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About Martin Hayes

Ireland-born and Seattle-based Martin Hayes is a master of the slow, lyrical Clare style of fiddling. The son of P.J. Hayes, fiddler and leader of the 50-year-old Tulla Ceili Band, Hayes has continued to expand on his father's legacy.

Hayes comes from one of Ireland's most important musical families. In addition to his father's influence, Hayes inherited his musical skills from a grandmother who played concertina, and an uncle (by marriage), Paddy Canny, who was a national fiddle champion. A six-time winner of the All-Ireland fiddle championship, Hayes received his first fiddle as a Christmas gift at the age of seven; much of his youth was spent playing with his father's band. After college, Hayes immigrated to Chicago, where he played with a rock band, Midnight Court.

Shortly after moving to Seattle, Hayes recorded his first solo album of traditional Irish music, The Shores of Lough Graney, released on cassette by Ice Nine. His subsequent albums -- including Martin Hayes and Under the Moon -- have been released by Green Linnet. Under the Moon, which was recorded in County Clare, featured instrumental contributions by P.J. Hayes, guitarist Steve Cooney, and Hayes' American band, the Randal Boys. In June 1997, Hayes recorded an album, The Lonesome Touch, with Irish accordion player Dennis Cahill. He continued to work with Cahill on 1999's Live in Seattle and 2008's Welcome Here Again.

In 2011, Hayes joined up with Iarla Ó Lionáird, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Dennis Cahill, and New York pianist/producer Thomas Bartlett to form the Irish folk supergroup the Gloaming, who released their eponymous debut album via Real World in 2014. A second Gloaming outing, the aptly named 2, arrived two years later. In 2017, Hayes released The Blue Room, a collaboration with Cahill, American jazz clarinetist Doug Wieselman, and American classical violinist and viola player Liz Knowles. ~ Craig Harris

County Clare, Ireland

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