Aislinn Gagliardi is an Irish harpist and composer based in Chicago, and is well sought after as a performer, teacher and recording artist. Drawing from her background in Irish dance, and influenced by a diverse musical range from classical to Cape Breton, Aislinn’s distinct style shines through her music in an open and honest way. Known for her syncopated and rhythmic accompaniment, her compositions and arrangements offer a fresh perspective to the Irish music tradition.
Raised immersed in the Irish culture (the shared heritage on both sides of her family) Aislinn learned about Irish customs through dance, music and language lessons. She was drawn to the harp from an early age, and studied with various Irish and Celtic harpers including Janet Harbison and Michael Rooney. Aislinn also spent a semester abroad at the University of Limerick where she worked closely with Irish harper Fionnuala Rooney.
Aislinn’s recently released debut solo harp album The Thin Place has been called “stunning, a monumental piece of work from a very talented and driven harper” and “for a first CD it’s a winner” (Jack Baker of Irish American News). The album blends popular traditional Irish tunes with those less commonly played, and features four of her own compositions including one with the album’s namesake. Joining Aislinn on select tracks are some of Chicago’s finest Irish musicians: Liz Carroll (fiddle), Teresa Shine (fiddle) and John Williams (concertina). Aislinn’s tune The Thin Place and accompanying track is also featured on the Irish Traditional Music Archive’s Newly Composed Tunes and Songs in the Irish Tradition playlist.
Currently Aislinn teaches from her private studio in Chicago and via Skype, is an adjunct instructor at the Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music (IFSM), and teaches workshops at the Old Town School of Folk Music.