Photo by Anna Colliton
Joanna Clare, who hails from Central New York, is a acclaimed Irish fiddler and violinist and recently released her debut album, To Keep the Candle Burning. It features multiple Irish musicians and a dancer who are all highly involved in the Mid-Atlantic Irish music scene. To Keep the Candle Burning is dedicated to the many traditional Irish musicians who inspired her throughout her childhood. The album is comprised of traditional tunes she learned either directly from these musicians or from their recordings, as well as some newly composed tunes. Joanna has won numerous awards for her talents as a fiddler and as a composer (or tunesmith as she prefers to call herself). Most recently, she qualified to represent the United States in the 2022 All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Mullingar, where she will be competing in the O18 Fiddle, O18 Fiddle Slow Airs, and Newly Composed Tunes competitions. Joanna is soon to relocate back to Baltimore where she earned her degree in materials science and engineering from Johns Hopkins University. There she will help to keep the traditional Irish arts alive through performance and pedagogy.
The Word Around Town
"The music here is just outstanding overall. But what I find equally engaging is the care with which [Joanna has] paid tribute to those who influenced her…Check this one out if you want to hear some first-rate fiddle music – this is a great album."
"This is a collection which feels fresh yet mature, and never has us think on it as a debut. Joanna has captured the essence of Irish music and made it her own."
"I just received an album from Joanna Clare. She's a beautiful fiddler...It's absolutely delightful."
"Joanna is not only a brilliant fiddler, but also a composer as her tunes are quite original. Their structure and melodic writing are so impressive.”
“It has been a joy to watch Joanna grow as a musician and a person, and I’m so proud of what she has accomplished. Congratulations to Joanna on a beautiful recording!”
"[Joanna Clare] replaced Martin Hayes in my car CD player...it's so joyous."
Heather Martley / Fiddler and Irish music lover
"The grace of Planxty Hugh O’Donnell, the emotion of An Buachaill Caol Dubh, the punch of The Brown Coffin, all are superbly handled with crisp technique and clear tone."
"Joanna and her fellow-musicians possess such an acute feel for texture and dynamics that there’s never a dull moment; variety is the key, with no two tracks sporting an identical arrangement."