Irish Music Club

The original Irish Music Club of Chicago

The original Irish Music Club of Chicago

In a tip-of-the-hat tribute to the original Irish Music Club of Chicago (see bottom of page), I reckoned it would be nice to at least resurrect the "spirit" of the group, and what a better way than to help promote music here in Chicago and beyond. More information coming in the near future....

All the best,

Jimmy Keane

events of note...

Workshop: Colm Broderick & Patrick Finley

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Lanigan's Irish Pub, 3119 West 111th Street, Chicago

Patrick & Colm will teach a tune or two, and walk through various techniques and variations throughout the tunes. Students will come away with new ideas on how to approach their tunes, as well as a tune or two that they’ve probably never heard before! All ages, instruments and skill levels are welcome.

Colm is a multiple All-Ireland champion piper and was selected by Na Píobairí Uilleann as the inheritor of Liam Ó Floinn’s pipes, on Liam’s death in 2018. Having recently been awarded the Gold medal at the Seán O’Riada Bonn Oir competition in Baile Mhuirne, Co. Cork, Colm was invited to a private reception in Áras an Uachtaráin hosted by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins. While here Colm performed a private concert for the president.

Patrick, a multiple All-Ireland champion fiddler, plays with a unique style with influences from Sligo and Clare music. Patrick began playing the fiddle at the age of four, joining the Atlanta Irish Music School, and eventually studying with Sligo fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada. Patrick is also an experienced music teacher, having co-founded the Phoenix School of Irish Arts in Atlanta, teaching Irish music on a variety of instruments.

$30 Workshop: 5:30-7 PM

Concert with Colm Broderick & Patrick Finley

Lanigan's Irish Pub, 3119 West 111th Street, Chicago

Colm is a multiple All-Ireland champion piper and was selected by Na Píobairí Uilleann as the inheritor of Liam Ó Floinn’s pipes, on Liam’s death in 2018. Having recently been awarded the Gold medal at the Seán O’Riada Bonn Oir competition in Baile Mhuirne, Co. Cork, Colm was invited to a private reception in Áras an Uachtaráin hosted by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins. While here Colm performed a private concert for the president.

Patrick, a multiple All-Ireland champion fiddler, plays with a unique style with influences from Sligo and Clare music. Patrick began playing the fiddle at the age of four, joining the Atlanta Irish Music School, and eventually studying with Sligo fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada. Patrick is also an experienced music teacher, having co-founded the Phoenix School of Irish Arts in Atlanta, teaching Irish music on a variety of instruments.

$20 General Admission 13 years old and up. Free for children 12 and under

The Beat Cop: Chicago’s Chief O’Neill and the Creation of Irish Music

By Mike O'Malley

The following three events are free but you need to register in advance. Up to 4 tickets per attendee. Space is limited

Register:

Book Release: The Beat Cop by Mike O'Malley (with music by Marta Cook & Jimmy Keane)

Chief O'Neill's, 3471 N Elston Ave, Chicago, Illinois

The Beat Cop: Chicago’s Chief O’Neill and the Creation of Irish Music

Irish music as we know it today was invented not just in the cobbled lanes of Dublin or the green fields of County Kerry, but also in the burgeoning metropolis of early-twentieth-century Chicago. The genre’s history combines a long folk tradition with the curatorial quirks of a single person: Francis O’Neill, a larger-than-life Chicago police chief and an Irish immigrant with a fervent interest in his home country’s music.

Michael O’Malley’s The Beat Cop tells the story of this singular figure, from his birth in Ireland in 1865 to his rough-and-tumble early life in the United States. By 1901, O’Neill had worked his way up to become Chicago’s chief of police, where he developed new methods of tracking criminals and recording their identities. At the same time, he also obsessively tracked and recorded the music he heard from local Irish immigrants, enforcing a strict view of what he felt was and wasn’t authentic. Chief O’Neill’s police work and his musical work were flip sides of the same coin, and O’Malley delves deep into how this brash immigrant harnessed his connections and policing skills to become the foremost shaper of how Americans see, and hear, the music of Ireland.

Review: Library Journal “A thorough and sometimes surprising lens into how Irish music in the US came to be codified and understood. A clear impression emerges of a man who tried, not always successfully, to balance an archivist’s meticulousness with an idealistic vision of community cohesion.”

