News and Events
This page provides announcements of upcoming flute-related events, new recordings, and other items of interest.
The late Peter Horan at Willie Clancy Week, 2005, photo copyright Peter Laban, Miltown Malbay
January, 2014. Flute players Catherine McEvoy and John Blake will be among the instructors as the 2014 Minnesota Irish Weekend, from June 13-15, 2014, in St. Paul, Minnesota. For information, see the Minnesota Irish Weekend website.
November 2013. Fintan Vallely is launching a new edition of his flute tutor on Wednesday, 27 November at 6pm in the Harcourt Hotel, Dublin, Ireland. Fintan writes, "The book is a complete re-write, three times the size of the original and has 2 demo CDs. It is now titled The Complete Guide to Playing the Irish Flute, published by Walton's of Dublin and available from their website." More information on Fintan Vallely's website
January 2013.The Center for Irish Music in St. Paul, Minnesota, is pleased to announce the 6th annual Minnesota Irish Music Weekend, June 13-16, 2013. Special guests include Geraldine Cotter - tin whistle and piano; Eamonn Cotter - flute; Oisín McAuley - fiddle; Eileen O'Brien - fiddle; Meaití Jó Shéamuis – sean-nós song, uilleann pipes. The Minnesota Irish Music Weekend pairs world-class traditional Irish musicians and teachers with learners of all ages and abilities for a weekend of workshops, lectures, and performances. More information is available at: http://www.centerforirishmusic.org/mim-2013/
August 2012. Co. Clare flute player Eamonn Cotter has released a fine new CD entitled The Knotted Chord. Available from the usual vendors (Custy's, Ossian, Claddagh, etc.)
January 2012. Conal Ó'Gráda published a flute tutor in 2011, entitled An Fheadóg Mhór: Irish Traditional Flute Technique, which has been getting rave reviews; even experienced players have learned a lot from this book. It may be ordered online from his website.
September 2011. We are very sad to report that East Galway flute player Mike Rafferty passed away during the night of September 12.
November 2010. The excellent New York-based flute player Chris Layer has been invited by the New York Flute Club to give a concert of traditional music on Sunday, November 21, 2010, 5:30 pm, at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City. For details, please see the concert announcement.
November 2010. The Friday Harbor Irish Music Week, scheduled for March 6-12, 2011, will feature Marcus Hernon and Elliot Grasso as flute instructors. For details, visit the Friday Harbor Irish Music Week website.
November 2010. Flute player Tom McElvogue has released his long-awaited solo album, The Long Hard Road. See his website for track samples and ordering details.
July 2010. This year's Pipers' Gathering in Killington, Vermont (August 13-16, 2010), will include flute instruction from John Skelton and whistle instruction from L.E. McCullough. See The Pipers' Gathering website for details.
February 2010. Leitrim-London fluteplayer Mick Mulvey, now living back in Carrick on Shannon, has released his second solo recording, Bridging the Gap. The CD was officially launched by Dr Reg Hall at the Return to Camden Town Festival in the London Irish Centre in October 2009. The Irish launches include the Session at the Shannon in Carrick-on-Shannon and a later launch in April 2010 at the Leitrim Fleadh. The CD is a lively mix of reels, jigs, slipjigs, hornpipes and barndances including four fiddle/flute duet tracks with Dublin fiddle-player Dermot Burke and Roscommon's Mossie Martin. Mick is also joined by Pete Quinn (London Lasses) on piano and Jackie Wynne on guitars. The CD is available through all the usual specialist websites and retail outlets, and direct from Mick at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details at Mick's website
January 2010. Cruinniú Na bhFliúit: The Flute Meeting, 2010 in Co. Cork, Ireland is open for business. It'll take place from the 7th-10th April in Baile Bhuirne, Co Cork. This is the third biennial event, and follows the same basic format, with classes, lectures, seminars, a public interview, concert, and of course, sessions. Teachers lined up for this year are Catherine McEvoy, Tara Bingham, Conal Ó Gráda, and Hammy Hamilton. Lecturers Aoife Granville and Fintan Vallely, performance workshop with John Blake and Harry Bradley, and Roscommon flute player Patsy Hanley is the subject of the interview. More information is available on the meeting's Facebook page. Places can be booked by mailing , and cost for classes and all events is €150, booking deposit €50.
