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DONNA LONG's first solo CD, Handprints, was released in June 2003. A collection of Irish music arranged for the piano, it features six tracks of solo piano and four tracks that include fiddlers Jesse Smith and Yvonne Kane, and James Kelly. Handprints also features button accordion player Billy McComiskey with fiddler Liz Knowles on a composition written by Donna called Luna. Luna was dedicated to Julia Butterfly Hill who is known for helping to save a redwood tree called Luna and the remaining redwood forests.

The music on this CD reflects her influences from Irish melody piano players such as Eleanor Neary, and Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and from fiddlers Brendan Mulvihill and James Kelly. It is Donna's devotion to preserving Irish music in its traditional form while maintaining the integrity of the piano that makes this recording unique.

DONNA LONG was born in Los Angeles, California. When she was five years old, she began taking piano lessons with her father, Byron Long, a jazz/classical pianist who instilled in Donna a love for music. As a child, Donna was exposed to many different genres of music, including players from the old and new Jazz eras, Classical, Scottish, Indian, and African.

In 1978, she moved to the Baltimore/Washington, DC area and heard fiddler, Brendan Mulvihill playing Irish music. He inspired her to pick up the fiddle and gave her a solid foundation in style and playing. She then began to accompany him on the piano and now Donna is considered one of the finest pianists playing Irish music. Along with Brendan Mulvihill, she has recorded two duet albums, The Steeplechase and The Morning Dew.

Donna has now passed her music on to her son Jesse Smith and helped produce his first solo recording entitled The Hurricane. In addition to these recordings Donna can be heard as a guest artist on many recordings backing up other musicians and also on the motion picture soundtrack Out of Ireland .

A former member of the internationally acclaimed Irish group Cherish the Ladies , she has recorded five CDs with them. In the year 2000, the Smithsonian Institution asked Donna to represent Irish Music in the series, Piano Traditions celebrating 300 years of the piano. Donna was also commissioned by the Library of Congress in 2001 to write a composition for fiddle and piano. She wrote a slow air called Before the Snow Falls, and a reel to accompany the air called Pandora's Box. These tunes were performed by Cherish the Ladies and can be found in the Library of Congress.

Donna currently teaches Suzuki piano, Irish piano and Irish fiddle in the Baltimore/ Washington, DC area.


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