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Gradam Ceoil TG4

Steve Cooney – Composer of the Year


Steve Cooney’s understanding of the melodies of Ireland runs far deeper than just providing accompaniment for the tune. His connections with his Aboriginal culture and his ancestral links with Tipperary, Cavan and Galway, luckily for us, merged together in West Kerry. His unique love of the rhythm of Kerry’s music mixed with his melodic and rhythmic vocabulary provided a type of accompaniment that had never been heard before on guitar in Irish Traditional Music. Behind his driving rhythm and backbeat strumming he provides such beautiful depth and colour for the slow airs and songs of Ireland. From playing bass with Chuck Berry to his ever popular recordings with Seamus Begley, there is a reason why Steve has been involved in more than 250 CDs, whether it be as a musician, producer or engineer. One of Steve’s goals was to release a solo CD of Irish Harp tunes and in 2020 he provided us with Ceol Ársa Cláirsí: Tunes of the Irish Harpers for Solo Guitar. This was a celebration of Steve’s arrangement and composition abilities mixed with his love of Irish melodies and the Irish language. Gradam Ceoil recognises people not only for their musical ability but what people do for the music and song of Ireland and how they carry on a tradition while still being very passionate about their roots. Luckily for us, Steve chose Ireland to plant his feet and entertain us with his musical genius.