Seán Keane was born in a small village called Caherlistrane near Tuam, Co. Galway. He grew up in a family of singers and musicians and learned the Sean-nós style of singing from his mother and his aunts. From early childhood, singing became a big part of his life. By the time Seán reached his teens he had collected thirteen All-Ireland medals in the Fleadh Ceoil competitions. He was by then an accomplished whistle and flute player and had also taken up the uilleann pipes and bodhrán.
When he joined his first group, Shegui, he had already served a long apprenticeship. After travelling throughout Europe with the band, he left to join Reel Union, a group which also featured sister Dolores and accordion player Máirtín O’Connor. Later, he was part of Arcady, with such well-known names as Johnny “Ringo” McDonagh, Sharon Shannon and Frances Black.
To see Seán Keane live is an experience that touches the mind, the heart and the soul. His songs encompass a mixture of traditional Irish folk music, blues and country. While his roots are in old Ireland with the Keane family tradition of Sean-nós singing, it is his unique and distinctive voice that lends itself beautifully to many different genres and his skill on the flute, whistles and pipes with which he punctuates songs, that makes his work unforgettable. And all of this is wrapped up in warmth, humour and humility.
Seán’s songs such as “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears”, “Galway to Graceland” and “Home Away from Home” are enduringly popular, as is his more recent material like “Paint Me a Picture of Ireland”, “Nature’s Little Symphony”, and “One More Hour”. He released his 11th solo album, Gratitude, accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in 2018.
During lockdown he delighted audiences all over the world with his weekly Facebook live performances known as the Carragh Sunday Sessions. He tours regularly with his band in Ireland, Austria, Germany, the US and Canada as well as appearing at major festivals worldwide.
“Seán Keane is a touchstone of great singing tradition. He is the past, the present and the future.” – The late Shay Healy, songwriter, broadcaster and journalist.
Tickets €31 from everymancork.com.