Matt Molloy - Chris Hill

Matt Molloy

Matt Molloy - Chris Hill

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Matt Molloy is one of Ireland’s most famous traditional musicians. A member of the Chieftains, but also of the Planxty, Matt Molloy is a great specialist of the Irish flute. A glimpse into the life of this accomplished musician…

Biography of Matt Molloy

A great figure of Irish traditional music

Matt Molloy was born in Ballaghadereen, County Roscommon, (a famous place for flautists). Throughout his childhood, he was lulled by the flute tradition of Sligo, and began playing the Irish flute at the age of 8. His apprenticeship is then rigorous and assiduous.

At the age of 17 he won the All-Ireland Flute Championship and went on to win a string of National Fleadh Cheoil and Oireachtas. He then moved to Dublin in the early seventies, where he started to join the scene and was noticed by Paddy Moloney. During these years, as the folk scene developed, Molloy became a founding member of the famous “Bothy Band”, a traditional Irish band. After their break-up in 1978, he appeared briefly in a reconstituted band: Planxty.

It was then in 1979 that Paddy Moloney invited him to join the Chieftains band.

“Boil the breakfeast early” (Chieftains 9) is his first album with the band and already his influence to come is clearly felt. Molloy comes with a solid musical background, and is famous within the Sligo flute tradition.

It is then a great success for the group, and very quickly, Matt Molloy’s reputation explodes beyond the borders of Ireland. Everyone praises his talent on the flute, and his good-natured spirit.

During his career, Molloy has released numerous solo albums, acclaimed by the public, and has worked with many other accomplished musicians. He has teamed up with Paul Brady, Tommy Peoples, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin, Dónal Lunny and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, among others.

In addition to the stage, Matt Molloy owns a pub in Westport in County Mayo called “Matt Molloy’s”, where he has recorded a live album. This pub is well known for his sessions with many musicians. Molloy is known for his “breathy” style and his energy on stage.


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