With his powerful tune accompaniments and delicate melody playing, it is easy to see why reviewers and audiences agree that Ged Foley is an extraordinary musician. Growing up in County Durham in the northeast of England, Ged (Gerard) absorbed the area’s rich tradition of folk song and dance music. It was there that he learned to play mandolin and Northumbrian Smallpipes (the bellows-blown bagpipe native to that part of England), which he no longer plays, and began to develop his extraordinary guitar style. At first he teamed up with singer-songwriter Jez Lowe and toured the British Folk scene. Several years with Scotland’s Battlefield Band followed. He toured with them throughout Europe and North America before returning home to co-found The House Band with Chris Parkinson. This saw the start of a long period of recording and touring which has taken him all over the globe. Alongside his House Band duties, in 1994, Ged was asked to take over the guitarist’s role in Irish “supergroup” Patrick Street with Kevin Burke, Andy Irvine and Jackie Daly. In 1999 he formed the duo Foley & Jones with fiddle player Sandy Jones. Two years later he became the accompanist for unique trio of fiddlers, The Celtic Fiddle Festival, now consisting of Kevin Burke, Christian Lemaître, and André Brunet. The year 2002 saw another significant change in Ged’s career when for two years he became Artistic Director of the Catskills Irish Arts Week based in E. Durham NY. This is a week long teaching festival covering all aspects of Irish traditional music, dance and arts.
When time allows, Ged also plays fiddle in the Midwest based Ceili band Tessera, teaches, and produces records. He does duo work with Kevin Burke in and out of the US, and also with John Carty. He is always in demand as a session musician. Ged has played and/or recorded with Kevin Burke, Liz Carroll, Paddy Keenan, Kieran O’Hare & Liz Knowles, Andrew McNamara & Patrick Ourceau, Larry Nugent, Mark Roberts, John Skelton, John Carty, Michael Cooney and Paul Smyth. In addition to his considerable instrumental acumen, Ged is also a fine singer. whose choice of songs, though often unorthodox, is always successful. A consummate musician and extraordinary entertainer, Ged Foley always gets it just right.
Since 1989 Ged has lived in Athens Ohio, where he has twice been recognized by the Ohio Arts Council, receiving awards under their Master Artists Program.
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