The first time i ever heard Mick Conneely playing the fiddle was in June 2000 at the University of Limerick, with bodhran playuer Svend Kjeldsen and Peter Horan, the renowned flute player from County Sligo. I was struck right away with the honest exhuberance of his playing as well as his great technique. It was clear that this was a man who had listened to the very best traditional music in his formative years.
Mick was born in Bedford, England, of Irish parents. His father Mick comes from Errislannan, near Clifden, Co Galway, and his mother Lizzie came from near Newtown Forbes, Co Longford. Mick Senior is known as a fine traditional fiddle player, as was his father before him, Mairtin. The Conneely home in Bedford was always full of great music and this enviroment helped shape Mick's early musical sensibilities. Like many a London area Irish musician, Mick began formal lessons in Irish music at the age of eleven with the legendary Clare musician and teacher, Brendan Mulkere.
Brendan was based in West London and he travelled the fifty miles up to Bedford every Saturday to teach kds in the area. Mick and his three sisters Bernadette, Kathleen and Pauline, went to Brendan's classes for a couple of years. At first they started learning the whistle, then they progressed to an instrument of their choice. Mick chose the fiddle, wanting to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Brendan would also arrange for his pupils to hear and play with exemplary expatriate traditional musicians such as Bobby Casey, Raymond Roland, Tommy McCarthy, Roger Sherlock, Liam Farrell and other masters of that era living in London.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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