Michelle Hedden is one of Texas’ most in-demand bodhran players and teachers. Using her vast knowledge of styles and her immense talent, she supports each tune by accentuating its unique character and feel in order to help create the communal magic that is Irish music. Michelle certainly has the ability to step out and provide impressive individual “fireworks” with her playing, but her real focus is on elevating the collective sound of the group with just the right amount of accent and embellishment. She is a true musician’s musician.
Living in Austin, TX since 2008, Michelle grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and began playing percussion in 1996. Focusing primarily on African and Middle Eastern styles, she became interested in Irish music in 2001 after hearing the compilation album The Dance Music of Ireland: Jigs and Reels. Since then, Irish music has been her main focus and has led to many exciting performances with musicians such as Aiden, Ed Miller, Rich Brotherton, Jonathan Milton, Niamh Fahy, EJ Jones, Vincent Fogarty, Sean Orr, Linda Relph, and many more. A regular at the infamous B.D. Riley sessions in Austin, Michelle also enjoys playing and learning concertina, fiddle, mandolin, and octave mandolin.
She’s was member of the Irish power trio The Tea Merchants with Chris Buckley and Charlie Branch, and performed regularly across the U.S.
2015, 2016, 2019