Traditional Irish music by the master fiddle player and executive director of the Irish Music School of Chicago for all types of events. Whether that be lively jigs and reels for St. Patrick's Day events and celebrations to soft and beautiful tunes appropriate for more subdued events.
Sean has years of experience playing for:
- Small, intimate gatherings
- Educational programs for schools
- Entertaining and engaging programs for retirement homes
- Full Catholic Masses
- Lively concerts for hundreds/thousands
We can also put together duos, trios and small bands to suit your needs.
Contact us and we'll be happy to send over some audio clips and options to make your event the best!
Perfect music for an outdoor birthday/dinner party.
Perfect. Really. We couldn't have asked for more. Many thanks.
We hosted a St. Patrick's Day party, and the two artists played great. Very authentic Irish music and lyrics. We are excited to book them again next year.
Response from Sean Cleland Music:
Thanks a million for the great feedback! We would be delighted to come back next year or anytime a need for Irish music arises.
Thank you for the opportunity!
Kathy Cowan sang beautiful love songs beautifully, and changed the words to say Lily, and brought tears to the eyes of my fiance just an hour after we got engaged. It was very sweet and wonderful and everything I had hoped. Thank you.
Response from Sean Cleland Music:
Congratulations Jesse and thanks for letting us be a part of this special moment for you. Best of luck to you and your fiancee! And if you want any Irish music for your ceremony, cocktail hour or reception, we'd love to be there. Take care!
The musicians were great. Everyone enjoyed it!
Price Range: $175 +
What to Expect
Sean Cleland Music can put together a variety of programs to fit your specific needs - anything from a solo presentation on the history and styles of traditional Irish music including demonstrations on the fiddle to arranging for duos, trios and larger bands to do complete performances.
Seán Cleland is an Irish fiddle player, Irish music performer, teacher, adjudicator, collaborator, producer and executive director of the Irish Music School of Chicago, a non-profit traditional Irish music, language, song and dance school, which he founded in 2003.
Seán grew up on the North side of Chicago in an Irish-American household. He started classical violin lessons at age 7, and at age 9 his parents took him to one of the first North American concert tours of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Ireland's national music organization. The performers that fall night in 1972 were the absolute best traditional musicians, singers and dancers from Ireland including Paddy Glackin, Paddy Ryan and Antoin MacGabhann. That night was so impactful that he decided right then and there that he would play the fiddle.
His musical education through the 1970s was energized by such local legends as Liz Carroll, Michael Flatley and Jimmy Keane who were bursting out of Chicago onto the world stage. Additionally, there were quite a few older Irish musicians who had emigrated to the United States in the 1950s and Sean was incredibly privileged to get to know them and to spend so much time listening to their music and stories.
Both of Seán's parents were teachers so it was natural for him in 1980 to begin to teach Irish music continuing to teach part time for many years in between touring and in 1998 started teaching at the world famous Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago where he taught until 2003.
In 1982 he co-founded the traditional Irish music band Baal Tinne, leaving in 1987 to found the Irish-influenced folk-rock band, The Drovers. The Drovers were much beloved in Chicago, played to packed houses all across the US, recorded 4 albums and appeared in two major Hollywood films: Backdraft and Blink, contributing songs and tunes to the soundtracks.
In 2000, Seán co-founded the traditional Irish band Bohola with piano accordion master, Jimmy Keane. While with Bohola, they recorded four critically acclaimed albums on the Shanachie label and toured throughout the US, Canada and Australia. In 2003, he took his extensive musical and teaching experience and founded the Irish Music School of Chicago to preserve and pass on this rich legacy. He continued to tour and perform and ultimately decided to leave Bohola in 2006 to focus on his growing School.
Seán has collaborated with many great artists over the years including the band Aengus with Robbie O'Connell; The Green Fields of America with Dr. Mick Maloney and Lowen and Navarro. He has served as fiddle player/musical director for Chicago's acclaimed Trinity Irish Dancers and for the Steppenwolf and Long Wharf Theaters' productions of “The Playboy of the Western World."
Along with teaching and performing, Seán was the fiddle player/musical director of Adam Whiteman's critically acclaimed play, Music Mad, about the life and impact of Chief Francis O'Neill. Currently, Seán is focused on making sure that the next generation of traditional Irish musicians is educated and nurtured through the Irish Music School of Chicago. He has been an instrumental force in maintaining traditional Irish music in the city of Chicago and works tirelessly to ensure its integrity.
Seán is an in-demand feis musician playing at feisanna all across North America. Sean has taught at such festivals and camps as the Catskills' Irish Arts Week; Musical Arts and Dance (MAD) Week in Bethesda, Maryland; St. Louis, Missouri Tionol; Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School; California Traditional Arts Society; Goderich, Ontario Celtic Roots Festival and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia's Celtic Colours International Festival, among others. Seán also teaches regularly in Ireland at Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh Co. Kerry and at Scoil Éigse, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann's annual international Summer School for students of all ages.
Additional Booking Notes
We can either play acoustically, bring light amplification, or assist in arranging for appropriate sound for the venue, if needed.
Past Booked Events
|June 03, 2018 • 12:30pm - 2:30pm||Birthday Party|
|May 04, 2018 • 7:00pm - 10:00pm||Birthday Party|
|March 16, 2018 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm||Holiday Party|
|December 18, 2017 • 1:00pm - 1:30pm||Funeral/Memorial Service|
|March 19, 2017 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm||Nonprofit Event|
|March 17, 2017 • 6:30pm - 9:00pm||Cocktail Party|
|March 17, 2017 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm||Corporate Event|
|March 12, 2017 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm||Nonprofit Event|
|February 12, 2017 • 6:00pm - 6:15pm||Personal Occasion|
|October 29, 2016 • 5:00pm - 8:00pm||Birthday (Adult)|
|March 21, 2016 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Lotus Blossoms Festival|
|March 18, 2016 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Monarch Landing|
|March 17, 2016 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Woman's Athletic Club Chicago|
|March 16, 2016 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||The Curragh Glenview|
|March 16, 2016 • 6:00pm - 8:00pm||Cocktail Party|
|March 15, 2016 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Lincolnwood Place|
|March 14, 2016 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Manor Care Arlington Heights|
|March 12, 2016 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Martyrs' Chicago|
|March 12, 2016 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Chief O'Neill's Restaurant and Pub|
|March 11, 2016 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Barrington Area Library|
|February 29, 2016 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Martyrs' Chicago|
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