August 2009. Hammy Hamilton's new edition of The Irish Fluteplayer's Handbook is officially available. the new edition brings the 1990 edition up to date and contains much new information. The tutor section includes an accompanying CD. Payment can be made by Paypal, credit card, or Euro Cheque; contact Hammy for details at email@example.com.
March 2009. Lesl Harker has published Second Wind, a collection of 300 more tunes from Mike Rafferty, following up on her earlier collection of 300.
December 2008. Hammy Hamilton has released an instructional DVD on flute maintenance and repair that should be very useful. For now the DVD is available directly from him; once it's more widely available I'll post information here. To contact Hammy and place an order, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Price is €35, which includes postage worldwide.
March 2008. The great Irish flute player Seamus Tansey will give a concert in Watertown, Massachusetts (suburb of Boston) on April 12, 2008, and a flute workshop in Groton, Mass. on April 9. This will be Tansey's first-ever solo concert in the Boston area and his first appearance in Boston in more than 30 years. Tickets for the concert are $15 in advance or $20 the night of the show. Workshop tickets are $20. For more information and reservations for either event, visit thegrotonsession.com or contact Peter Maguire.
January, 2008. A few noteworthy flute-related
events are coming up in the near future:
Packie Duignan Traditional Weekend: Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim, Ireland, 25-27 January 2008. In addition to instruction on flute and other instruments there will be a gathering of local musicians to celebrate the life of Packie, including some of Ireland's best flute players. More information.
Cruinniú Na bhFliúit: The Flute Meeting: Baile Bhuirne, Co. Cork, Ireland, 27-29 March. This year's teachers include Harry Bradley, Catherine McEvoy, Jean-Michel Veillon, and Tara Bingham...a "dream team" if ever there was one. More information.
January, 2007. Peter Maguire, an excellent flute player from Belfast who has been living in Boston for many years, is giving a concert on 3 February 2007 in Ayer, Massachusetts (west of Boston), accompanied by piper Eamonn Dillon and Billy Kelly on guitar, vocals, and banjo. Tickets are $10. For info, contact Peter Maguire by or at (617) 365-0663.
November, 2006. London-based flute player James Carty has released a new CD "Upon My Soul" that is getting lots of strong reviews. Available from his brother John Carty's website. Also note that virtuoso flute player Harry Bradley will be coming out with a new solo album in January.
August, 2006. A new website for Lesl Harker's
excellent book 300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty is now available.
June McCormack has just published Fliúit, a flute tutorial with two companion CDs (76 tracks in total). The tutor includes detailed ornamentation exercises from beginner to advanced Stages; ornaments covered include cuts, long rolls, short rolls, elongated cuts, bounces, D crans, short cran on high D, and DED cuts. There are 64 tunes complete with breathing and ornamentation guides. This book is ideal for any advancing flute or tin whistle player. It is not only a tutorial,but a great collection of tunes. More information can be found at www.draiochtmusic.com Cost is US $30 including post and packaging on the online shop at www.draiochtmusic.com
March, 2006. June McCormack (flute) and Michael Rooney (harp) have released a new CD entitled Land's End. Details are available on their website.
Lesl Harker, a long-time student of the great East Galway flute player Mike Rafferty,
has compiled 300
Tunes from Mike Rafferty, a book of transcriptions from Mike's playing.
The tunes in the book are transcribed note for note from Lesl's study tapes.
The project has been approved by Mike and includes some notes on the
tunes. Available for $20 US plus shipping and handling. (Shipping and handling
costs vary by location and number of books purchased).
