Eilís Kennedy was born and raised in the heart of West Kerry, Ireland, 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 Gaelic singing, instilling in her a knowledge and appreciation for the emotion and stories associated with the tradition. As well as being recognized as one of Ireland’s foremost folk singers, Eilis plays whistle and Irish flute and is a fluent Gaelic speaker
Éilís began at singing sessions in Dingle, where she and her husband run John Benny’s Pub. As a result of the melting pot of musicians and singers passing through and settling in the area, Eiílís recorded her first CD Time to Sailin 2000, with guitarist William Coulter, to widespread critical acclaim. This was followed by One Sweet Kiss and by many more recordings. In 2007, along with composer Shaun Davey, Rita Connolly, Seamus Begley, Jim Murray, Eoin O Beaglaoich & Dáithí Ó Sé, she was part of Béal Tuinne, a 15-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 these 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.
Éilís formed Lumiere with fellow West Kerry musician Pauline Scanlon in 2009, on discovering a shared interest in and love of song and the experience of duo singing. Together they have recorded two albums :Lumiere and My Dearest Dear and have toured Ireland, Australia, the US, and Europe. They were the subject of a documentary Ar Thóir an Cheóil and have received much praise for their spirited performances worldwide, from Dublin’s National Concert Hall to London’s Barbican, from Melbourne Recital Hall to Carnegie Hall in New York.
Eilís has just completed her third solo recording Westwardwith her friend and Grammy award-winning guitarist William Coulter. Éilís’ love of teaching, also passed on from her family, have led to many opportunities to share her gifts in workshops in Ireland and in the USA.
Instructor – Singing