Accordionist Gary Quinn plays St Patrick’s Night at Town Hall

FOLLOWING THE recent launch of his acclaimed album Keep Her Lit!, the Town Hall Theatre will play host to a concert by the well-known accordion player Gary Quinn on St Patrick’s Night at 8pm.

The music maestro promises a spirited celebration of Irish music culture, with performances from the cream of the west of Ireland’s traditional musicians, singers and dancers.

Gary Quinn comes from Brierfield near Moylough in Co Galway. He is a former All-Ireland Champion Accordion player and Keep Her Lit! is his debut album. It features many well-known and respected musicians, including Sean de Burca, Sean Regan, Steve Simmonds, Kieran Quinn, Tom Giblin, Bruno Staehelin, and Sinead Deely.

Gary was introduced to traditional music at a very early age - both of his parents have always had a great love of traditional music and in particular accordion music. Growing up, entertainment in the Quinn household was usually live - from banjo to guitar to singing, and of course the accordion.

By 1989 Gary had won the all Ireland National PTAA accordion championship. Since then, Gary, who lives in Brierfield with his wife and two daughters, has travelled all over the world with his accordion.

He has toured to New Zealand, America, Canada, Hawaii, and Australia where one of his greatest memories was playing the Sydney Opera House, to an audience of more than 6,500 people.

Throughout his career, Gary has been influenced by some of the greats of accordion playing, such as Joe Burke, Finbar Dwyer, and Joe Cooley. However the man who has influenced Gary more than anyone is Mairtín O’Connor.

The way in which Gary can instinctively back songs and melodies seems to have come from Mairtín's influence. Gary has known Mairtín for many years, and is proud to have had Mairtín contributed to Keep Her Lit!

Keep Her Lit! has been very warmly received. Irish Music magazine declared: “The album is full of great tunes, the sort of material that seems deceptively easy to play; good solid melodies, whether they be Irish jigs and reels, a French Canadian quadrille or self-penned numbers such as ‘The Children’s Carousel’ (his evocative homage to the old steam organs of Edwardian merry-go-rounds ). The album rounds out on a high note with a three minute trip along a Route 66 of Americana mixing rags to rock as it heads for the western sunset.”

Noting that the album title comes from a phrase of lorry driver’s slang, that review concludes “but don’t be fooled, the album is far more agile than a lumbering lorry or a wearisome wagon; it’s an articulated expansive trip around the potential of the button box”.

So all is set for a rousing St Patrick’s Night of top notch music at the Town Hall. Joining Gary will be Sean de Burca, Kieran Quinn, and Una McGinty. In short, it’s not to be missed.

Tickets are €20/16 from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 - 569777.

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