"...an outstanding young fiddle player" – The Folk Diary
Rowan grew up in the foothills of the Burren on the west coast of Ireland surrounded by traditional music. Both his father, Charlie (of De Dannan) and his mother, Frances (who taught him the fiddle) were key figures in his musical development.
On moving to England, he studied classical violin and trained as a chorister (performing at Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, The Royal Albert Hall, Notre Dame etc.) before undertaking a diploma in Jazz at Trinity College of Music. He found it impossible to forsake his heritage however, and has made a successful career playing traditional music all over the world. A familiar face in ceilidh bands across the UK and a constant of the Irish session scene, he also finds time to play at folk clubs & festivals with modern folk group Georgia Lewis & Friends, who released their eponymous EP in 2014 to critical acclaim.
Rowan now plays with BBC Young Folk Awards finalist Rosie Hodgson and together they have just released Rise Aurora ("an impressive debut album...audible magic...thoroughly engaging" – fRoots)
"Rosie & Rowan are at the forefront of the modern folk scene individually; together they form a powerful partnership that will surely accelerate their rise to the top. Songs crafted of the highest quality, sensitively delivered with haunting harmonies and a cheeky smile!" – Heard And Seen
With the adoption of the rarely seen 5-string fiddle, Rowan has added what folk promoter Vic Smith describes as a “modern edge” to the traditional repertoire, and the universally admired fiddler, Ben Paley, has spoken of his versatility: “He can turn his hand to anything - sensitive accompaniment, thoughtful harmony, solid jigs, reels and hoedowns!”
Ben actually introduced Rowan to traditional Scandinavian music, and after touring to Sweden for several years on the trot, Rowan became the author of a book of Swedish Fiddle Tunes. He now plays in a Scandinavian duo with Anna Tabbush.
"Haunting ballads and dark Scandinavian fiddle tunes from two well-known voices of the British folk scene..." – Music Institute Folk Club
In 2016, Rowan founded the Causeway Céilí Band (available to hire for weddings, birthdays, corporate functions etc.) and compiled a book of Irish Céilí Tunes. Aside from tunebooks, Rowan has written articles for The Living Tradition magazine and several blogs. He also won the "Future of Young Folk Award" at Bromyard Folk Festival, and was nominated for the Molloy Award at Birmingham Tradfest – encouraging him to work on an album of his self-penned material for release in 2017...
In his downtime, Rowan occasionally gets asked to do some design/layout work. For more information, click here.