Stars Of The South - 2011

J.J. Sheridan

Long a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, J.J. Sheridan has made it his life’s mission to bring the soul of Irish music to the public through his concert appearances and recordings. Sheridan, one of Ireland’s leading concert pianists, composers and arrangers, founded Trigon Recordings in 1988 for the purpose of recording the major Irish music collections of primarily: Turlough O’Carolan, Edward Bunting, George Petrie and Patrick Weston Joyce. His eight-disc set, The Complete Works Of Turlough O’Carolan, was released in 2007 to great critical acclaim. This was the first and still the only complete edition of all 214 pieces by the great eighteenth-century Irish harper known as “the last of the bards.”

In the fall of 2011, Sheridan’s set of Edward Bunting’s 1840 complete collection of Irish music will be released. Bunting, the major nineteenth-century collector of Irish music, was a trained concert pianist and organist and believed that the great Irish airs, originally played on the harp, transferred beautifully to the piano. Bunting may have captured the sound of the disappearing harper, but Sheridan’s recording makes the work of Bunting available for modern audiences for the first time.

Sheridan, who was born in Borris-in-Ossory, Co. Laois, received high praise for his 2006 album, Soul of the Irish Piano, a 22-track collection of Ireland’s greatest slow airs. He is a graduate of The Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin where he studied piano with the late John O’Sullivan and composition with A.J. Potter (himself a student of the great Ralph Vaughn Williams).