Turner Collins is one of the most well-known Celtic harpers in the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes region. Collins plays music from the traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, Isle of Man and Galicia. He will be playing music for the upcoming opening reception of Exegesis: Portraits of the Spirit.
“Collin’s performance has a special significance to the Shafer Gallery as Collins and Lee Worman and myself were bandmates in a caile band named Ashentree, Shafer Gallery Director Dave Barnes said. “In 1988, we played with the Shanghai National Orchestra in Shanghai, China.”
Growing up in the Missouri Ozarks, mountain music drew him in, much of it from Scotland and Ireland. Turner learned by ear, first ballads and traditional songs, and later he taught himself several instruments.
In addition to the Irish harp, he also performs on button accordion, the bodhran, bombarde, bouzouki, and the tin whistle. He learned these instruments and styles of playing from elders and peers, from the famous and the obscure.
He passes on his knowledge of historical and present-day Celtic culture to others through university and public-school classes and presentations.
In addition to his repertoire of older material, Turner also plays some of the most contemporary manifestations of Celtic music. In his broad approach, Turner helps define what “Celtic music” means these days.
Shafer Gallery presents Exegesis: Portraits of the Spirit