Brian Finnegan & William Coulter
Irish Flute and Guitar
Brian Finnegan and William Coulter have been touring together since they first met at the Boxwood Music Camp in Nova Scotia back in 2009. They released their first duo recording, Toward the Sun, in early July 2014. Performances on the east coast and a return trip to Nova Scotia will celebrated this new CD.
William Coulter recent recording, The Road Home, is a critically acclaimed solo project. In 2005 he was awarded a Grammy for his contribution to The Pink Guitar, a collection of solo guitar arrangements of the music of Henry Mancini.
Musical collaborations have been a mainstay of his career and have included many tours and recordings. Song for Our Ancestors, with the great classical guitar virtuoso Benjamin Verdery,Time to Sail and One Sweet Kiss, with Kerry-born Irish singer Eilis Kennedy, Simple Gifts – Music of the Shakers, with cellist Barry Phillips, Emma’s Waltz with mountain dulcimer-guru Neal Hellman, and Celtic Requiem, with Irish singer Mary McLaughlin. Since 1997, he has acted as musical director and toured nationally with A Celtic Christmas, a popular holiday show featuring the native Irish story telling of Limerick-born Tomaseen Foley. Going back to the 80’s finds William playing with Isle of Skye and Orison – followed by tours with The Coulter/Phillips Ensemble, featuring Barry and Shelley Phillips and Deby Benton Grosjean. Musical travels have taken him to places far and wide including Taiwan, England, Portugal, New York, Nova Scotia, Toronto, Oregon, Hawaii and even an occasional gig in his home town of Santa Cruz, CA.
As a teacher William maintains a classical guitar studio at the University of California at Santa Cruz, holds regular ‘DADGAD Days,’ and is busy in the summer at camps such as the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, The National Guitar Workshop, Chris Norman’s Boxwood Flute Camp, and the Rocky Mt. Fiddle Camp. His book of transcriptions Celtic Crossing, is published by Mel Bay and includes all of the music from his Gourd Music recording of the same name. Production credits include recordings for Windham Hill Records and Gourd Music and his recordings have appeared on compilations produced by the Narada label and Hearts of Space.
William earned his BA in music from UC Santa Cruz and a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory. During his classical studies he was always drawn to traditional Irish and American folk music. This led to a second Master’s degree from UCSC, earned in 1994, in ethnomusicology with an emphasis on traditional Irish music, language and song.
Brian Finnegan is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s most exciting and innovative traditional musicians, flaunting his flute and whistle with a flamboyance and flair. ‘A thrilling talent, marvelous technical dexterity, bold musical imagination and urgency, combining playing of breathtaking suppleness and delicacy.’ Scotland on Sunday. Finnegan is also acclaimed as a composer of tunes in the traditional style, amply attested to by his spectacular CD, The Ravishing Genius of Bones.