Aaron Shirlow

Singer, Guitarist, Songwriter

Aaron was born in Belfast. Right from an early age he has been interested in the strength of songs and singing, of words and voice, listening firstly to his Father,on the many occasions he was asked up to “give a song”. But it was not only a love of the powerful music of Ireland that gave him great pleasure, but also that of the folk music of America, and in particular the merging of contemporary and traditional styles, that secured him his primary love of his specialty, the voice and guitar.

Concentrating mostly on these two instruments, Aaron learned much from his initial early influences whilst being careful not to tread too close to similarities, choosing rather to try and expand and develop a style of his own. A time that was to see his development and involvement in music be further enhanced when he was to relocate to mainland Europe, where began a full time career as a professional musician. As a guitarist he has tastefully expanded his craft, making fine use of a varied amount of tunnings, like Open G and Open C and moreso his “work horse” tuning DADGAD, to create a fresh, exciting, and alternative character. Always looking for the “ultimate tone” on the amplified accoustic guitar, he is constantly experimenting with the latest effects, producing a high level of skill and musical quality, along with an interesting and modern sound.

Aaron proved his compositional abilities and talent with the music to the ballet ‘Celtic Touch” which was performed in Komische Opra House, Berlin and Longford Theater, Ireland. Besides these songs he has also contributed to the three Midnight Court CD’s.He also wrote songs for the ballet “Irish Soul” which made it’s first appearance in the Wiesbaden State theater in 2001.With his warm, yet strong voice of a unique and original style he continues to facinates his audience right from the start.

Noel Minogue

Button Accordion, Vocals

Noel coes from Borrisokane in the County Tipperary, a rural area in which traditional music is very much looked after. In his large family, everyone plays an instrument and Noel, already began as a child to learn the Button accordion, also lovingly named “the box”. During innumerable sessions, he studied the polkas, jigs and reels of his native home.

At the age of fourteen he was nominated ‘Tipperary junior champion” in the music competitions through out Ireland. He lived a long time in Dublin and played in the band ‘Beal Bocht”. He later spent a long time in London and Paris and when he came to Berlin he had already a good reputation as a highly talented box player. Here he met Aaron and Bernd, who already performed successfully together and sought a new melody instrumental player. As a trio, they named themselves Midnight Court. Noel devoted himself completely to the music and became a professional musician. He plays many variations enhanced with a certain swing, in the well known B/ C tuning. In the band, he is the rather quiet part that provides furor through his masterly prestidigitation on his instrument. Atmosphere comes if he can be drawn to sing a song in his unique manner. Noel is with Midnight Court a musician that brings the traditional note into the total game.

Bernd Lüdtke

Fiddle, Bouzouki, Bodhrán, Vocals.

Born and grew up in West Berlin, he took already classical guitar lessons at the early age of nine. The influence of the english speaking radio stations AFN and BFBS with their folk and country music programs led to it that already with 16 years he played folk guitar and 5 string banjo. Soon he was active in several groups in Berlin, as well as in Bluegrass also in the Irish Folk branch.

At 17 he achieved a “ young talent guitarist “ award. His fast musical aptitude and skill led to it that he soon played tenor banjo, mandolin, bodhran and irish bouzouki and was a very sought after group and studio musician. After his studies, he moved into the professional camp and played in many groups. His wish was always to play a lead melody instrument, so he began to learn the irish fiddle through teachers and workshops in Ireland and germany. Today when time permits, Bernd is active as a fiddle teacher and gives instruction in fiddle workshops.

With Midnight Court he brings interesting ideas into the arrangements of the songs and tunes and brings colour into the sound picture of Midnight Court with his clear harmony singing and excellent fiddle playing.

Brian O' Connor

Flutes & Whistles

Brian was born in Dublin, Caple Street. At the age of four his family moved to the Navan Rd. area. His father, Dessie O‘Connor, was a well known and respected traditional flute player. Brian grew up with many traditional musicians from this area such as Seán Óg Potts, Seán O‘Broin, Paul McGrattan, Fiach O‘Broin among others. He learned the music from many of the older musicians who were friends of his father. Through the encouragement of the late Paidí bán O‘Broin and his son‘s the late Fiách O‘Broin and happy to say the still living Seán O‘Broin, Brian started playing the flute.

Thereafter he learned a lot of music, in particular from the great Sligo/Dublin flute player John Egan. He also learnt a lot of music from Seán Potts (ex Chieftains) and John Kelly among others. Brian‘s Mother is from Roscommon and through this connection he got to meet and play with Josie McDermot on many occasions.

Brian also played with the Dublin pop band “The Dadas“, who‘s single and video were played repeatedly on MTV and Irish and English television. He also recorded the single “West in Motion“ with the band “Bumble“ which went into the top ten in the Irish and English dance charts, the first trad. Hip-Hop record to be successful in a commercial field.

In 1986 Brian joined the band Oisín and toured with them for five years throughout Europe. Thereafter he continued to play with Geraldine MacGowan as “Geraldine MacGowan & Friends“, which is now going well with the release of their fifth CD “Through The Years“.

Ravi Srinivasan

Tabla, Vocal, Percussion

Ravi started his musicial training as a child. He studied Indian classical percussion on the tabla under the tutelage of the master-drummer Pandit Kamalesh Maitra whom he has accompanied on tours worldwide. As a classical violinist he also played in the Radio-TV Symphony Orchestra in Malaysia and the Northern Symphony Orchestra in England.

Ravi Srinivasan performs as a percussionist in the fields of Indian classical music and dance, jazz, flamenco and avantgarde in Europe and Asia and composes for dance theatre. He has toured Europe as well as India, Malaysia and the GUS States. Ravi performed at various prestigious international festivals, to name a few: Binda Din Kathak Festival in New Delhi, Potsdam Jazz Festival 2001, Folk and Jazz Festival Rudolstadt, InnToene 2002 in Austria and the Berliner Jazz Awards 2001, Festival d´Imaginaire 2004 in Paris, Musica Vitale 2004 in Berlin, Creole World Music 2006.

As an accompanist he has performed with renowned artists like Pandit Jasraj, Abdourahmane Diop, Zam Johnson and Pandit Vijai Shankar. He has also provided music accompaniment at the Berliner Literature Festival for authors Kiran Nagarkar, Shauna Singh Baldwin and Namita Gokhale. This year Ravi played 44 concerts in Iceland and Greenland with the Hypno Theatre, a collaboration of six artists from different countries. In 2006 his Trio indigo won first price at the Creole World Music 2006 in Hannover.

Jimmy Dee

Drums, Highlandpipes und Vocals

Jimmy Donnelly is a Scotsman originally from Glasgow and has been living in Berlin for more than 20 years. Coming from musical family, he has been playing various instruments since an early age. Today, he specialises in traditional Scottish ‘Pipes and Drums’.

Der gebürtige Glasgower Jimmy Donnelly lebt seit mehr als 20 Jahren in Berlin. Aufgewachsen in einer traditionsreichen Musikerfamilie spielt er seit seiner frühen Kindheit verschiedenste Instrumente. Heute gilt seine Leidenschaft der Great Highland Bagpipe und der schottischen Kettle Drum.