I grew up in Dublin but have now lived in the US for more than half my life.  First NYC and now Boston.  Nonetheless, every time I fly in over the auld sod a surge of feelings and memories come rushing back.  My mother of course.  My three brothers who stayed in Ireland (I have one living in San Francisco).  That’s right, five boys!!!  We were all angels needless to say;-) There are specific moments – my first original song, my first public performance, a million Feis Ceoils, formation of the most amazing rock band in the world that nobody ever heard of – “No Exit” My piano and composition teacher, Brian Beckett, to whom I am forever grateful for not only being my teacher but my true mentor and friend.  My time at Trinity and my four closest friends there – Ray, Ger, Finnoula, Maighread.  The hours we spent at the Stags Head talking about music music music.  Being music director for a number of Trinity Players shows.  Dublin is a different place now, thanks to the Celtic Tiger.  Our current world economy has turned the tiger into a kitten, but the Irish are resilient and everything will end up brilliant.  I am really looking forward to seeing my old friend Brian Boyd who is a journalist and is writing an Irish Times story about Berklee’s visit to Dublin this week.  Brian and I grew up together.  It is now Monday morning and we are off to set up for our weeklong Berklee in Dublin event – The Art of Improvisation.  I am privileged to be accompanied by some of the greatest musicians around – Greg Badolato, Jim Kelly, John McGann, Matt Glaser, and Michael Farquharson.

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