The Team

Kieran CavanaghProducer


Kieran Cavanagh
Kieran Cavanagh for many years has been a promoter of international renown, and was the recipient of the prestige CMA award for “International Promoter of the Year 1995” in Nashville Tennessee. At the age of 28, Kieran went to Nashville and on to Los Angeles with one ambition in mind, and that was to book Johnny Cash to play in Ireland. He did not leave America without the deal and the rest is history as they say. Kieran went on to promote many tours with the legendary Cash before he had to stop touring internationally. Kieran's roster of concert successes, too numerous to list in full here, include sell out tours with Kenny Rogers, (first tour in Ireland for Kenny at the height of his popularity), Willie Nelson, James Brown, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Trisha Yearwood, Mary Chapin Carpenter, the late Tammy Wynette, Don Williams, Chuck Berry, Aida the colossal Opera and many more.

From 1995 to 1997, Kieran managed the affairs of legendary rock n roll king Jerry Lee Lewis, who had moved to Ireland in 1995 due to tax debts in the United States. Kieran negotiated and settled Jerry Lee's tax affairs with the U.S authorities over a two year period, promoting Jerry's first ever record breaking tour of South America. In 1997, Jerry was able to return to Memphis and recover his home and car collection thanks to Kieran's efforts.

Kieran fulfilled a long held ambition to produce a superb dance spectacular. In 1999, having invested a vast amount of time and effort into market research, he finally came up with the blueprint to create and bring to fruition “Rhythm of the Dance”. The successful show is currently in its twelfth year of touring, having played to an audience of over 5 million in fifty one countries across four continents.

Kieran, who continues to book and promote tours for international artists worldwide, still promotes selective events in Ireland, including successfully selling out and staging concerts for the last twenty five years for Daniel O'Donnell.

Carl HessionMusical Composition

Carl Hession

Carl Hession
Carl Hession is today regarded as one of traditional Irish music's finest accompanist, composers and arrangers. Born in Galway, he grew up in a very musical family. The Hession family home in Salthill was a well known session venue and musicians were welcomed and encouraged to drop in regularly for a tune.

The young Carl Hession was highly influenced by all this musical activity and before long began accompanying these sessions on piano. Over the years he participated in competitions at various Fleadhanne Ceili throughout the country and has All Ireland titles to his credit both as a soloist and as a member of duets and trios with flute player Matt Molloy and accordion player Joe Burke.

Carl's interest in classical piano playing developed alongside his attraction to traditional music and he later studied at University College Cork, where he was awarded a B.Mus. Degree. He continued his involvement with traditional music working with well known ceili band "The Shaskeen" and with Galway fiddle player Frankie Gavin. A member of the group "Moving Cloud" Carl's driving yet highly sympathetic piano work with this ever popular band has become recognised world-wide.

In recent years Carl has received widespread acclaim for his wonderful accompaniment to the music of great Boston accordion virtuoso, Joe Derrane, both in concert and on Joe's most recent solo album, "Return to Aran". In 1984 Carl released his first album, "The Galway Suite", to great critical acclaim. This was followed in 1987 with the very successful "Echoes of Ireland" which reinforced Carl's reputation as one of Ireland's finest composers and arrangers. His third album "Ceol Inné Ceol Inniu" was released in 1995 and featured a dazzling array of his talents with tracks of traditional tunes and songs mixed with newly composed pieces all arranged with intuitive understanding of the complexities involved in both traditional and classical styles of playing.

Carl HessionChoreography

Doireann Carney

Doireann Carney
Doireann Carney is a member of the Hession family and as a result has been dancing professionally since her early teens. After an auspicious start to her dancing career performing in festivals in Barbados and L’Orient, France, she went on to become dance captain with Alan Kelly’s Celtic Legends. Her talent was promptly snapped up by the phenomenon “Riverdance - The Show”. Doireann has toured extensively in America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Her most memorable appearance to date, was performing at the opening of the Special Olympics in 2003, in front of a stadium audience of 85,000 and a television audience of millions, and sharing the stage with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mohammed Ali and Bono. She finished her touring career with Rhythms of Ireland, on an extensive tour of Australia with Lord of the Dance’s Michael Donnellan.

Having a wide range of talents, Doireann took to golf during her travels and now, as a qualified Irish dancing teacher, she combines her teaching in the family dance school with her passion for the game of golf, representing Connaught at interprovincial tournaments.

Since joining Rhythm of the Dance, Doireann has been working tirelessly, tweaking and intensifying the beats and passion at the heart of the Rhythm of the Dance spectacular, we hope you will enjoy the fruits of her efforts.

Lead Female Dancer

Nicola Kennedy
Hailing from Belfast, Ireland. Nicola started dancing at the tender age of 4. Nicola was a member of the Maura McGowan school of Irish Dancing where she competed and consistently placed in the top 5 in all major championships. Her other hobbies included dance aerobics where she was dance captain of the school team. They went on to win many Northern Ireland Championships. She joined Rhythm of the Dance in 2005 where she has toured extensively throughout America, Canada, Asia, Australia and Europe. In 2008, she performed in Micheal Flatleys show "Feet of Flames" in Taiwan where they sold out to an audience of 30,000. Nicola recently became a qualified Irish Dancing Teacher (T.C.R.G) and plans to open her own dancing school in the near future. She is delighted to be performing the lead role in Rhythm of the Dance.