Workshop Tutors


Workshop Tutors

Classes in St. Patrick’s Secondary School, Castleisland. Saturday 10am-1pm.

Spaces are limited, booking is recommended. To prebook text 0857869067

Paudie O’Connor (Accordion)

Paudie O Connor is an accordion player from Sliabh Luachra Kerry. His playing follows in the traditions of Sliabh Luachra, with his influences ranging from the bowing of Padraig O’ Keeffe and Denis Murphy to the time spent in his youth playing with local box players Johnny O’ Leary, Jimmy Doyle and John Brosnan. In 2005, he launched a landmark recording of Sliabh Luachra music entitled ‘Different State’ which featured in the best of 2005 lists of both The Irish Times and The Irish Echo. Paudie’s music also featured on the album The County Bounds, a 1999 Ossian records production featuring a compilation of music from the Cork-Kerry border including contributions from Johnny O’Leary, Jackie Daly and Peadar Ó Riada. On ‘Different State’, his wife Aoife Ní Chaoimh, a fiddle player from Tralee, Co. Kerry, joins Paudie. In 2008, Paudie released the album Wind and Reeds with uilleann-piper John O’Brien and Jim Murray on guitar. Paudie is a regular contributor to traditional music festivals, workshops and lectures at home and abroad. In 2010, Paudie performed in the music ensemble as part of Rough Magic’s production of Phaedra for the Dublin Theatre Festival and in 2011 presented an episode of Geantraí featuring Sliabh Luachra musicians. In December 2014, Paudie and Aoife launched the critically acclaimed ‘Didn’t She Dance and Dance’, an album of dance tunes from Sliabh Luachra.

Derek Hickey (Accordion)

Derek Hickey hails from Adare, Co. Limerick. He started playing accordion at a young age .Both his grandfathers played fiddle and his own musical career began at ten years of age when his uncle left an accordion in the family home. Derek progressed to dance tunes within weeks though he didn’t begin lessons – under the tutelage of Dónal de Barra – until he was 12. Derek’s professional career began three years later when he joined the Shannonside Céilí Band. Formed by the Liddy family the band was particularly popular in the north of the country. It also toured extensively in England and made regular trips throughout Europe. By the age of 18 he joined the band Arcady and then at 21 was invited by Frankie Gavin to join De Danann. He recorded two albums with the band during the time he spent with them. Derek Hickey is a regular tutor at The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in the University of Limerick. In his rich and varied performing experiences, he has shared the stage with some of world’s greatest talents including Stephan Grappelli and The Rolling Stones.

Connie O’Connell (Fiddle)

“I’M TELLING you that Connell is good, he’ll be heard of yet,” declared the late fiddle player Denis Murphy, one of the finest exponents of Sliabh Luachra Music many years ago. How right he was. Connie is one of the most respected musicians in the country with regard to style and repertoire — incredibly, he is self-taught on the fiddle. Connie O’Connell is a fiddler and composer from Cill na Martra, Co. Cork – a parish located between Macroom and Ballyvourney. At the age of twelve, Connie was given his first fiddle and began to teach himself how to play. He is one of the strongest exponents of Sliabh Luachra fiddle music, very much in the tradition of Patrick O’Keefe. His versions of tunes have reached all corners of Ireland and beyond. Jigs and reels composed by Connie O’Connell have been recorded on vinyl, CD and tape by some of the best traditional musicians over the years. Connie has made regular appearances playing on national television over the years and is also a well regarded composer . He has lectured in music at UCC for over 40 years and in 2015 he released an online collection of his tunes titled “Bóithrín na Smaointe.”

Gerry Harrington (Fiddle)

Gerry Harrington grew up in Kenmare Co. Kerry in beautiful surroundings and scenery. At an early age Gerry was very interested in music which was influenced by the landscape and the wonderful musicians of the day. Since then Gerry has recorded seven albums and has taught Irish Traditional Fiddle playing and the history that goes with it in many countries and all over Ireland and provides music for private gatherings, weddings and funerals. All of Gerry Harringtons recorded albums are based on researching the old traditional tunes and bringing them to a new time. Gerry is skilled in performance, teaching, recording, mixing, production. He has also has performed and taught music in many countries, including the US, Alaska, France, Finland, Holland and has had students from Japan come to his home for tuition.Gerry Harrington is very passionate about passing on the Traditional music, with feeling and emotion to a new generation with the skills he has learned in his association with many musicians he has encountered on his musical journey. “My greatest pleasure in life is bringing enjoyment to people through my music, teaching fiddle, taking long walks with my dog while taking photos of this wonderful country we live in and it also very much inspires me in my music.”

Emma O’Leary (fiddle)

Emma O’Leary hails from the village of Scartaglin in Co. Kerry. Emma comes from a strong musical family. Her sister Carmel plays pipes and whistle and Colette plays piano accordion with the well know group “The Bumble Bees”. Her early musical influences include Nicky McAuliffe, with whom she began learning the whistle at the age of four. She went on to attend the Kerry School of Music, where she was classically trained for eight years. Emma joined IT Tralee in 1998 and studied music for two years before taking a year off on a world tour with Rhythm of the Dance and also Ceol Chiarraí. She participated in a Leader cultural exchange in France where she taught music and culture. Emma holds five all Ireland champion titles, winning three in one day at the All-Ireland fleadh in Enniscorthy in 2000. Emma went on to join “Créde” a group that consisted of herself Jonathan Roche, Eibhlis Murphy, and Seán Leahy. Emma style is strongly influenced by the music of Sliabh Luachra. She regularly teaches music and has played at many festivals throughout Ireland including Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh, The Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional MusicFestival, The Gathering Festival and The Con Curtin Music Festival. She has performed on many TV and radio programmes over the years such as Geantraí, Oireachtas na Gaeilge, The Rolling Wave, Céilí House, Raidió na Gaeltachta and many other programmes on TG4, Clare FM and Radio Kerry.

