The renewal and resurgence of Irish traditional music can be attributed to many factors, but the fulcrum of that renaissance were The Chieftains, the legendary Irish group that formed in 1962 and still performs today.
The group is led by Paddy Moloney and its lineup includes Sean Keane, Kevin Conneff and Matt Molloy. Derek Bell, the group’s celebrated harpist, passed away in 2002.
Over a long career they have won six Grammys and received 18 nominations, and their willingness to collaborate with other types of music and musicians have made them loved the world over.
The group still tours every year and is in the midst of a 20 city jaunt around the U.S and Canada.
Its many collaborators over the years include Van Morrison, Moya Brennan, Tom Waits, Mick Jagger and Elvis Costello.
Every genre needs a torchbearer and Irish traditional music is no exception. What The Chieftains have done, however, is to give the world a taste of our music while being open enough to embrace other forms of musical expression, and this has enhanced the reputation of Irish musicians no end.
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