New Album 'BACKELOR'S PRIDE' was released on 23.04.2015 close ×

Art Ceilidh – folk rock band

Art Ceilidh, a folk rock band featuring accordion, was founded in 1998 by Mikhail Smirnov (accordion, vocals) together with Sergey Klevensky (ethnic wind instruments), participants of the famous Ivan Smirnov’s Quartet. The music of Art Ceilidh incorporates influences considered “Celtic” and unites in itself folk traditions of western and eastern Europe together with original compositions. Art Ceilidh immediately drew attention of the “world music” admirers. The band name speaks by itself: the spirit of tradition – the Ceilidh.
At the beginning Art Ceilidh based their repertoire mainly on the Celtic tradition, but eventually moved apart from the musical framework in attempt to give their music new interesting scent. The Art Ceilidh repertoire combines the diverse folklore intonations from ethnic to jazz, thus forming own recognizable style. Unlike many bands of similar formation Art Ceilidh mainly play author’s compositions, and that is certainly an advantage; these compositions are mostly written by the constant band members, Mikhail Smirnov and Sergey Klevensky.


Fringe 99

Ivan Smirnov, Mikhail Smirnov, Phil Cunningham (Fringe 99)

For the first time abroad Art Ceilidh, together with Ivan Smirnov, the best acoustic guitarist of Russia, presented the program named “At the other end of the world” – at the Edinburgh festival Fringe’99, Scotland.   As one could learn from the local press, it has been a real success.
There Mikhail Smirnov, who graduated State Musical College of the Moscow Conservatory (piano), first heard  live performance by brilliant accordionist Phil Cunningham, and he was so impressed,  that started playing accordion himself. And the band’s new sound emerged.

As a result of this journey The Collection of Celtic music was realesed – an album CELTOMANIA. It was produced by Mikhail Smirnov (TeRiRem), under label SKETIS, in the frame of the project “All Tribes”.



In 2001 a bass guitarist Alexei Raspopov, then an art director of the Moscow club Vermel, joined the duet. Art Ceildh finally found it’s sounding and became constant participant of ethnic and folk-rock festivals.

With Alan Stivell

Mikhail Smirnov, Alan Stivel, Alexey Raspopov

At various times in Art Ceilidh participated Dimitry Sevastyanov and Boris Lifshits (drums), Andrey Zvonkov and Nikolay Sarabjanov (guitar), Anton Revnjuk and Peter Dolsky (bass guitar), and also, during the period with 2000 for 2003 the vocalist of group was a Gipsy singer Ljubov Erdenko.

“Ceilidoscope. Being European”, the first Art Ceilidh solo album, was realesed in 2006. In fact it was a sum of the last years.

Alexey Raspopov suddenly died in 2008, it was a terrible shock for the band members. Art Ceilidh stopped playing. Only in 2010 the musicians decided to go on.

Art Ceilidh have finished recording their latest studio album “Backelor’s Pride”, it will be presented in March.

Present participants:

Mikhail Smirnov – keyboard, accordion, percussion,  vocals
Sergey Klevensky – ethnic wind instruments
Vadim Bedov – guitar, mandolin
Alexander Sharashenidze – electric guitar, guitar