Gannon's Traditional Irish Music SchoolTutors
Concertina, Classical Piano, Music Theory
Kelly Gannon is an All-Ireland champion musician who has been playing the concertina since the age of six. Growing up in Ballindine, Co.Mayo, she was taught by her mother Bernie Geraghty and now continues the family tradition of teaching in Connemara. Regularly performing at music festivals throughout Ireland, she has also featured in concert venues across North America, including the Irish Cultural and Heritage centre of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), Catskills Irish Arts Week and Chief O’ Neills (Chicago). Her music has been recorded for Raidió na Gaeltachta, RTÉ Radio 1 “Céili House” and the TV series “Geantraí” on TG4. More recently, she recorded with her husband Colm on the album “The Rights of Man”. Kelly studied classical piano and theory through the Royal Irish Academy of Music and has over 10 years teaching experience.
Button Accordion, Melodeon
Colm was born in Dorchester, Boston, to Connemara parents - his father John from Droim & his mother Gerry from Túirín. He learnt to play his music from his father & his brother Sean. Colm won the All-Ireland in 1994 on the Accordion and then moved to Ennis with fiddler Jesse Smith, where he got to play with all the great musicians there. After a couple of years, Colm was asked to join “Riverdance”, with whom he toured for 4 years. He has toured the states with “Dervish” and, as part of the group “Ragús”, performed with Dolly Parton in “Dollywood”. Now living in Droim, he plays throughout Ireland and the US promoting his album “The Rights of Man”, featuring Alec Finn, Johnny McDonagh, John Blake and Kelly Gannon. He has recorded extensively and has released the albums “Return to Droim”, “Trasna Na dTonnta” – a duet album with his father John Gannon, and “The Ewe with the Crooked Horn” along with Jesse Smith and John Blake. Colm has also recorded as a guest musician on numerous occasions and has appeared in a number of well-known movies. In 2012, Colm was awarded a 1st class honours Masters degree in Irish Traditional Music Performance at the University of Limerick.
Flute, DADGAD Guitar, Traditional Piano
Born in London, John was exposed to a vibrant and thriving Irish music scene. Taught by legendary Clare man Brendan Mulkere, the flute quickly became his instrument of choice and he added to that by picking up guitar and piano skills in his teens. He forged a musical partnership with fiddler Lamond Gillespie and in later years released 2 albums with Lamond, and bouzouki player Mick Leahy. Upon moving to Ireland in 1998, John became highly in-demand as a guitar player, performing and recording with many musicians including fellow Londoner John Carty, The Tap Room Trio, Colm Gannon, The Kane Sisters, Harry Bradley and Téada to name but a few. John has just received a 1st class honours - Mmus in Music Performance masters degree from DIT. He also teaches and performs all over Ireland, USA, and the UK on Piano, Guitar, Flute and Whistle. The flute however was never to far away and in 2013 John released his debut solo flute recording ‘The Narrow Edge’, of which Living Tradition magazine said “Get this album if you have a love for the music or the instrument – here’s someone who knows how to play!”
Ronan O' Flaherty
From Galway city, Ronan began playing fiddle aged 9 and continued into his teens. He gained valuable experience in Tigh Chóilí, the family pub in Galway city, a pub renowned and recognized by local and visiting musicians for its lively, crowd-pleasing sessions. Ronan recorded a duet album with Co. Clare concertina player Edel Fox in 2006 and has collaborated on various other albums. As a native Irish speaker, Ronan works extensively for TG4. He also teaches throughout Galway, passing on his talent to young fiddle enthusiasts. Ronan also spends a considerable amount of time travelling the world with the legendary group De Danann.
