Artist Profiles: Frankie Gavin

Frankie Gavin

Frankie Gavin’s virtuosic and fiery fiddle playing has inspired and influenced players of traditional music throughout the world. He is equally compelling as a solo performer, with an accompanist or with an entire band. Gavin’s playing has been the backbone of De Dannan“>De Dannan since he founded the group in 1973 at the age of 17.

His unique style is evident in all their music and the arrangements of it. In his own words De Dannan’s music “highlights tightly percussive melody lines set against a flowing, contrapuntal background.”

A veteran in the studio, Frankie Gavin has recorded numerous albums with De Dannan and several solo albums. He has appeared as a guest on albums with the late jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, American banjoist Earl Scruggs, Yehudi Menhuin, The Rolling Stones (Voodoo Lounge), and Keith Richards (Wingless Angels), and he arranged and recorded the original soundtrack for the television series The Irish R.M.

Frankie Gavin is honored to have been invited to play for numerous State officials including President John F. Kennedy French president Francois Mitterand and England’s Prince Charles. Of a special event in America, United States Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith performance said “The best all ’round performance of the entire week at Kennedy Center was by De Dannan, who included the best of Gospel and Klezmer to their wonderful show.”

His Hibernian Rhapsody lineup featured guitarist Tim Edey, pianist Carl Hession, accordionist Derek Hickey, vocalist Michelle Lally and special guest Rick Epping on harmonica.

Frankie Gavin has recorded with Alec Finn, Andy Irvine, Elvis Costello, Stéphane Grappelli, The Rolling Stones, Arty McGlynn & Aidan Coffey, Sharon Shannon, Hibernian Rhapsody, Rick Epping & Jim Foley, and Paul Brock.

Selected discography:

Up and Away (1995)
Frankie Gavin (1997)
Frankie Goes to Town (Green Linnet, 1999)
Shamrocks & Holly: An Irish Christmas Celebration (1999)
Fierce Traditional (Tara Records, 2001)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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