Lena Ullman is a renowned, eclectic and respected 5-string banjo player, singer and composer, living in the west of Ireland.
She moved to Ireland in her 20s and started learning Irish traditional music as well as playing in Old Timey bands, travelling throughout Ireland and beyond. She has developed an individual, melodic, clawhammer banjo style, which whilst having its roots deep in the Appalachian Old Time American tradition, draws from her having lived and played traditional music in Ireland.
Throughout her musical career Lena has worked with many fine musicians including: Johnny Moynihan, Brendan Hearty, the late Clive Collins, Frank Hall, Anna Falkenau, Charlie Piggott, Dermot Byrne and Ivor Ottley. In 2010 she released a CD with Frank Hall, Desi Wilkinson and Mairtin O’Connor titled ‘Buffalo In the Castle’.
Her solo CD Skating across the Baltic, also featuring Ivor Ottley, was met by critical acclaim. It was Album Choice of the Month in fRoots.
“This is a beautiful, heartfelt and refined recording of melody and song. Lena’s banjo playing and singing produce a delicate, spacious quality that establishes a beautiful transporting mood. The very fine musicianship of Ivor, combined with his subtle arranging skills, perfectly strengthens and supports the underlying feeling on all the songs and tunes. This recording is a real gem.” (Martin Hayes)