Irish Music on the Move 2006 is a three-day festival in Cumbria, UK, from 3-5 March 2006 featuring concerts and workshops with Irish musicians from Manchester and the area. Mat Walklate will teach flute, harmonica, whistle, and low whistle on Saturday and Sunday the 4th and 5th in Pentrith. For details contact Sean McGhee.
December, 2005. Cruinniú Na bhFliúit..the Flute Meeting: Announcing a three-day event in Ireland celebrating the wooden flute and its music. Running from April 20th-22nd 2006, in the West Cork villages of Baile Bhuirne and Cúil Aodha, it will consist of focussed classes, seminars, recitals, film, lectures, and ending with a gala flute concert on Sat. April 22nd. Featuring Jean Michel Veillon, Harry Bradley, Paul McGrattan, Hammy Hamilton, Conal O Grada, Harry Bradshaw, and more to be confirmed. In order to maintain a high level of accessability between participants and teachers/lecturers, numbers will be restricted. For more information, contact Hammy Hamilton, Cúil Aodha, Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland. Ph. +353 (0)26 45209 Fax +353 (0) 26 45578 E-Mail .
October, 2005. On October 14, Grey Larsen
will give a master class in Irish flute and tin whistle in Joliette, Québec,
Canada, from 4-6 PM. Location: CEGEP de Joliette, 20 rue St-Charles Sud.
$40 per participant. To reserve a place, contact Christine Fortin at
September, 2005. The Mulcahy Family (Mick, Louise, and Michelle Mulcahy) have released an excellent new album called "Notes from the Heart," with very strong flute playing and piping from Louise.
June, 2005. Well-known flute player Michel Bonamy is now in the flute-making
business. Check out his listing in the directory of flute
a price list and a PDF of his brochure.
In other flute news, flute legend Peter Horan has just released a duet CD with fiddler Gerry Harrington that is likely to be a must-have.
May, 2005. Harry Bradley and Paul O'Shaughnessy
have released a great new CD entitled "...Born for Sport," which features Harry's
brilliant, energetic flute playing in duet with Paul's equally brilliant fiddling
(and they do a few flute duets as well). Accompanied by John Blake on bouzouki.
Highly recommended! Distributed by Claddagh.
Also, a belated announcement for The Flute Players of Roscommon, Volume 1, released in 2004, which is a fantastic anthology of great players from this flute-rich county, including Patsy Hanly, Tommy Guihen, Catherine McEvoy, John Kelly, John Carlos, Pat Finn, John Wynne, Brian Duke, John P. Carty, Frank Jordan, Patsy McNamara, and Bernard Flaherty. Very highly recommended. Available from roscommonarts.com
December, 2004. The great East Galway flute
player Mike Rafferty's new solo CD, entitled "Speed
now available. This recording features Mike playing the flute, uilleann
telling a few old stories. Special guests include: Joe Madden, Willie Kelly
and Felix Dolan. His daughter Mary and guitarist Dónal Clancy
join him as well. To order, visit raffertymusic.com.
Mike's CD release concert will be held January 7, 2005, at 9pm at the Glucksman
Ireland House in
New York City.
October, 2004. Flute player Garry Walsh recently released a new CD, "Uncovered" that features rarely heard tunes from County Louth and County Cork, passed down from his parents and grandparents. There are some wonderful tunes on the recording, and very nice playing in a mostly contemporary approach with guitar and bodhran accompaniment. I especially enjoyed the duets with fiddler Clare Fitzpatrick and a nice set of hornpipes with flute, fiddle, and melodeon. Walsh has great breath control and phrasing, playing in a smooth, flowing style on D, Eb, and Bb flutes as well as low whistles. Ossian CD 11488; available from the usual sources or direct from Ossian.
June, 2004. I usually don't find photographs of flutes very compelling, but Chris Wilkes consistently has gorgeous photos of his equally gorgeous instruments. Here's one of his latest, in stained boxwood with one-piece forged keys, a work of art.
