Jim Murray, Mike McGoldrick & Dezi Donnelly

Jim Murray, Mike McGoldrick & Dezi Donnelly

Thursday, 13 June 2024, 9.00pm
Added by Louise Barker

2014 was the last time Jim Murray, Mike McGolderick, and Dezi Donnolly performed in Clonakilty as part of the 2014 Clonakilty International Guitar Festival. 10 years later, DeBarras are delighted to welcome back to the Folk Club these three dynamic figures in the world of Irish Traditional Music.

Amid the pyrotechnics of Dezi Donnelly’s fiddle playing and Mike McGoldrick’s slick virtuosity will be Jim Murray, accompanying with the surety and sophistication for which he has become globally renowned. A true trio of master traditional musicians in one concert, Thursday 13th June, 9pm.


Born into a musical family in County Cork, Jim’s early years were spent immersed in Irish music. At the age of three, Jim could play melodies on the piano and a year later, discovered his first love – the button accordion.
Jim’s progress was rapid, and he went on to join an accordion band at the age of seven. Soon after, Jim’s passion for the guitar grew fiercely and it was on his tenth birthday that he was given his first guitar. After quickly learning the basics, Jim spent the next few years learning and mastering the music of artists such as The Beatles and James Taylor while all the time developing his talent for accompanying traditional Irish music. Jim’s talent as a melody player would now pay dividends to his accompaniment skills – he intimately understood the music he was accompanying.
Having finished school, Jim formed his own band at the age of eighteen and performed around the local Irish circuit. Two years later in 1998, Jim began his professional career being invited to tour Japan and Australia with accordion legend Seamus Begley whilst also in the same year, touring America with piano accordion ace Alan Kelly. In 1999 Jim was invited to become guitarist with world renowned Irish musician Sharon Shannon.
To this day, Jim remains Sharon’s “right hand man” having recorded and toured with her over five continents. He also released two critically acclaimed albums with long term partner Seamus Begley in 2001 and 2008 which collectively scooped many prestigious awards such as The Irish Times and Hot Press Traditional Irish Music Album of the Year. Since Jim’s arrival on the world stage, he has gained the respect of both national and international musicians and has performed and recorded with artists such as Sinead O’Connor, Steve Earl, Shane McGowan, Altan and Mary Black to mention but a few.
Jim continues to tour and record with an array of artists while basing himself in West Cork with his wife and three children.


A co-founder of Flook and Lúnasa, and a linchpin of Capercaillie’s line-up since 1998, Manchester-born flute/whistle and uilleann pipes maestro Michael McGoldrick has spent much of the past two years jetting around the globe in ex-Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler’s band – and more recently on tour with both Knopfler and Bob Dylan. Despite this lengthy list of stellar collaborations, though – also including Youssou N’Dour, Zakir Hussain, John Cale and the Transatlantic Sessions – his true genius lies in his own trailblazing work as a player and composer, brilliantly showcased on his three solo albums to date, most recently 2010’s Aurora.


Dezi ‘Fiddle on Fire’ Donnelly is a Manchester based Fiddle player. One of the founder members of the legendary Celtic Rock Band ‘Toss the Feathers’. Often seen collaborating with the likes of Sharon Shannon and Mike McGoldrick.
” As an interpreter of traditional music, Dezi Donnelly stands apart from others of his generation. Despite his young age his playing bears all the hallmarks of someone who has grown naturally with the music.” – Paddy Glackin – from the liner notes of Familiar Footsteps
It is a well-known cliche; to describe a fiddle player as “a devil fiddler” but in Dezi Donnelly’s case this is more of an understatement! The sibling of a Manchester fiddler dynasty is both All Britain and All Ireland Champion, a title truly deserved for his brilliant jigs and reels.
Having played the fiddle since the age of 7, Dezi was Northwest and All Britain fiddle champion by the age of 9. Amazingly, by the age of 15, he had won the All-Ireland championship an astounding 5 times!
Dezi joined legendary Manchester-Irish band, Toss the Feathers, whilst still in his teens. Between 1988-91 and 1994-95 he appeared on the brilliant “Columbus Eclipse” and “Awakenings” albums.
It was during this period (in 1989 to be precise) that Dezi recorded some tracks with Mancunian flutist Michael McGoldrick. Mike’s flute and Dezi’s fiddle gently spar on most of the tracks; however each take the lead when required and the arrangements allow them to swap leads within sets to great effect. The tracks were later released on the album, “Champions of The North”, and Dezi also featured on Mike’s amazing “Fused” album.
In 1999, Dezi scooped the “All Ireland Young Traditional Musician of The Year”. The award pocketed him IR£5000 and a recording contract, which saw him release his first record “Familiar Footsteps: already recognised as one of the greatest traditional fiddle albums of all time.
In 2009 Dezi was asked to appear on the BBC’s ‘Transatlantic Sessions’ and performed alongside Jerry Douglas, Ali Bain, Phil Cunningham, Donal Lunny and James Taylor.

Don’t miss this true trio of master traditional musicians in one concert at DeBarra’s Clonakilty, Thursday 13th June, 9pm. Tickets €25 at debarra.ie

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Added by Louise Barker on 27 May 2024

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