Sharon Shannon Biography

Sharon Shannon

Sharon Shannon is a musician who likes to surprise. While she is known for her arrangements of traditional Irish tunes and Irish-influenced compositions, she has always been eager to explore new styles, and to meet and work with other musicians. The accordionist from Ireland has achieved legendary status throughout the world and has made the much-maligned accordion ‘cool’ in her home country. Renowned for her collaborations, not just in Irish traditional music, but through all musical genres, Hip-Hop, Cajun, Country, Classical and Rap.

Sharon has recorded and toured with a who’s who of the Irish and Global Music Industry, including Bono, Adam Clayton, Sinead O’Connor, Jackson Browne, John Prine, Steve Earle, The RTE Concert Orchestra, The Chieftains, The Waterboys, Willie Nelson, Nigel Kennedy, Alison Krauss and Shane MacGowan - a list that is testament to Sharon’s versatility as well as talent. While crossing–over into many genres of music, Sharon style is uniquely traditional Irish and she has been hugely influential in promoting Irish music not only in her own country but in the USA where she has collabrated with John Prine and Steve Earle/ Canada with Natalie Mc Master/ Japan with the Kodo Drummers/ Malawi with Umoza Children of Mzuzu. Sharon came from a traditional music household based in the cultural hinterland of Co Clare- an area steeped in musical tradition. Sharons accordion style is uniquely based on the traditional fiddle playing of Tommy Peoples. All her musical life she has spent ‘bringing the traditional music of Ireland to the world”

She has entertained US Presidents Clinton at the White House and Obama in Dublin and Irish Presidents Robinson and MacAleese on presidential visits to Poland and Australia respectively. She recently accompanied Irish president Michael D. Higgins on his official tour of China. She has a personal relationship with the President and also performed at his inauguration in Dublin Castle.

The genre-defying star has had multi-platinum album sales and has had several number one albums, singles and DVDs in her home country. Her album Galway Girl went 4 times platinum in Ireland with the title track winning her the Meteor award two years running for the most downloaded song. Among the many awards she has received including Hot Press and Meteor Awards. She also celebrates being the youngest ever recipient of the Meteor Lifetime Achievement Award. She also received an IBAM Award in Chicago in 2015 for her ‘unique contribution to irish Music’ Other recipients were Darina Allen and actor Liam Neeson.

Her music has been featured in several Hollywood movies and she also played a cameo role in the Neil Jordan movie ‘Ondine’. She has worked on a stage producton of JM Synges ‘ The Playboy of the Western World’ which was directed by Jim Sheridan.

A prolific composer, Sharon continues to defy genres and in 2012 released an album of original Irish music recorded with the RTE Concert Orchestra called Flying Circus. This is again a milestone, in that she is the first Irish artiste to have composed and recorded an album of orignal and newly composed Irish traditional music with a full Concert Orchestra.

She has produced and co-wrote an album for the High Kings in 2013.

Sharon regularily performs on tour and at festivals in Ireland, UK, France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand and North America.

Sharon released her new album Sacred Earth in March 2017.

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