Fiddle Uilleann pipes Fiddle & guitar

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 Band & Instruments

Craig Heilman (uilleann pipes, tin whistle, bodhran)

Craig first caught the "celtic" music bug on a trip to the UK back in 1997. In the small of village of Pitlochry, Scotland, he and his wife attended a local ceilidh and danced the night away with the locals to a fantastic live band. After a trip to Ireland in 1999, where they attended local pub sessions every night and where he purchased his first bodhran and tin whistle, he's never looked back. After starting on the bodhran and continuing with the tin whistle, Craig took up the uilleann pipes in 2004. He still considers himself very much a student on this instrument which is incredibly difficult to master (the standard line is that it takes at least 21 years). Craig has attended many regional workshops and taken lessons from such Irish music luminaries as Joanie Madden (Cherish the Ladies), Stephen Matier (Different Drums), Jimmie O'Brien-Moran and Paddy Keenan (Bothy Band). He currently teaches tin whistle and repertoire classes through the UW-Madison Dept. of Continuing Education.

Paul Martens (fiddle, guitar, bodhran)

Paul's first exposure to Irish traditional music first happened in 1997 while attending Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Over the next nine years while continuing to live in Bloomington Paul attended weekly music sessions held by Grey Larsen(flute) and Jamie Gans(fiddle). Eventually Paul met fiddle player Tom Sparks with whom he began to study Irish fiddle playing. Over the last few years Paul has had lessons and attended workshops with other great players like:" Tommy Peoples, Randall Bays and John Carty. Paul moved to Madison in 2006 where he met Kevin and Craig while playing at sessions around the Madison area. Paul teaches fiddle and guitar at the Madison Music Foundry."

Jeff Schirmer (guitar)

Jeff is the most recent addition to the band.

Kevin Wissink (fiddle)

Kevin discovered a local Appalachian-style dance group in his college days, and first played 5-string banjo and mandolin before picking up fiddle. After moving to Madison, WI he took his first lessons in Irish-style fiddle playing under Martin Dowling (now living in Belfast), while also playing American-style fiddle tunes at sessions and contra dances. Since then he makes an annual pilgrimage to the Milwaukee Irish Fest and has had Irish fiddle classes and private lessons with James Kelly, Randall Bays, Tommy Peoples, Liz Carrol, and Maire O'Keefe. Locally, he has studied under Alan Ng and Ed Paloucek, and has been a musician for the children's stepdance competitions at the Badger State Feis, Cream City Feis, and the Madison Feis. Kevin plays a violin restored by band-member Paul Martens.