John Reynolds’ contribution to Irish traditional music, Comhaltas and the promotion of Irish culture North America is multifaceted and lasting. His Irish born parents encouraged him to play and initially he learned to play the fiddle with John Glynn (Roscommon – accordion) and subsequently with Galway fiddler Pete Kelly in New York. John spent hours growing up listening to Seán McGuire, Andy McGann and Paddy Reynolds recordings. A 1972 All- Ireland medal winner, John was among the ground breaking and highly committed and skilled Irish American musicians who travelled annually to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to play, further their musical experience and compete, forming friendships and connections through music and Comhaltas.
John has in turn, facilitated subsequent generations of Irish American musicians to do the same. These include his son, John Paul Reynolds (fiddle, banjo, guitar, UL music student) and daughters, Erin (fiddle, banjo, whistle, Erin Loughran School of Music), Bláithín Loughran (box, member of Girsa), Neidín Loughran (whistle, guitar, singer and songwriter).
John is a highly skilled fiddler, with notable musicality and flexibility and an innate ‘sense of the flow of the music’. This discerning talent enables him to back all types Irish songs, ballads and songs from other genres as was evident during his long association with Dublin-born ballad singer Jesse Owens.
In the late 1990s, John joined the traditional group Morning Star – where he met his wife Margie Mulvihill (Ceannródaí 2o13), a founding member of the group. Margie, John, box-player John Nolan and singer Mary Courtney performed at festivals and concerts throughout the US, recording two well received albums Gra and Away Ye Go, Now. After Morning Star, they focused on family, teaching and passing the music to future generations. They are regularly heard playing with their group The Pride of Moyvane (named after a reel written by Margie’s cousin Martin Mulvihill). The group is in demand at céilithe and festivals in the New York tri-state area, enjoyed by dancers for its lively and rhythmic percussive style, perfect for dancing. John and Margie are also regular performers on Joanie Madden’s highly popular Folk’n Irish Cruise.
John Reynolds is a household name throughout the Irish traditional music and Comhaltas community in North America and Ireland; an an unassuming leader, has worked quietly, consistently and effectively behind the scenes at Comhaltas Branch and Regional events including the Convention in North America for many years, serving as Treasurer of the Mid-Atlantic Region and Co-Chair of the Mid Atlantic Fleadh for nearly two decades. His effective communication and facilitation skills are reflective of his discerning and skilled fiddle playing and deep, broad musical knowledge; John loves to play and through his music, leadership and commitment to Comhaltas he has enriched the lives of so many in North America and Ireland.
Comhghairdeas, John, agus Ceannródaí FleadhFest 2o21 á bhronnadh ort ag Ardchomhairle Chomhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.