Justin Murphy began playing Irish traditional music in New Orleans, Louisiana at the famous O’Flaherty’s Irish Channel Pub. Having immigrated to the U.S. as a boy in 1978, he finally discovered the music of his roots while attending Tulane University in 1989. Under the tutelage of Dublin native, Richie Stafford, a player of both Irish traditional flute and fiddle, Justin began a fifteen year long stint as one of O’Flaherty’s house musicians. Initially mastering tin whistle, flute and bodhran (traditional Irish drum), he later added vocals and guitar to his musical skills. As a complement to his musical studies, he also attained a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology, specializing in Irish traditional music in America and Irish-American identity.
Justin was a founding member of the critically acclaimed, New Orleans-based Irish band, The Poor Clares, which debuted at the 1993 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. With band members Betsy McGovern, Patrick O’Flaherty and Beth Patterson, The Poor Clares recorded three albums and headlined festivals and concert venues throughout the US, including the Milwaukee Irish Festival, the North Texas Irish Festival and Carnegie Hall. Their second album, “Change of Habit,” earned them the title, “…one of America’s best Irish bands,” from Dirty Linen Magazine.
Justin has recently relocated to Orlando, Florida from Washington, DC. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, O’Flaherty’s Irish Channel Pub shut it doors for good. Justin moved to the DC area where he still performs solo in local Irish pubs such as the Dubliner on Capitol Hill and Ireland’s Four Provinces. He continues to play in the traditional Irish group, Legacy, along with band members Don Penzien and Valerie Plested. Focusing on the traditional dance music of Ireland, Legacy has drawn the enthusiastic attention of Irish traditional music fanatics all across the country and manages to tour a few times a year.
Instructor – Flute