O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub

25 North San Pedro Street, San Jose, California, USA

Twenty-four comments

This Session ONLY on 2nd and 4th Sunday of Each Month

Time: 5pm-8pm, 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month,
starting this Sunday, 9 February 2003.

Location (more detailed):

O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub
25 North San Pedro Street
(near Santa Clara Street)
San Jose, CA 95110
Tel: 408.947.8007

There’s a parking structure almost directly
across San Pedro Street, which is free of
charge when these sessions take place.
There’s also a good possibility of free drinks
for musicians.

Session Schudule Update

The sessions at O’Flaherty’s are now EVERY SUNDAY, still at the same time, 5-8pm.

More info available?

Any more info on this session? Is it still going on?

O’Flaherty’s adds Tuesday nights!

O’Flaherty’s hosts a session every Sunday AND every Tuesday now as well! Sundays are still from 5:00 until 8:00 and Tuesdays are from 6:30 until 9:30 (or so). Tuesdays are intermediate-friendly, whereas Sundays tend to be a bit faster paced. Both nights are quite enjoyable!

A note to newcomers

One does not need to be a seasoned professional to participate in sessions, but because this is not a “beginner session” and it takes place in a public venue, it is important for the health of the music to maintain as high a standard of musicianship as possible. The pub owner and staff treat musicians well at O’Flaherty’s and are very supportive of the music, and they do us a great service by providing us with a nice place to play and free drink. The musicians should return the favor by taking the time to consider if they are ready to play at a level comparable to the others at the session or not. If not, rest assured that the musicians VERY much appreciate listeners who are genuinely interested in learning the music, as the other patrons are generally much more interested in the hockey game and enjoying their cigars than the diddily-idely in the corner.

Lastly, whether you participate as a player or a listener, be sure to leave a tip for the waitress.

A Public Performance and Musical Satisfaction

I agree. It is a performance and the players have a “responsibility” to the pub owner to provide a high standard of music for the enjoyment of the patrons. And for each other!

We regulars operate as a team and take our fun seriously! Certainly all of us are here to play as best we can and to strive to improve and there is a huge amount of support for those “iffy” tunes…it takes a village, as they say…but the O’Flaherty’s sessions are not a stumbling ground for new players to get up to speed or for “showoffs” to blast through tune sets without regard to agreeable and steady tempos.

I believe the patrons are listening closer to us than we sometimes think and aren’t always ‘just sports fans’ there to watch the toob…sometimes the patrons are actually FROM Ireland or otherwise know what a real Irish session (or simply good folk music) is supposed to sound like! Hate to get caught with egg on our faces!

But whether anyone outside of the immediate table is listening or not, we the players want to have a satisfying night of music making…it’s no fun having to “deal” with players who don’t understand the *rhythm* of a good session!

And as awkward as it is to say something to someone who doesn’t immediately get it, it is paramount that the session players “communicate the code” as kindly and as clearly as possible with each other and with newcomers.

One person’s ignorance, ego, or lack of ability can quickly ruin a good session. The players owe it to each other and to the pub owner to “keep the session clean” and running smoothly by being open and honest about the accepted and agreed-upon “feel” of the evening.

And by all means, one must tip the wait staff and answer patron questions with good natured replies! It’s not just the music that brings folks back to a pub…it’s the overall spirit of the night!

No sheet music at O’Flaherty’s!

It’s nice to know that folks are using the session to find traditional music in the area and we regulars are always delighted to have good players find us and join in the fun, whether they’re new to the area or just passing through!

However, for those who are new to the genre or to their instruments, they should consider first whether they are *ready* to play in a session! Most of us who have been playing for awhile already know this, but some folks are really new and need to be aware of a few things before they sit on down at the table.

*If a budding player is still reading sheet music, that person is not ready to play in a session! * At least not at O’Flaherty’s under any circumstances! That’s what slow plays are for and most of us started in a slow play somewhere until we were ready to play at a reasonable speed and without sheet music.

Also, just “tooting along,” fumbling around for notes, playing odd “harmonies,” or pretending that one knows a tune is really impolite and disruptive. We can hear you…and so can the people who are there in the pub to enjoy the music.

It’s really quite OK to sit out a tune if you’re not ready to play it or to sit off to the side of the playing table to listen and learn. The beginning player should not seat himself next to the lead player or among the other experienced players .

I consider the playing table to be a stage, and until a person is ready to perform with the other players, it is agreeable to all of us for that person to enjoy the music from a safe distance. And by all means, that person should go home, practice, and join in the fun when they’re truly ready!

They should listen to their trad Irish CDs….if they can play along with those tracks and up to speed by and large, then they’re ready to join the session at O’Flaherty’s!

There ARE no free drinks at O’Flaherty’s! Each of us *earns* our meals fairly and squarely! And we tip the staff!

Still Going Strong on Tuesdays and Sundays in 2008 and Beyond!

