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2020 is a landmark year for Paddy Keenan & as such he will give a special performance at his spiritual home of DeBarras with Seamie O Dowd on February 27th. This performance show will be recorded by the team behind ‘’Sé mo Laoch’ TG4 to be included as part of a programme on Paddy for its 11th season.

Paddy Keenan is an Irish player of the uilleann pipes who first gained fame as a founding member of The Bothy Band. Since that group’s dissolution in the late 1970s, Keenan has released a number of solo and collaborative recordings, and continues to tour both as a soloist, and with a range of other artists.
A long time performer at DeBarra’s, Paddy also spent many years living in Clonakilty.

“the Jimi Hendrix of the pipes” – Donal Lunny

The Bothy Band forever changed the face of Irish traditional music, merging a driving rhythm section with traditional Irish tunes in ways that had never been heard before. Those fortunate enough to have seen the band live have never forgotten the impression they made — one reviewer likened the experience to “being in a jet when it suddenly whipped into full throttle along the runway.” Paddy was one of the band’s founding members, and his virtuosity on the pipes combined with the ferocity of his playing made him, in the opinion of many, its driving force. Bothy Band-mate Donal Lunny once described Paddy as “the Jimi Hendrix of the pipes”; more recently, due to his genius for improvisation and counter-melody, he has been compared to jazz great John Coltrane.
Paddy’s flowing, open-fingered style of playing can be traced directly from the style of such great Travelling pipers as Johnny Doran; both Paddy’s father and grandfather played in the same style. Although often compared to Doran, Paddy was 19 or 20 when he first heard a tape of Doran’s playing; his own style is a direct result of his father’s tutelage and influence.

Paddy’s style continued to mature in the intervening years since the break-up of The Bothy Band as he pursued a solo career. He has brought traditional music to audiences around the globe, playing at festivals including the Rainforest World Music Festival in Borneo, CeltFest Cuba in Havana, and concert tours across Japan, Europe, Australia, and North America. He is featured on the soundtrack of “Traveller”, starring Bill Paxton and Mark Wahlberg, for which he composed and arranged two pieces of music. In the mid-2000’s, Paddy and singer Liam Ó Maonlaí (Hothouse Flowers) traveled to Mali, west Africa, to embark on a 3,000 mile long journey across the desert to perform at Le Festival au Désert, the world’s most remote music festival, near Timbuktu. In 2008, a documentary of their travels was released. Directed by Dearbhla Glynn, ’Dambé: The Mali Project’, highlights their journey and collaborations with Malian musicians across the Sahara. Recently, Paddy performed at the Irish Embassies in Moscow, Russia and in Tallinn, Estonia.

Paddy’s contributions to traditional Irish music were honoured in 2002, when he received the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Musician of the Year award, which is presented to musical heroes of the modern age, and in 2011 by the Irish Music Association, with a Lifetime Achievement Award.


Seamie O Dowd is a guitarist,singer, and songwriter who also plays fiddle,harmonica,mandolin,and a number of other instruments.
He has travelled worldwide playing music and has shared stages and played with many great musicians and bands including;
Mairtin O’Connor, Cathal Hayden, Christy Moore, The Chieftains, Jimmy Higgins, Tommy Emmanuel, Dervish,Steve Wickham,Matt Molloy, Liam O’Flynn,Thom Moore, Dick Gaughan, Cathy Jordan, Rick Epping, Kieran Quinn, John Joe Kelly. Aminah Hughes and many others.

His experience also includes recording production, teaching and more recently, film soundtrack work, and encompasses solo performance as well as extensive work with bands and small groups as both a member and a session musician.


’Sé mo Laoch TG4 tells the story of some of our greatest traditional musicians and singers. These one hour documentaries celebrate the musicianship and creativity of some of our most well known and respected perfomers. The series, produced for TG4, showcases the huge diversity of Irish traditional music and musicians. Each programme is as unique as it is intimate and tells the story of these seminal musicians in their own words.

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