Ruth Keggin is a Manx Gaelic singer who is passionate about bringing Manx music and language to a wider audience. Her debut solo album, Sheear (‘Westward’) and second solo album Turrys (‘Journey), both of which feature traditional and contemporary Manx Gaelic songs, were released in February 2014 and June 2016 respectively, to critical acclaim.
Ruth and her band have given live performances and interviews on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Wales and ‘Seirm’ on BBC Alba (television), and Ruth has also been a feature-presenter for, and sung on, the BBC 2 television programme ‘Coast’. Alongside performing in major festivals including Celtic Connections in Glasgow, she and her band have also shared joint-gigs with the likes of Scottish Gaelic supergroup Dàimh, renowned Gàidhlig singer Julie Fowlis and Irish singer Mary Black, and Kathleen MacInnes, Blue Rose Code and Siobhan Wilson.
Ruth is also part of a bold vocal project called ‘Aon Teanga:Un Çhengey’ (One Tongue) together with Scottish musician and broadcaster Mary Ann Kennedy and sean-nós singer and musician Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin. At one time, the Gaelic language was a single tongue. While there have been many moves to re-establish Scottish-Irish links in recent times, there has never been – until now – a project that unites the three Gaelic traditions. Part of PRS for Music Foundation’s prestigious ‘Beyond Borders’ flagship programme, the group toured in summer 2015 and released their debut album in September 2015. They gave a miniature concert set on a special episode of Bruce MacGregor’s ‘Travelling Folk’ on BBC Radio Scotland in November 2015.
Ruth also sings and plays flute with the collective a’Nish (formerly ‘Nish as Rish’) who won the Trophée Loic Raison for best new group at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient 2011. a’Nish toured Norway in Spring 2015. Past projects have included the Norwegian-Manx collaborative project which saw Ruth perform together with Norwegian singer Margit Myhr, hardanger fiddler Erlend Apneseth, Manx fiddle player Tomas Callister and Manx multi-instrumentalist David Kilgallon.
Alongside performing, Ruth is a fully qualified music teacher, who loves enthusing children and adults alike in one-to-one lessons, classes, and group workshops. She has led song workshops and given lectures in festivals, and at Irish and Hungarian universities. Ruth is particularly inspired by the Kodály approach to teaching and learning music.