John O’Hara


John O’Hara is a lifelong musician and multi-instrumentalist who has performed everything from classical to jazz, and from rock to folk to salsa.

Growing up in New York with both Irish and Mexican roots, John was an All-Eastern wind player, classical guitarist, and founding member of the Long Island Recorder Society. While a student of language, linguistics and anthropology, he also pursued music studies at State University of New York, Harvard University, the Camerata School of New England Conservatory, and Indiana University School of Music.

It was as a doctoral candidate at the Indiana Folklore Institute that John’s interest turned to roots music traditions and Irish Traditional Music. Since then he has been learning, playing and supporting Irish trad in New York, San Diego and Southern California with a focus on whistle, guitar and concertina. For many years he was also the principal moderator of the Chiff and Fipple online music forum.

As a student of ethnomusicology, John remains fascinated by the social dynamics of traditional music performance both in Ireland and in the diaspora abroad. And as a teacher, he believes in engaging mind, heart and body in the pursuit of musical excellence.