Celtic Genre

Cool Musician Alert! 

J  i  m  m  y    K  e  a  n  e 

     In Irish music, the button accordion is favored over the piano keyboard, but they are two completely different instruments, played and felt differently. Because of this, while still greatly respected, the old tunes can be energized and invigorated on the piano accordion. We hear that respect in song “No Irish Need Apply,” based on discrimination against the Irish immigrants so commonly seen in advertisements in nineteenth-century America.

     “Irish music accordion virtuoso Jimmy Keane was born in London to Irish-speaking parents from Connemara and Kerry. His late father, Jimmy, was a magnificent sean-nos (old style) singer, and along with young Jimmy’s mother, Mary, actively encouraged him to take up traditional Irish music.

“Jimmy’s accomplishments are far-reaching. He has achieved astonishing and unprecedented success in competitive playing, winning five consecutive All-Ireland titles on the piano accordion. He has always been an avid collector and arranger of old tunes. He is becoming increasingly known for his original compositions, many of which have become part of the mainstream of traditional Irish music worldwide. He also has recorded and produced numerous albums. 

     “Many regard Keane as the premier exponent of traditional Irish music on the piano accordion. Noted University of Limerick Professor, composer, and musician Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin praised Keane as the “savior of the piano accordion.” eMusic described him as “one of the true giants of Irish traditional music of the past fifty years.” The voice of Ireland, singer-songwriter Christy Moore, described Jimmy’s playing as “wild and beautiful.”

     Music on both sides of “The Pond” is all the richer for Jimmy Keane’s heroic contributions with the piano accordion! 

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