Liam O’Brien (Concertina)

Liam O’Brien is a concertina player and teacher from Miltown Malbay Co. Clare. Liam began his musical education at the age of 4 under tutelage of his mother, Bríd O’Donoghue, and the legendary Noel Hill. However it is Liam’s own style and sound that makes him stand out as a remarkable young musician with a distinct and memorable musical accent. He has recently finished a BA Irish Music & Dance at the University of Limerick. Liam has performed and taught at workshops in various parts of the world including Tokyo, Tanzania, France, Switzerland, Austria, Romania and Scotland. In February 2017 Liam received the Ceoltóir Óg award at the Gradam Ceoil TG4 awards, the Traditional Music ‘Oscars.’ In 2018 Liam released his debut album ‘The Lane’ to much aclaim. Liam plays and teaches at festivals throughout the country and is regularly featured on RTE and TG4.

Niamh Parsons (Singing)

Niamh Parsons has come to be known as one of the most distinctive voices in Irish music. The great Scottish balladeer Archie Fisher said of Niamh, ‘a songstress like her comes along once or twice in a generation.’ Growing up in Dublin, Niamh’s music-loving parents brought herself and her sister to the local folk club in The Old Shieling Hotel in Raheny, where the young girls were exposed to songs and singing from the likes of The Johnstons, Emmet Spiceland, Sweeney’s Men, Dolly McMahon, Danny Doyle and many of the other musicians and singers that were playing in Folk clubs at that time. ‘My father was a great singer, and on long journeys the family used to sing in the car – I don’t remember a time in my life when I was not singing – I love songs.’ Throughout her career, Niamh has performed with a wide variety of artists, and has appeared at nearly every prestigious folk festival on either side of the Atlantic. As a member of the traditional Irish band Arcady (led by De Dannan’s Johnny ‘Ringo’ McDonagh), she sang on their Shanachie recording Many Happy Returns. She appeared before President Clinton and Bertie Ahern in Capitol Hill, Washington, joined Grammy Award winner Paul Winter for an album and a summer concert in New York, and performed on ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ when the show broadcast live from Dublin. With 8 albums to her name, Niamh has gathered a body of songs from many sources, both traditional and modern songwriters. Niamh holds singing masterclasses at festivals throughout the country and all year round in Dublin.

Brian Mooney (Banjo)

Brian Mooney is a banjo and bouzouki player. Brian originates from Brosna, Co. Kerry, an area steeped in Sliabh Luachra music. Brian’s musical influences include Sliabh Luachra, west Limerick and later County Clare, where he lived and played regularly for a number of years. These exposures helped Brian form a traditional style with emphasis on a strong rhythm and a rich melody. Brian’s banjo and bouzouki playing has featured on many albums by leading musicians over the past number of years, including the albums of Dan Brouder & Angelina Carberry, Tony O’Connell & Eamonn O’Riordan and many more. More recently, Brian has been a member of the traditional group Caladh Nua and has toured America and Europe with the band. Brian has been a popular teacher at various summer schools and workshops for a number of years now and we are delighted to have him teaching in Castleisland.

Éamon O’Riordan (Flute)

Éamonn comes from Athea in West Limerick and has won numerous All-Ireland titles. At a young age, he was playing in sessions with Donal Sullivan and Frances O’Connor, two great West Limerick flute players, as well as box player Donie Nolan and singer Con Graney. Eamon honed his talents by attending sessions with Paddy Cronin, Connie O’Connell, Nicky and Anne McAulliffe to name but a few. Éamon recorded ‘Rooska Hill’ along with Tony O’Connell in 2015. This album has been widely acclaimed, and received Irish traditional music album of the year in 2015. Described by Trad Connect as ” It is about as good as it gets, when it comes to a traditional recording, and it captures the vibrancy and authenticity that can elude many an artist. ” Éamon plays and teaches at festivals throughout the country and we are delighted that he is returing to Castleisland this year.

Peter Browne (Uileann Pipes)

Peter Browne was born in Dublin in 1953 and commenced playing traditional music at the age of 6. He received tuition in the playing of the uilleann pipes from three of the great players of modern times; Séamus Ennis, Leo Rowsome and Willie Clancy and on reaching his ‘teens was already acknowledged as a leading player of that instrument. In his youth he attended many of the major traditional music events of the time with his family and frequently visited Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, home of Willie Clancy and Lisheen, Gneeveguilla, Co Kerry staying in the home of Denis Murphy the famous Sliabh Luachra fiddle player who was a family friend. In the early 1970’s he played with the group 1691 which was a forerunner of The Bothy Band and later spent two periods playing on both pipes and flute with The Bothy Band who were much celebrated for their skilled and energetic approach to the playing of traditional Irish music. He has played music in many countries in Europe and in North America at concerts, lectures and recitals and made two groundbreaking albums of music and song in the 1980’s together with Philip King on the Gael-Linn label – Rince Gréagach and Seacht Nóiméad Déag chun a Seacht. He frequently attends gatherings of uilleann pipers and summer schools as guest teacher, lecturer and performer. He worked in RTÉ Radio for over 40 years with a special interest in traditional music in programmes such as The Rolling Wave, Sounds Traditional, Áirneán, Mo Cheol Thú, Céilí House and in the late 1970s he presented a ground-breaking series The Long Note. Peter is also a founding member of the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival.