Session with the Pipers - Cobblestone Bar, Dublin - 1st September 2015

Pádraic Keane hails from Maree, Co. Galway and was born into a great musical family in 1991. His father Tommy is a well known piper, originally from Waterford who was taught by the legendary piper Tommy Kearney. His mother Jacqueline McCarthy is a very respected concertina player and is the daughter of the late Tommy McCarthy from West Clare who was a multi-instrumentalist playing pipes, whistle and concertina. Jacqueline's sister Marion also plays pipes. It is little wonder therefore, considering the love and prevalence of piping on both sides of the family, that Pádraic began learning the pipes at the age of eight under the guidance of his father. He also received tuition from many leading pipers at various summer schools including Robbie Hannan, Mick O'Brien, Emmett Gill, Jimmy O'Brien Moran, Seán McKeon, Brian McNamara and Ronan Browne. His first pipes were a practice set borrowed from Na Píobairí Uilleann. Since then Pádraic has inherited his grandfather's pipes - a concert pitch set made by Leo Rowsome. When playing solo he likes to perform on a flat set in C made by Geoff Wooff.

Pádraic's piping comes from the style of Willie Clancy but other influences such as Seán McKiernan and Séamus Ennis are also discernable in his music. He in turn is now passing on his love for piping and has a number of fledgling pipers coming to him for tuition. He is also one of the piping tutors at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy held in Miltown Malbay each year. In 2011 he was awarded Gradam Ceoil TG4 - Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana (TG4 Music Award - Young Musician of the Year). He has toured America (as soloist with The Irish Chamber Orchestra) performing Termōn - a piece for uilleann pipes and strings by Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin - which was commissioned for the tenth anniversary of 9/11. He has also toured with Ragús and worked with Galway's Irish language theatre group - An Taibhdhearc. He is featured on "The Rolling Wave" - a CD of young pipers issued by Na Píobairí Uilleann in 2012.

Josephine Marsh's reputation as an accordion player and composer has carried her, and her band to perform at gigs and festivals in Europe, Australia, and the USA. On St. Patrick's Day she, along with her brother Pat and singer Niamh Parsons, played for President Bill Clinton, Bertie Ahearn and many other dignitaries at Capitol Hill. In 1997 her music was featured in a National Geographic film on the Famine. Josephine was also voted Best Rookie of the Year and also was one of the runners up for Best Female Traditional Performer by the Irish Music Magazine. She has a style all of her own making and with the help of the many television/radio stations playing her music, has built up a faithful, sizeable audience for her particular brand of music.


With her four-piece band, which includes the virtuoso mandolin/bouzouki player Declan Corey, Paul O Driscoll on double bass, and the latest addition to the group, guitarist/singer Tommy Carew, Josephine has successfully integrated her individual style and sound to an equally individual group sound and style.

Mick Kinsella, originally from Tullow, Co Carlow and now living in West Clare, plays harmonica and English concertina. He is a highly respected musician both in the traditional music world and also the other musical genres of jazz, blue grass, rock and blue grass.


In 1995 he travelled to Australia with his group at the time 'The Slightly Bewildered String Band' and performed at many of the folk festivals such as Canberra and Port Fairy as well as some performance in Tasmania. He is often asked to give workshops and perform abroad and often teams up with fellow harmonica players, Rick Epping and Brendan Power. As well as his own records, Mick has recorded on over 50 albums to date including Altan's 'Another Sky', Billy Connolly's'World Tour of England, Ireland and Wales', Micheal O Suilleabhain's 'River of Sound', Mick Hanly's 'Wooden Horses', John Spillane's 'Lapadain, Lupadain' (Between the jigs and the reels), Emer Mayock's 'Merry Bits of Timber' & 'Playground', Cormac Breathneach's 'Musical Journey', Phil Callery's 'From the edge of memory', Brendan Power's 'New Irish Harmonica' and Michael Flatley's 'Celtic Tiger'.

Francy Devine was born in London, reared in Peterborough and educated in Leeds, Hull and Dublin. He gained his love of singing and piping from his Glaswegian father's Irish-Scots repertoire. He helped run Leeds Trades Council Folk Club.He moved to Dublin in 1974 to work with the Irish TGWU.


In 1980, he came to know Ewan Mac Coll and Peggy Seeger which led to creation of the Irish Workers' Music Co-operative. After the 1984-1985 Miners' Strike, Francy became Vice President of Côr Meibion Onllwyn (Onllwyn Miners' Welfare Male Voice Choir), singing with them in Belfast, Cork, Drogheda, Dublin, Waterford and Wexford. He co-ordinates the celebrated Howth Burns Nichts - run by Howth Singing Circle of which he was a founder member eleven years ago.


Francy is also a labour historian and has published widely on the subject, extending into workers' song and culture. He has also published two collections of poetry.
As singer, he has appeared in England, Scotland, Sweden and Brittany. The World's Room came to know him through his annual visits to the Cullerlie Traditional Singing Festival in Aberdeenshire.

Content Source : Na Píobairí Uilleann

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