Reverie Road is a fresh, eclectic celtic combination, featuring fiddler Winifred Horan and accordionist John Williams (founding Solas members) alongside former Gaelic Storm fiddler Katie Grennan and Jazz and Raga pianist Utsav Lal (Young Steinway Artist). This powerful combination is made up of four of today's leading traditional and virtuosic folk artists who have captured the hearts of international audiences from studios to stages over the last three decades.
Firmly grounded in their collective Irish roots, Reverie Road embraces humor with musical insight and natural abilities. Original textural adventures weave the roots of Irish musical traditions with new departures and curated gems including distilled airs, continental waltzes, and upbeat reels and jigs. The band chemistry of two accomplished classically-trained fiddlers who share a common history as award winning Irish dancers along with two instrumentalists who have sought to redefine traditional accompaniment and rhythm sections amount to a compelling concert experience that will lift audiences' hearts and have them on their feet.
About the band...
Winifred Horan is an American violinist and fiddler of Irish descent. After classical training, she played with the all-female Celtic music ensemble Cherish the Ladies before co-founding the award winning and renowned American Irish band Solas.
Horan was born and raised in New York City] to Irish parents and studied piano (taught by her father, a carpenter and musician) and Irish fiddle playing at a young age. As a teenager in NY she won a full scholarship from the General Mills Cor to attend the Mannes College of Music Preparatory School for 5 years. She attended and graduated from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, where she studied classical violin, with renowned Japanese violinist Masuko Ushioda and the Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, Colorado. She played with multiple orchestras, including the Boston Pops Orchestra, and string quartets, before joining the all-female Celtic music ensemble Cherish the Ladies in 1990. She co-founded the American-Irish Solas in 1995 and is on fiddle and backing vocals.
Outside of her work with Solas, Horan was a member of and toured and recorded with The Sharon Shannon Band, and also performed with Irish singer-songwriter Pierce Turner. She was "featured fiddler" on When Juniper Sleeps, a 1996 solo album by Séamus Egan, and co-writer of multiple tracks for the 1995 film The Brothers McMullen. She is also a nine-time champion National Irish step dancer and an All-Ireland fiddle champion.
Horan released her first solo album, Just One Wish, in October 2002 on Shanachie Records. In 2006, she and fellow Solas member Mick McAuley, an accordionist, released Serenade on Compass Records, with covers of "After the Gold Rush" by Neil Young and "Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan. which has been downloaded and received over 35 million views since its release. Siobhán Long, writing for The Irish Times, listed Serenade as fifth on her list of top five Irish traditional music albums released in 2006. Horan composed two of the album's tracks: "Little Mona Lisa" and "A Daisy in December, which was featured during the third season of the American reality television competitive dance series So You Think You Can Dance. Horan's compositions have appeared in multiple film and television soundtracks over the years.
She is a sought-after session player and is renowned for her teaching skills, having been on the faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA for five years and currently at the National University of Ireland Galway for the last three. Winifred hosts a weekly radio program called the Celtic Cut on 88.5 FM in the Washington DC Area.
John Williams is internationally regarded as one of the foremost players of Irish music today. With five All-Ireland titles to his credit, John is the only American-born competitor ever to win first place in the Senior Concertina category. His additional talents on flute, button accordion, bodhran, and piano distinguish him as a much sought after multi-instrumentalist in the acoustic scene around the world.
Born and raised on the Southwest Side of Chicago, John spent his summers during college on the Southwest coast of Ireland in his father’s village of Doolin, Co. Clare. Like Chicago, Doolin became a major musical crossroads for John and countless other local and international musicians to meet and exchange music. Gigging every night in the pubs of Doolin and Lisdoonvarna soon led to performances in Galway, Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Paris, Britanny, Zurich, and New York City.
Forming the groundbreaking Solas in 1995 with Seamus Egan, Winifred Horan, Karan Casey and Joh nDoyle, Williams received wider recognition playing to sold out audiences internationally and earning two NAIRD awards and Grammy nominations for the ensemble's 1996 and 1997 releases Solas and Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers. The Irish national broadcasting network RTE has featured Williams as the subject of the radio program The Long Note, the television series The Pure Drop, and the Gaelic language and music programs Geantrai and Failte.
