Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Sailor's Return - Irish Flute Tutorial

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Mayo Reel - Irish Flute Lesson from Tradschool

The heart of Irish traditional musician Mike Rafferty

"Shortly after midnight on September 13, the heart of Mike Rafferty, the genial Irish musician who held fast to the East Galway musical tradition in which he was reared around Ballinakill, stopped beating.

Coming two weeks shy of his 85th birthday and a year since he was proclaimed a national treasure in Washington, D.C. for sharing that tradition and weaving it into America’s tapestry, the passing suggested that his earthly work was done and he could leave us knowing that he had left his mark with so many who enjoyed his company and his music.

Rafferty’s wake and funeral last Thursday and Friday drew hundreds of mourners to his adopted home of Hasbrouck Heights in New Jersey, and the Church or Corpus Christi was packed on the beautiful sunny September Friday.

Many of the people who attended the Mass continued onto his gravesite in the shadows of the Meadowlands, and afterwards the repast meal offered by the Rafferty family.

The heart of Irish traditional musician Mike Rafferty | From The Hob | IrishCentral:

A music-filled farewell to Mike Rafferty

On a sunny, sky-blue day, Ballinakill, Galway-born multi-instrumentalist and teacher Mike Rafferty, who died at age 84 on September 13, was given a sendoff commensurate with his stature in Irish traditional music.
With three co-celebrant priests, including Fr. Francis Kelly (previously known to many as fiddler Joe Kelly from Dumont, N.J.), Msgr. Charlie Coen said the September 16 funeral Mass for Mike Rafferty inside Corpus Christi Church in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. Musicians filled the choir loft and dotted the pews below. They included Willie Kelly, Billy McComiskey, Brian Conway, Jerry O’Sullivan, John Whelan, Felix and Brendan Dolan, Seamus Connolly, Mattie and Deirdre Connolly, Martin Mulhaire, Rose Conway Flanagan, Margie Mulvihill, John Reynolds, Laura Byrne, Myron Bretholz, Mick Moloney, Don Meade, Tina Lech, Dana Lyn, Donna Long, Dan Gurney, Dylan Foley, Gabriel Donahue, Brian Holleran, John Nolan, and Larry Reynolds.
Mary Rafferty Clancy, Mike’s daughter and former member of Cherish the Ladies, played a button accordion solo on the altar that was tender, expressive, and unhurried, qualities that would have made her father beam in appreciation. It was all she could do to hold back the tears. Everyone there felt the same way.
Msgr. Coen gave two homilies: one at the pulpit, where he described Mike Rafferty the man, and one at the right side of the altar, where he described Mike Rafferty the musician. A gifted musician himself, Coen hit all the right notes in his remarks

A music-filled farewell to Mike Rafferty

In Memory of Mike Rafferty |

When Mike Rafferty played flute, it was with the unmistakable lilt and lift of his native East Galway. Named a National Heritage Fellow in 2010 by the National Endowment for the Arts, he was a bona fide national treasure. Through his teaching, recording and performing, he passed along the tradition to new generations.

Mike Rafferty, who was certainly no stranger to Philadelphia-area Irish musicians and fans of Irish music, died last week at the age of 84. Local flute players likely will not soon forget what a rare honor it was to sit by his side and soak of knowledge from a master, as they did at the Tom Standeven-Liz Crehan Anderson Tional at the Philadelphia Irish Center in 2006.

Rafferty’s passing struck a sad note with many, many musicians who knew him well, including singer-songwriter Gabriel Donohue (himself no stranger to Philadelphia).

Here is Donohue’s remembrance:

A lovely man was Mike Rafferty.

I met Mike Rafferty on what I believe was my first weekend in New York. ( I met Joe Madden one block over on the same night.) I had gotten a room above Christy O’Connor’s apartment off of Mosholu Parkway and every night would have to pass Kingsbridge Road to get home. Unless of course I wanted to take the short cut that bypassed Durty Nellie’s, The Archway and the Old Brogue, which was earlier called the Bunratty. Andy McGann and Johnny Cronin would hold court there and it was a magnet for people who loved the pure drop, surrounded by tenements, bodegas and across from the armory. The Irish still held out in these neighborhoods where cheap rent was the main attraction and, secondly, the pub scene which anesthetized them from the despair brought about by having traded the bucolia of Galway and Mayo for the tar and cement of New York.

In Memory of Mike Rafferty |