Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy 2019

The 47th Willie Clancy Summer School, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, Ireland. Saturday 6th July to Sunday 14th July, 2019.

Sráid na Cathrach, Co. an Chláir  6ú Iúil - 14ú Iúil.

Joe Burke to open 2018 Summer School

We are delighted to announce that renowned traditional musician Joe Burke will open the 46th annual Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy on Saturday 7th July at 8pm at the  Community Centre.


From Kilnadeema, East Galway, Joe Burke is regarded as a master accordionist whose technical virtuosity combines with an intense emotion and expressiveness to produce an exhilarating musical experience. His public performances and recordings led to a huge revival of interest in the instrument and there are many well known musicians who were inspired by his style.


He gave his first public performance in 1955 and was a founder member of the Leitrim Céilí Band. The band initially played around Galway and then further afield. They made their first tour abroad in 1958, to England, and the following year won the senior céilí band competition at the All-Ireland fleadh in Thurles and repeated the success at Gorey in 1962. In 1959 the band made a recording, It’s Irish Dance Time,  with the New York- based  Dublin Record Company. This company, run by the O’Neill brothers, John and James ,  who were originally from Labasheeda in Co Clare,  also recorded the Miltown Malbay Laichtín Naofa Céilí Band the same year. Their LP,  Come to an Irish Dance party ,  was the first  LP of a céilí band recorded in Ireland. Willie Clancy played in this band.


Photo: Tony Kearns.

Along with the Leitrim band’s successes, Joe Burke was establishing his solo reputation, winning All-Ireland titles on the accordion at Thurles (1959) and Boyle (1960) and the duet competition with Aggie White at Gorey. He was soon recognised as an impressive public performer and participated in numerous festivals and events.  He first toured the US in 1961 and during the 1970s and 1980s toured extensively there and in Europe, and played at many prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall (New York), The Royal Albert Hall (London), Unesque Hall (Paris), and the Great American Musical Hall (San Francisco).


His first recordings with Gael Linn were the last 78s ever made in Europe. He has recorded with Outlet, Shanachie, Green Linnet and New Century Music, and played with many notable musicians over the years, including Seán Maguire, Felix Dolan, Josephine Keegan, Kevin Burke, Charlie Lennon, Frankie Gavin and Máire Ní Chathasaigh, among many others.


Among the awards he has recieved over the years are the RTÉ Traditional Musician of the Year (1970), AIB Traditional Musician of the Year (1997), Boston College Musical Mastery Award (2000), and Gradam an Comhaltas (2003).


With his wife, musician Anne Conroy,  he has performed and tutored at many festivals and  schools in the UK, the US , mainland Europe and Ireland.  At Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy he has coordinated the accordion classes and conducted the master classes  since the late 1980s. He has donated a large personal collection of photos, correspondence, press-cuttings, promotional material and private sound recordings to the James Hardiman Library at NUIG.

© Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy 2018   Website: Tony Kearns