Come on down to these fast-paced and friendly community sessions every Tuesday night at 6:30 and every Sunday at 5:00!

O’Flaherty’s Pub Tuesday and Sunday Night Sessions!

Still famously warm and welcoming on Tuesday and Sunday nights in downtown San Jose! Art Friedman and I would like to share a few guidelines about how we run the O’Flaherty’s sessions:

1) All sessions at O’Flaherty’s are managed (or “moderated”, if you like) by a designated leader.

2) The leader always has full authority to ask someone not to participate. We may consider skill, musical compatibility, size of the group, size of the customer crowd, overall noise level, and other factors. No disrespect intended toward anyone.

3) It has always been that way -- though people may not have fully understood this in the past, because we try to accommodate interested players as best we can. Please contact the following session leaders for more information about how you may participate, if appropriate:

Art Friedman - (friedman_art (at) yahoo.com)
Julie Horner - (leap2three (at) yahoo.com)

4) These guidelines apply to all sessions at O’Flaherty’s, both on Sundays and on Tuesdays.

5) We aim for a balanced, enjoyable, high-quality traditional Irish session, both for players and for listeners.

We encourage careful listening and we always tip the server!


I’ll see ye on Tuesday April 13th with my guitar, I know a decent selection of jigs but generally just pump out the chords ;) And I might just know a song or two as well ;)


Friendly and Fun

I’m a Saratoga native who left the Bay area decades ago but was very pleased to have shared some tunes last night (1st Sunday) with the sessioneers at O’Flaherty’s during my recent visit to San Jose. Art and Julie were very gracious, informative and open when I emailed them a few weeks ago letting them know I would be in town and asking about their sessions…which is nice since some sessions can be chilly towards out-of-town visitors. It turned out last night was Peter’s shift, but we had a wonderful time and I found Peter and Dave and the others to very friendly and welcoming, and it was a real pleasure playing tunes with them. The pub and patrons were also very friendly and appreciative of the music.

I’m hoping to make it on Tuesday night as well and to meet Julie and the tuesday folks as well.

Paudy writes: ’Here in Dublin, Ireland these session rules are never written or discussed, it’s so funny to see them all written out."

Excellent point, in Ireland you have the advantage of learning by example, whereas in the US, sessions, let alone Irish trad, is hardly known about or understood. People often make errant assumptions and will take actions that can have the effect of exploding depth charges.

I asked Charlie Lennon about sessions when he was visiting one night years ago here in SF, and he said that he gets questions about sessions from people outside of Ireland and rarely in Ireland itself. He said at the end of the day it’s just a matter of making sure you don’t interfere with the flow of the music. I think if you truly stick to that concept you can’t go wrong regardless of the differences from one session to the next.

O’Flaherty’s Trad Irish Seisiun on Facebook!

We’ve now got our own Facebook page at the following link:


You can also find us at www.leap2three.com

Feel free to “Like” us to keep up with the Irish seisiun scene in San Jose and Silicon Valley!

O’Flaherty’s is the longest running and only up-tempo seisiun in the San Francisco South Bay Area! Experienced Irish style musicians are welcome to pull up a chair to play trad Irish tunes with Art, Peter, Julie, and David in the spirit and feel of a a true Irish seisiun!

Feel free to email ahead that you’re coming so that we know to save a seat for you at the table!

“You’re a stranger here but once.”

Julia Horner -- leap2three (at) yahoo.com
Art Friedman -- friedman_art (at) yahoo.com
Peter Tommerup -- ptommerup (at) juno.com

And we approved this message! See you soon!

No more Sundays at O’Flaherty’s - Tuesdays continue!

Greetings from Julie and David, hosts of the Tuesday seisiun at O‘Flaherty’s Irish Pub in downtown San Jose! Starting this November, 2012, all traditional Irish music at O’Flaherty’s has been moved to Tuesday nights at 6:30 so that punters can enjoy televised sports, reggae, and karaoke on Sundays.

Hope to play tunes with you on a Tuesday soon! Please visit us on Facebook:


O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub 10 Year Anniversary!

O’Flaherty’s celebrates its 10-year anniversary this December, and the seisiun players celebrate 9 years playing at the pub! We are re-joined recently by local legend, John Lavelle on button accordion. John played with Joe Cooley, Aggie Whyte, Pat Kenny, Tony and John Lowe, among others back in the day. His playing adds a taste of the true tradition; John has many stories to tell from his times playing with some of Ireland’s most famous traditional musicians.

To learn some of the tunes that we’ll be playing at O’Flaherty’s Tuesday night seisiun, check out John’s CD, called “@Home Alone.” https://thesession.org/recordings/4278

Traditional Irish Seisiun Every Tuesday!

Still going strong every Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 9:30! Irish tunes played in the spirit of the tradition for experienced Irish style musicians. This is the South Bay’s longest running Irish seisiun found in Silicon Valley’s “Best Irish Pub,” O’Flaherty’s!

