Billy McComiskey is a highly regarded player and composer of Irish traditional music. A Brooklyn native, he started studying accordion with the late Sean McGlynn from Galway in his early teens. He won the All-Ireland Senior title in 1986. He formed and played with two legendary trios: Washington DC’s Irish Tradition and the internationally acclaimed Trian. “Billy McComiskey is the finest and most influential Button Accordion box player ever to emerge from the US. In that sense, Billy’s place within the transatlantic pantheon of Irish button accordionists is both high and secure, and Outside The Box will only strengthen that judgment.” – Earle Hitchner, The Wall Street Journal/Irish Echo. He is known on both sides of the Atlantic as an indefatigable session player, teacher, and promulgator of the music. On Outside the Box, Billy’s first solo CD in almost 25 years, the listener is once again reminded why Billy is known as “the most accomplished B/C box player to emerge from Irish America” Billy is regarded as one of the world’s greatest button accordion players.
Laura Byrne’s flute playing has been described as “effortless, powerful & engaging.” Highly regarded on both sides of the Atlantic for her mastery of the Irish traditional flute & whistle. Laura Bryne is based in Baltimore, Maryland & recently won a Maryland State Arts Council award for solo performance. She has performed throughout A sought-after teacher, Laura has taught at the Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY, and at workshops across the U.S. Laura has committed herself to the playing of the older generation of flute players through countless trips to Ireland and from close study of the emigres to the United States. Her mentors and influences are many and include East Galway flute player Mike Rafferty, Sligo/Roscommon style flute player, Catherine McEvoy, Matt Molloy of Chieftain’s fame and East Galway style button accordionist Billy McComiskey. Through her direct study of this unbroken musical lineage & because of her devotion to the teaching and promulgation of all aspects of Irish musical culture, Laura is a well-known mainstay in Maryland’s vibrant Irish music scene.
Jim’s Eagan’s first trip to Ireland (1996), was to compete in the Fleadh Cheoil, the all Ireland music competition. Jim was awarded third place in the 15-18 age group category for fiddle. Soon thereafter, he began teaching privately. Jim was invited to the Augusta Heritage workshops as an instructor, and has continued each year ever since. Jim spent several years as a member of the John Whelan Band and toured Ireland, Europe, Canada, and the U.S. Currently Jim is currently performing and touring with O’Malley’s March.
Richard Osban is a dynamic guitarist based in Baltimore, Maryland. He has toured with several Irish and Scottish projects, including the Germany-based Breaking Strings, the Irish trio Loch and Keys, and acclaimed Scottish duo Jocelyn Pettit and Ellen Gira. He is also assistant director of Baltimore’s Irish music festival, the Trad Fest, and has organized and taught at high profile workshop series on both sides of the Atlantic.