Jim Dowling Uilleann Pipe and Trad Festival
June 18th-21st 2020

Christy O’Leary was born in Dublin and after moving to Kenmare, Co Kerry he started playing professionally with his brother Tim at the age of 12 in lounges around Ireland.

He began playing uilleann pipes at the age of 8 and his main musical influences are pipers Willie Clancy and Séamus Ennis. From 1979-1981 he sang with the famous Irish group Dé Danann doing concerts and numerous tv and radio appearances. After moving to London in 1983 Christy played with many Irish musicians there and toured with the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. In 1985 he joined world-renowned Scottish/Irish band Boys of the Lough and moved to Edinburgh.

Christy’s sensitive renditions of songs and tunes, combined with powerful technique, both vocally and instrumentally, make him stand out as one of the top Irish musicians. Christy recorded an acclaimed solo album, The Northern Bridge, in 1997.

Later that year he left the Boys of the Lough and embarked on a solo career. Christy has taught numerous courses in Irish singing and workshops on instrumental playing over the years and was in charge of the Irish music courses at the Falun festival in Sweden in 1999.

He has played and/or recorded with such diverse musicians as American hit singer John Denver, UK rockers Andy MacKay and Phil Manzanera from Roxy Music , American Celtic singer Connie Dover, and famous Swedish singer/songwriters Björn Afzelius and Roger Pontare.

Christy’s solo album The Northern Bridge from 1997 (left) and The Boys of the Lough (right)