Thanks to all of our great teachers for their time, talent, enthusiasm and patience. Below are some of their albums which we highly recommend! You can click on the titles for more information.

 

JERRY O'SULLIVAN

Jerry O'Sullivan has been widely hailed as America's premier uilleann piper. His reputation for technical and melodic mastery of the instrument, an Irish bagpipe known for its subtlety and expression, is unsurpassed in the United States, and is demanding considerable attention overseas. 

Jerry is also widely recorded on the tin whistle, the low whistle, the Highland bagpipes, and the Scottish small-pipes. Jerry has appeared on more than 90 albums and has performed or recorded with artists such as The Boston Pops, Don Henley, Paul Winter, James Galway, Dolly Parton, The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, The Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Eileen Ivers, and many others. He was a featured soloist on Paul Winter's GRAMMY winning album, Celtic Solstice (Living Music, 1999). His first two solo albums, The Gift (Shanachie,1998), and The Invasion (Green Linnet, 1987) have both received critical acclaim, quickly finding their way to the top of a number of "best albums of the year" lists. Jerry has just recently released a new solo album, O'Sullivan Meets O'Farrell (Jerry O'Sullivan Music, 2005), which features music from the 200 year old O'Farrell tutor and tune collections. Jerry has also recorded a number of film soundtracks including From Shore to Shore, The Long Journey Home, Far and Away, Africans in America, and Out of Ireland, and has appeared on numerous television commercials.

Jerry has toured extensively in the United States and Europe and has even played as far afield as Japan and Israel. He has been a featured performer and instructor in numerous Folk Festivals, including: the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Milwaukee Irish Festival, the Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, Boston's Gaelic Roots Festival, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the National Council for Traditional Arts National Folk Festival, and the Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, North Carolina. He has performed at such reputable venues as New York's Lincoln Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and on the mall in Washington D.C. His symphonic concerts have included selections from John Williams Far and Away (performed and recorded with the Boston Pops), O'Sullivan's March from Rob Roy, Main Title Theme from Braveheart (both performed and recorded with the Boston Pops) Patrick Cassidy's The Famine Symphony (performed at the world debut at St. Patrick's Cathedral), Paul Winter's Pipes Peace (performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra), and excerpts from Titanic (performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra).

Born in New York City to an Irish-American mother and a father from Dublin, Ireland, Jerry first learned to play the Scottish highland pipes. During summer visits to family in Dublin, he learned the uilleann pipes from listening and asking questions to experienced players such as Peter Carberry, Matt Kiernan, Dan Dowd, Peter McKenna, Fergus Finnegan, Mick O'Brien, Gay McKeon, and others. In New York, uilleann piper Bill Ochs was a major help and inspiration to Jerry.

Jerry O'Sullivan is a gifted ambassador of the Irish uilleann pipes, maintaining the historic traditions and melodies of the instrument while expanding its range into new genres of music and media. His mastery of the instrument, traditional knowledge, versatility, and dedication to education truly make him America's premier uilleann piper.

DAVID POWER

As a young musician, David attended regular lessons with the renowned piper Tommy Kearney and later studied with well-known pipers Jimmy O'Brien Moran and MacDara MacDoncha. In 1992, David won 1st prize in the Senior All-Ireland and coveted Oireachtas Piping competitions. He cites among his influences Felix Doran, Seamus Ennis, Leo Rowsome and Patsy Touhy. Among others, David has played with Liam Clancy of the Clancy Brother, flute player Ciaran Somers, and accordion player Tony MacMahon, as well as with his own band Fairweather Band during the 90s. He has appeared many times on radio and television, and he recently compiled and produced a substantial recording and historical biography of his mentor Tommy Kearney through NPU’s Masters Series. Further Activity Irish Representative Uilleann Piper at the Lorient Interceltic Festival, 1993.

