Gradam Ceoil TG4
Michael Rooney – Composer of the Year
Born in London to Irish parents from Meath and Clare, she moved to Ireland when she was four and now lives in the village of Coore near Miltown Malbay. To be regarded as a great traditional musician with individual style, grace and spirit in a country which boasts of an excess of truly great and highly rated traditional musicians, is quite an accolade. Josephine Marsh is one such musician. Her joyous and fluid lightness of touch is the trademark of her accordion playing but she’s also a multi-instrumentalist, a fine fiddler, concertina and mandolin player. However it is as a composer that she is being honoured this evening, because alongside her glorious playing, she is a prolific and stylish composer of tunes, many of which have woven their way into the fabric of the Irish traditional tune repertoire. With over 80 compositions to her credit, she’s delightfully modest about her compositions which she often hears at sessions. She was recently quoted as saying ‘People mightn’t necessarily
know it’s mine and I don’t care – I’m just delighted to hear people playing my tunes’. She looks for the deepest feelings in the music and has often written tunes honouring family and friends, perhaps her best-known reel being ‘Phyllis’s Birthday’ written for her mother; this reel now features the on some 20 recordings. Musician, teacher, composer, Clare-woman, TG4 Cumadóir na Bliana 2020, JOSEPHINE MARSH.