Tommy was born in Waterford City in 1953. While in his early twenties, after playing tin whistle for a couple of years, he met local piper Tommy Kearney who encouraged him to take up the uilleann pipes. As well as his early tuition from Tommy Kearney, Tommy also attended Willie Clancy Summer School where he learned further piping skills from pipers, including Pat Mitchell and Liam O'Flynn. The recordings of Willie Clancy, S?amus Ennis and Tommy Reck have also influenced his repertoire and style of playing.
In the 1980's Tommy spent seven years in London where he played with many of the legends of Irish music including Tommy McCarthy, Bobby Casey and Roger Sherlock. While there he also provided music for productions by the National Theatre Co. and Rambert Ballet Co.. He was in demand as a session musician and worked with Elvis Costello on The Pogues album - 'Rum, Sodomy and the Lash.' Other recording credits in London include Clannad and Ralph McTell. He was a member of the Thatch C?il? Band in London and in 1986 they won the Senior C?il? Band competition at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Listowel, Co Kerry.
Since 1987 he has lived in Galway where he has worked with Druid Theatre Co. and with the National Irish language theatre - An Taibhdhearc. He has toured the U.S. on several occasions with Liam Clancy, Russia with Shaskeen and Zambia with the Sergeant Early Band. Recording credits since moving to Galway include working with Alec Finn of D? Dannan on the album 'Blue Shamrock' - Alec's first solo album. He is a regular teacher and performer of the pipes at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Co. Clare and has also guested at international piping events in the U.K., Holland, U.S.A., and New Zealand. In 1991 he released his first solo album - 'The Piper's Apron' on the Mulligan label. He released a duet album - 'The Wind Among the Reeds' with his wife, concertina player Jacqueline McCarthy. In 1996 he toured Europe with Tony McMahon and S?amus Tansey and in 1997 performed with Iarla ? Lion?ird and The Irish Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra at the Point, Dublin and Carnegie Hall, New York. He has produced three albums on the Maree Music label - founded in 1995.
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