“Catherine Ashcroft plays the Uilleann Pipes and Whistles with breathtaking speed and virtuosity.”
Although born in the North West of England she has had a passion for Irish music since childhood and growing up in a musical home she started playing the whistle at an early age before getting her first set of Uilleann pipes in her mid teens. Self taught, Catherine regards her early influences as Planxty, The Bothy Band, Lunasa, and Paddy Keenan.
Catherine pursued both instruments avidly and in 2007 won All Britain titles on both whistle and pipes. In between trips to Ireland playing sessions she was performing regularly in the pubs and clubs of the North of England as a soloist and as a member of several Irish bands. In 2008 Catherine recorded her first CD “Take Flight and Follow” at Stenkrith studio’s in Cumbria. Here she met Belfast singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist Maurice Dickson. This led to Catherine and Maurice collaborating and Maurice invited her to guest on his forthcoming European tour. A great success they soon formed the duo “Mochara”. Taking the name from the Irish meaning of “My Friend”. The pair have since performed at various festivals, folk clubs, theatres and music venues throughout the UK and Europe. They have also released 3 albums, “In Your Blood” in 2010, “Spirits and Dreamers” in 2013 and more recently the fabulous “Live at the Island” in 2015.
Catherine is continuing to wow audiences both locally and internationally and has just toured with Riverdance on their 2017/2018 tour of China. She is now looking forward to continuing on her travels, creating music and playing in various collaborations throughout the year.
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