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Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)

Related threads:
Mick Moloney at new DC venue 12 March 2010 (9)
Mick Moloney Lecture, Apr 23 2001, Boston MA (4)
Lyr Req: Mick Moloney: 'The Norwegian Song' (7)
Lyr Req: Song Sung by Mick Moloney about 'Dun (5)


Ebbie 27 Jul 22 - 11:16 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jul 22 - 11:35 PM
Helen 27 Jul 22 - 11:37 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jul 22 - 11:50 PM
KT 27 Jul 22 - 11:51 PM
gillymor 28 Jul 22 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Jerry A. O'Neill 28 Jul 22 - 10:27 AM
GUEST 28 Jul 22 - 11:00 AM
Lighter 28 Jul 22 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Jerome Clark 28 Jul 22 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Ray 28 Jul 22 - 02:23 PM
GUEST 03 Aug 22 - 07:17 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Aug 22 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Dave Hanson 04 Aug 22 - 02:43 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Aug 22 - 04:18 PM
Johnny J 05 Aug 22 - 04:10 AM
GUEST 05 Aug 22 - 05:33 AM
GUEST 05 Aug 22 - 05:34 AM
Johnny J 05 Aug 22 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,henryp 05 Aug 22 - 06:32 AM
gillymor 05 Aug 22 - 07:19 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Aug 22 - 10:09 AM
Johnny J 05 Aug 22 - 01:27 PM
gillymor 05 Aug 22 - 01:42 PM
Johnny J 05 Aug 22 - 01:49 PM
Felipa 09 Aug 22 - 12:36 PM
Felipa 09 Aug 22 - 12:38 PM
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Subject: Can it be true? Mick Moloney gone?
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Jul 22 - 11:16 PM


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Subject: RE: Obit: DR. MICK MOLONEY (1944-2022)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jul 22 - 11:35 PM

DR. MICK MOLONEY (1944-2022)

Irish Music Magazine are shocked and heartbroken to hear the passing of Dr. Mick Moloney.

Born 1944, in Limerick, Ireland, he began playing tenor banjo at 16 years of age. As a teenager he listened to American folksingers and especially enjoyed the music of the Weavers and Burl Ives. There was not a lot of traditional instrumental music being played where he lived and he used to go to neighbouring Ennis, just over the River Shannon in County Clare, to listen to music in the pubs. He tape-recorded the tunes so he could "bring them home" with him to learn them.

Growing up, he learned to sing traditional songs and to play guitar as well as mandolin and tenor banjo. During his formative years in Ireland, he played with the Emmet Folk Group, and later the Johnstons. His participation with those bands shaped his perspective on and honed his skills in Irish music. He spent five years touring and recording with the Johnstons.

Irish America were blessed when Dr. Mick Moloney arrived in 1973 and where he combined the careers of professional musician, folklorist, musicologist, teacher and arts presenter and advocate. With a Ph.D. in folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania, he also taught ethnomusicology, folklore and Irish studies courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University and Villanova University and was a Global Distinguished Professor at New York University in the Irish Studies Program and the Music Department. In 2008, he won the Golden Dozen Award for teaching excellence at NYU.
Dr. Mick Moloney will also be remembered as an accomplished singer as well as an instrumentalist and possessed a vast collection of songs and instrumental pieces from the Irish and Irish-American tradition. He is the author of Far From the Shamrock Shore: The Irish-American Experience in Song, published by Crown Publications/Random House in 2002 with an accompanying CD on Shanachie Records.

Dr. Mick Moloney recorded and produced over sixty albums of traditional music in the United States with noted traditional musicians such as Liz Carroll, Seamus Egan, Joanie Madden, Johnny McGreevy, Joe Shannon, Ed Reavy, Jack and Charlie Coen, Mike Rafferty and many others. He worked with various recording companies in doing reissues of some of the classic 78 rpm recordings of the 1920’s and acted as advisor for scores of festivals all over America and was director for 25 years of the Irish Week at Davis and Elkins WV – the first Irish music summer school in the USA. His talks at Catskills Arts Week were informative and educational and for many one of the highlights of the week each year.

He formed the group The Green Fields of America which has showcased Irish American traditional artists nationwide since 1978. He was also instrumental in forming Cherish the Ladies, the first all-woman group in the US. He has served on National Endowment for the Arts panels and tax forces and hosted three nationally syndicated series of folk music on American Public Television.

