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Joe Derrane

button accordianist

Joe Derrane, born in Boston, MA in 1930 developed a deep and abiding love for the accordion and traditional Irish music from a very early age. Around 1940, he started studying the 10 key melodeon with the great Jerry O'Brien, who had immigrated from Kinsale, Co. Cork. By the time he was 14, Joe was active in the then popular house party scene. By the time he was 17, he had purchased a 2-row instrument (D/C#) and had become a fixture in the legendary ballroom scene in the Dudley Street section of Roxbury. He was also playing regular live radio shows on Saturday nights. The burgeoning interest in his playing had blossomed to the point where he was asked to make the first of what would turn out to be a series of eight (16 sides) 78rpm recordings over the next few years. Those recordings, marked by his unique styling, vigor, and flawless execution, stunned everyone in the Irish music world. In the late 80s he retired from music. In 1993, Rego Records reissued his 78rpm recordings in album form on CD and cassette. A huge wave of interest was generated all over again, and he was asked (late 1993) to perform at the prestigious Wolftrap Festival in Vienna, West Virginia in May of 1994. His return to the box and the music has been, over and over again, termed as the greatest comeback in the history of Irish music. Since then, Joe has recorded four new albums..."GIVE US ANOTHER" and "RETURN TO INIS MOR" for the Green Linnet label; "THE TIE THAT BINDS" for the Shanachie label, and "IRELAND'S HARVEST" with Frankie Gavin for the Mapleshade label. His work appears on a number of compilations, including the 3 CD set of "PLANET SQUEEZEBOX". Joe has been profiled in such newspapers as *The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Dublin Times, The Boston Herald, The Boston Globe, and The Patriot Ledger,* in addition to various folk music magazines and other publications in the U.S. and abroad. He has given numerous radio and television performances, including "The Pure Drop" series on RTE, Ireland's national television. Joe was also the subject of and excellent Frank Ferrel documentary "As Played By Joe Derrane". In February of 1998, (Albany, NY) Joe was inducted into the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann North American Province "Hall Of Fame" in recognition of his impact on, and contribution to, Irish Traditional Music.