At the end of 2019 Dervish received a prestigious lifetime achievement award from the BBC who described them as “an icon of Irish music”. They have a line-up which includes some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians, fronted by one of the country’s best-known singers, Cathy Jordan.
They are long-established as one of the biggest names in Irish music internationally. They’re renowned for live performances, which match dazzling sets of tunes with stunning interpretations of traditional songs. Their studio and live albums – 13 to date – make up one of the outstanding catalogues in Irish music.
All six members of Dervish are steeped in the musical traditions of counties Sligo and Leitrim in north-west Ireland. It’s an area which matches Atlantic coastline with storied mountains and rural landscapes. It has inspired a host of musicians, artists and writers, including the Nobel Prize-winning poet W. B. Yeats.
Dervish were formed in 1989 when four of the founding members met while playing informal sessions in the pubs of Sligo. – Shane Mitchell (accordion), Liam Kelly (flute/whistle), Brian McDonagh (mandola/mandolin) and Michael Holmes (bouzouki). They were soon joined by Roscommon born singer and bodhran player Cathy Jordan, and later by all Ireland Fiddle Champion Tom Morrow in 1998.
“Dervish are simply brilliant, they carry Irish history with them.”
“capable of playing with note-perfect accuracy and perfect control at nearly supersonic levels”
Irish Voice, New York
“integrity makes the group a formidable heir to the throne abandoned by The Bothy Band, if not a serious contender for The Chieftains’ international space.”
The Irish Times
“The most compelling, most soulful Irish traditional folk band playing today"
The News Journal (Delaware)