Godspeed Ray O’Flaherty, who has just passed away. He and his wife Mary have graciously opened their doors to traditional Irish music for over 10 years.

“Ray O’Flaherty has created the best of what an Irish pub historically and culturally is,” said former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery.

Mary O’Flaherty and son Brandon keep the tradition rolling along! Hosted by Art Friedman and Julie Horner, the pub continues its tradition of Irish music every Tuesday night in downtown San Jose.

Visit us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OFlahertys.Irish.Seisiun

O’Flaherty’s Traditional Irish Seisiun Every Tuesday in San Jose, CA!

Happy 2016! Welcome to the ongoing Tuesday traditional Irish sessions at O‘Flaherty’s! Twelve years and counting, O’Flaherty’s Tuesday night session keeps the Irish tunes and songs rolling in the spirit of the tradition! The music is lively, learners are encouraged to come listen! Join Marie O‘Flaherty, Julie Horner, David Chadwick, and the O’Flaherty’s Traditional Irish Seisiun players every Tuesday (except Sharks home game nights) for a taste of the pure drop at a pub that still honors what an Irish session is.

Parking is still free in the garage across the street with pub validation.

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OFlahertys.Irish.Seisiun
Now also on Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/Santa-Cruz-Irish-Music-Meetup

Fantastic traditional session in all the best ways

Julie and David host a welcoming and lively session every Tuesday night at O‘Flaherty’s pub. There’s a friendly group of regulars who come, plus visitors who have heard of this great session and want to stop by for some tunes while working or visiting the South Bay area. There’s never one of those awkward “now what tune shall we play??” moments, as Julie, David and the regulars around the table come up with great tune sets on the fly. The “craic” is great due to the fun personalities of the hosts and their friendly attitudes toward new musicians who would like to join in the fun. The session is great for experienced musicians as well as a good venue for new players to listen and soak in the tunes (even record them for learning at home). After over 10 years of Tuesday nights and with the support of Marie O’Flaherty and crew, Julie and David sure are doing something right!

Great Session !

  For those seeking a great traditional Irish session in the San Jose area, the O’Flaherty’s Tuesday night session is a real gem not to be missed. This has been running solidly for about 13 years now and the hosts Julie and David have provided a friendly and sturdy foundation for a consistently lively session. Like many sessions, there is a core of semi-regular players, but almost always there is a fresh face or two passing through to join in. If you are a player (or just a listener) in the San Jose area, I’d encourage you to stop by.
  The music runs at a steady pace here. Tunes tend to be pretty up-tempo and from a deep and eclectic repertoire. If you are a novice player, you may find yourself more comfortable just listening, but whether you participate as an experienced player, or elect to just sit and listen, the atmosphere is warm and friendly. You’re sure to take away a pleasant experience either way.
  The session runs from 6:30 to 9:30 and there is free parking in the garage across San Pedro street from the pub (just ask the bartender to validate your ticket). This session is almost always a “go” on every Tuesday, with the exception of nights when the San Jose Sharks are having a home game, or another major event is on at the nearby pavilion. Come join the craic!

Long Standing irish trad Session in San Jose

I’ve been going to the O‘Flaherty’s tradition Irish session almost since it’s inception well over a decade ago. It is consistently an energetic and welcoming session thanks to the efforts of session leaders Julie and David. In addition to the regulars, as the pub is in the heart of Silicon Valley with its attendant business travel, there are often visiting musicians sitting in. The support of the session musicians by the O’Flaherty’s has been outstanding. Ray would always be at his spot at the end of the bar actively engaged with patrons and staff. He could often be coaxed into a rendition of A Nation Once Again. Since his passing, Marie has taken over as the matriarch of the pub and has her spot right next to the session. She is one of the warmest and classiest people.
If you’re in the area on a Tuesday evening, drop by. Great pub, music and people.

Re: O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub

Is this session still happening?

Re: O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub

From the pub’s Facebook page, posted two days ago (23/11/22):

‘O’Flaherty’s hosts San Jose’s only up-tempo seisiún in the spirit & feel of the Irish tradition?! Come enjoy our Live Irish Seisiún every Tuesday starting at 6:30pm. See you soon.’

Posted by .

Re: O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub

Glad I checked for updates again!

This is good news.

Hope to make it one of these Tuesdays!

O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub Tuesday Seisiun - An Iconic South Bay Destination

O‘Flaherty’s Traditional Irish Seisiun continues into 2023 every Tuesday evening from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm with hosts Julie Horner and David Chadwick. This is a welcoming uptempo gathering for experienced Irish style musicians. We’re delighted to have been part of the O’Flaherty family now for so many music-filled years! With joy we share the love of traditional melodies and good times together! Any questions just send Julie a note at leap2three @ gmail.com. You’re a stranger here but once!

Note: Check the Sharks home game schedule during hockey season. We don’t hold the seisiun on home game nights.