Daithí Kearney

Ethnomusicologist, geographer and performer Dr Daithí Kearney is a lecturer in music and co-director of the Centre for Creative Arts Research at Dundalk Institute of Technology. A graduate of University College Cork, his research is primarily focused on Irish traditional music and folk theatre but extends to include performance studies, community music, music education, tourism and the connection between music and place. His PhD concentrated on the construction of geographies and regional identities in Irish traditional music and his research interests include the negotiation, mediation and construction of identities through music and the relationship between music and place.

Daithí has toured regularly as a musician, singer and dancer with a number of groups including Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland and was Artistic Director of the The Cork International Folk Dance Festival 2005. An All-Ireland champion musician, he has recorded with a number of ensembles including the band Nuada. He performed for President Obama in The White House in 2009 and in 2013 performed with Southbound at the National Folk Festival of Australia . In 2012 he released an album with Cork accordion player John Cronin entitled Midleton Rare,which is related to a wider research project on the music and musicians of the Sliabh Luachra region. He continues to tour regularly and in 2014 toured North and South America with the DkIT Ceol Oirghialla Traditional Music Ensemble. In 2016 he toured Scotland with the Ensemble and in 2017 they participated in the Rauland Winter Music Festival in Norway.

In 2016 Daithí released an album of new compositions in the Irish traditional idiom with Dr Adèle Commins is Head of Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Their compositions also feature on the 2020 recording by Ceolta Sí entitled Oidhreacht Eochaille and are regularly performed by the award-winning Oriel Traditional Orchestra, of which they are both conductors.

Publications include contributions to the Companion to Irish Traditional Music (ed. Vallely, 2012), Ancestral Imprints (Ed. Smith, 2012), the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (ed. White and Boydell, 2013), Spacing Ireland (Crowley and Linehan, 2013), New Crops Old Fields (ed. Caldwell and Byers, 2016) and How Popular Culture Travels: cultural exchanges between Ireland and the USA (ed. Mikowski and Philippe, 2019). Daithí has also contributed to the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, Ethnomusicology Ireland, Sonas, Musicology Review, The Yearbook for Traditional Music, Popular Music, Estudios Irlandeses, Journal of Music, Technology & Education, Musicology Research and the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography.

Daithí is a former treasurer and chair of ICTM Ireland and a recipient of the President’s Prize for Early Career Researcher at DkIT.

  • Dundalk Institute of Technology