Centenary celebration of musician Paddy in Newtown

A young Paddy O’Brien is featured on the sleeve of the new album.

Free concert and album launch

This Friday 23rd September, famed Newtown accordionist Paddy O’Brien will celebrate his birth village’s 100th birthday at Culture Night when an album of his beautiful music will be released as part of an event which will include the following a concert by some of the best musicians and singers in the country.

This event is billed as a celebration of the life of Paddy who was born in February 1922 and passed away in 1991 leaving a tremendous heritage of traditional music for generations.

Admission to the release of the album, entitled Solo Recordings Of The Legendary Paddy O’Brien, is free. Entertainment begins at 9pm at Reidy’s Skyfarmers Bar.

Guests on the evening will include Mick Foster (accordion/vocals) of Foster and Allen and his wife Moyra Fraser (piano/accordion/vocals).

Other guests performing for an unforgettable night of music and singing are Anne Conroy Burke (accordion), Mary Conroy (vocals/guitar), Deirdre McSherry (flute/piano), Keelan McGrath (button accordion 2022 All-Ireland Champion). and the O’Brien family.

Paddy O’Brien, musician, teacher and composer, is without a doubt one of the most influential figures in Irish traditional music of the 20th century. Born on February 10, 1922 to a family of musicians in the village of Newtown, Paddy transformed and popularized B/C accordion playing when his recordings were released on Copely Records Boston and Columbia Records in 1947 and 1954 respectively.


Paddy developed a new approach to accordion playing where embellishments used on flutes, fiddles and uilleann pipes – rolls and cuts – could be performed on the B/C accordion.

Through his exploration and experimentation, Paddy also achieved the ability to play the B/C accordion in all keys. His playing style has been copied and adopted by generations since those early recordings. As a composer, Paddy left Irish traditional music with a priceless legacy of composition. Published and encouraged by his daughter Eileen, these compositions have been incorporated and incorporated into the traditional Irish musical repertoire and are played around the world.

To celebrate Paddy’s 100th birthday, his family has designed an archival recording project to demonstrate Paddy’s mastery of the B/C accordion. The album contains 21 tracks of Paddy’s game from the period 1947 to 1985.

That evening Eileen will give an illustrated talk about Paddy’s musical life with audio and video clips. This will be followed by the presentation of the Mick Foster album, a concert and an informal session.

There will then be a concert with the guests of honor, followed by an informal session of music and singing.

Special thanks to Tipperary County Council, Nenagh Arts Office, Culture Ireland, The Arts Council of Ireland and Culrure Night.ie Tipperary.

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