The queen of the accordion from Ireland is squeezing fresh sounds and new inspiration from a rather prim traditional instrument. Sharon Shannon has achieved legendary status through two decades of brave and exciting collaborations, not just in Irish traditional music but through the genres of hip-hop, cajun, country and classical music. Her fame has been consolidated by having recorded and toured with Bono, Sinead O'Connor, Jackson Browne, Steve Earle, The Chieftains, The Waterboys, Willie Nelson, Nigel Kennedy, Alisson Krauss and Shane MacGowan - many having featured as guests in her eight-piece Big Band. With its powerhouse rhythm section holding down the beat, roaring Hammond organ and the likes of Richie Buckley on saxophone and Dezi Donnelly on fiddle, the Big Band has highlighted Sharon's fearless writing and arranging capacity, drawing rock, funk, Cajun, blues and world music influences into the mix, topped up with jazz overtones. The Big Band complements Sharon's many other recording projects that she produces at her own Poets Corner studios outside Galway in Ireland, such as an album of traditional tunes arranged for full concert orchestra, dance collaboration with various DJs and a Number 1 hit in Ireland with the Steve Earle song The Galway Girl, recorded with Irish rock singer Mundy.
By arrangement with Seamus Finneran with the support of Culture Ireland
(Biography supplied by WOMAD New Zealand 2012)