Joe Derrane.

Joe Derrane is an American (Boston, MA, to be exact) box player of Irish parentage, who became famous through his 78 recordings, both with his teacher Jerry O'Brien and solo, in the late 1940s and early 1950, before sort of suddenly disappearing from the Irish music scene. He was then "rediscovered" in the 1990s, when he managed to make an impressive come-back playing the button box (it turns out he mainly played the piano-accordion and other keyboard instruments during the years inbetween) at the Wolf Trap Irish festival. He has recorded several albums since.
Joe has a very unique style, using mainly triplets as ornamentation. He plays a box tuned D/C#, so the D row on the outside, a system that is still occasionally found in the US but hardly elsewhere - including Ireland. Originally he played an old black Baldoni (made in Italy for the US market) box, but now has a Gaillard box with a bass end of his own design.

[Joe recently (Nov. 2000) did a workshop at the Music School in Groningen, in the very North of Holland. The pictures below were taken there. Note the Hohner box beside him, which he had to use during most of the workshop, as hardly anyone in Holland plays in D.]

Joe Derrane in Groningen 2000 #1
Joe Derrane at the Groningen Music School, November 2000.

Joe Derrane in Groningen 2000 #2
Joe Derrane at the Groningen Music School, 2000.

Joe Derrane in Groningen 2000 #3
One of the girls in the workshop trying out Joe's box.

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(Modified: Wed Jan 3 22:25 by han /