Kelly Family – Hall of Fame 2000

CCÉ Northeast Regional Hall of Fame         Inductees:  Kelly Family –   Jimmy, Sally, Maureen & Tommy

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Jimmy Kelly :      Banjo & Fiddle     *(d. 2001),  

Sally Kelly:           Piano

Maureen Kelly:  Piano, Accordion, Piano, Stepdance    

Tommy Kelly:     Bagpipes, Drums, Tin Whistle & Saxophone

Inducted to its The Hall of Fame by
The Northeast Region of the North American Province – October 28, 2000
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The Kelly Family

Jimmy, Sally, Maureen and Tommy have been performing and recording as soloists and with the family for over two decades –  in concert halls and in Irish music clubs, for political functions, in radio broadcasts and at festivals. The family performed most recently together for the prestigious “2000 Boston College Gaelic Roots Festival.”

Jimmy Kelly (father) with grandparents from Co. Mayo and Galway on his father’s side and a grandmother from Co. Roscommon on his mother’s side, has been playing music since childhood, beginning on the violin, but especially known for his unique banjo style. Since back in the 1950s, Jimmy has played with the best musicians in orchestras and bands all over the New England Area, one of them being the Connacht Ceili Band, a Boston traditional Ceili Band that endured for over three decades. Performed widely in Ireland and in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, he also has accompanied numerous Cape Breton fiddle players over the years during their visits to Boston.

Sally Kelly (mother) whose lively piano style is attributed to her Cape Breton birth and upbringing, has accompanied the great Cape Breton fiddle players for the past forty years-such musicians a Bill Lamey, Angus Chisholm, and Jerry Holland, each a renowned fiddle player. Herself also a long time member of the Connacht Ceili Band, Sally performed at folk festivals throughout the ‘60s, such as the Newport Folk Festival in its early years.

Maureen Kelly (daughter) plays piano, piano accordion and step dances. Her accordion teacher was the great Joe Derrane.  Maureen likewise has played at numerous festivals and in the Connacht Ceili Band.   As children, she and her brother Tommy were step dance students of the renowned Josephine Moran in Boston. They performed together twice on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour-one of the early nationwide television programs (over twenty years ago), as well as appearing regularly as musicians and dancers for local television and radio broadcasts, themselves and with their parents.

Tommy Kelly (son) plays bagpipes, drums, tin whistle and saxophone. He has played and taught in the Greater Boston Pipe Band, has performed on other instruments as a soloist and with a variety of Irish bands, was drummer for years with the Connacht Ceili Band, and currently tours nationwide with John Connors’ “Irish Express”. While the family is known for their great range of music, they can be heard together on a 1981 LP recorded for Comhaltas, appropriately titled “We’re Irish Still “.
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This Page revised by Larry Tormey 2/9/2010.

Reynolds, Hanafin, Cooley Branch – Boston, MA