Seán Mag Uidhir was born and raised in an Irish Catholic community in San Francisco. Seán’s father was a pub owner with a strong emphasis on Irish culture. It wasn’t until later in life that that he began to explore the music and language of Ireland although it was present in his early years.
While initially attending San Francisco State University as a classical piano performance major in 1974, Seán switched to Broadcast Communications the following year. While hosting a radio program on the school broadcast channel that was primarily centered around the San Francisco rock music scene other musical influences made their way into his world.
From this time until the early 80’s, he performed with several regional bands in the area on piano and guitar including backing a couple of off-Broadway plays.
The late 90’s brought the Irish language and culture back to the forefront. A friend from Cork who only spoke Irish until he was 10 years old sparked a renewed interest in the culture. Before he knew it, he was learning the language, playing the music and a bit of Gaelic football recreationally.
The language and music became intertwined for his forming friendships with musicians and Gaeilgeoirí (Irish language speakers) all over the world.
Seán’s instrument of choice in Irish music is the concertina and his travels to Ireland almost exclusively are spent in the Gaeltachts (Irish speaking regions) where he can hike and relax during the day, play in sessions at night mostly speaking Irish the entire time.