Matt Molloy
Born: January 12, 1947 in Ballaghaderreen, Roscommon, Éire
Instruments: flute & tin whistle
Albums Present: Chieftains 9; Boil The Breakfast Early - present


Through friendship with Paddy Moloney, Matt Molloy was already familiar with the Chieftains when he joined in 1979 as one of the two non - Dubliners in the group, replacing Michael Tubridy on flute. The Chieftains 9; Boil The Breakfast Early is his first album with the Chieftains and it is clear from that album, the impact Matt is going to have on the group.

Molloy was born in Ballaghadereen, County Roscommon, Éire, an area well known for flute players. Coming from a strong musical background, his playing is influenced by the famed Sligo tradition of flute playing. Matt began playing the flute at age 8 and by the age of 17, he had won the All-Ireland Flute Championship and had a string of successes in National Fleadh Cheoil and Oireachtas. He moved to Dublin in the early 1970's where he started playing in the traditional music scene where he became acquainted with Paddy Moloney. Molloy's first appearance with the Chieftains was at a folk festival in Edinburgh in July 1979.

During the burgeoning folk scene of the 1970's, Molloy was a founding member of the famous folk-rock group, The Bothy Band. After the Bothy Band disbanded in 1978, he appeared briefly with the reformed group, Planxty recording one album with them. Molloy has released several acclaimed solo albums and has worked with other accomplished musicians. He has teamed up with Paul Brady, Tommy Peoples, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin, Dónal Lunny and the Irish Chamber Orchestra among other artists. In 2000, Molloy was awarded the first ever-prestigious TG4 National Traditional Musician Award.

In addition to playing, Molloy owns a pub in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland called Matt Molloy's, where he has also recorded a live session album. His pub is well known for having sessions including many different musicians. He is best known for his breathy style and energy in his playing.


Matt has been playing the Irish flute since he was eight, and has become one of the masters. The flutes used in traditional Irish music are called concert flutes. These were the standard instruments found in orchestras during the 19th century, prior to the introduction of Boehm system flutes circa 1843. They are conical-bore, transverse flutes, typically constructed of blackwood. They are played using 'simple system' (keyless) fingering or 'old system' (four to eight keys) fingering. They have a more robust and breathy tone compared to metal flutes. The above picture shows Matt playing the Irish flute.

Tin Whistle:
In addition to the flute, Matt plays the tin whistle, though not very often. The tin whistle is a vertical fipple-flute. The fipple is the duct in the mouthpiece that directs air to produce sound. The first tin whistles of the 1800's were rolled plates of tin forming a tube, with a wooden block in the mouthpiece carved to form the fipple. Today's tin whistles are made of metals including nickel-silver, brass and aluminum. They have a range of two octaves and are made in a wide range of different keys & low D.


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