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VIDEO: Irish uilleann pipe player Martin Nolan performs with trio at Simonholt

Musician presents Celtic songs in honour of St. Patrick's Day at Simonholt in Nanaimo March 16.
Martin Nolan performs Celtic music on the Irish uilleann pipes along with Pierre Schryer and Adam Dobres on March 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Simonholt.

Irish uilleann pipe player Martin Nolan is sharing his Celtic heritage with Vancouver Island music lovers.

The musician, who lives in Ireland with his family but spends the summers in Nanaimo to visit his wife's family, is on an extended stay in the city. The extended stay in Canada allows him to perform and for his children to gain more understanding of their Canadian heritage.

"We said we would try to get a block of time in their childhood where they would have a greater sense of being Canadian than just somewhere you come for the summer," said Nolan. "And it's great that I am able to perform while we are here."

While in Canada, Nolan is performing in two trios. One consists of Nolan, Pierre Schryer, on the French-Canadian fiddle, and Adam Dobres on guitar. The other includes Terry Boyle from Ladysmith and Ivonne Hernandez from Victoria.

On March 16 at 7:30 p.m., Nolan performs with Schryer and Dobres at Simonholt. The trio will perform a mixture of Celtic and French-Canadian instrumental music, but the March performance will be predominately Celtic music.

The three are touring Vancouver Island. The tour starts on Wednesday (March 15) at the Duncan Showroom at 7:30 p.m. And then on St. Patrick's Day (March 17) they perform in Cumberland at Studio Live at 8 p.m.

Nolan said there is something that just clicked when he met and performed with Schryer for the first time.

"Every now and then there is something musically different. There is a spark there," he said. "We just kind of spark each other musically and we get on well together as individuals. And we just have a lot of fun and on some level it is effortless. It's not like we are going up there to create fun. It just happens. We just enjoy playing together. It's always something to look forward to."

Nolan has been playing the uilleann pipes professionally for 40 years.

"It's an unusual instrument in that its bellows is blown, you don't blow the instrument with your mouth, and it's the most sophisticated of the bagpipe family," said Nolan. "It seems like almost every country in the world has one kind of bagpipe or another ... The Irish bagpipe is an indoor instrument. It's much quieter than the Scottish bagpipes."

Nolan said it's an evocative instrument.

Nolan said the Nanaimo musician community has been very welcoming since his arrival.

Tickets to the Simonholt show are $20 available at the restaurant or by calling 250-933-3338.

For more information, please visit Nolan's Facebook page