Big Nights!

of traditional dance in Montreal


Flute, whistle:
Whistle, accordion:
Tenor banjo:

Bill White
Karen Iny
Brad Hurley
Steve Jones
Martine Billette
Robert Leonard

Our intrepid caller, Bill White, initiated the Big Nights to fulfil a dream of seeing dances that blended Irish, Québécois and other traditions in Montreal. When he's not calling in both official languages, he is playing bodhran in a musical language all his own.

Karen Iny, fiddle, creator of the famous Big Night tuques, whose strong fiddling, radiant good humour and fierce thirst are central to the band's sound and presence.

Brad Hurley, flute and tin whistle, is what the Irish call "a lovely flute player" (Frenchwomen tend to agree). [We just call him "a flute player with altitude" -- Ed.] Brad keeps the Big Night sound fluid and lyrical. He has written a very popular Guide to the Irish flute.

Steve Jones, tin whistle, accordion, and amputé du violon. His whistling adds a bubbly cheerfulness to the band's sound. [How about "irritating"? Ed.] He has encouraged many people around the world to make, er, bubbly sounds as Brother Steve. He took up the button accordion a short while ago in an attempt to sound less inconsequential.

Martine Billette is our superb pianist, and also a magnificent step dancer - she enlivens our Big Nights with a solo number or two. Martine is in great demand as an accompanist, and dances with the trio Rapetipetam.

Fall 2004. We have persuaded our good friend Robert Leonard to join us on tenor banjo - not because he's Irish, or anything like that, but to keep Brad company at high altitudes. We did ask him to play piano accordion with us as well, but Robert felt that just one of the most reviled instruments in Irish music ought to suffice. Never fear - "Dr. Robert" is one of the most tasteful tenor banjoists around.