Josie Nugent & Brian Stafford

About Us

Josie Nugent (Fiddle) A native of Co. Clare and multiple All-Ireland fiddle champion, Josie grew up surrounded by a rich variety of notable traditional musicians including Martin Hayes, Tony Linnane and Francie Donnellan. She has performed and broadcast extensively and previous releases include: Fead an Iolar with na Casaidigh; Hills and Hollows with her sister Mary, and The Caves of Cong with Brian Stafford. Josie has collaborated widely with internationally renowned musicians such as Jackie Daly & Johnny ‘Ringo’ McDonagh of DeDannan, sound designer and composer Guillaume Beauron (Game of Thrones) and South African percussionist Eugene Skeef.

Josie was appointed musical director and composer for the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2013's closing ceremony. The Bridges of Derry featured the renowned fife player Skip Healy (USA) and world-champion drummer Mark Wilson. More recent projects include Electric Circus's Sasquatch an experimental musical theatre production featuring live improvised music, song, dance and film sequences to Gabriel Rosnestock’s published work Sasquatch, premiered January 2016.

Josie is mentor and music coach for Music Bridge, a long term collaborative project between Musicians without Borders, the Netherlands and Culturlann Uí Chanáin, Derry, to create sustainable community music programs within Northern Ireland’s divided communities. She is also active as a music therapist in the areas of autism, learning difficulties, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury and dementia and is a postgraduate supervisor of music therapy at University of Limerick.

Brian Stafford (Uilleann Pipes) is one of the renowned Derry uilleann pipers. He began playing pipes at the age of sixteen taught by piper and pipe-maker Finbar McLaughlin and soon won a coveted All-Ireland title. Brian's stage craft developed performing with the Derry based band, Quilty and subsequently as a long term member of the seminal Welsh band Yr Hwntws. He has appeared on radio, television and on-line and has toured widely playing at concerts and festivals within Europe and beyond.

While resident in England, he collaborated in a variety of projects outside traditional music including the York-based Arts Barge Project, and the Blackpool acoustic band Troubadour alongside percussionist Billy Hickling from the cast of Stomp.

Since returning to Ireland, Brian is a regular tutor at the Scoil Éigse, the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast and for Na Píobairí Uilleann. He has also made his mark in the classical gènre, a journey which opens many exciting new avenues. Performances to date include recording the BBC's UK City of Culture 2013 theme composed by Graeme Stewart and as orchestral uilleann pipes soloist under the baton of Flavius Filip of the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève.

His style has been described as progressive, drawing inspiration and influence from folk idioms, jazz and classical music while remaining within the tradition.