gadd, drums; Robbie Harris, bodhran; Mayra Casales, percussion; John McSherry, pipes; and if Aretha or Gladys are around they could also sit in!

16. Your music: are you currently working on something in the studio?

Yes. We are in the middle of recording the next record, "Beyond the Bog Road."

17. Your shows: upcoming gig/festival you're most excited about:

Always the next one.

18. Your shows: all-time favorite festival/performance.

I still get chills when I look back on a performance we did with the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center in D.C.  During one of the medleys, I asked my father-in-law, Barney Mulligan, to recite his poem, "My American Wake‚" which tells of the leaving of one's beloved homeland.  It really impacted me to see this wonderful 85 year old family member share his honest story in this magnificent hall to cheers from the crowd.

19. What might you be doing today if you hadn't become a musician?

I never dreamt of a career as a musician although I'm glad things went that way.  My dream was to one day work for NASA.

20. At the gates of heaven they will be playing:

"I Hear You Knocking (But You Can't Come In)"

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