Irish-American musician Dennis Cahill, one of the leading guitarists in the Irish traditional music scene, died on Monday June 20, 2022 after a long illness. He was 68 years old.
Cahill was best known for his longtime partnership with Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, with whom he toured the world and recorded three albums of Celtic music on Green Linnet Records. Cahill’s style of guitar accompaniment was considered revolutionary in Irish music.
Along with Hayes, Cahill was also a founding member of The Gloaming, a superb Irish-American band that won Ireland’s influential Meteor Award.
“Dennis has been a very big part of my life for the past thirty-five years“, Hayes said today.”As a musician and as a friend, I will miss him terribly. His beautiful musical ideas will resonate far into the future and his friendship will live on in my heart. He marked my life and widened my musical horizon. I was lucky to know him, to have had him as a friend, and to have had the privilege of making music with him for so many years..”
Irish President Higgins paid tribute to Cahill today saying: “It is with great sadness that those who love traditional Irish music across Ireland, his native Chicago and around the world will have learned of the passing of Dennis Cahill. Dennis brought a unique and innovative style to his guitar playing, while being deeply respectful of the essence of traditional Irish music. He and Martin Hayes explored new musical territory and helped create a phenomenal interest in traditional music among a new generation of people, both in Ireland and around the world..”
Cahill is survived by his wife, Mary Joyce, and stepdaughter Clionadh.
(main image: Dennis Cahill – Photo by Derek Speirs)
Learn more about Denis Cahill
Author: World Music Central News Department
World Music News from the Editors of World Music Central