Tony DeMarcoTony DeMarco: Irish fiddler. If that sounds slightly off, you have only to listen to his music to be cured of any preconceptions about the importance of ethnic purity in traditional music. A Brooklyn native of Irish and Italian decent, he is among the worlds leading exponents of the sophisticated County Sligo style of Irish fiddling, and is regarded as one of America’s finest folk fiddlers.
In the early 1970’s, following a musical apprenticeship in American folk fiddling, Tony immersed himself in Sligo fiddling. His playing has all the great characteristics; swinging rhythmic drive, a wealth of bowed and finger ornamentation, and a high degree of improvised melodic variation. In addition to intensively studying the old 78’s, Tony absorbed tunes and techniques from leading Sligo style fiddlers in both the U.S. and Ireland. Paddy Reynolds, a County Longford-born New York fiddler and a protege of the late Sligo fiddle great James “Lad” Obeirne, was a major influence on Tony’s music, He also learned a great deal from playing with and listening to the late Martyn Wynn, John Vesey and Johnny McGreevy.
Tony has performed and recorded with many traditional and modern players and bands, including The Flying Cloud, Black 47, Celtic Thunder, Wishbone Ash, and the Kips Bay Ceili Band, and has appeared on various compilations on Rounder Records. Tony has performed for The Smithsonian Institute’s Folklife Festival, the Boston College Fiddle Festival, the Chicago Folk Fest, Sligo Live Fest, Return to Camden Fest and Ennis Trad Fest, to name a few, and co-authored a fiddle tutor 'A Trip To Sligo'
"It's hard to imagine an Irish traditional music scene in New York city without Tony Demarco." Mick Moloney, Irish Studies, NYU