|JACK has an extensive eclectic musical background that includes classical, baroque, Medieval & Renaissance, Latin Jazz, Middle Eastern, Andean and finally -- Irish. It wasn't until 1975 that he stumbled onto the Irish music, but it was definitely a turning point. He was able to concentrate on the Irish music when he moved to San Francisco in 1985 where he met and studied with a few great musicians from Ireland. Jack organized concertina workshops for Noel Hill and began taking lessons from him about every 6 months when Noel came to "The Plough" with fiddler James Kelly. Jack also had acquired a wooden concert flute and organized workshops for players that came through the city, (the late great Frankie Kennedy among them.) As a fixture at the Plough and Stars for so many years, he has made friends from around Ireland and taken numerous trips there to visit and play tunes with them in sessions.
After arriving in SF Jack joined a popular folk group called "Out Of The Rain", and in 1988 he and Leif Sorbye founded Tipsy House with fiddler, Scott Renfort. From about 1989 to 1998 Jack and Scott were the hosts of the Sunday night "Seisiun" at "The Plough" where they met and played with musicians from all over the world.
From 1985 until the present Jack has taught concertina & flute workshops at The Lark In The Morning summer music camp in Mendocino California. Besides Tipsy House, he also put together two other traditional Irish music groups with guitar virtuoso Junji Shirota. One was an instrumental band called Jody's Heaven, featured the remarkable and talented fiddler Dale Russ. And the other, Crónán, featured the lovely vocals of Rebecca Marculescu.
Jack still hosts Seisiuns at "The Plough" on the odd Sunday or Tuesday night, and can be found playing around the Bay Area. He also will occasionally show up as a "guest host" on KALW's, "Folkmusic & Beyond" to play selections from his vast Irish CD collection.