Frankie Gavin was born in 1956 in Galway, Co. Galway,Ireland. Both of his parents played traditional Irish music. He was the youngest of a musical family of four. All of the children entered numerous traditional music competitions, and throughout his childhood, Frankie Gavin was consistently placed first in fiddle and whistle. At the age of seventeen he was placed first in the All- Ireland Fiddle Competition and in the All-Ireland Flute Competition, both on the same day. Frankie Gavin founded the traditional band, De Dannan, in 1973, at the age of seventeen. De Dannan split up in 2002-2003.
Frankie Gavin has recorded …
• fifteen albums with De Dannan. Their most recent CD, "How the West Was Won," has been awarded a gold disc.
• six solo albums.
• as a guest on albums with The Rolling Stones on "Voodoo Lounge" and with Keith Richards on "Wingless Angels".
• with renowned American banjo virtuoso Earl Scruggs on "The Crossings".
• an album for release with the late jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli, and with the late Sir Yehudi Menuhin, on the TV Series "Bringing It All Back Home".
Frankie Gavin …
• first appeared on Irish television at the age of seven,
• and first appeared on U.S. television at the age of nine.
• performed for U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Salthill, Galway, during the late President's historic visit to Ireland.
• in 1976, while representing Ireland in the United States' Bicentennial Celebrations in Washington DC, was invited to play and record on the Stradivarius and Guarnaerius collection owned by maestro Fritz Kreisler at the Smithsonian Institute.
• in Ireland, has performed for the State Visit of Prince Charles, President Francois Mitter and, and other innumerable State events at Dublin Castle and Iveagh House.
• performed at the Lincoln Center, NY.
• performed at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
• performed for an audience of 60,000 at the Roskilde Festival, Denmark.
• performed at the Womad Music Festival in Yokahama, Japan.
• performed at St. Patrick's Day Balls in Beijing and Hong Kong, China in 1996,1997, and 1998.
• has performed classical works on several occasions with operatic diva Bernadette Greevey at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.
• was featured on the occasion of the first Northern Ireland Peace Process, in a special concert held at the Ulster Hall, Belfast, entitled, "Jigs and Jazz". This concert, which also starred legendary jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, was also presented in Denmark, Scotland, and Ireland. Frankie Gavin was a guest of honour, together with Heads of State, at the funeral of Stephane Grappelli in Paris, France, in 1998.
Frankie Gavin has done an immense amount of work for the promotion of traditional Irish music worldwide and, together with his colleagues in De Dannan, has helped to increase its acceptance both by younger generations with versions of rock tunes such as, “Hey Jude,” and by proponents of classical music with renditions of classical pieces such as, “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheeba.”
Frankie Gavin’s arrangements of these and others such as, “Hibernian Rhapsody”, and, “The Rambles of Bach,” are now standards in traditional music circles. Frankie Gavin arranged and recorded the original soundtrack for the television series, “The Irish RM”.
His published and recorded compositions include …
• A Classical Reel
• Do It in Jigtime
• Maam Valley
• The Drimneen Jig
• The Wren's Nest
• Alice's Reel
These compositions have been recorded by musicians from Ireland, Scotland, Denmark and the U.S.A.
Works in Progress
The Choctaw Symphony
A symphony in five movements incorporating instruments of the Irish and the Choctaw, emphasizing the close connection between the two peoples, especially relating to the fact that during the, "Trail of Tears," the Choctaw still managed to collect and send money to the Irish people during "The Great Famine".
Music for Peace
Inspired by the first peace initiative and with the help and research of Reverend Gary Hastings of Belfast, the music of this project dates back to the late 1600's. Predominately from the Protestant tradition of Northern Ireland, ironically, many of the pieces are now known as reels, hornpipes, and polkas in the south. A selection of this music was performed for President Mary MacAleese's, "Building Bridges", theme at the Aras an Uachtaran on July 11 1998.
Taking inspiration from the sounds of nature and songs from birds such as the cuckoo, jackdaw, thrush, blackbird and skylark, Frankie Gavin has created an original collection of compositions. This work has been a life long ambition and is nearing completion