Described by New York’s Irish Voice as “in league with the best piano accordionists in the world,” Alan Kelly is regarded as one of Ireland’s most accomplished musicians in any genre. He is a piano accordionist, composer and arranger, utterly at home in his own skin. Though Alan hails from the rich traditional musical landscape of Roscommon, in the west of Ireland, variety in repertoire is one of his hallmarks. To date, he has released three critically acclaimed solo albums: Out of The Blue (1997), Mosaic (2000) and After the Morning (2009) which was named as one of the ‘top ten musical highs of 2009’ by the Irish Times who gave it a coveted five-star review and described it as a ‘humdinger of a collection’. He has also released a critically acclaimed duet album with his brother John, Fourmilehouse (2003) and his most recent Alan Kelly Gang albums, Small Towns and Famous Nights (2011) and The Last Bell (2014).
Alan is truly one of the busiest performers on the traditional and folk music scene, touring and recording with artists such as: Eddi Reader, Arty McGlynn & Nollaig Casey, Michael McGoldrick, Kris Drever, Karen Casey, Cathal Hayden, De Dannan, Lúnasa, Alison Brown and has contributed to a number of theatre productions from Boston to Edinburgh to Sydney working with prestigious award winning theatre companies such as Galway’s Druid Theatre Co., The Lyric in Belfast and Mabou Mines in New York. His critically acclaimed 1997 debut album Out of the Blue exploded onto the traditional scene with such impact that he is generally credited with ‘making the piano accordion hip again’. During this time he also recorded and toured with Mancunian, Michael McGoldrick on his groundbreaking albums Morning Rory 1996 and Fused 1999. Also in 1999 Alan toured with music Network’s ‘Best of Irish’ nationwide tour performing alongside such heavyweights as Cathal Hayden, Karen Casey and Michael McGoldrick. July 2000 saw the release of Kelly’s second solo album Mosaic. Produced by Arty McGlynn, Mosaic’s South American rhythms and cinematic jazz feel brought Alan’s music to a whole new audience. It showed not just what a good writer he is, but the breadth of his musical imagination. Mosaic was voted one of the ‘top ten trad albums’ by both the Irish Times and Hot Press Magazine. Irish Music Magazine also nominated Mosaic for ‘Best Crossover album’ of the year alongside Solas, Afro-Celts, and Sharon Shannon. Alan Kelly and the Mosaic Band quickly established itself as one of the hottest live acts on the Irish scene with its exciting blend of traditional, salsa and jazz rhythms, and propelled Alan onto the World Music stage.
In 2003, Alan returned to his Roscommon roots and released the beautifully forthright and traditional Fourmilehouse, with his brother John, which received critical acclaim both at home and abroad and continued to pave the way for festival and concert appearances all over the world. For the last decade he has been touring the globe as a member of the Scottish songstress Eddi Reader’s band and promoting his own group, the Alan Kelly Gang. A genuine musician, Alan’s playful, experimental approach to music has been described as magical, joyous and uplifting… always performed with flair and taste. Alan doesn’t just play the accordion, he celebrates it in a way that draws you into the passion he puts into the music he plays.
Instructor – Piano Accordion