John McKenna Double CD to be released.

The voluntary organisation the John McKenna Traditional Society will soon issue the complete works of the above master flute player.

For those who may not be aware,  John McKenna (1880-1947) was from Tents, Tarmon on the west side of Lough Allen on the Leitrim/Roscommon border. He worked it the coalmines of Arigna, before leaving to work as a fireman in New York.

He made many recordings, in New York in the 20s and 30s and all 44 known 78rpm tracks are to be issued by the Society very soon. This is not just another set of tunes to learn, but a major event in Irish musical history, with a 96 page booklet rfesearched by Sean Gilrane of Ballinaglera.  McKenna's 78s drifted back to Ireland and he became a major influence in the continuing and vibrant Leitrim flute tradition.

I have, with Sean's help, written an article in the current issue 101 of 'Living Tradition' magazine (www.folkmusic.net) (page 7) with more information, but anyone with an interest in the background to this master player needs to know about this important event .

McKenna has to be regarded alongside Morrison, Coleman etc and his music has been unavailable for too long. CD will be available at the launches and via www.johnmckenna.ie

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