Already establishing a truly distinctive and increasingly popular singing style in the world of traditional Irish music Annmarie O’Riordan hails from the wonderfully picturesque Rathcoole area some three miles east of Millstreet, Co. Cork in the renowned Barony of Duhallow.
When encouraged by her inspiring Teacher, Mrs. Sheila Healy at Rathcoole N.S. to participate in the mid 1990s at Millstreet Féile Cheoil her rendition of “Teid? Beag Álainn” was enthusiastically received.
As a seven year old Annmarie joined the Millstreet branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóir? Éireann and took part in many Feiseanna winning her first County Medal at Freemount. While she enjoyed participating in the various cultural competitions her heartfelt desire to sing just for the love of singing led her away from competitions focusing more on exploring the songs she enjoyed most and loved to share these with appreciative listeners. Annmarie is also a dedicated member of Dromagh Church Choir.
Annmarie recorded her first song as a 12 year old on CCÉ’s CD “Down Erin’s Lovely Lee” in 2001. Her rendition on the CD of “Pádraig Óg Mo Chro?” proved to be most popular.
When as a Student in Millstreet Community School she was encouraged by her parents, Humphrey and Eileen and indeed her Grandparents, Dan Joe and Mary Creedon, to record four songs this developed into the recording of a full CD of sixteen tracks at Startrax Studio in Knocknagree under the very helpful direction of Leo Fitzgerald. At 14 years of age Annmarie had recorded her first CD. Entitled “Harmony Handed Down” it proved to be hugely popular and received airplay not only on local but also on national radio. It is even now heard on international radio from America to Australia.
By 2005, at the age of 16, Annmarie had produced her second much anticipated CD also at the renowned Startrax Studio. Entitled “Melody in Harmony” there was an even greater response to this very fine collection of songs which included the atmospherically reflective Cooraclare and “This Story I Tell you is True”.
By September 2008 Annmarie was a Student in University College Cork and due to popular demand recorded her third album. Recorded at Sonas Studios in Killarney by the multi-talented Tony O’Flaherty Annmarie’s latest and hugely sought after CD entitled “Ireland – Love of My Heart” is receiving remarkable acclaim and can be heard on radio stations worldwide. Her superb backing group includes Tony O’Flaherty (playing a vast variety of instruments), Brendan O’Sullivan (on fiddle and viola) and Seán Hickey (on button accordion).
Annmarie performed her first concert on the 5th July 2009 in the renowned Royal Theatre in Castlebar to celebrate the launch of her latest album release “Ireland-Love of my Heart” which proved hugely successful.
Chosen as the nation’s Best Newcomer Horizon Award winner at the highly prestigious Irish Music Awards announced at the World Fleadh held in the Royal Theatre, Castlebar in August 2009 Annmarie is certainly entering an even more famous level of her singing career.
Her truly splendid Solo Concert with her splendid Backing Group at the Glen Theatre, Banteer in September 2009 was utterly spectacular. Privileged indeed were those who were in the audience on the night … and there was a capacity attendance … especially experiencing not only Annmarie’s beautiful singing voice but her very wonderful unique rapport with her home audience. This is certainly but the beginning of such amazing Concerts with tours planned and undoubtedly her special ambition to sing in Carnegie Hall in New York will be realised in the not-too-distant-future!
Although Annmarie indicates that there have been many musical influences in her life it is Dolores Keane who has been the main source of inspiration and, clearly, their singing styles are not dissimilar. In years to come many other talented singers will be regarding Annmarie as their main musical influence.
Almost weekly, Donncha Ó Dúlaing has featured tracks from Annmarie’s CDs in his ever popular national radio programme on RTÉ1 Radio every Saturday night “Fáilte Isteach”. This is but one clear indication of her great popularity.
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