Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, Robbie O'Connell will be making an appearance in the University's of Maine at Presque Isle's Wieden Auditorium on Sunday, March 14 at 2 p.m.Ireland's top music magazine, Hot Press, has called O'Connell "a national treasure" and "a man blessed with an enviable turn of phrase and a gift for melody bestowed on only the few." O'Connell's performance at UMPI will include traditional Irish songs and stories.
O'Connell was born in Waterford, Ireland and grew up in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, where his parents had a small hotel, according to his website. He began to play guitar and sing when he was 13 and soon became a regular performer at the hotel's weekly folk concerts. He spent a year touring the folk clubs in England before enrolling at University College Dublin where he studied Literature and Philosophy. During school vacations, he worked as an Irish entertainer in the U.S.A.
In 1977, he joined the Clancy Brothers, with whom he has recorded three albums. Since then, O'Connell has performed both solo and as a member of a number of groups, including Moloney O'Connell & Keane; The Green Fields of America; Clancy, O'Connell & Clancy; and Aengus.
O'Connell has recorded 14 albums for such labels as RCA, Vanguard and Green Linnet and has performed on an additional seven compilation albums. Winner of the Boston Music Award as Outstanding Celtic Act, he has appeared at almost every major venue in the U.S., from New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center to the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles.
O'Connell also has played at nearly every major festival, including the Milwaukee Irish Fest, the New York Guinness Fleadh, the Skagen Festival in Denmark, and the Los Angeles Irish Fair. He has played throughout the world, in Great Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, and South America.