MATT CRANITCH, JACKIE DALY & PAUL DE GRAE
The words ‘Button Accordion’ and ‘Jackie Daly’ are synonymous in the world of Irish traditional music. Described in the New York Times as “probably the best accordionist in Ireland”, Jackie was born in Kanturk, Co. Cork, where he grew up surrounded by the rich music tradition of Sliabh Luachra. One of the greatest influences on his early musical development was Ballydesmond fiddle-player, Jim Keeffe, a pupil of the renowned Sliabh Luachra fiddle-master, Pádraig O’Keeffe. Over the years, Jackie’s lifelong affinity with fiddle-music has resulted in highly- acclaimed albums featuring fiddle and accordion – with the late Cork-based musician Séamus Creagh, with Kevin Burke, and now with Matt Cranitch.
Matt Cranitch is renowned as a fiddle-player and teacher, both at home in Ireland and abroad. He has performed extensively at concerts and festivals, on radio and television, and has presented lectures, master-classes and workshops on various aspects of Irish music. He has won All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil titles, as well as The Fiddler of Dooney and Oireachtas Crotty Cup. Author of The Irish Fiddle Book, first published in 1988 and now in its fourth edition, he has also contributed to other books on Irish traditional music. He is an authority on the music of Sliabh Luachra, and received a Ph.D. from the University of Limerick for his study on the fiddle-playing tradition of this region.
Paul de Grae is a Dublin-born guitarist (and occasional singer), living in Kerry for many years. He has recorded with Jackie Daly and Matt Cranitch, The Smoky Chimney, Eoin Duignan, Paudie O’Connor and others. In 1989 he published "Traditional Irish Guitar", the first such tutor, re-issued by Ossian in 1996 with a companion CD. He wrote most of the entry on "guitar" in The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, edited by Fintan Vallely. He has a particular interest in the music of Sliabh Luachra, plays regularly at sessions, concerts and festivals throughout Ireland (particularly in Kerry, Cork and Clare) and teaches guitar workshops in Ireland and the USA.