Traditional Irish Music

Dramtune has been founded on irish traditional music so many irish musicians are part of our dear Dramtune Family…..the highly regarded accordionplayer Dave Munnelly and Sligo man Shane McGowan on guitar & vocals, but also the Leitrim fiddler SHANE MEEHAN and guitarist and singer JAMES DONOHUE from Galway city.
And also the singer-songwriter Brian Duffy from Westport and multi-instrumentalist David Ellis who are part of LAST NIGHT’S SEISIƚN together with Olcan Masterso, all based in Westport-town in County Mayo, in the wild and beautiful West of Ireland…..

Olcan Masterson was born in the Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland before he moved to Westport long ago, not too far from Ballycroy near Achill Island, the area where his father comes from.
Since his childhood Olcan was surrounded by traditional irish music and dance and soon he would pick up the whistle and master this instrument like few others in the country.
In the early eighties he moved to Texas for a good few years and toured most of the United States together with his whistles and flute, playing at many prestigious festivals and concerts, together with the Chieftans, Altan and many other fameous Irish groups who were touring the big Irish music-scene in the U.S.A at that time.
Being also a great and experienced ‘session-musician’, Olcan can easily mix in with other musicians not only in Irish Traditional Music but also in many other music-styles, a wonderful thing for him and also for everyone who has the pleasure to play with him………
Beside being an excellent musician Olcan also is a photographer and one of the main Guides in the West of Ireland, for photographers from all over the world, on a regular basis he hosts photo-groups and show them the natural beauty of Ireland and the best technics to catch the best shot….

Dramtune is honoured to welcome him on a regular basis here in The Hague, together with another excellent Irish musician on the accordion; Victor Alexander from Killala county Mayo.
Victor is a proper fisherman from the Northwest part of Mayo, spending his days with fishing on the majestic Atlantic Ocean on his own fishingboat and playing tunes all over Ireland and abroad……enjoying both his passions almost every day…….
He joined some wellknown Irish bands through the years but at the end he didn’t want to spent his time touring the world far away from his family and beloved Ocean, although he sometimes travels to America or even the Arab world to play gigs together with other Irish musicians like Olcan Masterson… all freedom and autonomy…..”lekker bezig”….we would say in Holland when people are doing what they love most……..

When playing in Holland, Olcan and Victor are often joined by our Dutch friend Rob Neijenhuis from Arnhem on fiddle, harp, guitar and mandolin.
Rob knows the ‘Irish Lads’ for many many years and used to live in Westport for some time in the late seventies, he is one of the few musicians in Holland who can keep up with the Irish tunes as played by Olcan and Victor……that’s why we call him ”The Beast from the East”……being from Arnhem in the East of Holland…..Rob has become a great friend and is of great value for Dramtune, with his musical skills, experience and connections in the world of music.

Dramtune has also another precious friendship and musical connection with county Mayo, but than on Achill Island.
On this big and breathtaking Island off the Atlantic coast of county Mayo, a considerable number of musicians did play in The Hague over the years, most of them live in the town of Keel, some of them being originally from Dublin.
Shay Kennedy is one of them, he runs a lovely hostel in Keel called the Rich View, it’s there where I met most of the other musicians who are now close friends and beloved musicians;

Shay Kennedy; vocals and low whistle
Alan Hughes; bouzouki
Desmond Cafferkey; whistles and flute
John Butler; Uilleann Pipes
Lisako Fukuda; fiddle
Dermot Mcguire; Uilleann pipes, bouzouki, whistles and vocals

John Butler is also a Uilleann Pipes maker here’s his website: