Biography (Courtesy of the Rowsome Family site, 2005).
Kevin Rowsome took his first lessons on the uilleann pipes from his grandfather Leo when he was six years of age. After Leo's untimely death in 1970 he was tutored by his father Leon. During his early teens Kevin played clarinet and saxophone with the Artane Boys band, a diversion from traditional music which Kevin found hugely beneficial later in the sense that he learned to read and understand music in a different discipline thus broadening his musical horizons. During these years his music veered away from piping. It wasn’t until the mid 1980’s when Kevin was in his early 20’s that he started taking the pipes seriously again.
In 1986 Kevin took a career break from his regular day job to hone his musical skills and to study his family tradition of uilleann pipemaking. He spent two years studying woodwind musical instrument making at the London College of furniture.
Kevin sites the main influences on his uilleann pipe style as pipers Leon Rowsome, Leo Rowsome, Johnny Doran and Seamus Ennis. The music of many fiddle players including Liam Rowsome and Tommy Potts have also played a strong role in his musical development. Kevin first gained public recognition when he won prizes at the Oireachtas festival, and is widely regarded as one of today's finest uilleann pipers.
Kevin has vast experience as a performer and instructor of the uilleann pipes. He has performed extensively throughout Europe and the USA and has been staff instructor at a number of Irish music festivals, including the Willie Clancy summer school, Milltown Malbay, Co Clare Ireland, Gaelic roots festival - Boston Mass. U.S.A. and the Augusta Festival in Elkins, West Virginia, U.S.A.
In September 1999 Kevin launched his debut recording “The Rowsome Tradition” 5 generations of uilleann piping, which has received excellent reviews.
At present Kevin performs frequently in Ireland, Europe and USA, mainly as an uilleann pipes and fiddle duet with his wife, Lorraine Hickey who comes from the renowned “Preston” musical family from Sligo.
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