Michael is one of the most exciting uilleann pipers in Traditional Music. He was taught the uilleann pipes by the great Limerick piper Mickey Dunne. His influences are the playing of Paddy Keenan, who is a regular visitor to his home in Clare, Finbar Furey and the great Johnny Doran. He has been playing the pipes from a young age and is currently living, and playing, at the heart of Irish music in County Clare. He regularly tours Europe, the USA and the Far East but is also very much at home at his local bars in Ennis or Doolin. At concerts and sessions Michael O’Connell performs with gusto, and audiences are swept away by his exuberant and fast flowing piping style. A regular guest of Na Píobairí Uilleann (uilleann pipes association), and the William Kennedy Piping Festival. He teaches and performs at the annual Catskills Irish Arts Week in New York, and the Doran Tionol, as well as being a full time tutor at the Irish World Academy of Music, University of Limerick. He has also has toured extensively with various dance troupes in the USA, China, Taiwan and Dubai, including on Broadway and in Carnegie Hall. He has performed with Paddy Keenan, Finbar Furey and the Chieftains. He is an ambassador for Irish tourism as part of the current worldwide internet and TV campaign by Tourism Ireland. In 2010 he released the album; “We were drinking and kissing the ladies”, in collaboration with the renowned concertina player Hugh Healy to great critical acclaim. He followed this with the 2014 release of ‘Friars Green’ a duet album with Irish Music stalwart Cyril O’Donoghue. Blackie has influenced many of today’s up and coming uilleann pipers and continues to collaborate with top perfromers nationally including Siobhan Peoples, Eoghan Neff, Anxo Lorenzo and Davy Spillane.