"Let's have a dance, let's have a ceili, somebody send for Jackie Daly..." this quote from a song by the Saw Doctors, one of Ireland's finest non traditional bands, gives you an idea of Jackie’s universal popularity. He has been described in the New York Times as "probably the best accordionist in Ireland." He grew up in the rich and diverse musical region of Sliabh Luachra, on the Cork/Kerry border, where he began playing at crossroads dances near his home town of Kanturk. In 1974 he won the All-Ireland senior accordion championship. Since then his lively and exuberant playing has driven many illustrious bands, including De Danann, Buttons & Bows, Arcady, Reel Union, Kinvara, and currently Patrick Street. In 2005, Jackie received the TG4 Gradam Ceoil award, as Traditional Musician of Year.
He plays an accordion tuned C#/D in the old press and draw manner, and has been greatly influenced by fiddle players, particularly Jim Keeffe of Ballydesmond, whose lovely old style of playing was learned from the legendary Padraig O'Keeffe. Jackie's great affinity for fiddle music is evident in his duets with such fine fiddlers as Kevin Burke, Séamus Creagh, Séamus & Mánus McGuire, James Kelly, Máire O'Keefe and Frankie Gavin.
In addition to his stellar recording career, Jackie is a talented composer and a sought after teacher. He is a most accomplished and versatile musician who has left an indelible mark on the finest traditional Irish bands of our time. His infectious and rhythmic playing has delighted audiences around the world. As Earle Hitchner put it..."Fact is, any place Jackie Daly takes out the box to play is a great place for traditional music." Fiery or ethereal, 100 miles per hour, or moving to the cadence of the centuries, there is no one better on button accordion than Jackie Daly.
That enigmatic Paderewski of the button box, Jackie Daly smiling Buddha-like into the middle distance...
Mike Harding, Irish Music
Review of Patrick Street performance September, 198I
Of all the button accordionists playing Irish traditional music today, Jackie Daly enjoys a reputation that could not be higher.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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