Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Irish Uilleann Pipes.

Gay McKeon plays a slow air & set dance from the playing of the great Leo Rowsome (Musician, Teacher & Uilleann Pipe maker). Recorded in Ned O'Shea's Pub ( The Merchant ) Dublin. This pub is famous for it's set dancing and traditional Irish music sessions.

Gay Mc Keon took an interest in uilleann piping in the 1960's under the tutelage of Leo Rowsome at the Piper's Club on Thomas Street in Dublin's city centre. Understandably, Leo had a profound influence on Gay's playing as did the musicians who would visit the club. Pipers such as Dan O'Dowd, Mick Touhy, Sean Seery, Tommy Reck, Willie Clancy and Peadar Broe. Gay was also heavily influenced by many of the fiddle players who lived and played in Dublin at that time - such as Chieftain, Sean Keane.

At an early age, Gay's interest in slow air playing was encouraged by Dan O'Dowd, Peter Flynn and Matt Kiernan. After Leo Rowsome's death in 1970, Gay sourced much of his repertoire from published collections such as Breathnach's Ceol Rince Na hEireann.

Gay has recorded and toured with artists including Christy Moore, Maddy Prior and June Tabor and has recorded on numerous compilation albums including The Ace and Deuce of Piping 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 Sean entitled The Dusty Miller. Gay has also produced a number of acclaimed recordings of Uilleann piping for other artistes. Since the mid 1970's Gay has toured and broadcast extensively as a soloist.

Gay is a much sought after teacher and has for many years taught at major summer schools and music festivals, also he has performed on three volumes of the acclaimed tutor series The Art of Uilleann Piping published by Na Píobairí Uilleann. Gay has served on the board of Na Píobairí Uilleann (the organisation of Uilleann pipers) of which he was chairman for several years and is currently Chief Executive of that organisation.

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