It’s great to hear about events being organised and happening right where they ought to. Next month’s Sliabh Luachra Summer School in Tureencahill Community Centre is just one of these.
This event will consist of three days of music, talks and performances to highlight the music and musicians of the Sliabh Luachra area on August 9th to 11th inclusive.
“This is our first year where we will have Sliabh Luachra young musicians imparting tunes and talks to all who are interested in our local traditional music,” said a spokesman for the Tureencahill Community Group.
The three-day event will be led by Bryan O’Leary with support from other young musicians and music teachers from the tradition-steeped district.
The Sliabh Luachra Summer-School is supported by Kerry Co. Council Arts as part of the Sliabh Luachra Trail initiative.
Classes cost is €30 and the times are: 10am to 2pm daily. Information on the Sliabh Luachra Summer School can be had by ringing: 085 17 41 551 or 087 05 76 107 or click on the poster here for details.
TG4 Ceoltóir Óg win in April 2014
A profile of Bryan O’Leary appeared in The Journal of Music to coincide with his Gradam Ceoil TG4 – Ceoltóir Óg win in April 2014.
It provides the finest illustration of the depth of tradition at the heart of Sliabh Luachra. More importantly, for this fledgling festival, it clearly shows the capability of the hands in which visitors to the Sliabh Luachra Summer School will place their musical education and outlook.
Bryan O’Leary studied for a BA in Irish Music and Dance in the University of Limerick and he has performed in venues like: I.N.E.C in Killarney, The Button Factory in Dublin and in Sweden – among many other.
He has played at Áras an Uachtaráin for President Michael D.Higgins and has been featured on RTÉ Radio na Gaeltachta and Radio One on The Rolling Wave and TG4, on programme’s such as Oireachtas na hÉireann and Geántraí.
Bryan O’Leary – The Journal of Music in 2014
Bryan O’Leary is twenty years of age and comes from the townland of Tureencahill half way between Ballydesmond and Gneeveguilla, in the heart of Sliabh Luachra.
He started playing the accordion at the age of 10, shortly after his grandfather, the great accordionist Johnny O’Leary, passed away. He began his music career learning at his local National school under the guidance of Henry Cronin. He continued learning by attending classes with the respected teacher and multi-instrumentalist Nicky McAuliffe from Castleisland. He received tuition from Nicky all through his teenage years.
Learning his Grandfather’s Music
As Bryan progressed on the accordion, he began learning his grandfather’s music by ear and researching Johnny’s music and old recordings. This greatly improved his repertoire and knowledge of Sliabh Luachra music. In fact it should come as no surprise that he has a keen interest in the local Sliabh Luachra style of playing.
In addition to the music of his late grandfather, other Sliabh Luachra stalwarts such as Denis Murphy, Julia Clifford, Padraig O’Keeffe and Paddy Cronin were also highly influential to this young and talented musician.
Paddy Cronin himself was the recipient of a Gradam Saoil award in 2007 and Bryan has appreciated playing with him on a few occasions.
In the past few years, he has also enjoyed sharing and playing music with Billy Clifford who has been another great influence on his music, which keeps the link between the O’Leary and Murphy/Clifford tradition alive.
He was also influenced hugely by the legendary accordion player Jimmy Doyle from Maulykaevane, Gneeveguilla along with his two musical partners Joe O’Sullivan (flute) and Paudie Gleeson (fiddle). Other influences of note include Kerry accordion players such as Paudie O’Connor, Brenden Begley, John Brosnan, Danny O’Mahony, and the late Stephen Carroll.
Great Source of Music
He has played at various festivals including Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh, The Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival, The Gathering Festival and The Con Curtin Music Festival. He has performed on many TV and radio programmes in the last few years such as Geántraí, Oireachtas na hEireann, The Rolling Wave, Ceili House, Radio Na Gaeltachta and many other programmes on TG4, Clare FM and Radio Kerry.
Throughout the past decade he has been encouraged and supported by his parents Maureen and Bertie, his brother Barry and sister Ailish, along with his aunt Ellen. They have been a great source of music to him and continue to provide a link with Johnny O’Leary’s vast repertoire and music.
Bryan is currently a student at the University of Limerick where he is studying Irish Music and Dance.
Johnny O’Leary was honoured with the TG4 Gradam Saoil Award in November 2003 at the University of Limerick shortly before he passed away and as the young musician 2014 Bryan continues to honour his legacy and keeps the family tradition alive.