Profile

World renowned bodhrán player Martin O’Neill has taken the humble Irish frame drum to dizzying new heights, most recently touring with the legendary Stevie Wonder on his latest European Tour and working with musical luminaries such as Béla Fleck & The Flecktones. Over the past decade he has pushed the boundaries of bodhrán playing with his unique style and wizardry technique.

Martin has recorded on more than 50 albums, made countless TV & Radio appearances around the world and maintains a busy touring schedule in the UK, Ireland, Europe and North America.

A multi-instrumentalist, though best known for his bodhrán work, Martin has won All-Scotland, All-Britain and All-Ireland titles and is widely recognised as one of today’s leading exponents of the instrument. In 2010, he was voted ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ at the Scots Trad Music Awards.

Much in demand as an educator, Martin delivers workshops and masterclasses around the world. With a formal music education to degree level, with more than 14 years teaching experience, Martin is able to offer a great insight into the physical and technical aspects of learning the bodhrán.

Just a few of the artists Martin has worked with include Stevie Wonder, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Julie Fowlis, Danú, Fred Morrison and Treacherous Orchestra.

Press Quotes

“Bodhrán players can do star solo spots – as the much-in-demand Martin O’Neill illustrated by incorporating jazz drummer-style brush work, walking basslines and intricately rhythmic melodies into one impressive fantasia. Put O’Neill together with fiddle and accordion, though and he’s selfless, driving tunes with precision, imagination and an unfailing awareness of form.”
– Rob Adams, The Herald

“I have to make a particular note of Martin O’Neill’s astounding bodhrán playing – at times it sounded like he was playing an entire drum kit, with his spirited rhythms really breathing life into the overall sound.”

“The unparalleled Martin O’Neill on bodhrán”

“As witnessed earlier in the festival, Martin O’Neill provided the heartbeat of the set with his expressive bodhrán playing.”
– Mike Wilson, greenmanreview.com

“Is mesmerising to witness on bodhrán with his powerfully rhythmic playing”
– Debbie Koritsas, The Living Tradition

“Enthrals the audience with a melodic, talking drum-style solo.”
– John L Walters, The Guardian