Family in Music

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAFrom Ballyporeen, in South Tipperary, the Gardiner family – Bobby, Ann, Kelley, Fíodhna and Lynda play accordion, whistles, melodeon and concertina with mother, Ann on vocals. While Bobby is an established accordionist, known for his unique, energetic, rhythmic Clare style and use of the single-button triplet, each in their own way, the Gardiner girls are carrying on the Irish music tradition, playing melodeon, whistles and concertina. Lynda, now living in Bahrain plays concertina with husband and flautist, Tom Murphy and Kelley, living in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford plays melodeon with husband and guitar player, Stephen Tutty. Both Lynda and Kelley are secondary school music teachers and are involved in directing musicals and school concerts.The Gardiner Family recording for TG4 Se Mo Laoch Programme

Over the years, the Gardiners have collaboratively played music for family parties, functions, special occasions, television and CD recordings. Beginning with an appearance on ‘The BiBi Baskin Show’ in the late 80’s to supporting the Black Velvet Band while touring in Switzerland, musical collaborations for the Gardiner family include performances such as the ‘1994 Fleadh Cheoil Programme Feature’ with Mícheál Ó Suilleabháin;  the ‘Tipperary’s Hills for Me’ album by Fiodhna’s mother, Ann in 2005 and ‘The High Level’ album by Fíodhna’s father, Bobby in 2010. In 2013, the Gardiners performed on the ‘Sé mo laoch’ programme, Season 7, Episode 4, featuring Bobby and most recently, Fiodhna, Padraig, Kelley and brother-in-law, Stephen Tutty played music on board the ‘Spirit of Killaloe’ boat, as part of the inaugural Kincora Traditional Weekend, Ballina, Co. Tipperary.

The Gardiner Family at Home



Se mo Laoch featuring Bobby Gardiner

Snapshot 1Sé mo Laoch’ programme Season 7, Episode 4, featured Fíodhna’s father, accordionist Bobby Gardiner from Co. Clare. Fíodhna along with Mother, Ann and sisters, Kelley and Lynda spoke about Bobby’s life as a traditional Irish musician and teacher. Fíodhna joined her Dad and sisters playing a selection of jigs in the video clip below:

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Sessions in Liam O’Riains, Ballina, Co. Tipperary


Fíodhna regularly joins flute player, Paul Smyth, husband and guitar player, Pádraig Hyland, bodhrán player, Michael Hackett, accordion player, Caitríona Short, flute player, Leon Agnew, singer and fiddle player, Deirdre Scannlon and others in Liam Ó Riain’s, Ballina/Killaloe on a Tuesday night. Organized by Paul Smyth, this session is a great night of craic ‘s ceoil.Session in Liam O Rianns-Ballina with Fiodhna-Pádraig-Kelley Gardiner-Catriona Short

Fiodhna and Inis Oirr joined by Bobby Gardiner

s_fiodhna_and_family5As a fitting end to a week of music for St. Patrick’s celebrations in the UAE, Bobby Gardiner, the renound button accordionist from Co Clare, joined Inis Oirr for two gigs in Abu Dhabi. His daughter, Fiodhna who plays the tin whistle in the band, was delighted to share the stage with her father. “This has become an annual gig that I really enjoy,” says Bobby, “and I really like Inis Oirr’s arrangements and variety of instruments.” Bobby has travelled the world over the past 40 years as a professional musician, playing traditional music from the Catskill Mountains in New York State, to the Great Wall of China. He has several recordings made over the years, including the popular ‘Memories of Clare’ album and The Master’s Choice. He can be found playing at the Bru BoruCultural Centre in Cashel, Co Tipperary during the summer months. Check out this page on Wikipedia for more information about Bobby. For some videos of his music, check out this link to YouTube.

House Sessions in the Middle East

fiodhna_session8fiodhna_and_family10In the absence of traditional Irish music sessions in the Middle East, Fiodhna, Padraig and friends Mick Giblin and Ged Palmer took turns hosting house sessions. Fíodhna’s father, Bobby joined them on a few occasions, as did Fíodhna’s sister, Lynda and brother-in-law, Tom Murphy. Many new tunes were learned in this way. Here are two such sessions.