Johnny 'Ringo' McDonagh
A true innovator amongst bodhránai and traditional musicians the world over, Johnny invented several ground-breaking techniques that actually extended the musical vocabulary of the instrument, such as the backslide and playing on the rim. He can also lay claim to being the first to play a bodhrán with a brush, as well as originating the idea for a tuneable bodhrán. Johnny is an original member of the legendary De Danann and has an outstanding recording reputation, having backed premier solo Irish music acts from Eileen Ivers to Mary Bergin, as well as Thin Lizzy’s legendary Phil Lynott and the creator of Tubular Bells’ Mike Oldfield. Johnny is now the leader of trad group Arcady. Quite simply, there can be no-one better to learn the true art of the Bodhrán from than Johnny.
Pádraig Ó Dubhghaill
Pádraig was born and raised in Inverin, situated in the Connemara Gaeltacht. He started learning the tin-whistle at a young age under the tutelage of Mary Bergin before picking up the guitar at 17 years of age. After spending a couple of years playing a variety of music including rock, classical and country-blues, Pádraig decided to apply his guitar-playing skills to Irish traditional music. While completing and achieving 1st class honours in the MA in Irish Music Performance at the University of Limerick, Pádraig learnt from some of the best guitarists in the tradition including Steve Cooney, John Blake, Jim Murray, Tim Edey and John Doyle.
Brian McGrath comes from Brookeborough, Co. Fermanagh - an area steeped in traditional music. His first professional work was with Dervish, he then joined Four Men And A Dog, playing on the award-winning album Barking Mad. He moved his career on, playing with At The Racket among others, before joining the Sean Keane Band as pianist. Brian joined De Danann where he stayed till the band broke up in 2003. He now plays with the original De Danann and is much sought after as a session musician on piano, banjo and mandolin. He has toured extensively, playing with all the biggest names in Irish traditional music, including Frankie Gavin, Noel Hill, John Carty, Matt Molloy, Paul Brock, Charlie Lennon, Joe Burke, Sean Maguire, Brian Rooney, Cathal Hayden, Joe Derrane, Arty McGlynn, Alec Finn, Alan Kelly, Dolores Keane, Maura O’Connell, Tommy Fleming, Steve Cooney and Eleanor Shanley, as well as doing extensive TV and media work.
From Maree, Co. Galway, Pádraic was born into a great musical family. His father Tommy, a well known piper originally from Waterford was taught by the legendary Tommy Kearney. His mother Jacqueline McCarthy, a very respected concertina player is the daughter of the late Tommy McCarthy from West Clare, a multi-instrumentalist playing pipes, whistle and concertina. It is little surprise that Pádraic began learning the pipes aged 8 under the guidance of his father. He also received tuition from many leading pipers including Robbie Hannan, Mick O’Brien, Emmett Gill, Jimmy O’Brien Moran, Seán McKeon, Brian McNamara and Ronan Browne. He has performed nationwide and his music has been broadcast on Clare FM, Galway Bay FM, Raidió na Gaeltachta and RTÉ Radio & Television. Pádraic’s piping comes from the style of Willie Clancy but other influences such as Seán McKiernan and Séamus Ennis are also discernible in his music. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious Gradam Ceoil TG4 – Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana.
Nan Tom Teamín
Nan is the youngest of seven children born to Tom Teamín a ’Búrc and his wife Sarah Phádhraic Liam in Ruisín na Mainiach, Carna, Connemara, arguably the richest area in all the Gaeltacht for sean nós singing. There were singers on both sides of her family and all of her siblings were musical. Her singing style is deeply rooted in tradition and her achievement as winner of the prestigious, Corn Uí Riada, the supreme competition in sean-nós singing, at Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 1998 and again in 2000, succinctly proves this point. She had twice previously won the women’s competition at the Oireachtas and multiple All-Ireland championships at the Fleadh Cheoil for both English and Irish singing. Her latest award is the prestigious Gradam Ceoil TG4 singer of the year 2014 award. Her first commercial CD release, bearing her name as title was issued in 2001, ‘The Home I Left Behind’ came out in 2007, and ‘The Banks of the Old Ponchartrain’ was released in 2010. Her latest album ‘Sioscadh na Gaoithe’ has received much critical acclaim.