Rakish, comprised of world-class fiddler Maura Shawn Scanlin and folk guitarist Conor Hearn, performs an integrated mix of Celtic fiddle tunes, original compositions, and baroque music. From the traditional Irish tune Rakish Paddy, the name aptly suits the duo and their shared background in traditional Irish and Scottish music. “Rakish” itself suggests something strikingly unconventional in its appearance, and the two knowingly embrace this wealth of connotation in their music, drawing on the music they grew up with and performing it with their own slant.
Representation and Touring Formats
Representation: Exclusive – North America
Touring Formats: Duo
Educational: Residencies, workshops & school events
Violinist Maura Shawn Scanlin and guitarist Conor Hearn unite to form “Rakish.” The pair gets their namesake from the traditional Irish tune Rakish Paddy, an origin that aptly suits the duo and their shared background in traditional Irish and Scottish music. Yet “rakish” itself also suggests something strikingly unconventional in its appearance, and Maura and Conor knowingly embrace this wealth of connotation in their music, drawing on the music they grew up with and performing it with their own slant. In a performance that is something more akin to concert music, Rakish explores tunes and songs from Irish and American folk traditions in a way that reflects their shared interest in and love for chamber and improvised music. Maura Shawn, a two-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion and a winner of the Glenfiddich Fiddle Competition, wields the technical range of an accomplished classical violinist and the deep sensitivity of a traditional musician. Conor, a native to the Irish music communities of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD, makes his home in Boston playing guitar for a number of traditional music acts and bands.
Rakish has performed on Front Row Boston, Brian O’Donovan’s 2020 “A Christmas Celtic Sojourn,” the Burren Backroom Series, and they can be heard on broadcasts of GBH’s “A Celtic Sojourn.” They have appeared at esteemed festivals including the Boston Celtic Music Festival, the Bellingham Irish Music Festival, and the Rockport Celtic Music Festival. Rakish is a recipient of the 2019 Iguana Fund Grant generously supported by Club Passim.
Conor Hearn is a stylistically diverse guitar player and instructor who specializes in accompaniment of traditional Irish and Scottish fiddle playing. Hailing from the Irish music communities of Washington D.C. and Maryland, Conor grew up playing fiddle and guitar in the traditional Irish music sessions. While studying to attain his B.A in English Literature with a minor in Music from Tufts University, Conor started working as a professional guitar player by lending his innovative rhythmic skills to the panoply of groups and projects that are taking shape in the Boston area folk music scene. He has since performed on programs like Brian O’Donovan’s Celtic Sojourn and taught guitar at music festivals such as Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp, while establishing himself as a cutting-edge Scottish and Irish plaver playing with groups like Soulsha, The Galen Fraser Quartet, TriHearn, and Pumpkin Bread. Conor currently makes his home in Medford, MA where he performs and teaches regularly.
Maura Shawn Scanlin
Maura Shawn Scanlin is a multi-genre violinist born in Boone, NC. Maura lives in Somerville, MA. She holds a Masters degree in Violin Performance from the Yale School of Music where she studied with Ani Kavafian. Maura received her Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston in May 2017. Maura has studied with renowned chamber musicians such as Lucy Chapman, the Borromeo String Quartet, Kim Kashkashian, Roger Tapping, and members of the Brentano String Quartet. Maura is also well-versed in a variety of non-classical styles from traditional folk music to more contemporary improvisatory music. Proficient in Irish and Scottish fiddle music, Maura has competed in the world’s premiere Scottish fiddling competitions. She is a two-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, and has won the Glenfiddich Fiddle Competition in Perthshire, Scotland. Maura plays a 1923 Ernst Heinrich Roth violin, made in Germany.