Leonard Barry, from North Kerry, is one of Ireland’s finest uilleann pipers. He has played and taught the pipes in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia. Leonard has worked with many of Ireland’s leading singer songwriters including Luka Bloom and John Spillane.
North Kerry-born Barry got the uilleann piping bug as a teenager listening to The Bothy Band and Planxty, so naturally his early influences were Paddy Keenan and Liam O'Flynn, along with Finbar Furey. But he also went farther back in the piping tradition, to Seamus Ennis, Leo Rowsome, Willie Clancy, and Johnny Doran.
Settling in Cork as a young adult exposed him to the music of Sliabh Luachra (Johnny O'Leary, Julia Clifford, Denis Murphy), and a sojourn in Galway furthered his development. All of which enabled Barry to become a top-flight piper (good enough to work not only with a plethora of great traditional musicians but also singer-songwriters Luka Bloom and John Spillane) and a collector of some impressive tunes not necessarily found in the piping repertoire.
Christy Moore, for one, has praised Barry for the 'hop' on his regulators and the 'seductive' nature of his drones, but you don't need to know piping terminology to realize that this fellow plays with masterful control and skill.
Catch Leonard and friends when they play Matt Molloy’s Yard Bar this coming October. Doors will open at 8pm and tickets will be available on the door on the night.