He was a performer and interviewee on the Irish Television special Bringing It All Back Home, a participant, consultant and music arranger of the PBS documentary film, Out of Ireland and a music researcher and performer on the 1998 PBS special The Irish in America: Long Journey Home.
In 1999 he was awarded the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts – the highest official honour a traditional artist can receive in the United States by the then First Lady Hillary Clinton. In 2013 he received The Distinguished Presidential Service Award from the President of Ireland. In 2014 received the Gradam Cheoil Award from TG4 — the highest honour a traditional Irish musician can receive in Ireland. His internationally acclaimed CD’s McNally’s Row of Flats and If It Wasn’t For the Irish and the Jews, explore songs of the nineteenth and early twentieth-century popular stage in America and were both granted the prestigious Livies award for best CD of the year.

Dr. Mick Moloney was a great supporter and positive influence of Irish Music Magazine and most generous with his time over the years as he was with countless individuals and artists during his life.
Our deepest condolences to the family, extended family, cherished friends and all that knew this great man.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Helen
Date: 27 Jul 22 - 11:37 PM

You beat me to it by one minute, Joe.

The same article is also on The Session

RIP Mick Moloney


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jul 22 - 11:50 PM

There will be tears on McNally's Row of Flats tonight. I'm glad I got to see him perform in person.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: KT
Date: 27 Jul 22 - 11:51 PM

Crushed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: gillymor
Date: 28 Jul 22 - 06:54 AM

Lovers of Irish Trad Music have an awful lot to thank him for.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: GUEST,Jerry A. O'Neill
Date: 28 Jul 22 - 10:27 AM

Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam. May he rest in peace.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jul 22 - 11:00 AM

He was a good friend of mine during the 1990s when I had a small Restaurant in Ardmore, Co.Waterford, Ireland. He came for several years on a musical tour with American folk music afficionadoes and always stopped in. Never too proud or self-important, he would join us in a musical interlude to entertain his group and other customers, a lovely man indeed. May he rest in peace.
Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a anam.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Lighter
Date: 28 Jul 22 - 11:50 AM

Great performer, great force for Irish music.

I was lucky enough to see him twice, once with the equally great Eugene O'Donnell.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark
Date: 28 Jul 22 - 01:51 PM

If there was ever a better Irish-American folk band than Green Fields of America -- and of course there have been some good ones -- I haven't heard it.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 28 Jul 22 - 02:23 PM

Met MIck several times way back before he emigrated to the US. He was to some extent responsible for one of my “embarrasing moments” when he asked me to back his banjo playing on his final number. Things sounded fine backstage but he set off at such a lick that I lost him baout four bars in. Fortunately, the audience didn’t seem to notice!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 22 - 07:17 PM

We met Mick on 2-3 occasions in the Caribbean when he travelled with an Irish Theme Cruise. Our Hibernian lodge also travelled to Montserrat for their annual Irish Heritage Days …Mick was the entertainer bringing others…….no better man for promoting Irish Music and Culture RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Aug 22 - 08:09 PM

Many years ago I bought a vinyl album of his, can't remember the title now, of traditional Irish music, on which, via multi-tracking, he was the only musician, playing all the instruments. It was down the charity shop the next day.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: GUEST,Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Aug 22 - 02:43 AM

Are you regretting that now Steve ?

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Aug 22 - 04:18 PM

No. There was no chemistry at all in the playing, which was, of course, immaculate. When I'm listening to traditional Irish music, "immaculate" is the last thing I'm looking for, but chemistry is quite high up in the reckoning. .


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Johnny J
Date: 05 Aug 22 - 04:10 AM

Surely, you aren't talking about "Strings Attached", Steve?

This is one of my favourite albums of all time and the one which inspired me more than any other to play traditional tunes on the mandolin.

Although Ihad recently purchased my first mandoin, it was a shift over from the guitar. So, I was just learning chords and songs although I would also play a few tunes out of my head. I started to become a little more focused after that.


https://store.compassrecords.com/products/strings-attached


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Aug 22 - 05:33 AM

He's talking about "We Have Met Together", which was a bit "eclectic" - one track was even in Norwegian, but the Irish tunes played on banjo and mandolin have rarely been equalled. Mick Moloney will be remembered for much more than that recording.
RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Aug 22 - 05:34 AM

PS - and although there was a lot of multi tracking on it, it wasn't entirely a solo album. From memory - Dave Docherty on flute, Mal Whyte on bodhran, and Aly Bain on fiddle.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Johnny J
Date: 05 Aug 22 - 05:47 AM

Thanks, Guest.

