Rita Connolly's concert performances have been rare events, but the warm soprano vocals of the Dublin-born songstress have been featured in stage plays, films and more than 20 albums, including two solo recordings: Rita Connolly in 1991, and Valparaiso in 1993. Her interpretation of the Shaun Davey-composed epic tale of an Irish pirate, "Granuaile," has been performed to sold-out shows throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. The premiere performance in England was filmed and has been shown worldwide.
The fifth of seven children, Connolly sang at the age of 14 with her sisters in Dublin pubs and clubs. During her late teens, she supplied harmony vocals for Paul Brady, Christy Moore and Donal Lunny and sang with Irish bands Midnight Well, Scullion and Stagalee. Her involvement with Midnight Well resulted in her meeting Shaun Davey, a composer and producer of television and radio commercials. Working together, Connolly and Davey expanded into films and theater productions including The Pilgrim and The Relief of Derry Symphony.
In 1987, Connolly toured the United Kingdom with the RTE Concert Orchestra and peformed several selections from Granuaile. Her self-titled debut solo album ranged from sea shantys to Beatles songs and classic blues. Her second solo effort, Valparaiso, marked her debut as a songwriter. Connolly's band includes guitarist and songwriter Gerry O'Beirne, Patrick Street, the Sharon Shannon Band and Andy Stewart, percussionist Richard O'Donnell of Ireland's National Symphony Orchestra, and her brother, Peter Connolly. ~ Craig Harris