At the end of 2019 Dervish received a prestigious lifetime achievement award from the BBC, a fitting tribute to the band after over 30 years of recording and performing all over the world.
Described by the BBC as “an icon of Irish music”, the band have played at festivals from Rio to Glastonbury. They accompanied the Irish President on state visits to Latvia and Lithuania and Prime Minister of Ireland on a trade mission to China as Cultural Ambassadors taking time out to play an impromptu session on the Great Wall of China.
Dervish have a line-up which includes some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians, fronted by one of the country’s best-known singers, Cathy Jordan. Regarded by many as the most distinctive voice and finest front-woman in Irish traditional music today – the instrumental line-up of fiddle, flute, bouzouki, mandola, bodhran and accordion draw from seemingly limitless depths of talent, finesse, subtlety and fiery energy. Exceptional musicianship, breath-taking vocals, vibrant sets of tunes and instantly compelling songs all come together to make Dervish as complete a band as are to be found anywhere in the tradition.
Dervish are regular visitors to the US, performing sell out shows from coast to coast. However, their fan base stretches across several continents, including Europe, Asia, and South America. They were the first Irish band to play the world’s biggest music festival, Rock in Rio, performing to an estimated 250,000 people. Over the years they’ve been on the same bill as artists such as James Brown, Neil Young, Sting and even Iron Maiden!
All six members of Dervish are steeped in the musical traditions of counties Sligo and Leitrim in north-west Ireland. It’s an area which matches Atlantic coastline with storied mountains and rural landscapes. It has inspired a host of musicians, artists and writers, including the Nobel Prize-winning poet W. B. Yeats.