Clare Sands is a passionate and alluring unique force in Irish music. A sixth generation fiddler and multi-instrumentalist creating an eclectic & energetic Folk sound rooted in Irish Traditional music, the remarkably versatile musician, composer, performer, and singer-songwriter is an unstoppable artist to be reckoned with. By day, the award-winning young artist has an ever evolving and extraordinary musical career, whilst by night, Sands is a black belt holding several world medals representing Ireland in martial arts, with warrior-like lightning bolt energy, both on and off stage.
The Cork-based artist with deep family roots in Northern Ireland and County Wexford, took up the fiddle at the age of three, learning tunes from her father Seamus on a weekly basis while her mother Susan introduced her to the Blues. Described as an ‘Irish fiddle playing reincarnation of Janis Joplin’, Sands has been wowing audiences around the world with her groundbreaking style, gravelly vocals, exceptional performance, and infinite energy.
Her debut album ‘Join Me at The Table‘ was released in October 2016 to critical acclaim. Recorded by musician and producer Christian Best of Monique Studios, Cork, and entirely self-composed with Clare playing the majority of instruments, it is an eclectic mix of jazz, folk, and Irish traditional music. Clare’s latest record, which saw her work with renowned novelist and playwright Cónal Creedon, and award-winning producer Jimmy Smyth, consists of a five track EP recorded in her Cork City basement after travelling around Cuba and Central America ‘The Basement Sessions‘ (2019) further explored this potent mix which proved to be ‘magical & moving, powerful yet delicate, ephemeral & ethereal, yet durable.’
In 2020, Clare completed her masters in Composition & Creative Practice, and worked as artist in resident with Áras Éanna, Inisheer September 2020 exploring composition based on the soundscapes & landscapes of the island. Furthermore, Sands was awarded the Traditional Arts Bursary from the Arts Council to continue exploring what lies between the Contemporary and the Traditional, pushing the boundaries of Irish music.
Clare is currently working on her highly anticipated self-titled Folk album ‘with tunes to move to, and songs to get lost in’ from her temporary home in an old Connemara cottage. She has returned to her roots, with her new macaronic work taking inspiration from her rich musical heritage, and her love of Irelands’s soundscapes and soundscapes – with her unique voice and fiddle pulsating at the core.
‘An impassioned voice and musical genius on stage. A unique force in Irish music’ – Hotpress Magzine.
‘A Rising Star‘- Sean O Rourke, RTÉ Radio 1.
‘So fresh, so fantastic’ – Eve Blair, BBC Radio.
‘A fantastic fiesty fusion’ – Pure M Magazine.
‘Fiddler extraordinaire – absolutely majestic!’ – Pat Carty, Hotpress Magazine.
‘An exceptional talent and demon fiddler!’ – Fiachna Ó Braonain (RTÉ Presenter / Hothouse Flower.)
‘‘Dance x3!” co-written with with legendary guitarist and producer, Jimmy Smyth (Van Morrison, Mary Coughlan, Chaka Khan) held No 2 in the Irish Airplay Charts for over two months – ‘a celebration of groove and Motown songcraft’ – Nialler 9.
As a musician and performer, previous collaborations include renowned artists such as; The Hothouse Flowers, Shane McGowan, Imelda May, Mundy, The Stunning, Finbar Furey, Luka Bloom, Jimmy Smyth, Jack L, Albert Hammond, Susan O Neill, Kris Drever, Mary Coughlan, Mick Flannery, Stocktan’s Wing, John Spillane, to name a few.