Fiddler Patrick Ourceau was born in France where he discovered and started to play Irish music. He spent most of his adult life living in New York city and is now based Toronto, Canada. Mostly self taught, Patrick’s music was influenced early on by the discovery of recordings of the legendary fiddle players Paddy Canny, Bobby Casey and Paddy Fahey. Since the mid eighties, Patrick has been regularly visiting Ireland and especially county Clare. During those trips, he has been able to regularly meet and play with many local musicians, among them the legendary fiddle player Paddy Canny and flute and fiddle player Peter O’Loughlin. Patrick moved to New York City in 1989 where he quickly became an integral part of that City’s rich traditional Irish music community. Patrick was especially influenced there by the style and repertoire of Woodford, Co. Galway flute player Jack Coen.
Patrick has been a member since 2003 of the trio Chulrua, led by the legendary accordion player Paddy O’Brien. In the past twenty years, Patrick has toured all over North America and Europe in a variety of duets, trios and bands, most notably with Ennis, Co. Clare concertina player Gearoid O hAllmhurain; Tulla, Co. Clare accordion player Andrew Mac Namara and with the legendary Tulla Ceili band, on the band’s last American tour. Patrick has been featured on a host of recordings, including the 2007 Chulrua release The Singing Kettle, on Shanachie Records; Live at Mona’s in 2004 with Guitarist Eamon O’Leary; Tracin’ with concertina player Gearoid O hAllmhurain; on flute player Cathal McConnell’s Long Expectant comes at Last; on accordion player John Whelan’s Celtic Roots; on Steve Johnson’s Lowlands, released in 2009 and on theTG4 CD and DVD release Geantrai, a compilation celebrating the first ten years of the popular traditional Irish music television program.
Patrick is in great demand as a teacher and in the past twenty years has taught at most major traditional Irish music schools, summer camps and festivals in the US and Canada. in addition, he has been teaching for the last three years at the Europadanse week in Vannes, France; Patrick has also taught at the Armagh’s Piper’s Club in County Armagh in Northern Ireland, and at the Fleadh Nua in Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland. He is currently involved in the development of Toronto’s Traditional Irish Music School which he opened in 2010 with local piper Debbie Quigley. He also teaches in an Irish music after school program at St. Paul school in downtown Toronto, that was inspired by the need of the children of that part of the city for enriched extracurricular opportunities, and by the historical connection of the school to Toronto’s Irish ancestry.
Photo by Robin MacMillan
Instructor – Fiddle