CILLIAN VALLELY

Cillian took up his his father's instrument and polished his skills with tutelage from the late Armagh piper Mark Donnelly. His mastery of chanter, drones and regulators, and of all the accents and moods of the traditional piping idiom, place him in the first rank of today's Irish pipers. Cillian now tours with the group Lúnasa, and has also performed extensively in America with groups such as New York's Whirligig and Paddy O'Brien's Chulrua, and has appeared with fiddler Seamus Connolly, Riverdance on Broadway and Tim O'Brien's The Crossing.





PADDY KEENAN

Paddy Keenan was born in Trim, Co. Meath, to John Keenan, Sr. of Westmeath and the former Mary Bravender of Co. Cavan. The Keenans were a Travelling family steeped in traditional music; both Paddy's father and grandfather were uilleann pipers. Paddy himself took up the pipes at the age of ten, playing his first major concert at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, when he was 14. He later played with the rest of his family in a group called The Pavees. At 17, having fallen in love with the blues, Paddy left Ireland for England and Europe, where he played blues and rock. Returning to Ireland after a few years, he began playing around Dublin with singer/keyboardist Triona Ni Dhomhnaill and singer/guitarist Micheal O Dhomhnaill. Fiddler Paddy Glackin then joined the three, and they asked flute player Matt Mollov to play with them shortly thereafter. 

Next accordion player Tony MacMahon joined the group, and then guitarist Donal Lunny was asked to listen to the six. Liking what he heard, he joined as well, and the loosely-knit band began calling itself "Seachtar," the Irish word for "seven."

Seachtar's first major concert was in Dublin. They played a few more gigs around the country, but circumstances soon forced Tony MacMahon to drop out. When the rest of the band decided to turn professional Paddy Glackin left as well; he was replaced by Donegal fiddler Tommy Peoples who was later replaced by fiddler Kevin Burke). All the group needed now was a name.

Micheal O' Dhomhnaill had recently returned from Scotland, where he happened across a photograph taken in the 1890s of a group of tattered musicians. "The Bothy Band," it was titled, in reference to the migrant Irish laborers who worked in England and Scotland and were housed in stone huts known as "bothies." Micheal suggested that the band take this name, and the others agreed. Thus was born one of the most influential bands of the 1970s, The Bothy Band.

The Bothy Band forever changed the face of Irish traditional music, merging a driving rhythm section with traditional Irish tunes in ways that had never been heard before. Those fortunate enough to have seen the band live have never forgotten the impression they made -- one reviewer likened the experience to "being in a jet when it suddenly whipped into full throttle along the runway." Paddy was one of the band's founding members, and his virtuosity on the pipes combined with the ferocity of his playing made him, in the opinion of many, its driving force. Bothy Band-mate Donal Lunny once described Paddy as "the Jimi Hendrix of the pipes"; more recently, due to his genius for improvisation and counter-melody, he has been compared to jazz great John Coltrane.

Paddy's flowing, open-fingered style of playing can be traced directly from the style of such great Travelling pipers as Johnny Doran; both Paddy's father and grandfather played in the same style. Although often compared to Doran, Paddy was 19 or 20 when he first heard a tape of Doran's playing; his own style is a direct result of his father's tutelage and influence. 

MICHAEL COONEY

It seems like Michael Cooney was destined to play the pipes. He was raised in a family of Highland pipers from Co. Tipperary. His father, Martin, and his uncles played in the Sean Tracey Pipe Band in Littleton that his grandfather and great uncles founded. Irish dancing and singing also ran in the family. At a young age, Michael took a liking to the whistle. His father, eager to expose him to as much music as possible, began driving Michael all over the country for instruction. His first road trips were for whistle lessons from Dan Cleary, who led the Ballinamere Ce’l’ Band of Co. Offaly in the 1940s. He also learned from Sean Ryan, a fiddle player originally from Newtown, Co. Tipperary. Michael enjoyed the whistle (he still does), but it was the pipes that eventually called to him - uilleann pipes - which were just being rediscovered during the folk revival of the 1970s. In 1975, the Cooneys moved back to Gortnahoe in Co. Tipperary from Westmeath, allowing the young piper to meet new musicians.