Outside of traditional music, John has collaborated on productions with Gregory Peck, Doc Severinson, Studs Terkel, Mavis Staples, jazz pianist Bob Sutter, bluegrass legend Tim O'Brien, Syrian oud player Kinan Abou Afach, Oscar winning director Sam Mendes, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Irish Chamber Ensemble. U.S. audiences recognize Williams from numerous appearances on Mountain Stage, A Prairie Home Companion and The Grand Ol' Opry as well as guest performances with The Chieftains, Nickel Creek, and Riverdance.
On the silver screen, John Williams appears as a bandleader, music consultant, and composer in Dreamworks' classic Chicago thriller Road to Perdition. Centrally featured in the Academy Award-Nominated score by Thomas Newman, Williams' autumnal Perdition Piano Duet was released on the 2002 Universal soundtrack album as performed in the film by stars Paul Newman and Tom Hanks. Regarding the original piece by Williams, The Los Angeles Times wrote “Closeness is beautifully and wordlessly conveyed in a quiet piano duet...a lovely thing.” Reviewing the entire score, The Denver Post printed “Brilliant, beautiful, brutal...the music in the film feels almost like a character itself.”
Utsav Lal has performed several piano concerts with a repertoire of Indian ragas at venues including Carnegie Hall, New York, John F. Kennedy Center, Washington DC, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, KonsertHuset, Sweden, Southbank Centre, London and others. Lal holds a Bachelors in Jazz from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow and a Masters in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston. Lal won Ireland's MAMA Award (2008) for Multiculturalism in the individual category Yamaha Jazz Scholar award (2014), TiE Aspire Young Indian Achiever Award (2012) and was named a Young Steinway Artist (2010) by piano-makers, Steinway & Sons.
Indian record label Times Music released his debut album Piano Moods of Indian Ragas in 2008. Subsequent album releases are "Ragas Dance off Piano Keys", "Ragas Al Pianoforte", "Ragas to Reels", and a solo recording of ragas on the ”Fluid Piano”, released by the "Fluid Piano" tuning label (2016). Lal released his sixth album, "Indian Classical Music on the Piano", featuring tabla player Nitin Mitta in November 2018. He has collaborated with several Irish musicians including Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Sam Comerford, Dave Sheridan, Winifred Horan, and is recognized for his "Ragas to Reels" concert tours that bring together Indian classical music and Traditional Irish music in a piano and flute combination.
Utsav Lal is currently on the teaching faculty of Piano School of NYC and has conducted several performance workshops at venues including Global Music Institute, India and "Breaking Boundaries” workshop series in India and USA.
Katie Grennan's traditional fiddle playing carries the articulation of a gifted classical musician tempered by the soul of a champion Irish dancer. Her wide ranging experience as an international touring performer in both live stage productions and television have given her a unique platform as an ambassador for the music of her heart.
Born and raised in Wexford, PA though residing in the Chicagoland area for over a decade, Katie was the fiddler in the popular celtic-fusion band Gaelic Storm for over five years, has recorded a number of solo albums, and currently tours with The Bow Tides & Chicago-based STEAM Quartet.
As a highly sought-after and dedicated instructor of both traditional music and dance, she works with fiddlers of all ages and levels both in-person and virtually. Having passed the TCRG Certification with honors in 2010 from An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (the largest worldwide governing body of Irish dance), she has held a position as a lead instructor at the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance based in Chicago. Her deep knowledge of Irish dance & musical prowess makes her one of the forefront musicians on the Feis scene (Irish step dance competitions), and she plays regularly for championships around the country. Her recordings tailored especially for Irish dancers can be found on the Feis App.
Katie is committed to sharing the gift of music with others and serves on the advisory board of two Chicago-based non-profit organizations: Sharing Notes and the Murphy Roche Irish Music Club, a registered branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. She holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters in Arts Administration from Carnegie Mellon University.