Iconic Irish musician Paddy Moloney dies at 83: NPR
Lynne Sladky / AP
Paddy Moloney, co-founder of Irish folk group The Chieftains, has passed away today. He was 83 years old. The news was announced by the Irish traditional music archive. No cause of death was given.
Moloney was an extremely important part of the Irish folk music scene. For over 50 years, Moloney has led The Chieftains around the world, popularizing traditional Irish music. The group has also collaborated with countless artists and groups outside of the folk music world, including Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, Emmylou Harris and Luciano Pavarotti. Their last show was an early St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2020, before the pandemic forced them to cancel the remainder of their “Irish Goodbye” tour.
When it came to music, Moloney was self-taught. He told NPR in an interview in 2002 that his mother bought him a tin whistle when he was six and upon learning of this he opened the door to other instruments. “Because it gives you a great overview of instruments and scale formation and that sort of thing,” he said.
“But also the other beauty of this little whistle is that once you master the mechanics of it, you can really get into improvisation,” he added, “and you can start to see the music. and she goes out. “
Moloney was born in Donnycarney, a suburb just north of Dublin, Ireland. He formed the Chieftains in 1962. He never intended to do it full time, as he told NPR in 1975. Instead, he wanted to find the right musicians who could join him. as he used traditional techniques to get “into the guts of a song,” repeating tunes over and over again to find something new. The group ultimately won six Grammys and left the world with a body of work that would help connect the Irish Diaspora.
“His legacy will remain with us in the music he created and brought to the world,” reads one declaration Irish President Michael D. Higgins.
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