Michael's father, who was raised in the musical traditions of the nearby Slieveardagh Hills, a region rich in fiddle and flute playing, returned to that very place, now taking his son there to learn from the locals. After Michael received his first set of pipes (made by Tom White of Co. Wexford), he continued to go to the hills for music. Because pipers were scarce there, he learned instead from accordion players Paddy O'Brien and Pat Lyons, and fiddler Niall Cleere. Tuesday nights were devoted to lessons with Niall at his cottage in Kilbraugh, where the two would pore over tunes from one of O'Neill's collections. Occasionally, Niall added a regional tune, one he got from Pat Dunne, the legendary fiddler who taught musicthere at the turn of the last century. Saturday nights Michael would try out his new jigs and reels at Pat Lynch's Pub in The Commons, often ending the evening with "The Blackbird," one of Pat Lynch's favorites.

Michael defined his piping style by listening to his father's tapes of Johnny Doran, Willie Clancy, Felix Doran, Leo Rowsome, Patsy Touhey, and Seamus Ennis. He was also a big fan of Planxty and the Bothy Band, two groups from the folk revival that featured pipers.

In the 1980s, Michael "Piper" Cooney made a name for himself, winning multiple All-Ireland championships in pipes and whistle. He also spent some time in the US, where he played music with legends like Andy McGann, Paddy Reynolds, and Joe Burke.

A Stone' Throw takes us a fair distance through Michael's musical biography. There are reels here passed down to him from Niall Cleere and Paddy O'Brien, as well as a couple of Scottish tunes, and an American waltz picked up in St. Louis. Along with the solidly traditional, there's a dash of innovation in accompaniment. Pipes are matched with the surprising sound of a slide guitar in a slow air, and keyboards back much of the album. But what emerges above all is the smooth sound of a master piper.

http://www.michaelpipercooney.com/bio.html

MATTIE CONNELLY

One of our many great guest instructors, the well-known piper and repository of historical data, memories and wonderful anecdotes about his early years playing the pipes in Ireland. When Mattie says, “Here’s how I learned it from Leo,” you just put down your pipes and listen. Always welcome at the Club.










RICH WOLFF

Rich first became interested in Celtic music as a teenager, having learned the warpipes from P/M James Gallagher of the Glenaine Pipe Band. He taught himself to play the Eb/Bb buttonbox found in his father's closet. This gradually led to sitting in at the Irish sessions in New York and the realization that the music could be better played on uilleann pipes. Having acquired a David Quinn 3/4 set around 1984, Rich began “the battle of the reeds” but, fortunately, the pipes became much more manageable after a very fascinating and productive year of excellent teaching from Bill Ochs. Bill also helped Rich to appreciate the subtleties of expression, so as to develop the beginning of a sense of musical taste. Thus began that incurable infection which we all share. Rich has been fortunate to have acquired a Koehler & Quinn half set in C, resulting in many happy hours of practice at home. But he is happiest playing in relaxed sessions with like-mined musicians. He also finds great satisfaction as the "default" teacher of the Hudson River Pipers' Club.



IVAN GOFF

All-Ireland champion uilleann piper Ivan Goff also plays whistles and Irish wooden concert flute. A Dubliner, based in New York, Ivan has performed in several well-known productions including extended engagements with Riverdance (US tour and Broadway) and Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Ivan’s music is featured in work as diverse as acclaimed art-film Cremaster 3 (dir. Matthew Barney) exhibited in the Guggenheim museum 2003and theatre production The Voice of the Sea (dir. Mac Uibh Aille), as performer/composer. A former member of Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, Ivan has performed with numerous bands and artists including world-renowned Paul Winter and internationally acclaimed Irish traditional bands Lúnasa and Dervish. Ivan is currently pursuing a PhD in music at New York University while continuing to perform as a solo artist.


BILL OCHS

Bill Ochs learned to play the Irish uilleann pipes from master pipers Andy Conroy (Roscommon), Pat Mitchell (Dublin and Galway) and Tom Standeven (Philadelphia). Ochs’s piping studies in Ireland were supported by a 1976 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Ochs’ performing credits include playing for José Quintero’s Broadway production of A Touch of the Poet, Pilobolus Dance Company’s Broadway début, the soundtrack for Bob Rafelson’s film Mountains of the Moon and the première of Wind by Eiko and Koma at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. His piping and tin whistle playing can be heard on the Rounder CD Light Through the Leaves. 