I wasn't aware of that one although I see it's been posted on The session.

It also seems to be only available (or not at the moment, it would seem) on vinyl. I'd like to check it out sometime though.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Aug 22 - 06:32 AM

Mick Moloney was a major figure at the Irish Arts Centre in New York, where we saw him. Aidan Connolly, Executive Director of the Irish Arts Center, writes;

Much has been written about Mick’s phenomenal impact on the field of ethnomusicology and on the hundreds of musicians with whom he worked over the years. His ability also to impact the trajectory of creativity for the many arts institutions with which he intersected cannot be overstated. Indeed, Absolutely Irish would be the first of more than 50 projects we would embark on together, yielding more than 120 performances over those fifteen years.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: gillymor
Date: 05 Aug 22 - 07:19 AM

I'll be forever in debt to him for his part in bringing together Cherish the Ladies.
Love my Absolutely Irish dvd.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Aug 22 - 10:09 AM

Strings Attached it was.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Johnny J
Date: 05 Aug 22 - 01:27 PM

Oh Dear, never mind.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: gillymor
Date: 05 Aug 22 - 01:42 PM

It's on Spotify.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Johnny J
Date: 05 Aug 22 - 01:49 PM

I already own Strings Attached but I was curious about "We Have Met Together".


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Felipa
Date: 09 Aug 22 - 12:36 PM

a tribute from Aidan Connolly, Executive Director of the Irish Arts Center, in New York
https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/mick-moloney-legacy

"I met Mick in my first few weeks on the job as the new Director of Irish Arts Center in 2007. He had received a Rockefeller grant to create a concert documentary with Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Wagner about traditional Irish music in America called Absolutely Irish, and Irish Arts Center was the nonprofit repository for the grant and the venue. The experience was a brilliant, tuneful, story-full (and, occasionally, delightfully shambolic!) introduction for me to the Irish traditional music scene Mick anchored, and a powerful, inspiring example of the musical memories that could be created in that magical space with the right ingredients and resources.

"Much has been written about Mick’s phenomenal impact on the field of ethnomusicology and on the hundreds of musicians with whom he worked over the years. His ability also to impact the trajectory of creativity for the many arts institutions with which he intersected cannot be overstated. Indeed, Absolutely Irish would be the first of more than 50 projects we would embark on together, yielding more than 120 performances over those fifteen years, and an important step in our journey to position Irish Arts Center, hitherto better known as an Off-Off-Broadway theatre and community center for classes in Irish culture, as a cracking music venue, animated by collaboration and intercultural connection, as part of our broadening multidisciplinary mission.

Masters in Collaboration

A few days or weeks after we wrapped Absolutely Irish, I got an email from Mick – picking up a conversation we’d had during the filming where he’d probed, with his (usually!) gentle interrogative style, my vision for IAC – suggesting we create a context to invite one of his many former collaborators, the great Paul Brady, to do a residency. The idea was that Paul would work in collaboration with another artist, perhaps from another musical style, or generation, or both. I was already a Brady fan but hadn’t known that one of the myriad chapters of Mick’s robust musical life included a stint with him in the Johnstons. 'Amazing idea,' I wrote, 'but who can get to Paul?' I asked. 'Leave it with me,' he said.

"Some weeks later, following a series of correspondences with Paul, Mick, and Garry West of Compass Records, the residency was set. Paul chose to work for a week in collaboration with the North Carolina-born singer-songwriter Sarah Siskind, whom he’d met in Nashville, and who had been heavily influenced by his songwriting. They would share material with each other in advance of their week together, during which they would develop a program to be shared with a lucky one-night-only audience. Mick would join them midweek for a public chat about the process. The series that would become known as Masters in Collaboration was born.

"Masters in Collaboration:

Paul Brady Meets Sarah Siskind led to twelve subsequent editions, including Andy Irvine and John Doyle, Iarla Ó Lionáird and Ivan Goff, Bill Whelan and Athena Tergis, Joanie Madden and Seamus Begley, Karan Casey and Aoife O’Donovan, Dana Lyn and Louis De Paor, and many more. (The thirteenth, featuring choreographers Darrah Carr and Sean Curran, will be presented in our new building this fall).   Even more profoundly than helping birth that particular series, Mick’s curatorial generosity at such a formative moment in our evolution as an organization gave us both credibility and courage to continue to invest in music programming and the environment of collaboration and hospitality that informs our guiding principles to this day.

