Artist Profiles: Martin Hayes

Martin Hayes

Born in Ireland, Martin Hayes plays in the slow, lyrical style of his native East County Clare. He grew up playing traditional music with his father, P.J. Hayes, leader of the famed Tulla Ceili Band. The younger fiddler has a great reverence for the old players, “whose music contains the longing and essence that moves you at the level of your soul.” Martin brings the same intensity to his own playing, rendering it unique with passion and intimacy.

Martin frequently performs with guitarist Dennis Cahill, whom he met in Chicago when he first moved to the United States in the 1980s. They formed a jazz/rock/fusion band called Midnight Court, in which they experimented with a variety of new music styles. Eventually, though, they both turned back to their traditional roots, and after recording two acclaimed solo albums, Hayes began a new musical relationship with Cahill. In 1997 they released The Lonesome Touch (Green Linnet).

Our allegiance is to the spirit of the moment,” says Hayes, “Our primary wish is that the musical experience be one that lifts our spirits and those of the audience.”

Martin Hayes has recorded several albums with Dennis Cahill and founded the Celtic music supergroup The Gloaming.

In 2019, Hayes released The Butterfly , a collaboration with American chamber music ensemble Brooklyn Rider.


Martin Hayes (Green Linnet, 1992)
Under the Moon (Green Linnet, 1995)
The Lonesome Touch, with Dennis Cahill (Green Linnet, 1997)
Live in Seattle, with Dennis Cahill (Green Linnet, 1999)
Welcome Here Again, with Dennis Cahill (Green Linnet, 2008)
The Blue Room (2017)
The Butterfly, with Brooklyn Rider (In a Circle Records, 2019)

With The Gloaming:

The Gloaming (Real World Records, 2014)
2 (Real World Records, 2016)
Live at the NCH (Real World Records, 2018)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel is also co-founder of the Transglobal World Music Chart. Angel has also produced and remastered world music studio albums and compilations for labels such as Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, and Music of the World.

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