John McKenna (1880-1947
Feb 02 2015 Posted: 14:15 GMT

Musician Seán Gilrane to present first lecture

NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies and Comhrá Ceoil have announced details of the fourth Martin Reilly Lecture Series with musician Seán Gilrane presenting the first talk this year. Entitled ‘The life, times and music of the legendary Leitrim flute player John McKenna (1880-1947)’, the talk will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 10 February int the Galway City Library.

Seán’s talk stems from research conducted as part of the recent publication and recording ‘The Music and Life of John McKenna: The Buck from the Mountain’. This release, published by the John McKenna Society in Leitrim, is the definitive work on McKenna and includes his complete corpus of 44 commercial recordings, as well as a substantial accompanying book containing an extensive biography, an analysis of his music style and legacy together with music transcriptions of his tunes. McKenna was one of the premier stars of the legendary golden age of Irish traditional music in New York in the 1920s and 30s, and left behind an unsurpassed legacy that is the first major corpus of recorded Irish flute music.

A native of Leitrim himself, and a flute player, Seán has worked extensively with the John McKenna Society in researching the life and music of the maestro McKenna.

This series of talks is dedicated to Martin Reilly, the celebrated Galway uilleann piper, and gives an opportunity to researcher-practitioners in Irish traditional music and dance to present their work in a public forum. The success of the series thus far confirms the interest in research of this kind in Galway, where traditional music and dance are part of the cultural fabric of the city.

Admission is free to all talks in the Martin Reilly Lecture Series. Further information on this and other planned talks in the series available by emailing Martinreillylectureseries@gmail.com, or Facebook: Martin-Reilly-Lecture-Series.

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