James McNamara, Irish fiddle player

James McNamara

Aotearoa, New Zealand

James McNamara has been playing traditional Irish music on the fiddle for nearly 20 years. He started while a student in his hometown, Wellington, and is a regular contributor to sessions in the city. During ten years studying and working abroad, he tracked down the Irish music community in parts of Europe, Asia and North America. He loves learning and teaching tunes, and exploring the variety in traditional rhythms and repertoires. He is a keen player for dancing, gaining a wealth of experience through the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band, which he also led for a year. In 2017 he was a founding member of Vic Folk at Victoria University. Other assorted highlights have included playing at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis, the Cambridge Folk Festival, and a gala opening at Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing. With the group Silent Sessions, James has devised, performed and recorded folk music soundtracks for theatre, touring the Edinburgh Fringe in 2010, and adapting a soundtrack for The Tempest in 2016. Lately he’s been getting people up and dancing in NZ with Irish trad band Criú.