Martin Hayes & The Common Ground Ensemble announce new album March 24th and show in Dublin’s Vicar Street on 20th October with NCH show on March 26th now SOLD OUT. For those that missed out on NCH tickets the show will be filmed for broadcast later.

Album Pre-Order / Pre-Save link –

Dedicated to his recently passed away long time collaborator Dennis Cahill and his mother Peggy, ‘Peggy’s Dream’ is out March 24th via 251 Records.

With The Common Ground Ensemble Hayes aimed to create an ensemble of musicians from different backgrounds who also have connections to Irish music – the common ground of their name. The line-up emerged to encompass Cormac McCarthy (piano, ‘Cottage Evolution’), Kate Ellis (cello, Artistic Director of Crash Ensemble), Kyle Sanna (guitar, a collaborator with Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile) and Brian Donnellan (bouzouki / harmonium / concertina, and, like Hayes, an alumnus of The Tulla Ceìiliì Band).

Collectively they possess a wealth of talent spanning the worlds of traditional Irish music, cutting edge contemporary classical, jazz improvisation and experimental music. In The Common Ground Ensemble all of these genres are interwoven with the core elements of the tradition in a way that also gives each musician’s remarkable talents the space to shine. Or as Hayes summarises, “I want this to be the most fun I can have while I’m on www.”

But what sets the Common Ground Ensemble apart from Hayes’ myriad other projects? “I’ve usually tended to gather a group of people together and just see what begins to emerge,” considers Hayes. The larger picture in terms of mood, feeling, harmonies and overall arrangement is mostly driven by my aspirations for the tunes. I make a rough arrangement sketch that we then collectively fill out. One of my goals is also to create space and opportunity for all the different musical personalities, styles and genres to be freely expressed within this band. I feel that the ensemble’s potential is best realised when the totality of each musicians capacity and musical personality can be fully utilised and freely expressed”

Martin Hayes was always passionate about music but it was not a career path he intended to take. “I always loved it but I didn’t want the precarious life that often comes with being a professional musician. I was good at it and identified with it more than anything else in my life. In retrospect I was very lucky that a career emerged even if I hadn’t planned it.”

The Common Ground Ensemble is the latest stage in Martin Hayes’ life-long musical journey – one that will continue to evolve for years to come. “You have to accept that perfection may elude you forever,” he signs off. “But that’s ok because music isn’t about perfection. For me it’s more about heart, feeling, trust, freedom, communication and true aliveness in the moment.

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