Clonmel’s Derbhile Fabie jazzes it up in Chicago

Derbhile Fabie
A Clonmel woman is part of a Chicago-based jazz trio who release their debut album this weekend.

A Clonmel woman is part of a Chicago-based jazz trio who release their debut album this weekend.

The Fabie Anstee Trio includes Derbhile Fabie, the daughter of Kathleen and the late pharmacist Seamus Maher from O’Connell Street.

Their album Home was recorded with Grammy Award-winning producer Blaise Barton and guitarist Rob McDougle and features 13 original songs written by the trio.

Vocalist and keyboard player Derbhile attended Rathkeevan National School and Rockwell College before studying English Literature and Philosophy at UCD, which she says helps with writing song lyrics.

She met her husband Christopher Fabie when she moved to Chicago after UCD. The couple were married and moved back to Clonmel, where they established the Just For Fun Music School, which was based at the Denis Lacy Hall on the Mall.

Their students included Gev Barrett and Steve McGrath who are members of the band Crow Black Chicken and who she says “continually inspire us with their unrelenting commitment to artistic expression”.

Derbhile and Christopher left Clonmel two and-a-half years ago and moved back to Chicago. There they formed The Fabie Anstee Trio with Rob Anstee, who has been composing original music since the early 90s.

The trio perform original tunes in the style of early-to-mid-20th century popular music. Derbhile has been influenced by great jazz singers such as Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Anita O’Day, while drummer Christopher Fabie has been a longtime fixture in the Chicago music scene.