So, it's the last day of 2008, a year that roared in like a Lion and goes out like the Zebra it had for dinner...
It has been a year of great highs and depressing lows for me, I expect that is pretty much the same for all of you as well. Let's all just call it a wash and look forward to better things next year. Not to be too political here but I am very happy with the result of the election and hope that "change" ends up being more than the spare change we have all been left with in our pockets at the moment. Time will tell as "they" say. Never been too sure of exactly whom these "they" are but they sure do get quoted a lot!
I had some of the greatest musical experiences that I have enjoyed in years this past summer. Here are a couple of the highlights in brief form;
I was invited to be the principal flute instructor at Carmel Gunnings "Queen Maeve School of Traditional Irish Music and Dance" in Sligo town, County Sligo Ireland this year. It was a wonderful honor and a great experience all around. I was treated with failte hospitality by Carmel, herself a tremendous tin whistle and flute player of great fame in Ireland. I am also delighted to report that Carmel is now proudly playing a Healy flute! I was delighted to also recieve a ringing endorsement of my flutes by none less than my personal hero Seamus Tansey! VERY cool indeed... We may not know her music as well as we should here but I strongly reccommend that you find her recordings. Her newest is called "Corran Hill" and I highly recommend it! I had a cool mix of students of various ages and levels from beginners to All Ireland champions. Great people every one. The rest of the instructional staff were "All-stars" themselves in every respect. My roommate for the festival was no less then the great Seamus O'Kane a bodhran maker of the highest regard and a gentleman in every respect. I look forward to my next trip back over to visit Seamus up in the North for a tour and tunes. Also a new friend is the sean nos dancing legend Ronan Regan. I had never seen (or frankly heard of) this dance style before but what an eduaction I got from him. Ronan also has a instructional DVD which you should find as well. Another class act all around. Ronan has taken to teaching me some Irish (just the "social graces" mind you) but it is going along. My test will be the next time I see him! I will be writing more about the school soon and telling a few tales (and not telling a few others!) so do check back!
Another highlight was my recieving an invitation to perform at that INAFA Convention in Eau Clare Wi. This is the International Native American Flute Associations bi-yearly convention and it was an absolute gas time. I was invited by the great Native American flute player and historian R.C. Nakai and I am proud to say we hit it off wonderfully from the start. R.C. invited me to perform with him and the "INAFA ALL-STARS" for the close of the main concert. What a great honor and experience THAT was. My sister Sarah Healy passed away 2 years ago but she was a HUGE fan of R.C's almost always having one of his cd's playing when I would visit her. She always wanted to meet him and I'm sure had something to do with my being invited somehow... I am also very honored to have been asked (along with my bodhran beating buddy Mark Bachand) to play on the festival cd. It is now available for purchase and I HIGHLY reccommend it. It's called "Clear Water Reflections" and is available at www.inafa.org. If you have never heard Native American flute music or you are already a fan of it, you really should check this cd out. Great music for a great cause. More on this topic later as well.
This summer also marked my solo debut at the great Carnigie Hall in New York City. I used to do a lot of street busking years ago (and may again if the economy doesn't improve!) and NYC was a usual haunt. In fact I busked for years at Carnigie Hall before the concerts. It was pretty cool to finally see the inside! This was a benefit concert for another great organisation IDA, "In Defense of Animals". More on this too in a future edition.
Whew, this is more than I had planned on writing but what the heck, it's been a while!
Thanks to all of you for stopping by the site and having a bit of a read.
I wish all of you a Happy and Safe New Year and do stop by again when you have some time.
In conjunction with the world famous resort community of Arosa, Switzerland and their "MUSIK-KURSWOCHEN" (music course week), I will be teaching a week long series of classes on Irish flute and tin whistle music. The program will take place JULY 31 - AUGUST 4, 2017. I will be posting information and videos about the event very soon!!! Imagine, learning about traditional Irish music high in the Swiss Alps, staying in a beautiful hotel called "Hotel Hohe Promenade" a 3 star hotel with AMAZING food and service...