Review: Kevin Kenny, author of The American Irish: A History “Five million Irish people came to the US in the century following 1820. Without the efforts of police chief Francis O’Neill, much of their musical heritage might have vanished. As Chicago’s ‘beat cop’—in O’Malley’s wonderfully felicitous phrase—Chief O’Neill uncovered, traced, and classified Irish folk music in America, preserving but also inventing a unique tradition. Vivid, eloquent, and highly engaging, The Beat Cop sparkles with insights about immigration, community, and popular culture.”

Review: Kerby Miller, author of Ireland and Irish America “The Beat Cop is a superb social and cultural study of Irish immigrants and their offspring in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Chicago; of the Irish role in policing America’s most corrupt and violent city; and, most importantly, of Chicago police chief Francis O’Neill’s crucial role in promoting Irish traditional music and musicians to create ‘authentic’ Irish identities on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.”

Review: Sean Williams, coauthor of Bright Star of the West: Joe Heaney, Irish Song-Man “What O’Malley accomplishes in The Beat Cop is a highly readable, lush, adventurous examination of Chief O’Neill as a whole person, not just as the collector for the Irish musicians’ Bible. The stories of O’Neill’s adventures are entertaining and enjoyable, and O’Malley’s writing is welcoming to both informed insiders and newcomers.”

Free event but you must register in advance. Up to four tickets per attendee. Seats are limited. Sign-up form above...

Book Release: The Beat Cop by Mike O'Malley (with music by Marta Cook & Jimmy Keane)

Lanigan's Irish Pub, 3119 West 111th Street, Chicago

Irish music as we know it today was invented not just in the cobbled lanes of Dublin or the green fields of County Kerry, but also in the burgeoning metropolis of early-twentieth-century Chicago. The genre’s history combines a long folk tradition with the curatorial quirks of a single person: Francis O’Neill, a larger-than-life Chicago police chief and an Irish immigrant with a fervent interest in his home country’s music.

Michael O’Malley’s The Beat Cop tells the story of this singular figure, from his birth in Ireland in 1865 to his rough-and-tumble early life in the United States. By 1901, O’Neill had worked his way up to become Chicago’s chief of police, where he developed new methods of tracking criminals and recording their identities. At the same time, he also obsessively tracked and recorded the music he heard from local Irish immigrants, enforcing a strict view of what he felt was and wasn’t authentic. Chief O’Neill’s police work and his musical work were flip sides of the same coin, and O’Malley delves deep into how this brash immigrant harnessed his connections and policing skills to become the foremost shaper of how Americans see, and hear, the music of Ireland.

Review: Library Journal “A thorough and sometimes surprising lens into how Irish music in the US came to be codified and understood. A clear impression emerges of a man who tried, not always successfully, to balance an archivist’s meticulousness with an idealistic vision of community cohesion.”

Review: Kevin Kenny, author of The American Irish: A History “Five million Irish people came to the US in the century following 1820. Without the efforts of police chief Francis O’Neill, much of their musical heritage might have vanished. As Chicago’s ‘beat cop’—in O’Malley’s wonderfully felicitous phrase—Chief O’Neill uncovered, traced, and classified Irish folk music in America, preserving but also inventing a unique tradition. Vivid, eloquent, and highly engaging, The Beat Cop sparkles with insights about immigration, community, and popular culture.”

Review: Kerby Miller, author of Ireland and Irish America “The Beat Cop is a superb social and cultural study of Irish immigrants and their offspring in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Chicago; of the Irish role in policing America’s most corrupt and violent city; and, most importantly, of Chicago police chief Francis O’Neill’s crucial role in promoting Irish traditional music and musicians to create ‘authentic’ Irish identities on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.”

Review: Sean Williams, coauthor of Bright Star of the West: Joe Heaney, Irish Song-Man “What O’Malley accomplishes in The Beat Cop is a highly readable, lush, adventurous examination of Chief O’Neill as a whole person, not just as the collector for the Irish musicians’ Bible. The stories of O’Neill’s adventures are entertaining and enjoyable, and O’Malley’s writing is welcoming to both informed insiders and newcomers.”

Free event but you must register in advance. Up to four tickets per attendee. Seats are limited. Sign-up form above... (This also registers you for the Cemetery visit)...

Interview with Mike O'Malley

The original Irish Music Club of Chicago