Derek Bell – Irish Folk Musician

This week on From the Vault, KPFA producer Padraigin McGillicuddy mixes interview and music to showcase Derek Bell, one of the great Irish folk musicians, in this 1979 program, The Harp That Once through Tara’s Halls: Derek Bell, the Man and the Music. Bell, a virtuoso of the Celtic harp, also played and composed for the piano, oboe, English horn, and hammered dulcimer. From child prodigy to principal harpist of the Northern Ireland Orchestra, this member of the Irish band The Chieftains worked tirelessly throughout his life to reclaim the traditions of Irish music, earning respect from artists across all genres. Bell was recognized for his efforts in 2000 by Queen Elizabeth II, who extended him membership into the Order of the British Empire.

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