Mick Moloney

Michael "Mick" Moloney (born November 15, 1944)[1] is a traditional Irish musician and scholar.

Mick Moloney
Background information
Born (1944-11-15) 15 November 1944
Limerick, Ireland
GenresTraditional Irish, folk
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, folklorist
InstrumentsVocals, tenor banjo, mandolin, octave mandolin, guitar
Years active1964–present
Associated actsThe Emmet Folk Group, The Johnstons, Moloney, O'Connell & Keane, Green Fields of America, The Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra

Born in Limerick, he was an important figure on the Dublin folk-song revival in the 1960s. In 1973, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He gained early fame as a member of the Irish group The Emmet Folk Group and The Johnstons but has since performed and recorded with a variety of groups and individuals, including Eugene O'Donnell and Séamus Egan, and Marie & Martin Reilly; he also worked closely with The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem.

Moloney served as the artistic director for several major arts tours, including the Green Fields of America, an ensemble of Irish musicians, singers, and dancers which toured across the U.S. on several occasions. He has produced and performed on over seventy albums and acted as advisor for scores of festivals and concerts all over America.

In 1992, Moloney received a Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. For his work in public folklore, he received a 1999 National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.[2] In 1999, he was named Best Tenor Banjo Player by Frets magazine. He has taught ethnomusicology, folklore, and Irish studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, Villanova, and New York University.

Founded in 2000 by Moloney, the Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra (WSHSO) is based at New York University and made up of musicians from the city's Irish music community. The WSHSO plays traditional Irish music, with a focus on older tunes, tunes with history, and tunes with interesting stories attached.

Moloney is the author of Far From the Shamrock Shore: The Story of Irish American History Through Song released by Crown Publications in February 2002 with an accompanying CD on Shanachie Records. He has hosted three nationally syndicated series of folk music on American Public Television; was a consultant, performer, and interviewee on the Irish Television special Bringing It All Back Home; a participant, consultant, and music arranger of the PBS documentary film Out of Ireland; and a performer on the PBS special The Irish in America: Long Journey Home.



  1. "NEA National Heritage Fellowships: Mick Moloney". www.arts.gov. National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  2. "NEA National Heritage Fellowships 1999". www.arts.gov. National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
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