The Good Folk (Eileen Estes, Joanna Clare, Meghan Mette, Sophie Chang, Agi Kovacs, and Patrick Winch), delivers powerful instrumentals, haunting vocals and percussive dance. Rooted in the beloved traditional music of Ireland, these artists explore familiar tunes and ballads as well as original compositions with respect, intentionality, and innovative interpretation. Offering thoughtful phrasing, delightful ornamentation, and emotive accompaniment, The Good Folk is one of the East coast’s most exciting collaborations; bringing audiences a truly unique and delightful sound with each performance.
Eileen Estes: Vocals & Guitar
Irish-American musician and singer Eileen Estes is a full time musician recently relocated back to the East cost from Chicago. Whether performing at home or touring, Estes has thrilled audiences for years with her extraordinary voice, which effortlessly combines vocal power with subtle emotional expressiveness. She also works as a studio musician and a vocal coach.
Eileen is a former faculty member at Blue Ridge Irish Music School, where she is still a visiting instructor, and Estes travels to teach Master Classes in the United States and abroad. She currently works as one of the directors of Irish Musical Arts and Dance Week in Bethesda MD, is a contributing artist for the Baltimore Washington Academy of Irish Culture and is the vocal instructor for the Irish Music School of Chicago. Estes also runs her own vocal studio, Lark Song Studios, where she works with singers around the world both remotely and in person.
Daughter of Nita (Conley) Korn, Celtic Thunder’s original lead singer, Eileen grew up immersed in the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland. She is a traditional singer as well as an arranger, songwriter and song collector who has collaborated with many bands over the years. In 2015, Nita and Eileen released an album of Irish and Scottish songs called The Apple Tree Project.
Agi Kovacs: Principal Dancer
Agi Kovacs was born and raised in Hungary where as a young child she was selected to study at the Hungarian National Ballet Institute in Budapest, where she was trained in classical ballet, Hungarian folk dance and historical dances. She moved to the USA 25 years ago and started her own family here in DC.
A few years later she started up her dance career again, performing and teaching Sean Nos (old style Irish) dance to all ages. She has been a principal dancer with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble for the past 9 years and continues to travel around the world performing, teaching and spreading the joy of different percussive dance styles. Agi has performed at venues throughout DC, Maryland, Virginia, and New York, as well as in Canada, Ireland, and England and Germany. She also has been teaching at schools in DC/MD/VA and at Knock On Wood Tap Studio.
Meghan Mette: Irish Fiddle
A life-long fiddler, Meghan began her musical career in the Irish Traditional, Cape Breton, and Appalachian Old Time styles, and has studied with some of the highest profile performers in these genres. Meghan studied Irish Traditional Music at the University College Cork, and engaged in a study of Bluegrass immersion in Nashville, TN. She is also proficient in Scottish traditional music and New England style fiddling, and is accomplished in Irish Step-Dancing and Appalachian Flatfooting. Additionally, she plays concertina, Cape Breton piano, claw hammer banjo, and loves to sing harmonies.
Joanna Clare: Irish Fiddle
Joanna Clare, who hails from Central New York, is a well-respected Irish fiddler and violinist and recently released her debut album, To Keep the Candle Burning. Joanna has won many awards including five championship titles in the annual Mid-Atlantic Fleadhanna Ceoil (Irish music competitions) which are run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (the Irish Traditional Musicians’ Association). In August 2021, she was awarded runner-up for the senior fiddle slow airs competition at the FleadhFest in Sligo, Ireland. Joanna has performed at numerous festivals, including the Syracuse Irish Festival, the Rochester Irish Festival, the Maryland Irish Festival, the New York Trad Fest, and the Philadelphia Folk Festival.
Sophie Chang: Cello
Sophie Chang bridges the worlds of the concert hall and the dance hall in her active career as a performer, collaborator, songwriter, and teacher. Both a classically trained cellist and an avid improviser, Sophie specializes in American folk music and has played contra dances and English country dances throughout the mid-atlantic region. She is a founding member of bands Petrichord and Tea and Honey, which have fast become local favorites for their blend of Old Time, French Canadian, and Scottish fiddling.
Patrick Winch: Tenor Banjo
Patrick Winch is a tenor banjo player based in the Washington DC area. Frequently seen at the session at the Irish Inn at Glen Echo with his father Jesse Winch and other great musicians.