Paddy Glackin is one of Ireland’s leading fiddle players. He learned his music from his father Tom who came from Falmore in County Donegal. His music is greatly influenced by the great Donegal fiddler John Doherty but due to his Dublin upbringing he was also influenced by the music of other players from different regions. Although primarily a soloist he has played in numerous ensembles and was a founder member of the .Bothy Band. He has collaborated with many musicians such as Liam O Flynn , Donal Lunny and Robbie Hannon and has also collaborated with American composer John Cage. He has recorded numerous albums and has played in a variety of groups such as Ceoltoiri Laighean, LAPD and is currently a member of Ushers Island.
Noel Hill was born in Caherea in West County Clare, Ireland, into a big family with 7 siblings. His parents and grandparents were all concertina players. He was particularly influenced by his uncle, Padraig A Chnoic, (Paddy Hill). He lived in a house which was the last house in the area to hold the traditional Irish House dance, where musicians were always welcomed; particularly towards the end of the year when farm work was done. It was at these events that he learned his early tunes, rather than from the radio, books or records. He started playing at 9 and was lucky to have heard endless hours of Willie Clancy, Paddy Canny, Peter O’Loughlin, Paddy Murphy, and Micky Hanrahan. Much of the music in his repertoire today comes from the music he learned as a child from these great players. Noel wanted to be a piper, but pipes were not readily available. He played the concertina which had been initially purchased for his older brother.
Noel Hill joined up with Tony Linnane, Tony Callanan and Kieran Hanrahan to form the group “Inchiquin“. They recorded one album. Hanrahan and Callanan then left to form Stockton’s Wing. His most celebrated album is “Noel Hill and Tony Linnane” (1979) with Tony Linnane (fiddle), Matt Molloy (flute), Alec Finn (bouzouki and mando-cello) and Micheal O’Domhnaill (church harmonium). Inchiquin continued with Noel, Tony and Barry Moore (Luka Bloom) and toured Germany. He has been a professional concertinist since the late 1970s. In the mid 1980’s he lived in New York City.
His main recordings are as follows: 1) “Í gCnoc Na Graí (In Knocknagree)”, together with button accordionist Tony MacMahon, recorded live in Dan O’Connell’s pub with a group of Clare set dancers in 1985, 2) The Irish Concertina One 1988. It was voted the “Irish Folk Album of the Year” in 1988. 3) “Music of Dreams (Aislingí Céoil)” in 1993, with Tony MacMahon and Iarla Ó Lionáird and I. 4) The Irish Concertina Two 2005 with Alec Finn, Arty McGlynn, Brian McGrath, Liam O’Connor and Steve Cooney.
He has toured worldwide including Europe, USA, Canada, China, Hong Kong, and Australia.
He teaches concertina at the The Noel Hill Irish Concertina Schools in Ireland and throughout the United States. He now lives with his two children in Connemara in the Irish speaking region of southwest County Galway.
Among the many concertinas that he plays, he has a miniature made by Charles Jeffries, which is 2 inches by 2 inches. This is sometimes claimed as being the smallest concertina in the world.