Fire & Grace & Kennedy is an eclectic collaboration between American guitarist William Coulter, Canadian violinist Edwin Huizinga, and Irish singer Éilís Kennedy. This unique trio explores the musical elements of classical, traditional and contemporary music and songs. The repertoire is vast, ranging from Bach to Vivaldi, sean nos songs in Irish to original songs in English, tango to trad, Bulgarian to American fiddle tunes and waltzes, all played and sung with a sense of discovery and commitment to the elements of passion and virtuosity found in these diverse traditions. In October of 2017 Fire & Grace & Kennedy performed in Ireland at venues including the Dingle Folk Festival, The Seamus Ennis Arts Center, St John’s Art Center in Listowel, and Campbell’s Tavern in Cloughanover
Eilís Kennedy was born and raised in the heart of West Kerry, to parents who passed on a lifelong and committed interest in the poetry and songs of that region. She has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to listen to many of the finest exponents of song in her locality. The emotion and stories associated with Gaelic singing thus informed her love of song. Éilís plays whistle and Irish flute and is a fluent Gaelic speaker. Her three solo albums have featured William Coulter on guitar and they have worked together on music projects and tours, most recently with violinist Edwin Huizinga. Her latest solo album Westward was released to critical acclaim in December 2016 and led to Eílís being awarded Live Ireland’s Female Vocalist of the Year 2018.
In 2007, she was part of Béal Tuinne, a song cycle, based on her own father Caoimhín Ó Cinnéide’s poems and set to original music by Shaun Davey. This experience was a pivotal one for Eilís, leading to many opportunities working with world-renowned musicians and singers. The common thread was a sense of place, and a pride in the undeniable magic of the music and singing in West Kerry.
In the band Lumiere, Eilís, with Pauline Scanlon, toured Ireland, Australia, the USA and Europe, including performances at Dublin’s National Concert Hall, London’s, Barbican, Melbourne Recital Hall and the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York.
“ A fresh faced, wide horizoned beauty” – The Irish Times –
“A singer completely at home with her material and environment .. a subtle gem” – fRoots UK –
Here’s a cut, Pé in Eirinn Í, from Eílís’s latest album, Westward: