Joanie Madden is an Irish flute and whistle player from New York. Here parents were Irish immigrants, and her father, Joe Madden, a button accordion player from County Galway, Ireland. Madden’s early exposure to Irish music in her family played a significant role in her musical development.

She won the All-Ireland Championship in both the tin whistle and flute, demonstrating her skill in traditional Irish music. Madden’s style incorporates elements of traditional style with influences from her upbringing in the United States.

In 1985, Madden formed Cherish the Ladies, an all-female Irish music group. The group, initially part of a concert series, grew into an internationally known band under Madden’s leadership. Cherish the Ladies combines traditional Irish tunes with contemporary compositions and includes step dancing in their performances.

Madden has also pursued a solo career, releasing albums that highlight her flute and whistle playing. These albums often feature collaborations with other musicians in the genre. As the musical director of Cherish the Ladies, Madden arranges the music and guides the group’s artistic direction. The ensemble has achieved international recognition, performing in various countries and recording several albums.

Madden’s work in Irish music has been acknowledged with several awards, including the Gradam Ceoil TG4, making her the first American-born musician to receive this honor from the Irish language TV channel TG4. Her efforts have contributed to the wider recognition and appreciation of traditional Irish music, especially in the United States. Madden’s work with Cherish the Ladies, her solo projects, and collaborations have helped to maintain and expand the audience for Irish music.


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