Ochs was also piper in the original touring lineup of The Green Fields of America, which included Liz Carroll, Jack and Charlie Coen, Michael Flatley, Sean McGlynn and Mick Moloney.

Ochs is author of The Clarke Tin Whistle, a critically acclaimed instruction book now in its eighteenth printing with over 240,000 copies in print. He is also producer of Micho Russell’s Ireland’s Whistling Ambassador and co-producer of Cathal McConnell’s Long Expectant Comes At Last, CDs which were both nominated for “Best Celtic Album of the Year” in the NAIRD Indie Awards.
Ochs has written articles on Irish music for New York Magazine, Sing Out!, The Pipers’ Review and other publications. He lives in Manhattan where he teaches the tin whistle, uilleann pipes and Irish flute at his studio in midtown and at The Irish Arts Center. He also gives lessons via webcam to students in other parts of the country.

MARTIN McCORMACK

Martin grew up learning traditional music in the Corcaghan area of County Monaghan. He learned the pipes from his cousin Tiarnan O’ Duinnchinn of Armagh Pipers Club. He was also heavily influenced by Monaghan piper/pipemaker Eamon Curran who made the chanter Martin presently plays. In his teenage years, he competed successfully in solo and ensemble competitions at Ulster and All-Ireland level. He has performed many times on Irish radio and TV broadcasts and at music festivals in Europe, the U.S.A. and Canada. His solo debut recording “Uilleann Pipes and Whistles – Traditional Music from County Monaghan” met with much widespread critical and audience acclaim. He currently tours extensively with various groups including world-renowned show ‘Riverdance’, but also spends much of his time performing, teaching and recording in the New York region.

TOMMY MARTIN

Piper and Pipe maker Tommy Martin gave the Club a group class at the Irish Arts Center in NYC on September 25th 2008. He was in NYC while on tour with the group "Teada". Tommy took his first Uilleann Pipes lesson from Dublin piper, Mick O’Brien, a cousin, in 1984 at the age of 12. By 1988, with the great help of Mick’s tuition and guidance he won first place at the Annual Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in the 15 -18 age group Uilleann Pipes competition, and again in 1991 in the senior competition.

From his late teens Tommy has been very much involved in encouraging traditional Irish music, especially uilleann pipes, by teaching younger musicians around Ireland at various Tionol and Scoil Eigse. His professional career started in 1996 when he took a job organizing and playing at Irish music nights in Irish pubs in Hong Kong.

This led to more work in Asian cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore and Tokyo over the following years. One great time was had playing support to ‘Shooglenifty’ at the Hong Kong Folk Festival in 1996. Back in Europe, Tommy’s talent and experience took him to perform in almost every mainland country.

Performances have varied from solo uilleann pipes performances to playing with 5 piece folk bands and have been as diverse as being an Uilleann Pipes tutor in New Zealand to performing with "Riverdance" in New York, to performing with the Chicago Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra.

Tommy is also an experienced uilleann pipes teacher. He has tutored students all over Ireland, England, New Zealand and now the US.

Tommy was teacher of the advanced uilleann pipes class in Na Piobairi Uilleann, Dublin up untill he moved to St Louis in 2003. His first solo CD, “Uilleann Piper”, was released in 2000 and Tommy can be also heard on 12 other albums, as a guest musician. Tommy’s second album, “Shady Woods“ , was released in Dec 2005. That month he also toured as a guest with traditional band Teada as they celebrated their “Irish Christmas in America” tour. Other guests were Grainne Hambly on harp and singer, Cathie Ryan. Tommy, Grainne and members of Teada will tour again in Dec ‘08 with Karen Casey and Cara Dillon as guest singers.

Tommy now lives in St. Louis Missouri where, while not traveling he also makes tin whistles and pipes. www.thorntonwhistles.info Here is a link to his website http://www.tompipes.com/