Liz Carroll, the Irish fiddler and composer, has been thinking lately of the path her musical life has taken. It’s been a road rich in traveling companions, with inspiration from stops along the way. And now, with Half Day Road, her new duet album with guitarist and pianist Jake Charron, just released, there will be new destinations in 2019.
Since she was 18, when she astounded the Celtic music world by winning the Senior All-Ireland Championship, Liz and her fiddle have been amazing audiences around the globe. She has been honored with many accolades, including a nomination for a 2010 Grammy, with John Doyle, for their duet album, Double Play. In April of 2011, Liz was awarded the Cumadóir TG4, the first American-born composer honored with Ireland’s most significant traditional music prize.
Liz’s recordings are in the majority her own compositions, and they have given her a stature equal to that of her playing. When you listen to a Liz album, you’re hearing the music of a composer celebrated for invigorating the traditional styles of Irish music. Her tunes have entered into the repertoire of Irish and Celtic performers throughout the world.
2016 saw the release of a new collaborative album, produced as companion music to an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago – Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840 – The Music. A mix of period music and new compositions by Liz, Daniel Neely of the Irish Echo praised it, saying “It is a breathtaking companion piece… a spectacular album. It features a beautiful mixture of old and new music from one of the most elite gatherings of musicians.”
Liz’s 2013 solo recording, On the Offbeat, is another collection of original compositions – of the 24 tunes on the album, 23 are hers. Produced by Seamus Egan of Solas, Offbeat has been greatly praised, including by Siobhan Long of The Irish Times: “… [a] magnificent collection of original, self-composed tunes. … a wide arc of a celebration of quirky, non-conformist rhythms, which revel as much in the powder-keg unpredictability of the Balkans as they do in the buoyant agility of the Sligo style.”
Liz published a book of her compositions in 2010. Collected compiles the music that she began composing when just a child. Now in its second printing,Collected is what Liz’s fans and fellow musicians have been clamoring for – for years.
It’s these tunes, as well as Liz’s vital performances on concert stages, television and radio, that have established her as one of traditional music’s most sought after performers. Neil Tesser of the Chicago Reader marvels that “her quicksilver lines can captivate violin admirers way beyond the bounds of Hibernia.” P.J. Curtis of the Irish American says that Liz “conjures up a dizzying mixture of the sweetest tones, the fastest runs, and the most dazzling display of musicianship imaginable.” One of Liz’s proudest concert moments was at the 1st American Congress of the Violin, hosted by Yehudi Menuhin.
In 1994, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Liz a National Heritage Fellowship for her great influence on Irish music in America, as a performer and a composer. First Lady Hillary Clinton presented the award which bestows national recognition on artists of international stature.
Instructor – Fiddle | Recipient of the Irish Artist in America Achievement Award
2005, 2011, 2017