With Fleadh Cheoil coming to a close today I thought I would feature a singer who is sure to lift your spirits. Karen Casey who was born in Kilmeaden in county Waterford now lives in Jade’s home county of Cork. Karen was always encouraged to sing as a child and sang in the church choir and in school. Karen studied piano at Waterford Regional Technical College and later went on to study music at University College Dublin. As a student she learned to copy the scat singing of Ella Fitzgerald and performed in a bistro several nights a week. She also studied classical music at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and performed in a Jazz band. It was only when she moved to New York and attended Irish traditional music sessions there did she start to sing traditional Irish songs again. Karen has recorded several solo albums as well as being a member of the group Solas in her early years she also formed a group called Dorothy. She has had her music featured in the film Absolutely Irish and has collaborated with other vocalists on “Seal Maiden” a Celtic musical based on the mythical creature called the Shelkie or seal woman. In 1997 Karen recorded Songlines an album which was inspired by a novel of the same name by Bruce Chatwin.
Karen is married to Irish concertina player Niall Vallely. Together they set up Crow Valley Music in order to release Karen’s music independently .