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Biography
Origin:
Gaoth Dobhair, Ireland
Decades:
1986-present

Altan are an Irish folk music group, who formed in County Donegal in 1987.. They have sold millions of records worldwide.Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh is the band's lead vocalist and fiddler. Frankie Kennedy, as a young musician from Belfast, used to travel to County Donegal in his summer holidays, learning Irish and playing traditional Irish music. There he met native Irish-speaker and musician Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, the daughter of famed musician Proinsias Ó Maonaigh from Gweedore, County Donegal. Ní Mhaonaigh learned the Donegal-style of fiddle-playing from her father, however, Donegal music was little known outside of the county at the time. Kennedy's repertoire included a number of obscure northern flute tunes drawn from his travels in County Tyrone and County Fermanagh. The pair married in 1981. Ní Mhaonaigh and Kennedy featured on the first three albums of the well-known Belfast singer and Irish language enthusiast Albert Fry. Two years later they made their first album together, Ceol Aduaidh. This record featured a then un-known musician from Gweedore, Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, now known as Enya. It was a collection of Gaelic songs and Ulster jigs and reels.

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