Kevin Conneff, The Chieftains
Kevin Conneff has played bodhrán for The Chieftains since joining the group in 1976, as a replacement for percussion legend Peadar Mercier. The Chieftains, who prior to his arrival were exclusively instrumental, received a two-for-one bonanza, Kevin’s drum and his magnificent vocal abilities.
Kevin was born in suburban of Dublin, and by the end of his teenage years he was playing the bodhran and singing in both English and Irish. He chose to emulate the old seán-nos style when singing, and his influences included Christy Moore and Paddy Tunney.
Conneff has been part of many unforgettable music moments, some of them separate from The Chieftains. To name just one example, check out his frenetic bodhrán playing on Tullochgorum, a track on the Gael Force DVD; he has to move quite nimbly to keep pace with the mad fiddle of Ashley MacIsaac.