Vibrant, virtuosic, and infectiously rhythmic, the gifted music of John McKenna made him the first superstar of the Irish flute. One of the premier stars of the legendary golden age of Irish traditional music in New York in the 1920s and 30s, this flute-playing genius from Co Leitrim left behind an unsurpassed legacy that is the first major corpus of recorded Irish flute music in existence. That legacy is now for the first time presented in full in this superb and lovingly assembled publication.
John McKenna’s legacy of recordings made him undoubtedly one of the most influential flute players ever in Irish traditional music. For this release his music has been meticulously remastered to state-of-the-art standards by Harry Bradshaw, the acknowledged expert in this field. This ensures a superb listening experience to McKenna’s music, which is to be heard here with a clarity and immediacy never available till now.
This release, published by The John McKenna Society in Leitrim, is the definitive work on McKenna and includes his complete corpus of 44 commercial recordings, some of them extremely rare, as well as a substantial accompanying book containing an extensive biography, as well as an analysis of his music style and legacy together with music transcriptions of his tunes. Contributors to the book include many top performers of today on the Irish flute – Matt Molloy, Mick Woods, Harry Bradley, Patsy Hanly, Lorraine Sweeney, Mick Mulvey, Gregory Daly and Conal Ó Gráda, as well as commentators like Jackie Small of the Irish Traditional Music Archive.
There are four launch dates now confirmed for this project:
1. John McKenna Traditional Music Weekend:
Saturday 7-June-2014 @ 8.30pm, Community Centre, Drumkeeran, Co Leitrim. Launched by Matt Molloy
2. Willie Clancy Summer School:
Sunday 6–July-2014, St Josephs Secondary School, Spanish Point, Co Clare. Doors open 3pm. Launch commences 4.30pm. Launched by Conal Ó Gráda.
3. Joe Mooney Summer School:
Wednesday 23-July-2014 @ 7.30pm, Ramada Hotel, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim. Launched by Harry Bradley.
4. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (All Ireland Fleadh):
Saturday 16-August-2014, Sligo Town. Time and venue to be confirmed.