Biography

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Davy Spillane's distinguished career spans decades as a Grammy-winning soloist, band leader, composer and legendary studio session player, on the Uilleann Pipes and Low Whistle.  Born in Dublin in 1959 into a family of journalists and photographers, Davy received his education in the Irish language.  The influence of his parent's love of mythology, poetry and American jazz music, were the seeds in his emerging development as an artist.  Combined with access in his early teen years to prominent Irish musicians, these forces shaped Davy's own distinctive style.  At 12, Davy began playing the Tin Whistle, shortly thereafter the Uilleann Pipes and Low Whistle.  By 17, he was performing at international festivals.  At age 19, Davy starred in the lead role of Joe Comerford's award-winning feature film, 'Traveller.' 

 

Davy was a founding member of the highly successful band, Moving Hearts, receiving international acclaim for their ground-breaking fusion of rock, jazz and traditional Irish instruments.  During these years, he began a long apprenticeship in the art of making Uilleann Pipes in the Dublin workshop of Johnny Bourke. Davy would go on to form a band carrying his own name, The Davy Spillane Band, touring for 10 years, continuing to stretch the musical horizon. He collaborated with Bill Whelan as a soloist on the original score of Riverdance.  In 1991, Sony Music International signed Davy with appearances in Europe, the United States and Asia. His regular appearances on RTE, BBC and PBS, as well performances at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in China and at festivals around the world, brought his signature style to broadening audiences.  Davy's musical compositions have been featured in numerous films including: 'Gangs of New York,' 'Michael Collins,' 'Wuthering Heights,' 'Rob Roy,' to name a few.  As a highly sought-after international session musician, collaborative partners include: Van Morrison, Bryan Adams, Enya, Emmylou Harris, Paul Winter, Rory Gallagher, Elvis Costello, Sinead O'Connor, Steve Winwood, B. J. Cole, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Karl Jenkins, Mike Oldfield, Secret Garden, among many others.   

 

Davy created his own studio, North Atlantic Music, and makes his home on the magnificent West Coast of Ireland.  He joined the Irish Coast Guard in 2000, serving as a S.A.R. Boat Coxswain, in a formidable landscape and often under harrowing conditions. Davy makes and plays his own instruments exclusively on all of his recordings. In 2007, Davy received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Hastings College (USA) in acknowledgement of his significant contributions and expertise.

 

Davy actively performs worldwide, composing new music and collaborating with others, as well as pursuing his own photography.  His loyal international following welcomed his latest album, 'Between longing and belonging.'  Davy's celebrated career continues, delighting audiences around the globe with his extraordinary capacity to create beautiful, contemporary music that reaches directly to the heart.