About Michael Walsh
"Art music for the soul"... Colin Irwin, Mojo Magazine.
Born in Manchester and raised in Stockport,England I grew up learning Sligo style flute playing from Marian Egan & Tony Ryan.
I am a Tutor and Doctoral Candidate at the University of Sheffield Department of Music specialising in Asturian Folk and Irish Traditional Music.
My new album, Quarehawk, was released in August 2019 and launched at Cambridge Folk Festival. Recorded in Manchester with Michael McGoldrick and in Sheffield with Tom Wright and Sam Proctor, the album is a mix my Irish and English influences as well Asturian music I have learnt during my doctoral research. I’ll be playing flutes, whistles and hulusi as well as singing two songs. The album showcases my repertoire learnt growing up in the Manchester Irish community and documents the emotions and went through after my father died tragically during the recording.
Manchester poet Mike Garry performs a specially commissioned poem, the Visitor. I am joined on vocals by Ríoghnach Connolly (The Breath, Afro-Celts, Honeyfeet) and Leticia González Menéndez (L-R). Simon Bradley from Asturian folk legends Llan de Cubel and Bryony Griffith are on fiddle duty. I am so honoured to have Basque Trikitixa (accordion) expert Kepa Junkera record some of my newly composed tunes. I have been a huge fan of Kepa for years, so this is vert special for me. Will Hampson brings his English melodeon style to some very camp hornpipes and he’ll be joining for some live gigs in the future. My old pal Helen Gubbins completes the box section with her Limerick Paoli Soprano stylings. My neighbour Liz Hanks joins me on cello. Liz has played with more amazing musicians than I can list here. Her sound is something special. Rubén Bada (L-R) has been in charge of recordings at the Asturian end and joins me on a couple of Asturian tunes on his bouzouki. Keyboards are provided by the whizz that is Anthony Davies. Oh and I’ve allowed Michael McGoldrick a spot on bodhrán.
As well as performing with my Quarehawk line up, in the last year I have been performing with the Jazz influenced Andy Whitehouse Band, the Leeds Céilí Band and at Sadler’s Wells with contemporary dancer and performer Keira Martin.
In 2016 I was a finalist in the prestigious Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Competition in Cork. I am a former All Britain Senior Flute Champion and have performed across Europe and in The United States with Trad Irish Groups, Céilí Bands and Theatre Productions as well as being featured on the Soundtrack to ‘The Irish Empire’ TV Series Commissioned by Radio Telefís Eireann/BBC Northern Ireland/SBS AUSTRALIA.
In the last couple of years I have been delighted to tutor at The University of Sheffield, Whitby Folk Week, Trip to Birmingham Trad Fest and The Leeds Irish Gathering as well as working on my PhD: “A ‘Celtic’ or ‘National’ Aesthetic? Flute Playing in the Contemporary Asturian Folk Scene”.