Boston based Uilleann piper Joey Abarta and fiddler Nathan Gourley are two of America’s great young trad musicians, who have been playing music together daily since 2013. Their debut duo album, Copley Street, featuring Owen Marshall on Greek bouzouki, has an undeniable chemistry and demonstrates a nuanced understanding of each the other's playing. Their music includes offbeat settings of well-known tunes and beautiful pieces that seem to languish in obscurity. "Copley Street" is a wonderful album from two stunning young players that adds to Boston’s rich history of traditional Irish music.
Joey Abarta has spent the last sixteen years touring North America, Europe, and Asia, teaching and performing music on the uilleann pipes, the irish bagpipe. A Los Angeles native, he first received instruction on the pipes from Dubliner Pat D’Arcy, a founding member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club.
His musical skills have been further honed by several visits to Ireland, a year-long stint working in Japan, and continuing relationships with master pipers. In August of 2009, Joey’s accomplished playing won him an All-Ireland championship, placing second worldwide at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. In the fall of 2014 Joey became the first American uilleann piper to win first prize at the An tOireachtas, one of the biggest competitions for traditional music in the world. In 2015 Joey was honored to be a recipient of a traditional arts apprenticeship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council meaning he was awarded a grant to teach his art to the next generation.
Currently based in Boston, Joey divides his attention between performance, teaching, and recording. In addition to performing solo, he performs with Nathan Gourley of “Life is all Checkered” fame and had toured with Mick Moloney and the group The Green Fields of America; while at home, he organizes the meetings of the Boston Pipers Club, teaches for Comhaltas’ Boston Music School, and organizes various traditional music concerts and events.
A former member of Chulrua, the Doon Ceili Band, the Two Tap Trio, and the Máirtín de Cógáin Project, fiddler and guitarist Nathan Gourley started playing music at age five. While living in Minnesota he collaborated with such renowned players as Paddy O’Brien of Chulrua, Daithi Sproule of Altan, Brian Miller of Bua, and Norah Rendell of The Outside Track. Since moving to Boston in 2013 he released a critically acclaimed album, "Life is all Checkered" with Laura Feddersen, and has toured with John Blake and Mairead Hurley as "The Truckley Howl." He was a finalist in the Sean O Riada fiddle competition in 2014 and winner of Boston’s Fiddler of Dooney competition in 2013. Nathan can be seen playing at concerts, ceilis, sessions and festivals in Boston and throughout the United States and Ireland.