The group consists of brothers Aongus, Seathrún, Ciarán, Fionntán, Feargus, and Odhrán. The brothers’ music has attracted worldwide attention and brought them to audiences from Togoland in West Africa to Carnegie Hall in New York.
Their father who was a church choirmaster instilled his love of music, and Gaelic music in particular in he family from a very young age.
Music instruction was woven through the boys’ childhood. Piano or fiddle was introduced first, followed by other instruments that included whistles and pipes, bodhrán, and guitar.
The home atmosphere that created a love of music and learning also implanted the idea that music is a social pursuit meant to bring pleasure to both the audience and the players.
All of the Casaidigh brothers contribute to the group’s lush harmonies. In addition, each plays several instruments. Odhrán studied the violin in Dublin, Vienna, and Manchester. He went on to play classical concertos with a number of orchestras.
He is also accomplished on the uilleann pipes. Seathrún, who gave up his desire to work as a professional harpsichordist, plays piano, guitar, a number of different flutes, and bouzouki. Feargus plays bodhrán and rhythm guitar, while Aongus plays viola and fiddle.
Ciarán is the group’s accordionist and bassist, and also plays the synthesizer. Fionntán plays mandolin and fiddle.
The group has toured throughout the United States, including stops in New York at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Radio City Music Hall. The brothers have received warm welcomes at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and from the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
In West Africa, they appeared at the celebration held to mark the Lome Convention’s signing by the European Union. On the trip out of Africa, as their airplane soared over the Sahara, the EU Commission’s president requested some songs from the brothers. The impromptu performance turned into an intimate but long concert at 33,000 feet.
They perform classic Irish songs, such as “Bó na Leathadhairce”, “Báidín Fheilimí”, “Peigí Leitir Móir” and “Beidh Aonach Amárach”. They also added a rock-twist to their music on their more recent albums.
Na Casaidigh will be joined by the next generation, Na Casaidigh Oga, as well as the Busketeers for a celebration of their music, at the Cabaret Craiceailte, Tigh Hiudai, An Bun Beag, this Saturday, June 25, Tigh Hiudai, An Bun Beag, starting at 9.30pm.