Gary was born and raised in the small village of Spean Bridge in the Scottish Highlands. He picked up an accordion for the first time at the age of 8 because he wanted to be more like the number one hero in his life: his Dad.
Gary released his first solo album 'How’s the Craic' in 2005 and has since released multiple collaborative albums with Ewan Robertson (Breabach), all-accordion band Box Club as well as the three albums he has recorded with Mànran.
Having played music professionally since 2003, Gary is no stranger to the world of music and as the newly appointed BBC Radio Scotland presenter for the iconic music show, ‘Take the Floor’ he is becoming further integrated into the Scottish music scene.
The most recent success story in Gary’s expansive career has been the release of his second solo album ERA. Launched at Celtic Connections 2017, ERA has received critical acclaim from media outlets with Tim Carroll writing, “ERA is more than one man’s reflection, it’s a view into the world of a master at work.”
Gary is an ex-Scottish Shinty captain and Internationalist and has won the Camanachd Cup final with his beloved team Fort William on no less than 5 occasions. Within his shinty career Gary is one of the very few people fortunate enough to hold every senior medal in the sport. Now, in his twilight years in the sport, Gary is more often seen in the commentator’s box covering the main fixtures on the shinty calendar for the BBC.
Ewen Henderson hails from Lochaber in the West Highlands of Scotland and has been naturally steeped in the traditional music and Gaelic culture of the area from an early age. Ewen started learning the fiddle at five years of age and has since then mastered an impressive array of instruments, having had the privilege of learning from many of the true masters of West Highland traditional music - Aonghas Grant Snr. on fiddle most notably - whilst also being influenced by his strong family musical heritage.
Though most commonly found performing with Mànran (the band he co-founded in 2010), Ewen has also been fortunate enough to play all over the world with a host of top Scottish and global cross-genre artists including the world-renowned Battlefield Band, with whom he toured for several years, and the World Music pioneers the Afro-Celt Sound System.
Over the last few years, Henderson has amassed a great variety of professional recognition and awards including five Scots Trad Music Awards in five years and the MacDonald of Sleat Prize for Gaelic poetry. When not touring and performing live, Ewen is in demand as a session musician, has composed soundtracks for film and television, and has recently enjoyed working as musical director of live concerts and television series.
Ross’ musical career began at age 10 after an impromptu ‘listening test’ in primary school resulted in 7 years of classical violin and piano lessons.
Although classical training had a crucial effect on his musical learning, it didn’t come with a ‘cool factor’ attached to it and as a result his hunger for learning the guitar took hold. However, there was a slight issue. Every 13 year old boy wants to play guitar when they start a band at high school; but who’s going to play bass?
Horrified by the prospect of ‘only 4 strings’ and root notes to play, he wasn’t keen to say the least, but thankfully a chance event occurred. The drummer in his first band decided it was time to show him the most important musical clip of his life; a video of John Entwistle from ‘The Who’ playing his infamous bass solo in their hit ‘My Generation’. Having just witnessed the ‘coolest’ thing he’d ever seen in rock, he started to beg his parents for a 4 string bass on a daily basis.
Despite being so fortunate to obtain a decent musical education from an early age, music had always been a major priority in Ross’ life thanks to his father David’s impressively eclectic taste in bands. Through David’s endless musical boot camps, Ross incorporated many styles into his own playing; everything from progressive rock, to Scandinavian nu-jazz, to 70’s P-funk.
Upon finishing high school and earning a place on Strathclyde University’s B.A. Applied Music course, Ross began to focus his efforts solely on bass guitar and audio production as endless projects of varying genre were beginning to pour in. The course also graced its students with an extensive network of musicians from all backgrounds, stretching from Classical to Folk.
Ross graduated from the B.A. Applied Music Course with Honours in 2005 specialising in bass guitar and recording and sound production. However, that was merely the beginning of his musical journey…
As of 2010 Ross has performed with many Scottish acts including ‘The Bluebells’, ‘Lou Hickey’, ‘Eoghan Colgan’, ‘Skerryvore’, ‘The Easy Orchestra’, ‘Federation of the Disco Pimp’, to name but a few. Through these projects he has supported the likes of ‘Martha Wainwright’, ‘Edwin Collins’, ‘The Cat
Empire’, ‘Nizlopi’ and ‘Imelda May’.
Ross also mixed Griogair Labhruidh and Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhride’ s album ‘ Guaillibh ‘a Chéile ‘ in 2010 and The Red Hot Chilli Pipers latest album 'Octane' in 2016.
‘How does he do it?’-Seán Laffey (Reviewing Cara’s Album, Long Distance Love), Irish Music Magazine, 2011
Ryan Murphy from Cork in the south of Ireland is one of the most talented young musicians to emerge on the vibrant Irish trad music scene in recent years. His main instrument is the uilleann pipes, but he also plays flute and saxophone. He has won an impressive total of seven All-Ireland and two Oireachtas titles on the pipes. Apart from playing with Mànran & Cara, he is also a founding member of the young Irish band and powerhouse that is ‘Éalú’. Ryan holds a Diploma in Traditional Irish Music Performance from the London College of Music and is currently in his final year of studying at the Irish World Academy of Music in Limerick, under Dr. Niall Keegan
Originally from Dundee, Mark began playing drums at the age of 13, playing in various school ensembles and bands such as orchestras, funk bands, big bands and a steel pans band. Mark progressed rapidly and won various awards at Dundee Schools Music Festivals while also performing outside of school in various other bands and projects. Accepted onto the BA Applied Music course at the University of Strathclyde in 2009, Mark really began to push himself and further his playing. Exposed to various styles of music on a daily basis Mark’s musical pallet grew immensely as he began performing in various bands and ensembles in Glasgow. This led him to perform in some of Scotland’s largest venues such as the Barrowlands Ballroom, O2 Academy, HMV Picture House, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and King Tuts Wah Wah Hut as well as many others. Mark graduated with a 1st class honours degree from the BA Applied Music course while also receiving an Alexander Stone Award for excellence in his final recital. Shortly after graduating Mark found himself performing live on BBC Radio Scotland as a competitor in the BBC Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year 2013.
Craig Irving from Inverness began playing the guitar whilst living in Australia in 2009. He studied music at Lews Castle College, Benbecula in 2012 and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow from 2013 to 2016.
Craig won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, a Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award and received a nomination for Up and Coming Artist of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2015 with his project, Talisk. He has twice performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London and was a member of the Scots Trad Music Awards House Band in 2014 and 2015.