About Ian Walsh

Hello Friend!

If you have made it here you probably enjoy playing the fiddle as much as I do. I find it to be the most satisfying activity, and I really enjoy playing music with others, be it Traditional Irish or Bluegrass. Let me tell you a little about how I ended up playing the fiddle.

Born to an Irish father and an American mother, my parents got me started on the fiddle early. I began with Suzuki style and quickly moved into Traditional Irish, influenced early on by the playing of Martin Hayes, Liz Carrol, and groups such as Planxty and The Bothy Band. Some later influences include Frankie Gavin, Oisín Mac Diarmada, and Andrew O’Brien. The bulk of traditional Irish tunes I have learned came from my first 3 years of study with Greg Crone, and then later studies with Niall Gannon. I learned so many tunes in those years that I have  forgotten some, and it’s only when I hear them played again that they come back to me!

I began teaching group class and private instruction on how to play the Irish fiddle with St. Louis Irish Arts at 15, and have continued teaching – including workshops in the US and Canada –  since then. Eventually I began to teach Mandolin and the 4-string Banjo as well.  That school afforded me many opportunities, including competing and winning the national qualifying competitions for the Fleadh Cheoil, and competing in Ireland numerous times at the World Championships. Also, the school helped me to earn my Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Medals from congress through fiddle playing and working in the community. I have had some amazing experiences because of the fiddle.

I recently discovered Bluegrass, a possible close relative to Irish Trad, and I am continuously astonished at the depth of Bluegrass style on the fiddle. Learning it has been nothing short of thrilling, and the people I have met through it are some of my closest and dearest friends. I am looking forward this summer to my second trip to Colorado for RockyGrass 09!

Presently, you can see me playing Irish fiddle at local St Louis venues, including John D. McGurks Pub weekly Monday nights, and also online right here at the blog! Thanks for checking it out!

Ian

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