As one of the most well-known Celtic harpers in the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes Region,
Turner Collins plays music from the traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, Isle of Man and Galicia.
Growing up in the Missouri Ozarks, mountain music drew him in, much of it from Scotland and Ireland. Following the old way, 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, as well as private lessons. He describes his approach to music as “old school,” or perhaps “old sod.”
Families often call on him for weddings, funerals, christenings, reunions, and wakes in the old Irish style. He also plays many festivals. In addition to his repertoire of older material, Turner also plays some of the most contemporary manifestations of Celtic music. In his expansive approach, Turner helps define what “Celtic music” means these days.
He currently plays with the Bi Dana. Bí Dána Was
formed in the Summer of 2012 from former members of An Blas, Blaine
McQuinn and Turner Collins. They are joined by Earl Cameron and
Blaines brother Tim to complete complete a Celtic Music
Ensemble not typical of the Wisconsin Celtic music scene. Combining
rich vocal harmonies mixed with traditional instruments and tunes,
this band is a must see! Come see Bí Dána at a pub
near you! These musicians share Turner's vision for re-presenting
this music for contemporary audiences. He has played in many other
bands before including An Blas and Latin American and Middle Eastern