John McKenna- master flute player 1880-1947
This Leitrim- born musician was the inspiration for generations of flute players. He left the Arigna coal mines for New York and recorded 44 tracks of music in the 1920s and 30s. His 78 records trickled back to Ireland and are regarded as classics of their kind. The John McKenna Traditional Music Society of Drumkeeran, Co Leitrim is issuing ALL of these tracks, remastered with clarity acceptable to 21st century listeners, on a double CD very soon. It will be launched first at the John McKenna Traditional Music weekend in Drumkeeran on June 7th. Further launches are planned for Miltown Malbay at the Willie Clancy week, at Drumshanbo’s Joe Mooney weekend and at the All Ireland fleadh in Sligo..
McKenna’s tunes (or many of them) are well known to modern players, but this is the FIRST time his complete works have been available- a landmark in Irish traditional music