Martin Hayes is one of the most extraordinary talents to emerge in the world of Irish traditional music. His unique sound, his mastery of the fiddle, his acknowledgement of the past and his shaping of the future of the music, combine to create an astonishing and formidable artistic intelligence. He is the recipient of major awards: most recently the prestigious Gradam Ceoil, Musician of the Year 2008 from the Irish language television station TG 4; previously Man of the Year from the American Irish Historical Society; Folk Instrumentalist of the Year from BBC Radio; a National Entertainment Award (the Irish ‘Grammy’) six All-Ireland fiddle championships before the age of nineteen, and cited by the Irish Sunday Tribune as one of the hundred most influential Irish men and women in the fields of entertainment, politics and sports at the start of the new Millennium, as well as one of the most important musicians to come out of Ireland in the last fifty years.
A native of County Clare, a region rich in traditional music, Martin Hayes has been based in the U.S. for the past twenty-five years, but remains grounded in the music he grew up with in his own locality, Maghera, Feakle, East County Clare where the music which he learned from his father, P. Joe Hayes, profoundly influenced his musical accent and ideas forever after. In his younger days he played in an experimental electric band in Chicago; recently he has composed scores for film, theatre, and modern dance, and has collaborated with like- minded musicians from other genres, such as jazz guitarist, Bill Frisell, Irish composer David Flynn and the RTE Concert Orchestra as well as adventurous collaborations with fellow Irish traditional musicians, Iarla O Lionnaird and Caoihmin O Raghallaigh. He views these explorations as a means of shedding light on his ongoing artistic journey, as well as a challenge to any rigidity of thought. The fundamental artistic quest is to go deeper and deeper within traditional Irish music and himself.
He has traveled the world with his musical partner, guitarist Dennis Cahill, from Chicago, and their resulting collaboration continues to reveal the often hidden emotional depth of the music. In addition to two solo albums, the three duet recordings of Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill have been widely praised and cherished by fans throughout the world.
Instructor – Fiddle