May, 2004. The new Woodenflute Obsession 2 compilation CD is now available. Volume 2 includes performances by Brendyn Montgomery, Damien Stenson, Tara Diamond, Billy Clifford, Brian Lennon, Kevin Crawford, John Creaven, Mick Loftus, Emer Mayock, Duncan Davidson, Desi Wilkinson, Mike McHale, Claire Mann, Brian Finnegan & Sarah Allen, Dan Gordon, Michael Clarkson, Elaine Jeffreys, Dermot Grogan, Tom McElvogue, Gary Hastings, Harry McGowan, Michael Hynes, John Kelly, Peter Molloy, Peter Horan, Gregory Daly, Justin Murphy, Sharon Creasey, Kevin Henry & Maggie Healy, Mick Hand, Leslie Bingham, Anthony Quigney, Chris Norman, Michael Hurley, Peter Woodley, Michael Tubridy, Noel Lenaghan, Sean Ryan, Nuala Kennedy, Thomas Bernard Ryan, Joe Skelton, Caoimhín Ó Sé, Brendan McKinney, and Zac Leger.
April, 2004. The excellent London-based flute player Mick Mulvey's launched his debut album "Within a mile o'Jamestown" last year at the 2003 Return to Camden Town Festival. Born in the early '60's to Leitrim and Galway parents, Mulvey learned his first tunes by ear from recordings collected by his father Tom. Later attending classes in Whitechapel with Brendan Mulkere, his formative years were influenced by stints of playing with the legendary musicians Raymond Roland and Bobby Casey in the Brighton in Camden Town and regular visits to the White Hart and the Favourite in amongst the vibrant London scene of the 70's and 80's. As a member of the band Tarbolton in the early 1980s he played support to De Dannan and Stockton's Wing. Mick also played regular sessions around east and north London with the late Paddy Malin and with Michael and Joe Searson. Mick's playing style is heavily influenced by his long association with his father's native Leitrim/Roscommon borderlands and his love of the old flute players of that region, particularly John McKenna, Packie Duignan and Josie McDermott. The new CD can be obtained directly from Mick's Web site, where you can also hear some track samples. See the Recommended Flute Players page for more details and other sources for the CD.
January, 2004. Flute player Skip Healy has published a book-and-CD set called Have Ye This One? which includes transcriptions and recordings of a nice selection of marches, jigs, hornpipes, reels, and waltzes. On the accompanying CDs, Skip plays each tune through three times, once slowly with no ornamentation, a second time faster with basic traditional ornamentation, and a third time in a more uptempo and improvisational style. For each tune, the book provides transcriptions of the bare-bones setting and the one with basic ornamentation. This will be a useful resource for beginners and intermediate flute players.
November, 2003. Jean-Michel Veillon will be in Ireland from 2-9 December, 2003. He will play some flute solo concerts and will teach some flute classes. Details below:
- 2-4 December: Teaching a workshop at Limerick University (including a short lunchtime solo concert)
- 5 December: Concert in Galway: Town Hall Theatre (small room). Town Hall Theatre is beside the courthouse at Salmon Weir Bridge. Information: Noel Lenaghan - email
- 6 December: Concert in Inisheer (the smallest of the Aran Islands) at the Aras Eanna Cultural center. Contact: Val Ballance, 099 75150; Fax 099 75152. email
- 7 December: Concert in Clondalkin (Dublin) at ARAS CHRONAIN Folk Club.
- 8 December: Workshops in Dublin (6pm to 8pm) Contact: Paul Mc Grattan - email:
Grey Larsen's new book The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle, is now available from Mel Bay and directly from Grey at his Web site. This 480-page book with two companion CDs offers a wealth of instructional material that will be useful for anyone learning to play Irish music on either the simple system or Boehm system flute, as well as the whistle. Described by Matt Molloy as "essential reading for anybody interested in getting it right," the book provides guidance on breathing and phrasing, ornamentation, and transcriptions of tunes as played by leading traditional flute players.
