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Rory Makem

R ory Makem was born in Drogheda, County Louth, about an hour north of Dublin. He continues the lineage of one of Irish music's dynasties, begun by his grandmother Sarah Makem, who was sought after by song collectors for her store of traditional Irish songs. His father, Tommy Makem, was the modern day Bard of Armagh. Now considered an icon, he helped to bring Irish music out of the corner and into the international spotlight, where it has remained ever since.

A seasoned performer with over 25 years on the road, Rory has toured extensively with The Makem and Spain Brothers and for 17 years toured and played guitar with his father, the legendary Tommy Makem. He has entertained countless sold-out venues, festivals, and theaters throughout the United States, Canada, England, Scotland and Ireland. At his best on stage, Rory captivates audiences with his skilled musicianship, his charisma and passion for the songs, his extensive knowledge of poetry and history, and his humor.

The love of song runs deep in the family. Continuing a legacy handed down from his grandmother, the seminal source singer Sarah Makem, Rory pulls the songs of the sailors, the laborers, the lovers, the fighters and the land from the pages of history and breathes life into them. An adept interpreter of folk songs, he masterfully accompanies himself on guitar, banjo, mandolin or bouzouki.

Not limiting himself to the stage, Rory has performed on movie soundtracks including A Fool and His Money, and The Lightkeeper. His compositions can be heard woven into the backdrop for PBS series as diverse as Tommy Tang’s Modern Thai Cuisine to It’s an Age Thing, to Simply Painting.

Learning from those who came before you is the essence of folk music -- and Rory has the great honor of learning from the best. Of course there were the many years at his father’s side... absorbing a master at his craft. He has also recorded with luminaries of modern folk music: Tom Paxton, Noel Paul Stookey, Bill Staines, Eric Weissberg, Roger McGuinn, Dave Mallett, Gordon Bok, Jonathan Edwards, Rick and Ron Shaw, and Schooner Fare.
Through more than a quarter century of plying his craft, Rory has established himself as one of the leading forces in the song tradition of Irish music... aspiring to not only carry the torch of the past/the greats that came before him, but also dedicated to promoting the craft of the modern folk era and contributing to/inspiring the next generation of music lovers.

and so... the tradition continues.

Tiocfaidh ár lá!