I was born in Willesden, London, England and brought up in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England. I now live in Orkney.
I play the piano accordion and absolutely love the instrument. My first love was the melodica. I was taught be several teachers but my main Irish music teacher was John Whelan who was based in Dunstable, Luton for many years before moving to America where he now lives. A superb teacher on all levels and I empoy many of his teaching ideas still.
I now play and love all kinds of music; I was lucky to live on the Longford/Roscommon border for nearly 5 years until 2018 and enjoy weekly sessions with some of the best Irish musicians I have ever known such as Tom McElvogue (flute), Noel Sweeney (flute), the late Mairtin O Muiri (guitar), Michael Lennon (button accordion), Jim McLoughlin (button accordion), Donna McCann (concertina), Therese Hanly (banjo), Sean Sweeney (guitar), Johnny Bones (bodhran) plus more sporadic sessions with Patsy Hanly (flute), the late Frank Kelly (piano accordion), Nuala Donlon (fiddle), Kim Fleming (harp). It doesn’t get much better than that on a local level!
My earliest influences were Finbarr Dwyer, Kevin Burke, Brendan McGlinchey, Brid Harper, Des Hurley, Noel Hill, Joe Cooley, Jacky Daly, Joe Molloy, Liz Carroll, Tom McElvogue, Siobhan O’Donnell, Niall Keegan, Peter McAlinden, Mike Butler, Kevin Ryan and Ivan Miletitch. Since the late 1980s there have been so mnay more and continue to be although I still go back to ‘Star of Ireland’ (Finbarr Dwyer) and ‘Music from the Sliabh Luachra Vol 1 - Jacky Daly’. Classics. I feel very thankful for the huge part all these giants have played in my music.