The sweet melodies of tin whistle and uilleann pipe player Paddy Moloney has been a vital element of the Chieftains' sound for nearly four decades. His distinctive playing and imaginative compositions have led the group to the upper echelon of tradition-rooted Celtic music. In addition to his work with the Chieftains, he's performed with a long list of folk and pop artists including Jackson Browne, Mick Jagger, and Sting. His whistle playing was featured on "Rain Clouds," the flip side of Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney's million-selling single "Ebony and Ivory." His compositions have been featured on the soundtracks of such films as Tristan and Isolde, The Year of the French, and Treasure Island, as well as the National Geographic television special The Ballad of the Iron Horse. A native of Donnycarney, a small village in Dublin, Moloney hails from a musical family. His grandfather played flute and an uncle performed with the Ballyfin Pipe Band. After playing a plastic tin whistle as a youngster, he began studying the uilleann pipes with influential piper Leo Rowsome at the age of eight. After finishing school, Moloney accepted a position as an accountant for a major building firm, Baxendales. Music remained an important part of his life, however, as he balanced his accounting career with collaborations with such stellar Irish musicians as Sean Potts, Michael Tubridy, and Martin Fay. In the late '50s, Moloney began playing with Sean O'Riada, who subsequently formed a band, Ceoltoiri Cualann. In 1963, Moloney assembled several of the band's musicians, including Sean Potts, Mick Tubridy, Martin Fay, and Peadar Mercier to record an album entitled The Chieftains. Intended as a one-time project, the album was so well received that the musicians agreed to continue as a more-formal ensemble. Moloney continued to work at Baxendales until 1968 when he was hired to work for a new record label, Claddagh. During the five years that he worked for the label, he produced or co-produced more than four dozen albums by such Irish musicians as Paddy Taylor, Maire Ni Donnachadha, and Denis Murphy. In 1988, Moloney received an honorary doctorate in music from Trinity College in Dublin. ~ Craig Harris, RoviPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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