Kicking off the 2023 series, we are delighted to welcome back, our young curator’s flute teacher for many years, Michael Hurley.
Since moving to Ballymote, Co. Sligo over 30 years ago, Leeds born tin whistle and flute player Michael has become a mainstay of traditional music in South Sligo. He grew up listening to recordings of the great Sligo fiddlers, the Coleman Country Ceili Band and the flute playing of Seamus Tansey and Matt Molloy. Many of the older musicians he played with would have been emigrants from the West of Ireland, including his late father who was also a flute player.
Michael is renowned as a teacher of traditional music and he teaches at a host of summer schools annually. He is a long-standing member of Ceoltóirí Coleman, the in-house sessiún band of the Coleman Centre in Gurteen, and also played in the band Misneach, alongside PJ Hernon, Declan Folan, Junior Davey and Brian Lofthouse. Michael is also a founder member of the Swallow’s Tail Ceili Band.
Michael’s daughter, Deirdre Hurley was immersed in the music of her locality from a young age. She has performed extensively at home and abroad, including appearances in Áras an Uachtaráin, Liberty Hall and further afield in Switzerland, Lithuania and Slovakia. She appears on The Thursday Sessions album released by The Cobblestone Pub, where she has been a regular feature on the session scene for a number of years. She has also made appearances as a singer at NPU’s Session with the Pipers, as well as at the Frank Harte and Sean-Nós Cois Life festivals. Deirdre has had numerous television appearances and performed as part of Slí na mBeaglaoich on TG4 in 2021.
John Blake is highly sought after for his many musical talents; on guitar, flute, piano and bouzouki.