“Breathing new life into the beloved music of its homeland” – NPR
Dervish is one of the world’s most creative interpreters of Irish folk music from County Sligo, Ireland which has been described by BBC Radio 3 as “an icon of Irish music”. They were formed in 1989 by Liam Kelly, Shane Mitchell, Martin McGinley, Brian McDonagh, and Michael Holmes and have been fronted by singer Cathy Jordan since 1991. They represented Ireland in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, singing a song written by John Waters and Tommy Moran. In 2019 they released an album on the US Rounder Records label called The Great Irish Song Book featuring a selection of classic Irish songs sung by a number of well known singers including Steve Earle, Andrea Corr, Vince Gill, Kate Rusby, Imelda May, Rhiannon Giddens, The Steel Drivers, Brendan Gleeson, Abigail Washburn, and Jamey Johnson. In 2019 they received a lifetime achievement award from the BBC, a fitting tribute to the band after over 30 years of recording and performing all over the world.
Dervish marry technical brilliance with a rare sensibility, born of an understanding of the music and many years of playing together. The Irish Times said their “integrity makes the group a formidable heir to the throne abandoned by The Bothy Band, if not a serious contender for The Chieftains’ international space.” The News Journal (Delaware) described Dervish as: “The most compelling, most soulful Irish traditional folk band playing today. If you ever find yourself in the beautiful town of Sligo on the wild Atlantic way, check out the music sessions that take place in many establishments. The members of Dervish enjoy playing tunes back where it all began.