Turn it Up: An Interview with John Kelly

For over a decade, John Kelly has been broadcasting his own distinct mix of music on national radio, first with the BBC, then Eclectic Ballroom on Radio Ireland (now Today FM) and Mystery Train on RTÉ Radio 1, establishing a reputation as a Continue reading


Bernadette Greevy

Before JMI began in 2000, I wrote down a list of people I intended to ask to write for the magazine. They were people I regarded as cornerstones in Irish musical life. With them on board, I felt, the magazine would have a solid foundation upon which to grow. Over the years, I have asked many on that list, and while I continue to make new Continue reading

Ireland’s Dance with Music: An Interview with Bill Whelan

In April 1994, the seven-minute performance of Riverdance, combining the music of Bill Whelan with a reinterpretation of traditional Irish dance, had an immediate and remarkable impact on the Irish public. Shining a new, international spotlight on Ireland and Irish culture at a time of great economic, political and cultural change, Continue reading

Comhaltas Culture

The reputation of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the organisation founded in 1951 to promote Irish traditional music, reaches far and wide. Seldom is the rise of this music over the past fifty years mentioned without paying Continue reading

Martin Hayes and the Tradition

For a musician who has come to personify open-mindedness in twenty-first century Irish traditional music, it is probably a paradox to say that it is Martin Hayes’ single-mindedness that is most impressive. Many traditional Irish musicians have released an outstanding recording or two, the kind that overflows with high points and Continue reading

Small Country, Think Big

The third annual festival of the Institute of Ideas in London – The Battle of Ideas – took place in October. There was a music element this year, which I attended, comprising four separate discussions on music education, the ubiquity of music, the Continue reading

What Happens When You Stop Playing Tunes?: An Interview with Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh

From Rathfarnam in County Dublin, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh is a fiddle player, whistle player and uilleann piper. On fiddle he has recorded one solo album, Turas go Tír na nÓg (1999), and made a widely acclaimed duet recording with uilleann piper Mick O’Brien, Kitty Lie Over (2003). Now aged 27, Ó Raghallaigh has this year produced a solo recording which stretches beyond the boundaries of traditional music. This interview took place in An Spidéal, County Galway, on 23 July 2007.

Toner Quinn: You have just independently released a new twenty-eight minute CD, Where the one-eyed man is king, and it is an unorthodox recording for a traditional Irish fiddle player. Could you tell me about it?

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh: It started in December 2006. I went to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Monaghan and the plan was to experiment with recording music in a way that I hadn’t done before, overlaying fiddles and playing Continue reading

About the Money

Our lead article by Dermot McLaughlin takes issue with the progress made by the Arts Council in the traditional arts since the turning point three years ago when the Special Committee on the Traditional Arts delivered its report.

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Traditional Music and the Avant-Garde

During last year’s RTÉ Living Music Festival, a questionnaire was handed out. One of the questions was whether or not the audience would like to see genres other than contemporary classical music covered in future festivals. I ticked the ‘no’ box Continue reading

A Young Man’s Vision

It is possible that, over the past five years or so of JMI, Seán Ó Riada has received more mentions in the magazine than any other Irish musical figure. While this may suggest some establishment-like status for the composer and musician, it is easy to Continue reading