After Leo Rowsome’s death in 1970, Gay sourced much of his repertoire from published collections including Breathnach’s Ceol Rince Na hÉireann.
Gay has recorded and toured with artists including Christy Moore, Maddy Prior and June Tabor and has recorded on numerous compilation albums including The Drones and Chanter Vol. 2 and The Piper’s Rock, as well as a solo album Irish Piping Tradition, and a trio CD with his two sons Conor and Seán entitled The Dusty Miller.
Whilst living in London in the mid 1970s Gay recorded Music from West Clare and Galway with Bobby Casey, Raymond Roland, John Roe, and Liam Farrell.
Since the mid 1970s Gay has toured and broadcast extensively as a soloist. He also teaches piping regularly at summer schools and music festivals. Gay has performed on three volumes of the acclaimed tutor series The Art of Uilleann Piping. He has also produced and directed publications including The Pipers Choice DVD series and numerous CD recordings published by Na Píobairí Uilleann. He has produced traditional music concerts including Piperlink which has toured in Ireland and North America.
Gay continues to perform regularly at festivals in Ireland and internationally and is a regular contributor to broadcasts on radio, television and film productions
Dónal’s playing was described recently by The Irish Times as “immaculate”, “electrifying” and “…borne out of naked talent and consummate professionalism…”, and by The Scotsman as “exquisite”. He has toured Europe and the USA extensively from a young age as both a lead and backing instrumentalist with a number of bands including Lá Lugh.
Regarded as “one of the outstanding players of his generation” by J.B. Vallely, recent collaborations have included tours with Lúnasa, Guidewires, Buille and Cathal McConnell, television performances with The West Ocean String Quartet and the legendary Sligo Flute player Séamus Tansey, recording with Brian Kennedy and Moya Brennan of Clannad and festival appearances with Liam Ó Maonlaí and the Steve Cooney Big Band.
Despite a hectic touring schedule, Dónal found time to produce Gerry O’Connor’s long awaited solo album ‘Journeyman’, which was released in the Autumn of 2004 to great critical acclaim.
Dónal has also presented a number of music programmes on BBC Radio Ulster and was the presenter of BBC Northern Ireland’s excellent 10-part music series ‘An Stuif Ceart’. Described as a rare musical treat, the series incorporated an eclectic mix of talent with such luminaries as John Prine and Henry McCullough alongside the cream of Irish talent. More recently Dónal recorded ‘Tripswitch’ with John McSherry. Described as ‘Acoustic Perfection’ by Living Tradition and ‘Medicine for the soul’ by The Irish Music Magazine, Folk Roots said “There’s probably not been such an innovative album released on the green island since Lúnasa’s The Merry Sisters of Fate and Tripswitch probably shatters more boundaries.”
“O’Connor’s winning blend of pace and lyricism transmits his enthusiasm for the music directly to the listener with irresistible impact” – Herald Scotland
Born in Boston, Benedict grew up listening to recordings of Irish traditional music sent over by his mother’s family in Dublin. He took up the pipes in his twenties and has listened to and learned from a wide range of the older players, citing as particularly strong influences the stately musical tradition of East Galway and the elegant piping style exemplified by Seamus Ennis and Liam O’Flynn. An engaging performer and teacher, and a renowned maker of the uilleann pipes, Benedict is well known throughout Ireland and North America. Along with his wife, harper and accordion player Hilari Farrington, he founded the Vermont School of Irish Traditional Music, where the couple teaches and promotes Irish traditional music and culture in their home state.
Patrick Hutchinson plays and teaches the Irish uilleann pipes, and has been at them for more than thirty years. Patrick grew up in Liverpool where he had his first lessons on the tin whistle, but learned to play the pipes in Canada, a student of the well-loved Toronto piper and teacher Chris Langan. He recorded with Oliver Schroer and Loreena McKennitt among others, did a Ph.D in ethnomusicology at Brown, teaches pipes for Comhaltas in Boston, and won the All-Ireland title in Uilleann Pipes Slow Airs twice, twenty-two years apart. He can be found teaching in the Video Tutor section of the Na Píobairí Uilleann website at pipers.ie.
Deb Quigley was born in Newtownards, County Down and lived during the early 70’s in the town of Bangor where she was first introduced to the native music of Ireland. Chris (Charlie Ferguson) R.I.P. whistle and flute player also from Bangor was a huge influence on her music during the formative years. During the late 80’s she was once again inspired musically by the playing and teaching of the late Chris Langan Uillean piper, instrument maker, and music teacher originally from Rush, County Dublin who lived for many years in Toronto. Deb credits much of her music to the patient, and informative teaching style of her mentor and friend.
Patrick has been very active in the promotion of Irish music in Toronto, mainly though his private teaching but also through workshops, sessions and various performances. He taught for several years in the Irish music after school program at St. Paul school in Regent Park and for the last few years, has been helping with other local musicians to organize the Chris Langan Weekend.
Hailed from Co. Galway in Ireland and continued to play traditional music in Canada. Played professionally with a Folk/Traditional group, travelling all over Canada and the US including the North West Territories. Active member of Comhaltas promoting traditional Irish music across North America. Teaches music, and provides music for Irish dancing competitions throughout Canada and the US. Was invited back to Ireland for the “Gathering”to perform at a trad festival. This was a project put forward by the Irish Government to encourage emigrants to return home to Ireland for a visit.
Flute / Whistle
Multi-instrumentalist and composer From Dun Laoghaire in Co. Dublin, Conor learned his flute playing at the Piper’s Club under the tutelage of legends of the instrument including June McCormack, Tom Doorley, Sara Jane Woods among others. Conor’s playing is heavily influenced by the repertoire and unique flute style of the Sligo-Roscommon area of Ireland where he spent many summers learning and listening to music. After spending some years teaching flute and whistle in Comhaltas branches around Dublin, Conor is now a resident of Toronto, contributing to the vibrant traditional scene here as a teacher and a member of the highly regarded Lansdowne Ceili Band.
Steafan has played on over 300 albums, worked in TV Film and Theatre and has toured with international acts as a percussionist in over 30 countries. People he has worked with from the pop scene include Depeche mode, Il Divo, Uriah Heep, Bjork and Canada’s own James Keelaghan, Stephen Fearing and Loreena McKennitt in the Folk scene.
He loves to teach and regularly teaches from beginner to advanced players, He teaches single and double stick and hand styles . His workshops are fun and entertaining, and people come away having learned new techniques.