The Tap Room Trio


Two of the members of this trio need no introduction to previous attendees of Cruinniú na bhFliúit, and the third needs no introduction to anyone who had sought out the best in Irish traditional fiddle playing, over the past 20 years.

Playing together as The Tap Room Trio, they captivated the Irish music community with their eponymous album in 2003, leaving a hunger for more which was rarely satisfied by live appearances.

So we're absolutely thrilled to have secured their services for the Thursday night concert.

For those less familiar with them, here's some background.

Harry Bradley was born in South Belfast. The vibrant recording heritage from the 1920s and 30s has had a huge influence on his flute-playing style as has the playing of musicians such as Seamus Tansey, Dessie Wilkinson and piper Seamus Ennis, to name but a few. Noted for his unique tone and driving rhythm, Harry has come to be recognized as one of the most distinctive traditional flute players in Ireland today.

He has toured internationally and recorded both as a soloist and with groups such as Cran and Altan. In 2014 he was the recipient of the TG4 Gradam Cheoil Traditional Musician of the Year Award.

Jesse Smith grew up in Baltimore, MD. He was immersed in the Irish music tradition having spent his childhood surrounded by many of the great Irish American musicians of the east coast. He learned from the renowned fiddle player Brendan Mulvihill. In 1998 he moved to Ireland and has since been involved in a number of collaborative projects including recordings with Harry Bradley, Colm Gannon, Emmett Gill, Mick O'Grady, Sean Gavin, and the band Danu. His well received 2002 solo recording entitled Jigs and Reels appeared in Earle Hitchner’s Top Ten Albums of the Year column in US paper, The Irish Echo. He has taught at many of the Irish music summer and winter festivals including the Frankie Kennedy and the Willie Clancy schools. 

John Blake is a traditional Irish flute player, guitarist and pianist. An ex member of traditional group Teada, John has performed and recorded with the cream of Irish musicians including, John Carty, Paddy Glackin, Noel Hill, Liam O’Flynn, Jesse Smith, Harry Bradley, Colm Gannon, The Kane Sisters and James Kelly. Brought up in London, John was immersed in the vibrant Irish music scene at the time, and was tutored by famed teacher Brendan Mulkere. He moved to Ireland in 1998 and developed a reputation as an accompanist of note, racking up several album credits. He joined traditional band ‘Teada‘ in 2001 and toured with them for 3 years recording 2 albums with them. John released his debut solo album ‘The Narrow Edge‘ in December 2013, and continues to record, produce and play on many albums of note including the recent release ‘The Truckley Howl’ along with his wife Mairead Hurley and Wisconsin native Nathan Gourley. John is also a former board member of the Irish Traditional Music Archive and former member of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil panel, and is currently administrator of Na Píobairí Uilleann.