Deanta (pronounced: Jaunt-a) is one of the top traditional Celtic bands in Ireland.
Formed in Northern Ireland's County Antriam, the group is known for its tight, ensemble, playing and the crystalline vocals of All-Ireland champion singer Mary Dillon. According to Irish Music Magazine, "Unlike some of the other guns currently making waves on both sides of the Atlantic, Deanta have not gone down the well worn route of 'give it a dose of rocket fuel, foot to the floor, out blast The Bothy Band and divil the pillion passenger". In his liner notes for Deanta's self-titled 1993 album, Jackie Dixon took a similar view, writing, "The old values inherent in traditional music are held intact and are never under threat from modern influences that the band judiciously introduce into their repertoire." The musical foundation of Deanta was furnished by Katie O'Brien, who played fiddle and viola, and her brother, Eoghan, who played guitar and harp. The original group also featured Paul Mullan (flute, whistles), Clodagh Warnock (bouzouki, fiddle, bodhran, percussion) and Mary Dillon (vocals, synthesizer, guitar, harp). By the time that they released their second album, Ready for the Storm, in 1994, Mullan had been replaced by Deidre Havlin and Rosie Mulholland (keyboards, fiddle) had been added. Although they were one of the best selling acts on the Green Linnet label, each musician maintained a day job and the group toured rarely. In early 1998, Deanta announced that they were disbanding. ~ Craig Harris