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Frankie Gavin

28 October 2019
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Burlington Violin Shop

only 40 seats available, please reserve in advance!

$25 admission, reservations and more info at mark.sustic@gmail.com

Frankie, who was born in 1956 in Corrandulla, County Galway, comes from a musical family: his father played fiddle, and his mother and all of her family played also. Frankie himself started playing the tin whistle at age four, making his first T.V. appearance three years later. At the age of ten years old Frankie began to play fiddle and by the time he was seventeen he was placed first in the All Ireland Fiddle Competition and in the All Ireland Flute Competition, both on the same day.

Frankie Gavin

Frankie Gavin

Mainly learning by ear, he was strongly influenced by the 78 recordings of Michael Coleman and James Morrison. Sessions in the Cellar Bar, Galway and later in Hughes’ pub in Spiddal led to the formation of De Dannan in 1973.

His Currandulla connection came in useful when De Danann were looking for a singer, and it was he who came up with Dolores Keane from nearby Cahirlistrane. When De Danann brought out their first album, her singing of The Rambling Irishman gained a lot of airplay for the group. Although De Danann has had many highpoints over a quarter of a century, particularly with the singing of Dolores Keane and Maura O’Connell and the box playing of Mairtin O’Connor, Frankie’s powerful virtuoso fiddle playing has always been at the core of the De Dannan sound.

He has recorded 16 albums with De Dannan as well as a number of solo albums, and three collaborations: one a tribute to Joe Cooley entitled ‘Omos do Joe Cooley’ with Paul Brock; a fine collaboration with fellow De Dannan member Alec Finn; and one with Stephane Grapelli exploring the languages of jazz and traditional music. He has also guested with The Rolling Stones on their ‘Voodoo Lounge’ album, with Keith Richards on ‘Wingless Angels’ and with Earl Scruggs the great banjo man.

Frankie Gavin

Frankie Gavin

Exposure to American audiences began in 1976 when he played with De Danann at the American bicentennial celebrations in Washington DC, with artists such as Junior Crehan and Micho Russell. Frankie has also been invited to play for numerous State officials including President John F. Kennedy on historic visit to Ireland in 1962, French president Francois Mitterand and England’s Prince Charles. Of a special event in America, United States Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith is reported to have commented that “The best all ’round performance of the entire week at Kennedy Center was by DeDannan.”

“Frankie Gavin’s fiddle playing is technically complex, unabashedly brilliant, and has a pronounced, driving swing which harks back to the sound of the 1920s.” Philippe Varlet

“Gavin was drawn at an early age towards the 78-rpm recordings of Irish American musicians such as Coleman, Morrison, The Flanagan Brothers, John McKenna and Joe Derrane. It undoubtedly had a liberating effect on his own playing.” Nuala O’Connor, The Irish Times

Frankie performing in Seattle here

Frankie playing ‘Rakish Paddy’ here

Frankie at 50-minute master class at Temple Bar here

Frankie Gavin

Frankie Gavin