Enda Reilly

From Dublin, Ireland to Detroit, Michigan

An Irish musician has gone from busking on Grafton Street and touring the pubs of Temple Bar in Dublin to performing at top Irish music festivals in the US. Enda Reilly moved to Detroit, Michigan with his wife in 2019.

Since then, the 42-year-old from Tallaght, who is an IMRO Christy Hennessy Songwriting Competition winner, has been able to “reinvent himself” by turning his hand to folk music and creating fresh arrangements of Irish classics.

As a singer and guitarist, Enda has his own albums including New Songs in Irish, Whorls songs created from the poetry of WB Yeats and songs about the environment. A fluent Irish speaker, or Gaeilgeoir, he most recently brought his music to Milwaukee Irish Fest alongside acts including The Coronas, Hermitage Green, Roisin O and Wallis Bird. He will perform at Pittsburgh Irish Festival and Michigan Irish Music Festival next month.

“I performed two shows in The Gaeltacht Tent at the Milwaukee Festival. I went to all Irish-speaking schools growing up so I’ve always had a connection to older songs in the Irish language. I’m also going to do a talk on Irish geology in Pittsburgh, too. I’m always thinking about something different I can bring to the Irish community in the US.

“My American wife had been living in Ireland since 1996 and we’d never thought about going to the States until another musician friend, Aoife Scott, mentioned how many great Irish festivals there are, and maybe we should consider going. One thing led to another and we decided to go for it and see what the US had in store for me.

Enda is always seeking out Irish spaces he can perform in. He sang a song on the deck of the 80-year-old USS Sullivans, dedicated to the five Irish American brothers who died in WW2, at Buffalo Naval Park, New York. He also recorded a three-part video series in the Irish Room, a medieval oratory located at the University of Pittsburgh.

Enda Reilly – YouTube

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