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With a history stretching out over more than half a century, The Chieftains were the foremost figures in Irish folk, having done more than any other artist to bring international renown to traditional Irish music, while also expanding it by collaborations with a broad array of artists. The group was formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1962, led by piper Paddy Moloney, previously a member of Ceoltoiri Chualann. The lineup on the band's self-titled 1964 debut album also featured fiddler Martin Fay, tin whistler Sean Potts, flautist Michael Tubridy, and David Fallon on bodhran. By the mid '70s, after a string of strong albums, The Chieftains had become successful not only at home but in America as well, aided in part in the latter by the popularity of their soundtrack music for Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon. By this time harpist Derek Bell and fiddler Sean Keane had become a part of the group. By the '80s, The Chieftains began what would be a long tradition of collaborative projects, working with artists from widely varying backgrounds-1987's In Ireland with legendary classical flautist James Galway and the following year's Irish Heartbeat album with Van Morrison were among the group's early...

With a history stretching out over more than half a century, The Chieftains were the foremost figures in Irish folk, having done more than any other artist to bring international renown to traditional Irish music, while also expanding it by collaborations with a broad array of artists. The group was formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1962, led by piper Paddy Moloney, previously a member of Ceoltoiri Chualann. The lineup on the band's self-titled 1964 debut album also featured fiddler Martin Fay, tin whistler Sean Potts, flautist Michael Tubridy, and David Fallon on bodhran. By the mid '70s, after a string of strong albums, The Chieftains had become successful not only at home but in America as well, aided in part in the latter by the popularity of their soundtrack music for Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon. By this time harpist Derek Bell and fiddler Sean Keane had become a part of the group. By the '80s, The Chieftains began what would be a long tradition of collaborative projects, working with artists from widely varying backgrounds-1987's In Ireland with legendary classical flautist James Galway and the following year's Irish Heartbeat album with Van Morrison were among the group's early collaborative releases. They would go on to record with Roger Daltrey, Ry Cooder, and many others. On albums like 1991's The Bells of Dublin and 2012's 50th anniversary album Voice of Ages, they play with a different artist on every track, from Bon Iver to Elvis Costello. The Chieftains' influence even extended to China, where they were invited to perform at the Great Wall along with the Chinese Broadcasting Art Group in 1983. Though Moloney was the only remaining original member, the other Chieftains in the 21st century lineup of the band, including Keane, flautist Matt Molloy, and bodhran player Kevin Conneff, had all been on board for decades.

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