September, 2003. Flute players in the New York City area take note: the great piper, whistle player, and flute player Jerry O'Sullivan will teach flute at the Tara Circle in Yonkers, New York on Wednesday evenings, starting September 24. See the Tara Circle site for information and registration. Also in the New York area, the Catskills Irish Arts Week will hold a Fall Gathering on October 3, 4, and 5, in East Durham, New York. Flute lessons will be given by Mike McHale. For more information, call the Michael Quill Irish Cultural and Sports Centre at (518) 634-2286 between 9am and 5pm Monday-Friday. Finally, New York University will hold a week-long festival, West Along the Road, on October 6-12, which will feature a mighty concert of flute music on the afternoon of the 10th, featuring Mike Rafferty, Jack Coen, Dermont Grogan, Joanie Madden, Niall Keegan, Fintan Vallely, and Brian Holleran.
Notice of Workshop and Concert to be held in Brittany, 11 November 2003:
in Guéméné Sur Scorff (56 - Brittany) Auberge des Trois Marchands.
LIZ CARROLL : fiddle
Aidan BURKE : fiddle
John DOYLE : guitar
Philip MASURE : guitar
Sylvain BAROU: flute
Jackie MORAN : bodhran
Workshop from 10 am to 5 pm, Concert at 9 pm with LIZ CARROLL (http://www.lizcarroll.com/) & JOHN DOYLE
(http://www.johndoylemusic.com/) and COMAS (www.folk.be/comas) and sessions.
Concert : 9 €
Workshop & concert : 70 €
Participation is limited
inquiries and subscription : Auberge des 3 Marchands + 33 2 97 51 21 53
Nicolas Quéméner : + 33 6 77 13 83 01
Organisation : ARZ et LA GAVOTTE A 9 TEMPS
July, 2003: The new CD by John Skelton and Kieran O'Hare, “Double Barrelled,” will be available directly from John and Kieran at the summer schools they are doing (individually and collectively): Swannanoa, East Durham, Augusta, and Lark in the Morning (for more details on these schools, check out the July and August listings on the online Irish Flute Calendar ). John and Kieran are also setting up a Web site for orders, which should be up and running by mid-July, at www.barrelmusic.com. John Skelton is also releasing a book and CD set called “A Few More Tunes,” (a follow-up to his earlier CD and booklet set, “A Few Tunes,” which was designed as a teaching tool but made more widely available after receiving critical acclaim). John will have this set available for sale at the summer schools, after which you can order copies from him directly at
June, 2003: John Skelton and Kieran O'Hare are finishing up a CD of flute and whistle duets, accompanied by guitarist Dennis Cahill. Entitled “Double Barrelled,” the CD is expected to be released in July....watch this space for details.
May, 2003: Grey Larsen's new CD, "Dark of the Moon," is now available.
January, 2003: A note from Hammy Hamilton:
“Paul McGrattan has just released his second solo CD called Keel West. Personally I think this is his best work so far. It was mostly recorded at his cottage in Achill Island ( hence the name) and I think the flute sound is the best I've yet heard in terms of being true to what a flute actually sounds like...and not what sound engineers think it does! He's backed by Arty McGlynn and Colm Murphy among others and there's a flute and fiddle duet with Paddy Glackin. I'd classify it as a must have!”
January, 2003: The Boxwood Festival has announce its summer faculty list for July 20-25, 2003 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. In addition to the regular faculty of Chris Norman and Rod Garnett, this year's faculty includes two great Irish flute players: Peter Horan and Hammy Hamilton. Hammy also is well known as a flute maker. Other instructors and flute makers in residence will be the U.K. baroque flute virtuoso Rachel Brown, and Catherine Folkers and Ardal Powell. For more information check out the Boxwood Web site.
December, 2002: Some news from Grey Larsen:
I will be officially releasing my newest CD, “Dark of the Moon,” in January or February. Most of April I will be performing and teaching in Australia. This summer my first book will be published, “The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle.”
