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date: 23 September 2020

Madden, Joanie locked

  • Stephen D. Winick


(b New York, NY, May 26, 1965). American traditional Irish musician and bandleader. Joanie Madden was born to Irish parents in the Bronx. Her father Joe, an accordion player from Galway, recognized her talents early, singling her out from among his seven children for music lessons. After trying fiddle and piano, she discovered the tin whistle. Madden lived near Jack Coen, a master flute and whistle player who became her music teacher. Not long after that, the Galway-born musician Sean McGlynn gave Madden a standard orchestral metal flute, rather than the simple-system wooden flutes common in Irish music. Madden learned the instrument, and continues to use this type of flute. She won the All-Ireland championships on flute and whistle in 1983, 25 years after her father had won on the accordion.

Also in 1983, Irish musician Mick Moloney decided to showcase the many young Irish American women who were becoming prominent in traditional music. He asked Madden to be part of the first concert, and she suggested calling it “Cherish the Ladies,” after a well-known Irish jig. Several years later, Madden transformed the group of soloists into a band, which she leads today. Madden has toured the world and appeared on more than 100 recordings, including 13 albums to date with Cherish the Ladies and one album of duets with her father. In addition, she has recorded three solo albums of tin whistle music, whose combined sales make her the best-selling tin-whistle artist in history....

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