The richness of Irish culture calls the children and grand children of those who left Ireland long ago to return.

Today we celebrate this by featuring the master musician and all round nice guy John Joe Kelly a Manchester born Bodhran player. John Joe is the bodhran player with the group Flook featured a couple of days back. He has also played with other greats such as Altan and Paul Brady. Learning traditional music from a young age John Joe toured with St. Malachy’s Ceili Band with some friends in his youth and went on to form a group of his own with his friends called Ceile. Not only is John Joe an outstanding bodhran player who some would argue contributed to the evolution of the style of bodhran playing heard today, but a champion in lilting as well. The bodhran is said to be the “heartbeat of Irish music” and John Joe lives up to this statement with his use of energetic rhythm and personal style. You can find John Joe on Flook’s website. If you like the bodhran and would like to hear more of John Joe then visit our featured artist/group of the day archive for further information.

Artists / Groups that John Joe Kelly has contributed to include:

  • Flook
  • Jean-Michel Veillon
  • Eamonn Coyne & Kris Drever
  • Alan Simon
  • Katy Cruel and Linda Thompson,/li>
  • Michael McGoldrick

Listen to John Joe Kelly playing in Dublin’s Christchurch Cathedral. A performance which our own Darragh happened to catch.