Iris Nevins: Biography and Class Description
Iris Nevins has played extensively in the NY/NJ area since the 1970’s. She was the guitar accompanist for Irish fiddle legends Andy McGann and Johnny Cronin, and also Joe Accordion Burke and Joe Banjo Burke in the late 70’s-early 80’s Friday and Saturday nights at Tom O’Reilly’s Pub in NYC and other gigs. During that same time, she was also a member of the group “The Crooked Road”, house band at the O’Reilly’s Pub on West 31st Street in NYC. She currently co-hosts, with a revolving guest host, the monthly seisiún at the Irish American Association Of Northwest Jersey (IAANJ), and also hosts a concert series there, dating from 2005. Iris is a fingerstyle guitarist, and Celtic harper, and plays melody, accompaniment, and also composes tunes for the guitar and harp, and plays a selection of O’Carolan Harp tunes, and traditional dance tunes transposed for guitar. Her accompaniment style on both harp and guitar is a hybrid of harmony and melody, to tie in closely to the dance tunes, jigs, reels, hornpipes etc. Iris’ solo guitar CD of traditional and original fingerstyle tunes is called Celtic Guitar Dreams, and her harp and guitar CD is called String Theory. She also has another CD with melodeon player Alan Morrisroe, from Mayo and Dublin. Iris also builds her own harps, and teaches both harp and guitar. Currently she is a member of the trio, Hearts Content, along with Linda Hickman on flute and whistle, and Tom Dunne on fiddle and accordion.
Here are a few youtubes if you would like to hear my playing:
The only requirement for this class will be that you know what your strings and finger numbers are, and where the notes are, and already play at least a few simple tunes. We will do easy but beautiful tunes, and learn Irish ornamentation and phrasing and technique as well. We will cover also if the students want, the basics of session playing towards the end of the week. We can also devote one afternoon or morning to “understanding your left hand, and easily making up your own arrangements” It is not as hard as it sounds, and my students find it way easier than learning left hand arrangements for each new tune, once the basic few principles of what I call “Left Hand Tool Box” are understood. Very simple math…if you can count forwards and back to seven, you are most of the way there! Reading music is not necessary, and music with the ABC notated as well, for non-readers, will be given out at the end of each tune we learn. We will cover many different types of tunes, plus some O’Carolan. For anyone who signs up early, I can send an MP3 of many of the tunes we will be covering so you can listen and get a little familiar with them a few weeks before coming to CIAW. It is not necessary to have received this to participate in the class though, in case you did not sign up early. It is not to learn the tunes before coming, but to just listen so they may be a little familiar. Recording of the class is allowed. If you must fly or take public transport, don’t let that stop you from coming to CIAW, I have a couple of Flatsicles that can be used for the week! MUST be arranged ahead, so I know to bring them though.