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Sean McKeon

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Sean will be joining John Dwyer with his playing partner Liam O’Connor for a recital on Garinish Island on Saturday at 3pm. He will also be doing a Pipe Workshop on the Saturday from 10.30am in the Glengarriff Parish Hall as well as joining in many of the Sessions around the village.

Seán grew up listening to music at home on Dublin with his parents Gay McKeon (uilleann pipes) and Mary Corcoran (fiddle and piano) being his earliest influences. He began playing the tin whistle at the age of 6 under the guidance of Maureen McGrattan. Within two years Sean progressed to the uilleann pipes receiving lessons from Seán Óg Potts. By the age of 15 Seán had amassed a total of 5 Fleadh Ceoil na hEireann titles and before 18 he had won the senior Oireactas solo competition. Sean has performed with Noel Hill, Seán Keane and Steve Cooney as well as forging an exciting duet with fiddle player Liam O’Connor. Seán was honoured to be awarded the 2005 TG4 Young Traditional Musician of the Year.

Seán is also a member of the Damien Dempsey band, performing around the world with the Dublin singer/songwriter, a highlight of which was supporting U2 in Croke Park during their 360 tour. Seán appears on Dempsey’s most recent album “Almigty Love” which was nominated for a Meteor Choice Music Prize.

Sean McKeon_albumsDublin Made Me (above left) and To The City (above right)

McKeon and O’Connor released the duet album “Dublin Made Me” in 2009 to widespread critical acclaim. The Irish Times awarded it “CD of the Week” across all genres, describing it as “a vibrant collection that never once loses sight of its birthright yet still manages to herald a new departure in casting a spotlight on two exceptional musicians who marry technical prowess with a marvellous sense of adventure and history”.

“Dublin Made Me is so much more than the sum of its parts. What makes it stand out from the crowded arena of traditional music is its blithe conviction that one’s inheritance, whether musical, historical or social, is there to be inhabited in all its ragged and real glory. This is a vibrant collection that never once loses sight of its birthright yet still manages to herald a new departure in casting a spotlight on two exceptional musicians who marry technical prowess with a marvellous sense of adventure and history.”
The Irish Times

“The piping solo by McKeon on the reels “The Ladies’ Bonnet/The Pinch of Snuff” is simply sensational. He plays each note roundly, never eliding, and his imaginative fingering of the chanter and wristing of the regulators combine to produce music of rare eloquence”
Earl Hitchner

“I think that it’s this ‘performance beyond technique’ that elevates this recording to a special status. Staying confidently within the structural constraints of Irish traditional music, this framework, with all its limits, seems to goad McKeon’s and O’Connor’s curiosity and their appetite for exploration.”
The Journal of Music

June 2013 saw the release of McKeon’s much anticipated first solo piping album ‘To The City’. He is joined on the recording by multi-instrumental virtuoso John Blake, as well as re-visiting his powerful duet with fiddler Liam O’Connor.