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Session with the pipers to feature Clare musicians

CLARE will be well represented at the Session with the Pipers traditional music recital which takes place in Dublin’s Cobblestone Bar next week. Taking part will be Miltown Malbay piper Séamus Ó Rócháin alongside the ever-popular Tommy Peoples on fiddle.

They will be joined on September 1 by such other noteworthy musicians as Tom McElvogue on flute, Tom Morrow, fiddle and Dermot Byrne, accordion.

Séamus Ó Rócháin acquired a practice set of pipes from Nick Adams, who also gave him his first lessons on the instrument. Séamus later moved to Belfast in the late 1990s and learned from Tom Clarke, Francie McPeake and Robbie Hannan.

Steeped in the music of his home in West Clare, Séamus is a devotee of the piping of Willie Clancy and plays almost exclusively on a Coyne set of pipes pitched in B that once belonged to Clancy. He has researched Willie Clancy’s piping extensively and his music remains an enduring influence on Séamus.

Séamus performs regularly at recitals both at home and abroad, including the Inter Celtic Festival in Lorient and in Cape Breton. He also plays with whistle player Bríd O’Donoghue and recently released his first solo recording entitled An Buachaill Dreoite to critical acclaim.

Now living in Dublin, Seamus teaches piping at Na Pobairí Uilleann as well as the classes at the Willie Clancy Summer School.

Tommy Peoples was born near St Johnston, a village in the Laggan district in the east of County Donegal. He has been a member of well-known traditional Irish music groups, including 1691 and The Bothy Band as well as performing solo since the late 1960s. He plays with a unique virtuosic technique in the Donegal fiddle style.

After moving to Dublin in the 1960s, where he was employed as a policeman, he subsequently moved to County Clare and married Mary Linnane, daughter of Kitty Linnane, long-time leader of the Kilfenora Céilí Band. He now resides in his home village of St Johnston. Tommy is currently the traditional musician in residence at The Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, County Donegal.

Originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, Tom McElvogue moved to Dublin in 1966. He began playing the flute at eight years of age and progressed to the flute at age 12. Tom has won numerous fleadh titles, including All-Ireland senior flute title in 1991. A professional photographer, his work has also included photographing many musicians in the Irish music world.

Tom has played at many festivals and sessions worldwide, touring with Comhaltas in the ’80s and ’90s, and his skilful flute playing can be heard on the album From a Distant Shore- Irish Traditional Music from Donegal, England, America and Cape Breton Island.

Tom Morrow is a native of Carrigallen in County Leitrim and is the eldest of a musical family. He began playing music at an early age with Tommy Maguire, a native of Glenfarne, County Leitrim. He has played extensively with a wide range of musicians around Leitrim and Cavan with including the Cornafean Group and Antoin McGabhann.

While studying in Limerick, he was part of the vibrant session scene that existed in the area. Tom then lived and worked as a software consultant in Dublin for five years. During this time he played with many groups and musicians including the Mick O’Brien Band and the Conor Byrne Group as well as been a participant in regular sessions in Dublin and throughout the country. Tom is a member of the widely acclaimed band Dervish.

Dermot Byrne is from Buncrana, County Donegal. He guested on two Altan recordings The Red Crow and Island Angel before joining the band in 1994. Dermot learned his music from his father Tomás Ó Beirn who comes from Teileann area of South West Donegal.

Dermot had a rare opportunity to meet many of the masters of Donegal fiddling while growing up. These included the legendary John Doherty, Con Cassidy, James Byrne, Tommy Peoples, Danny Meehan and many more. They made a great impact on the young Dermot who developed a unique style of button-accordion playing. He has guested on collaborations with many great musicians including Seamus and Manus McGuire, Sharon Shannon, Frankie Gavin, Pierre Schryer, Tim O’Brien and the late jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. His eponymous solo recording, which he has reissued recently, received great critical acclaim.

Session with the Pipers will take place at The Cobblestone Bar, 77 North King Street, Dublin 7 starting at 9.30pm (doors open 9pm) on September 1.

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