An Irish Christmas/Winter Solstice Celebration

"Mick was excited and inspired by our desire to present traditional music on the concert stage as part of our multidisciplinary programming, and share it with audiences unlikely to find it in festivals or pubs, and he appreciated how the structures and production values of the theatre could help take the experience to another level for the audience. In 2008, he took the helm of our annual holiday show, An Irish Christmas. With his musical partner of so many years, the amazing fiddler Athena Tergis, his fellow National Heritage Award winner accordionist Billy McComiskey, and a number of other Green Fields of America stalwarts, we commenced a wonderful twelve-year collaboration and one of Irish America’s beloved annual holiday traditions, and a beautiful live recording that happily preserves the legacy of this great adventure."

see https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/mick-moloney-legacy for more and also for a video and some sound recordings.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dr. Mick Moloney (1944-2022)
From: Felipa
Date: 09 Aug 22 - 12:38 PM

continued from previous message:

Mick helming An Irish Christmas was like a miracle on 51st Street. He was somewhat ambivalent about traditional Christmas fare but he delighted in surfacing lesser-known midwinter musical gems like “The Bushes of Jerusalem” and “The Wren Song” that touched the heart of the holiday, and we all loved finding ways to expand the show beyond Ireland and Christmas to include other cultures. Over the years, An Irish Christmas, and its later iteration, Winter Solstice Celebration, yielded ongoing collaborations with such artists as Tamar Korn, who developed with Mick, Athena and company a stunning Yiddish/Irish medley that became a perennial audience highlight; Grace Nono, whose soaring Filipino chants lifted us out of the concert-in-the-kitchen to a cosmic sacred space; and scores of onstage conversations with everyone from Gabriel Byrne, whose interview one night was magically enhanced by snow falling from the Donaghy stage ceiling (as staff feverishly shoveled the roof during a blizzard), to Loretta Brennan Glucksman, to Ellen McCourt, to Colum McCann, to one of Mick’s favorite special guests, his Greenwich Village hairdresser! All of this was navigated by Maestro Moloney with deftness and aplomb. Year after year, Mick’s musical delights and wryly warm welcome kept audiences coming back each year, lest they’d be missed at the annual holiday soiree.
Uptown Adventures

We made so many memories with Mick over the years in our home on 51st Street – and even more in our uptown “home” at Symphony Space, which we rented for larger shows like If It Wasn’t For the Irish and the Jews, A Tribute to the Famous McNulty’s, An Evening with Harrigan and Hart, and seven annual Celtic Appalachian celebrations. Mick and I both enjoyed long friendships with the late Isaiah Sheffer, founder and artistic director of that great Upper West Side cultural home. I used to love watching audiences pour into Symphony Space with Isaiah from his perch at the top of the entrance stairs; we marveled at our amazing communities coming together to enjoy Mick’s musical journeys through the nourishing intersections of Irish American, New York, and world music history. One of my fondest adventures with Mick at Symphony Space was our Celtic Appalachian show in 2013, which involved a procession of seventy Breton musicians, brought to New York by Charles Kergaravat, parading down the aisles of Symphony Space in a glorious grand finale!

There have been and will continue to be a myriad of testimonials to Mick in the days and weeks and months and years ahead -- each with a powerful story to tell that help compose the mosaic of his astonishing achievements as an academic, musician, bandleader, mentor, and humanitarian. He was a learned scholar who lived in the trenches of his field, an entertainer whose gems of wisdom were diligently researched (and happily adorned with hyperbole for effect!) He was insatiably curious and uncommonly generous with what he’d learned and who he’d met along the way. And he always took care of the audience.

~~~~~    ~~~~~   ~~~~~
Thus, wherever he intersected our lives – as collaborator, colleague, mentor, teacher, or entertainer – we could all proudly claim him, because whatever or whoever was the focus of his generous, relentless attention, there was nothing more important in the world, and he wanted you to know it. His legacy is truly vast, and thus so is the sense of loss.

Mick wasn’t much given to sentimentality, but I’ll always remember his signoff at the end of most shows. After recognizing his fellow musicians and the crew, with a rare earnestness, he would look at the audience squarely, thank them for “lifting us up,” and bid a light, fond farewell: “We’ll see you down the road.”

We were all on the same journey, and everyone had a role to play. We still do. Our beloved seanchaí has departed the stage but what gifts he has left within us all to share.


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