Jackie Daly


“Probably the best accordionist in Ireland” - New York Times

(click here to see a copy of 'The Roadside Stage' - a song composed by Jackie Daly for Kanturk Arts Festival, 2009)

Jackie Daly Tribute Concert

Edel Quinn Hall Kanturk, Saturday March 14th, 2009

Jackie's First Concert in his Home Town

With Guests including Matt Cranitch, Paul de Grae and Con Ó Drisceoil, and a guest appearance by students from Coláiste Treasa

Jackie Daly and Mat Cranitch playing at Feile Duthalla

Jackie Daly and Matt Cranitch at Féile Duthalla 2008

The words ‘Button Accordion’ and ‘Jackie Daly’ are synonymous in the world of Irish Traditional Music. Described in the New York Times as “probably the best accordionist in Ireland”, Jackie was born in Kanturk, Co. Cork, where he grew up surrounded by the rich and diverse musical sounds of Sliabh Luachra. His mother is a singer and his father played the accordion.

Jackie began playing the accordion at the age of seven, learning many of his tunes from listening to the musicians who encouraged him to join them playing for the crossroad dances help at an open air platform on the outskirts of Kanturk - the most important was the 'Knocknacolan Stage' (below) mentioned in his song written for Kanturk Arts Festival . One of the greatest influences on his early musical development was Ballydesmond fiddle player, Jim Keeffe, a pupil of the renowned Sliabh Luachra fiddle master, Pádraig O’Keeffe. 

Knocknacolan stage

[Jackie Playing on the 'Knocknacolan Stage': Back: Jackie Daly, Pat Cashman, Seán Lynch, John Joe O’Sullivan [child - son of Bill O'Sullivan]. Front: Annie Larkin (back turned); John Joe Corkery, Paddy Moynihan, Bill O’Sullivan, Jack (‘The Bridge’) O’Connor]

Over the years, Jackie’s lifelong affinity with fiddle music resulted in two highly acclaimed albums featuring fiddle and accordion. The first was the classic recording of Sliabh Luachra music on the Geal Linn label, with Cork based musician Séamus Creagh. The second was called ‘Eavesdropper’, with Kevin Burke of Patrick Street fame. In the late seventies, Jackie became a member of De Dannan and spent almost four years with the band. This new and exciting fusion of sounds had a major impact on the world of traditional music and Jackie is widely credited with adding a new dimension to the history of Irish button accordion playing through his lively and exuberant performances at that time.


In 1984 Jackie joined with two Sligo fiddlers, brothers Seamus and Manus McGuire, and recorded the first of three Buttons and Bows albums. Again, a new sound was created in Irish traditional music and with the accompaniment of Garry O Brian. The music played by this group reflected the extensive musical travels of its members with tunes from Shetland, Scandinavia, Denmark and Quebec included in the wide-ranging repertoire of Buttons and Bows.

Jackie DalyThroughout the eighties and into the nineties, Jackie Daly has remained a central figure in some of the most dominant and best know groups playing Irish music in recent times. His performance with such illustrious bands as De Danann, Patrick Street, Buttons and Bows, Arcady, Reel Union and Kinvara all attest to the popularity and versatility of this most accomplished of musicians.  

However, it is the style and repertoire of Sliabh Luachra music that has made the most significant impression on Jackie’s accordion playing. In 1995, his second solo album – Many’s a Wild Night – was released on the Gael Linn label. This recording featured polkas, slides, jigs, reels, hornpipes and a haunting slow air from this unique mountainy area. Well know as a talented composer, a number of Jackie’s most recent compositions are also included on this album as well as tunes from the rich tradition of North and West Kerry.  

Jackie has toured worldwide and has also taught, and he continues to perform with the groups Patrick Street, Buttons and Bows, Arcady, and in the duet with fiddle player Máire O’Keeffe. Jackie has received numerous awards in recognition of his accomplishments, including an award from the Kanturk community in 1987 and a Duhallow award in 2005.

Also in 2005, Jackie was awarded the Gradam Ceoil National Music Award by TG4.





Jackie Daly, Music from Sliabh Luachra (Topic, 1976)

Many a Wild Night (Gael Linn, 1995)


Jackie Daly and Séamus Creagh (Gael Linn, 1977)

Jackie Daly and Kevin Burke, Eavesdropper (Mulligan, 1981)


De Dannan

The mist Covered Mountain

The Stare Spangled Molly

Anthem (1985)

Song for Ireland

The Best of De Dannan (Shanachie, 1984)

Patrick Street

Patrick Street 1 (1988)

No 2 Patrick Street (1988)

Irish Times (1990)

All in Good Time (1993)

Corner Boys (1995)

Buttons and Bows

Jackie Daly and Séamus and Manus McGuire (1984)

The First Month of Summer (1987)

Grace Notes (Gael Linn, 1991)


After the Ball

Jackie Daly sitting on rocks

Read more about Jackie Daly in Wikipedia ....