Brendan Mulvihill’s roots in Irish music run deep. Brendan’s Grandmother Bridgid Mulvihill, nee Flynn, was a fiddler and her brothers were all musicians as well. Brendan’s father, the late National Heritage Fellow, Martin Mulvihill of County Limerick, Ireland, was a renowned fiddle player and one of the most highly respected Irish music teachers in America. Brendan immigrated to New York with his family in 1965. In the ‘70s, he traveled to Ireland playing throughout the country with his contemporaries and building a huge repertoire of tunes. Later, Brendan moved to Birmingham, England where he played in céilidh bands and with the many Irish musicians who had also settled in the English Midlands.
In 1975, Brendan returned to New York, where he soon began playing with accordion player Billy McComiskey and singer/guitarist Andy O’Brien. The three eventually made their way to Washington, DC, ostensibly for a week-long gig in The Dubliner pub as The Irish Tradition. The week turned into several years, and The Irish Tradition became a seminal influence in traditional music, helping to establish it as a permanent and integral part of Washington’s musical fabric. After recording several albums, the Irish Tradition disbanded. Brendan remained in the Washington, DC/Baltimore area, using the region as a home base for his travels. Micheál Ó Súilleabháin referred to Brendan as “a rare genius.” This same thought has been shared by others and that is why so many have sought him out as their teacher.
Brendan has taught several rising young fiddle players in the Washington, DC/Baltimore area. Brendan received the 2005 Maryland Traditions Folk Arts and Culture Apprenticeship Award for teaching the art of traditional Irish fiddle playing. He was also inducted into the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Mid-Atlantic Region Hall of Fame in 2008. Brendan continues to play at various venues in the Washington D.C. area, teaches fiddle, leads sessions and tune teach workshops and participates in weeklong workshops. Brendan published his first tune book with a learning CD in 2013, Brendan Mulvihill’s Irish Scroll Volume One; it contains 93 tunes, mostly traditional tunes but also a few of his own compositions.
Instructor – Fiddle | Recipient of the Irish Artist in America Achievement Award