Where the Wind Meets the Water
Once in a while, America produces an exceptional artist with tremendous talent and versatility. Such an artist is Kathleen Keane. A vibrant force in traditional Irish music and beyond, she can ignite an audience with her potent combination of extraordinary music and classic beauty. MUSIC... A multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and composer, Kathleen is one of the finest exponents of the Irish community in Chicago. She was a 'child prodigy on the whistle' (Martin Hayes). Her virtuosic tin whistle playing earned her appearances in several hit movies, including 'THE ROAD TO PERDITION' (Tom Hanks) and 'BACKDRAFT' (Ron Howard). She is also 'one of the world's finest Celtic fiddlers' (Chicago Tribune), and is 'a phenomenon with that instrument' (Rambles). Her whistle and fiddle skills were also featured on the 'CINDERELLA MAN' (Russell Crowe) soundtrack. A consummate performer, she has graced stages around the world with TITANIC band, GAELIC STORM. Her explosive style and soulful brilliance led them to new heights. She composed, sang, played and arranged for their album 'Tree', earning them the # 2 position on the BILLBOARD World Music Chart. During her days in Gaelic Storm she made several TV appearances, including recurring episodes of 'Providence' and performances on 'The Roseanne Barr Show'. Kathleen resigned from Gaelic Storm after nearly three years of concert touring. As a solo artist, Kathleen collaborated on an original composition for 'Windham Hill's Celtic Christmas Silver Anniversary' album which featured a host of respected Celtic players. The track entitled 'THE LONGING', which she co-wrote, sang, produced and performed, resulted in her first # 1 record on BILLBOARD'S World Music Chart, topping the chart for nearly a month. Kathleen began her professional career in THE DROVERS where she stayed long enough to record two critically acclaimed albums. From there she was inspired to start her own group WILDING with percussionist JACKIE MORAN and guitarist DENNIS CAHILL who is renowned for his work with fiddler MARTIN HAYES. Always up for new challenges, Kathleen took the role of lead vocalist and also integrated her wooden flute and button accordian playing into the group's unique blend of traditional and contemporary music. Later on, she was selected to be the lead vocalist in a month long run of Mabou Mines' theatrical production of 'Peter and Wendy' at YALE UNIVERSITY THEATRE, which featured an all original score by Johnny Cunningham. While in Los Angeles, Kathleen worked with Eric Rigler's Celtic Fusion band, Bad Haggis and filmed a DVD with them which featured Salsa legend RUBEN BLADES. This DVD, Span, received nominations for 'Best New Artist' and 'Best Additional Features' in the 2004 SURROUND SOUND MUSIC AWARDS. Fellow nominees included the ROLLING STONES, the WHO, and the GRATEFUL DEAD! She also played bouzouki in the traditional group Clann na Gael and founded the Irish pop band Paddy's Angels. Kathleen's musical style embraces her first love of Irish music and blends fluidly into modern contexts. Testament to that is her self-titled debut solo recording which garnished lavish reviews from both the press and fans. From movie soundtracks to commercials to Grammy nominated albums, and from intimate acoustic performances to headlining world stages, Kathleen is an exceptional musician who rises to the occasion on any platform with the highest performance standard. DANCE... Kathleen's dance history is equally impressive. She is a champion Irish stepdancer, choreographer and instructor. She began her dancing career at the age of five with the Dennis Dennehy School of Irish Dancing (where Michael Flatley (Riverdance, Lord of the Dance) studied Irish dancing.) She quickly progressed over the next few years accumulating hundreds of medals and trophies, having reached the open championship level by the young age of nine, and winning the title of Midwest Regional Champion at her first regional Oireachtus. She transferred to the Flatley School of Irish Dancing, where she was privately tutored by Michael Flatley and continued her success at the competitive level, qualifying to compete at the World Championships in Ireland seven times out of seven attempts. (When she was just 10 years old, she also made her debut musical recording which also featured Michael Flatley on the flute. It was released in 1981 by the Irish Musicians' Association of Chicago and captured the vibrant Irish music scene in Chicago during that era.) When Michael quit teaching to pursue his own performance career, she continued studying with Canadian dance instructors June Butler and Ruth Garrett. Her tenth and last year of competitive dance was with the Trinity Academy of Irish Dancing. At the age of fifteen, Kathleen officially retired from the competitive stage and took a few years break from dancing as advised by her doctor due to knee injuries; however, the demand for her skills as both a teacher and performer quickly brought her back to the dance stage. She began private tutoring and also taught Irish Dance at the prestigious Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. Her performance prowess did not go unnoticed as she was asked to be the featured solo dancer with world renown Irish Musician/Scholar Mick Moloney (Green Fields of America). Her tours with Mick rekindled her love for dancing and Kathleen continues to perform as both a musician and dancer. She choreographed all of the dance numbers for Tomaseen Foley's 'A Celtic Christmas' with the UCSC Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Kathleen also obtained her TCRG, the Irish Dancing Certification awarded by An Comisiun le Rinci Gaelacha, Dublin, Ireland, landing a rare perfect score in the music portion of the exam! TRAINING... Quite an extraordinary musical and dance career from a young lady who was a Congressional Scholar and who also graduated from Dominican University as the Distinguished Senior in the Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree Program in International Business, also earning a Minor Degree in Music Performance. Music was her first calling. Even in her earlier years, Kathleen was quite ambitious having opened The Keane Academy of Irish Music when she was only 16 years old. It quickly became the premier school of it's kind in the Chicagoland area. She was happy to be giving back to the community some of the teaching she had received from her mentors Liz Carroll and Mary Mayer. She quickly led her students into winning Regional Championships and qualifying for the World Championships in Ireland. Kathleen herself garnered numerous American and International awards, having achieved top three status in the world championships on both the tin whistle and the flute. While in LA, she also attended the Holmes Center for Hypnotherapy where she was inspired to pursue her Hypnotherapy Certification. ACTING... Kathleen's quest for new musical opportunities and challenges inspired her to move to the sunny shores of California. She spent four years in LA where she immediately became an integral part of the music scene both as a stage performer, studio recording musician and actress. As an offshoot, she studied acting with Lesly Kahn, Stuart Robertson and the esteemed Howard Fine and was represented by the prestigious LEVIN AGENCY of Beverly Hills. Back here in Chicago she is represented by bmgTalent. KATHLEEN'S NEW BAND TANTRUM...TANTRUM is America's new trad-influenced power sextet. The group features Kathleen on vocals, fiddle, whistles, and chair dancing. Sharing fronting duties with Kathleen is Irish button accordianist and singer, Declan Fahy who hails from County Galway, Ireland. Declan's passionate interpretations of tunes blend fluidly with longtime musical collaborator, Patrick Quinn, a multi-instrumentalist (banjo, flute, whistles, mandolin) from Cleveland, Ohio. Tantrum's melody trio is rounded off with a rotating rhythm section including Dennis Cahill, (Martin Hayes), Grammy award winning guitarist, William Coulter from Santa Cruz, California, songwriter Jimmy Moore (Merle Haggard, Chet Atkins) from Kilkenny, Ireland on bass and Jackie Moran (Trinity Dance Company, Riverdance), our leading trad percussionist on this side of the pond originally from Tipperary, Ireland. Powerful instrumentals, soulful songs and wicked audience involved chair dancing makes this the Midwest based band not to be missed. Whatever Kathleen Keane encounters, she will undoubtedly meet with unbridled enthusiasm and astonishing success.