- Category: Musical Performers
Laurence carries on a great tradition of virtuoso flute and whistle playing that has graced Irish music on both sides of the Atlantic. As an established performer and recording artist on the Celtic music circuit, Laurence has performed with scores of musicians, including The Chieftains, Shane McGowan, Van Morrison, The Drovers, The Green Fields of America, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill and Paddy Keenan. He has been a featured performer at Milwaukee Irish Fest, San Francisco Irish Fest, the Glen Echo Festival in Washington DC, the Willie Clancy Summer School in Ireland, and the International Flute Festival De Cornouaille Quimper in France. He has toured extensively throughout Ireland, the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. His CDs (Laurence Nugent, Two For Two, and The Windy Gap, on Shanachie Records) have met with critical acclaim. On them, Laurence was joined by some of the greats of Irish music, including fiddle legends Kevin Burke and Liz Carroll, and guitarist Arty McGlynn. He has been heard extensively on radio, including A Prairie Home Companion, The Studs Terkel Show, and Ireland's national network RTE. He also appears on the Shanachie recording Celtic Tapestry along with Solas, De Dannan, Clannad, Planxty and Silly Wizard.
Laurence Nugent comes from the little village of Lack in County Fermanagh, an area steeped in the traditional arts of music, singing and storytelling. Not surprisingly, his first musical influences came from within his own family. His father Sean Nugent was an All-Ireland fiddle champion and leader of the Pride of Erin Ceili Band, one of the top Irish dance bands of its day, and Laurence grew up listening to some of the finest players in the land. Like many young musicians of his generation, Laurence entered many of the regional and national competitions held under the auspices of the Irish musicians association Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann; he took first prize in junior competitions three times in the late 80's, and went on to win the senior All Ireland Championships in 1994 and 1995. Since moving to Chicago in 1992, Laurence has played a large part in the local scene as an anchor and resource for traditional Irish music in the area. The informal music sessions he has led over the years in Chicago have been well-known for their fine quality of both music and hospitality. He has taught hundreds of students in private lessons, in classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and in workshops throughout the United States and Ireland.