RKTZ Touring is the executive producer and creator of the Rhythms of Ireland, the show was produced in 2007 and has enjoyed great success both in Australia and overseas.
As well as being a producer and creator of stage shows, RKTZ is also a specialist in Entertainment Marketing and Promoter of live touring acts, previously touring such acts as Mariah Carey, The Beach Boys, The Jackson's, D'Angelo, Drum Tao, Live, Jill Scott, TLC, Toni Braxton, Celtic Illusion, Men in Tutus, Ragus the show, The World of Musicals, and many more.
Musical Director, traditional musician (uilleann pipes and whistles), composer, educator, and researcher, Thomas Johnston’s work lies in those spaces between Irish traditional music, performing arts for children and young audiences, theatre, and community music.
Since directing the musical score for Rhythms of Ireland, Thomas has garnered a reputation as a director and producer in the area of music for young audiences. As Artistic Director of Ceol Connected, his live productions include The Quiet Tree and the Creatures of Whistleberry Forest, a traditional music performance experience (for children aged 2-6), The Far Field, a musical world of fairy and otherworldly folklore (for children aged 3-7), and The Wonderful Tune, an ocean-themed music, puppetry, and storytelling piece (for children aged 6+). These shows, developed in collaboration with a range of traditional musicians and other artists, have been performed to great acclaim at festivals in Ireland and internationally.
His most recent album called The Quiet Tree has been described as ‘a wonderful, magical, absolutely enchanting and beguiling work... a real treasure’ (Ellen Cranitch (Vespertine on RTÉ Lyric FM).
Martin O’Connell is a native of County Kerry, Ireland. An All-Ireland, All-American, and All-U.K. Champion (2012), he has enjoyed great success as a button accordion player, a producer, and musical director of a variety of stage productions.
O’Connell’s most recent show, Rhythms of Ireland, has toured extensively throughout Europe and Australia. Demonstrating his versatility, Martin has performed at Carnegie Hall for a week long series of concerts in 2013 while also playing at the Lincoln Centre as part of the production company, An Fibín.
Martin has a dynamic and energetic presence throughout the New York traditional Irish Music scene, being involved in many educational outreach programs, including a project with the New York Pops Orchestra and Young Explorers, Carnegie Hall. He has shared the stage with the cast of Les Miserables, including the renowned actors, Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman while regularly entertaining various global dignitaries ranging from Presidents (Mary McAleese, Michael D.Higgins), Prime Minister Enda Kenny and Mayors of New York, Michael Bloomberg and Bill De Blasio. Other collaborations have included performances with Eimear Quinn, Eurovision winner and regular concerts with Professor Mick Moloney, the doyen of Irish folkore and music in venues such as Symphony Space, St. Patricks Cathedral, NYC to name but a few.
He has toured throughout the world as a soloist with Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann, Gaelforce, Brú Ború amongst other troupes and has collaborated with Noel Hill for a concert series in Glucksman Ireland House in New York. With several television appearances to his credit including the Irish Entertainment Awards at the Helix, Dublin, and Good Morning America (ABC), he also founded the award winning céilí band The Triogue in 2009.
As a committed accordion teacher, he has taught in the Irish Arts Centre for numerous years alongside numerous workshops throughout the world including the renowned Catskills Irish Arts Week. By profession, Martin is an Electrical Engineer, (CEO Nasal Medical) and has received numerous awards from Enterprise Ireland and other institutions such as the AIB Start-Up Academy award where he won 250k in 2016.
Michael Donnellan began Irish Dance at the age of five. He soon became one of Ireland’s greatest champion dancers, a title he holds to this day.
There are major competitions for champion dancers, Michael’s success in these elite competitions put him a step above other champions. At the age of 12 he won the Munster, All Ireland, Great Britain and the British National Championships. That same year he achieved the highest honor by winning the WORLD Championships. At the age of 19 he became a professional dancer, taking a leading part in Lord of Dance. Less than a year later he danced the leading part in Riverdance. In 1997 he returned to competition winning the World Championships again! He retired from his competive career as a four time Munster Champion, two time British National Champion, six time Great Britain Champion, two time All Ireland Champion and four time World Champion. After many tours with Lord of the Dance and Riverdance he looked for something else to challenge him. In 1999 he developed the newest dance sensation, Magic of the Dance and in 2005 The Rhythms of Ireland Michael choreographed both productions.
He is currently the only male dancer to have performed lead roles in all three major Irish dancing shows. He has completed over 150 performances with “Lord of the Dance”, over 1000 with “Riverdance” and 1500 with “Magic of the Dance” where he toured 520 cities in 50 countries in 5 years. His choreography is still performed world wide on a nightly basis. While juggling his career, and tour schedule, Michael passed the exams necessary to become a certified Irish Dance Instructor (TCRG)! He has taught dancers in Ireland, England, Germany, Canada, and the United States.