The Chieftains preserve their Irish heritage through heart-pounding rhythm and soaring melodies. With an extensive touring history and over forty albums, their music reaches millions of people each year worldwide.
Formed in 1962, many of the original members of The Chieftains were top folk musicians in Ireland. The band firmly rooted themselves into the musical community in 1975 when they recorded the soundtrack to the movie Barry Lyndon and continued to gain notoriety when they began to tour.
Honoring Irish tradition, The Chieftains musical repertoire includes strong Celtic influences. At one point in history, many aspects of Irish culture were banned due to foreign rule, including music and dance. Groups of people in Ireland would gather in secret, preserving their heritage through storytelling and song. The Chieftains have helped keep this tradition alive, bringing Celtic music into the mainstream for over forty years.
In the beginning of the group’s career, The Chieftains were known solely as a traditional Celtic music band. Over the years, they have transformed into a musical group no longer fitting under just one title. Today, The Chieftains are known for their talents performing a wide range of music, from rock and roll to folk, from Celtic to jazz.
While the band’s wide range of musical capabilities make them appealing to a wide variety of audiences, they preserve elements of Celtic music in every performance.
Members of the group all play traditional Celtic instruments. Paddy Maloney plays the uilleann pipes. Matt Molloy plays both flute and whistle. Seán Keane is an award-winning fiddler. Devin Conneff sings and plays the bodhrán (traditional drum).
The Chieftains have accomplished a great deal over their forty-year musical span including six Grammy Awards and eighteen Grammy Award nominations.