To add yourself to Grey's mailing list, send a note to email@example.com
September, 2002: Wooden Flute Obsession, a new two-CD compilation produced by California flute player Kevin Krell's "International Traditional Music Society," is a great introduction to a wide range of flute-playing styles. It features previously released tracks (plus a few forthcoming releases) from commercial recordings by 41 flute players, mostly on wooden flute, and mostly playing Irish music. A full track listing is available here. You can order direct from the International Traditional Music Society, from the Woodenflute Web site, or from Celtic Grooves.
June, 2002: Australian flute maker Terry McGee's Roving Ambassador Flutes are currently making the rounds in the U.S. and Europe. Participants in the project try one of his models for a week (for free) and then send it to the next player on the list. Details are available here. Also, Terry will be touring North America and Europe himself in July and August 2002. Details on his schedule are available here.
March, 2002: Kevin Crawford has reportedly recorded a Bb flute album with just bodhran accompaniment, to be released later this year or next.
February, 2002: The brilliant flute player Harry Bradley will release a new album entitled "As I Carelessly Did Stray" in March.
January, 2002: The Kevin Crawford CD "D Flute Album" has been out of print since the licence with Green Linnet ended. Kevin has advised that he will reissue this CD in the near future. It will be available for ordering from The Knotted Chord Web site and I'll post a notice on this page when it's available. People wishing to be advised personally should email firstname.lastname@example.org
January, 2002: Catherine McEvoy will be teaching Irish flute and tinwhistle at the First Annual Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp taking place March 21-24, 2002, on beautiful San Juan Island off the coast of Washington State. There's a truly great teaching staff coming, and there'll be nightly concerts, dances and sessions. It promises to be one of the best camps ever. Catherine lives in Dublin and is a truly great flute player and a wonderful teacher. This is a rare opportunity to study with her without having to travel to Ireland.
The camp takes place in an incredibly beautiful location, just outside of Friday Harbor Washington, which is in the San Juan Islands. From SeaTac airport (Seattle), it's about an hour and a half drive and a 45-minute ferry ride.
The fee for the camp is only $385, which includes full tuition, lodging (4 nights) and meals (except Wed. night), admission to the Friday night ceili and the Saturday night staff concert. Our teaching staff are among the finest Irish musicians anywhere, and not only great musicians but also excellent teachers. Enrollment will be limited to 80 students, so class sizes will be small. For more information, or to register for the camp, contact:
May 2001: The great Irish flute player (and flute maker) Hammy Hamilton has a brace of albums out on Ossian records: the first is "It's No Secret," a great album of tunes and songs with Seamus Creagh (fiddle) and Con "Fada" O'Drisceoil on box. Great playing and singing, and some hilarious songs. The second is a re-release of Hammy's excellent solo CD, The Moneymusk, with a number of newly recorded tracks. Not to be missed!
February 2001: Several new flute CDs to announce from the Chris Norman Ensemble ("The Flower of Port Williams"), Dublin flute player John Wynne ("With Every Breath"), Skip Healy ("Purgatory Chasm"), and Grey Larsen and Paddy League. Kevin Crawford's new CD "In Good Company" (flute duets with fiddlers including Tommy Peoples, Martin Hayes, Frankie Gavin, and other luminaries) has just been released on Green Linnet, and details should appear on their website shortly.
October, 2000: Chicago flute player Larry Nugent has a new solo flute album out on Shanachie with lots of well-known guest musicians. A great flute duet with Kevin Henry on this album.
June, 2000 All-Ireland flute champion Garry Shannon has released a new solo CD. Some great tracks, including a set of reels with Eamonn Cotter, Kevin Crawford, and Peter O'Loughlin.
The great Belfast flute player Harry Bradley has also just released a solo CD, "Bad Turns and Horse-shoe Bends," on the Outlet record label. If you like Conall O'Grada or Packie Duignan, you'll like Bradley's forceful, spirited yet lovely playing.
Legendary Breton flute player Jean-Michel Veillon and guitarist Yvon Riou have just released a live CD, recorded in Belfast and entitled "Beo!" Check out the record label's website for more info.