Category Archives: Music & Musicians

Mike Rafferty (flute)

mike_rafferty

Mike Rafferty was an Irish flute player from Ballinakill in Co. Galway, who emigrated to the US and became a major figure in Irish traditional music there.
Born in 1926, he learned his music from his father Barrell Rafferty, who played flute and uilleann pipes. In 1949 he emigrated to the US where he married and raised a family of 5.

He toured all over the US with the group the Green Fields of America, and was influential in the early days of Comhaltas, as a member of the Martin Mulvihill Branch.
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Jim Donoghue – Irish tin whistle player

Jim Donoghue (1910-90) was a Sligo tin whistle player, known for his style of playing the “Clarke Whistle” – he played in a strong, rhythmic style with a tone that approached that of the Irish flute. He obtained his unique tone by working or “humouring” the fipple of his Clarke tin whistle, and played many of his tunes in unique settings. Below is his version of the Battering Ram jig.

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Jim Donoghue – Recordings at the British Library

The  British Library has an enormous online archive of recordings, with a large selection of Irish traditional music in the collection “Traditional Music in England”.
Among the Irish musicians is the excellent whistle player Jim Donoghue.

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John McKenna (flute)

john mckenna flute

John McKenna was an influential Irish flute player. Born in 1880 in Tarmon, Co Leitrim, he worked in the Arigna coal mines before emigrating to the States in 1911, where he settled in New York. He made 60 recordings (78s) between 1921 and 1937, including several duets with violinist James Morrisson. He was among the first to make recordings of Irish traditional music, with James Morrisson (fiddle), Patsy Tuohy (uilleann pipes) and other emigrant musicians, at the time of Francis O’Neill’s book “The Dance Music of Ireland.

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Paddy Cronin

Paddy Cronon violon irlandais

The fiddle player Paddy Cronin was born in the 20s in Co. Kerry. He learned fiddle from Padraig O’Keefe, and is known for his style which combines  the Sligo and Sliabh Luacra styles, and his unusual tune settings.

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Cruinniu – hornpipe & 2 reels

The group Cruinniu playing at the Cooley/Collins festival, with 3 tunes : the Boys of Bluehill and 2 reels. With Jack Talty (keyboard), Ann Marie Grogan (flute), Caitlíin Nic Gabhann (concertina), Siobhán O’Donnell (bodhrán and vocals), Damien O’Reilly (accordion) and Áine Bird (fiddle).

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