James Kelly & John Blake in Concert
Having immigrated to the States in 1978, James Kelly is making a special trip home this Summer as part of The Gathering 2013 to play at the Steeple Sessions and re-unite with his family, friends, musical acquaintances and with guitarist and friend John Blake. James brings with him his family and friends and will spend some weeks visiting family, touring Ireland, playing and teaching music and catching up with old friends.
James is now based in Florida where he has carved out a career for himself playing and teaching music.
Kelly has toured all over the World and has been a member of several influential Irish groups including the legendary folk group, Planxty.
James Kelly grew up in a family steeped in traditional Irish music in Dublin. His father John was a renowned concertina and fiddle player from Co. Clare and was a founding member, with Seán Ó Riada, of Ceoltóirí Cualann, a traditional group that, in many ways, was responsible for the modern revival in Irish music.
Before immigrating to the US, James was a presenter of the "Pure Drop" series for Irish television, has performed with The Chieftains, and since moving to the US has recorded with the "Bee Gees" on played several times on Garrison Keillor's national radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion." In recent years, he has received the prestigious "Florida Folk Heritage Award" In 2006 James received the "Gradam Ceoil TG4 2006 Irish Musician of the Year Award" He has 18 albums to his credit and is currently compiling his over 1500 compositions for publication. James continues to play concerts and festivals with some of Irish music's leading accompanists.
John Blake is a long term friend of James Kelly and plays guitar, flute, piano and bouzouki and originally learnt his music in London where he grew up from Clare fiddler and instructor Brendan Mulkere. John has appeared on a wealth of albums including: 'The Tap Room Trio' and he was a member of young traditional band Téada. Although a well known guitarist, John is equally adept on the flute, the evidence of which can be heard on the critically acclaimed 'Traditional Irish Music from London' with Lamond Gillespie and Mick Leahy.