Matt Molloy was born in Co. Roscommon, into one of the long lines of flute players for which the area is famous. He learned flute and whistle from his father, was playing in the school fife and drum band at the age of eight and by eighteen had won first prize in the major traditional music competitions. He moved to Dublin in the early 1970’s to work for the Irish national airline as an engineer. He started playing in the music scene where he first became acquainted with Paddy Moloney. Matt co-founded The Bothy Band with Donal Lunny, and they recorded four albums in as many years, all highly regarded to this day. In his own words: “We made great music and had a great time but financially we were a bit of a disaster. We had too much of a good time!” Following the group’s demise, Matt joined the reformed Planxty before finally becoming a member of The Chieftains in 1979. In addition to his group work, Matt has featured on many other albums and was featured soloist with the Irish Chamber Orchestra on the centrepiece of composer Micheal o Suilleabháin’s album ‘Oileán/Island’. Matt lives in Westport and has 4 children, Peter, Niamh, Clare and James, with his late wife, Geraldine. Matt also runs his famous pub, Matt Molloy’s, visited by many from far and wide, including Twiggy, Noel and Liam Gallagher, Jerry Garcia, to name but a few.
Dubliner Seán was surrounded by traditional Irish music from an early age. Both parents were traditional fiddlers and he began playing the fiddle at a young age. He attended Dublin School of Music where he received classical training, but soon became one of Ireland’s most talented young fiddlers, winning awards and such honours as the All-Ireland Championships and the Fiddler of Dooney competition, from which he earned the title of master fiddler. A member of Ceoltóirí Cualann in the 1960’s, Seán also performed with some of the trios and duets formed by Paddy Moloney in the 60’s. It was 1968 before he joined The Chieftains on invitation from Paddy. He has recorded a well received solo album, ‘Seán Keane’ and a duet album with fellow Chieftain Matt Molloy, ‘Contentment is Wealth’. He has also recorded with Mick Moloney and his brother, James Keane on the album ‘Reel Away the Real World’ in 1980.
Sean lives in Dublin with his wife Marie, and they have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
Support on the night will be from Mark Redmond
Mark Redmond from County Wexford has gained vast experience as a performer on the uilleann pipes in a traditional sense but also in wide range of genres. He has performed as soloist with the RTE Concert Orchestra; RTE National Symphony Orchestra (including a performance of the Brendan Voyage in the NCH, Dublin, 2017 as well as soloist on the occasion of the state visit of Queen Elisabeth II to Ireland, 2011); Camerata Ireland under the direction of pianist Barry Douglas for the premiere of Ólagan, commemorating 1916, in the Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts, Washington; The Savannah Philharmonic, Georgia, USA; and the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne, Rennes, France. At the Eucharistic Congress in 2012, Mark played solo during the closing ceremony at Croke Park in front of over 80,000 people and a worldwide live television audience.
In 2013 he was recorded as soloist for the theme tune for the television programme Nationwide (composed by Golden Globe nominated composer, Brian Byrne) with RTE Concert Orchestra. On regular occasions Mark collaborates with the organist of Christ Church Cathedral. In 2014 they released an album which combines the traditional lament repertoire with music of the French Classical Organ School and contemporary compositions.
He also collaborates frequently with Riverdance, Celtic Legends, The Irish Memory Orchestra, The Irish Harp Orchestra, and as part of the Daoirí Farrell trio. In recent years Mark has performed live with Glen Hansard, Declan O’Rourke, Jack L, and Westlife.