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Uilleann piper Matty Connolly was born in New York City in 1940 and moved to Scotstown, Co. Monaghan six years later. His mother Helena, a fiddle player, was a major musical influence but took up the uilleann pipes after hearing Fermanagh man Sean McAloon. The local curate, Fr. Bernard Maguire, sponsored a pipers club that met in Our Lady of Fatima hall in Knockatallon and Matty was one of five members who graduated to full sets of pipes. He moved back to New York in the early 1960s but there were virtually no pipers active in the city at the time, and no one to help make reeds or maintain the instrument. For years he put the pipes aside, taking up an electric bass to play dance gigs with the Majestic Showband, a group that included button accordion ace Martin Mulhaire on electric guitar and that played three nights a week at the Red Mill in the Bronx. Matty would eventually return to traditional music in the 1970s and won the All-Ireland championship on the pipes in 1980.

He was joined by his daughter Deirdre for the Father’s and Daughter’s concert in 1986.