Archive for the Category ‘Musicians ( A – H)’

Bobby Gardiner

Bobby Gardiner

Bobby Gardiner was born in Aughdara, near Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, in 1939 into a family steeped in traditional music. His mother Delia palyed concertina and melodeon and his brother Mick was an accordionist, while his uncles Mick, Tom and Peadar Doolan played melodeon and fiddle. The young Bobby soon began playing himself, starting on the [...]

Death of Sligo flute player Peter Horan

Death of Sligo flute player Peter Horan

Co Sligo flute and fiddle player Peter Horan died on October 17, 2010, in the North West Hospice, Sligo. Peter Horan was born on June 25, 1926, in Bunnanadden, Killavil, in Co Sligo. Killavil lies near Ballymote in that musical part of south Sligo which also gave birth to Michael Coleman, James Morrison, Paddy Killoran, [...]

Joe Derrane

Joe Derrane

Joe Derrane was born in Boston on March 16, 1930, and by the age of 14 he was playing at Irish house parties, locally known as “rackets” and at dances. He learned to play first on the melodeon from Jerry O’Brien, originally from Kinsale, Co Cork. While a senior at Roxbury Mission High School in [...]

Mary Bergin

Mary Bergin

Biography of the Irish traditional tin whistle player Mary Bergin.

Joe Burke

Joe Burke

BORN in Kilnadeema, south of Loughrea in Co Galway in 1939, Joe Burke was introduced to music at an early age. His mother played the box in the old style. He recalls that he was four years of age when he first started playing. “There was always dancing in the house,” he told one interviewer. [...]

Mairtin Byrnes (1927 – ’95)

Mairtin Byrnes (1927 – ’95)

Biography of the Irish traditional music fiddle player Mairtin Byrnes from Co Galway.

Dennis Cahill

Dennis Cahill

Dennis Cahill was born to Irish parents in the southside of Chicago in 1954. At age ten he became interested in folk music such as Peter Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, and got his first guitar at that time. In his late teens he began playing in the local clubs in the folk scene [...]

Liz Carroll

Liz Carroll

Liz Carroll was born in Visitation Parish on the south side of Chicago on September 19, 1956. Her mother came from Ballyhahill, west Limerick, and father from near Tullamore, Co Offaly. Her grandfather on her mother’s side was a fiddler while her father, Kevin, played the accordion in the old push-and-draw or C#D style. Liz [...]

Bobby Casey (1926 – 2000)

Bobby Casey (1926 – 2000)

One of the big names of Irish fiddle playing, Bobby Casey was born at the Crosses of Annagh near Miltown Malbay, Co Clare. He has lived in London since 1952. His father John ‘Scully’ Casey, who died when Bobby was 15 or 16, was a well-known fiddler as well as being a flute and concertina [...]

Paddy Canny (1919 – 2008)

Paddy Canny (1919 – 2008)

Paddy Canny was born in Glendree, near Tulla in Co Clare, in 1919. His father Pat played the fiddle, as did both his brothers, and the blind fiddle instructor Paddy MacNamara boarded with the family during the winter and gave music lessons to many local children. His mother, Catherine McNamara, came from Feakle. In 1961 [...]

Willie Clancy (1918 – 73)

Willie Clancy (1918 – 73)

Willie Clancy was an iconic figure in the revival of the uillinn pipes and traditional music from the 1960s onwards. He was born in Miltown Malbay in west Clare on December 24, 1918. His father Gilbert played flute and concertina and had known and listened to legendary blind travelling Clare piper Garrett Barry. Willie played [...]

Julia Clifford (1914 – ’97)

Julia Clifford (1914 – ’97)

Julia Clifford was born on June 19, 1914, into a musical family at Lisheen, Gneevgullia in the Sliabh Luachra area north of Killarney, Co Kerry. The travelling fiddle teacher Padraig O’Keeffe tutored both Julia and her brother, the renowned fiddler Denis Murphy . At age 14 she won ten shillings for her playing at a [...]

Johnny Connolly

Johnny Connolly

Johnny Connolly was born on the now-abandoned island of Inis Bearacháin, off Leitir Móir in the Connemara Gaeltacht. Once, when he was about nine or ten, with his parents away at the currach races in Leitir Móir, he got his hands on his older brother’s melodeon. Soon he was playing a tune on it. By [...]

Joe Cooley

Joe Cooley

THE great Irish novelist John McGahern once said that he expected his characters were waiting for him to die off before taking on lives of their own. The accordeon music of Joe Cooley has taken on a life of his own since his death in 1973. Joe Cooley was born into a musical family in [...]

Junior Crehan (1908 – ’98)

Junior Crehan (1908 – ’98)

Fiddle and concertina player, singer, composer and storyteller, Martin (Junior) Crehan was born on January 17, 1908, in Bonavilla, Mullagh, Co Clare, into a house of flute players, concertina players and dancers. His father was a teacher at Shanaway National School. Junior learned concertina from his mother and later when learning fiddle was greatly influenced [...]

Elizabeth (Mrs) Crotty (1885 – 1960)

Elizabeth (Mrs) Crotty (1885 – 1960)

Associated by many with the revived fortunes of the concertina, Elizabeth Markham was born on December 6, 1885 in Gower, Cooraclare, in south west Clare. Better known to traditional musicians as “Mrs Crotty,” she grew up on a small farm in a home that was full of music. Her mother learned to play the fiddle [...]

Gerdie Cummane

Gerdie Cummane

Gerdie Cummane was born on October 6, 1917, in Ballyknock, Kilnamona, Co Clare. He started playing the concertina in 1926, learning by “hit and miss” from his father’s humming of tunes. There weren’t many musicians around in his young days and instruments were very scarce. A man called Tim Ryan was the only man in [...]

John Doherty (c1895 – 1980)

John Doherty (c1895 – 1980)

ALTHOUGH now an iconic figure of Donegal fiddle music, as a musician John Doherty was very much an individualist. But more than any other musician, he did draw attention to that county’s distinctive fiddle style. The musical lineage of the Doherty and McConnell families goes back many generations of Travellers that alternated between settled and [...]

Johnny Doran

Johnny Doran

Admired by the many people who stopped to listen to him at fairs and sporting events in the 1930s and ’40s, the travelling piper Johnny Doran played an influential role in the revival of the uilleann pipes in Ireland from the 1950s onwards. He played with imagination and flair and his music continues to inspire [...]

Seamus Egan

Seamus Egan

An unusually versatile performer, Seamus Egan has won four All Irelands (whistle, flute, mandolin, banjo). Yet despite people’s expectations of flashy performances, he prefers to blend into the overall Solas sound rather than impress with showy solo runs. Born in 1969 in Hatboro, Philadelphia, of Irish parents, the family returned to Foxford, Co Mayo, when [...]

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Irish Music Festivals 2010
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