Willie Clancy, Irish folklorist and traditional Uilleann bagpiper, died

Willie Clancy, Irish folklorist and traditional Uilleann bagpiper, died

Willie Clancy was an iconic figure in the revival of the Uilleann pipes and traditional music from the 1960’s onwards. Willie Clancy possessed amazing talents - whistle player, flute player, singer, story teller, philosopher and wit.

Willie Clancy, the renowned Irish folklorist and traditional Uilleann piper, passed away on January 24, 1973. He made significant contributions to the preservation and promotion of traditional Irish music, particularly through his mastery of the Uilleann pipes, a traditional Irish bagpipe.

The Uilleann pipes are a traditional Irish bagpipe that is distinct from other bagpipes in its construction, sound, and playing technique. The name “Uilleann” is derived from the Irish word “uille,” which means elbow. The Uilleann pipes are played by using a bellows to inflate the bag, which is worn under the arm (hence the name “elbow pipes”).

Born on December 24, 1918, in Milltown Malbay, County Clare, Ireland, Willie Clancy became a central figure in the Irish traditional music revival. He not only excelled as a musician but also played a key role in passing on the tradition to future generations.

The Willie Clancy Summer School , established in his honor in 1973, has become an important annual event, attracting musicians, dancers, and enthusiasts from around the world to immerse themselves in the study and celebration of Irish traditional arts. Willie Clancy’s legacy continues to influence and inspire musicians in the realm of Irish traditional music.

The 52nd Willie Clancy Summer School, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, Ireland. Saturday 6th July to Sunday 14th July, 2024.

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