Tommy Fitzharris, a Stradbally native, comes from a traditional Irish music family . He began playing music at the age of 7 starting on the tin whistle and progressing soon after to flute. He won the senior all Ireland title at the All Ireland Fleadh on concertina in 2009 and followed this up three years later by winning the all Ireland Senior Flute title in 2012 in Cavan . Both achievements a first for his County . Musically , Fitzharris’ influences stemmed predominantly from his father Tom who played fiddle and he also gained a wealth of traditional music insight and inspiration from fellow Stradbally native, the late fiddle player and founding member of the legendary Bridge Ceili Band, Tom Ahearne. Much of Fitzharris’ influence consisted of the vibrant records of the wonderful supergroup ‘DeDannan’ of the 1970s and 1980s and various other artists of the same ilk . These recordings were the constant soundtrack to daily life on the Fitzharris household.
Tommy is currently a music teacher at the University of Limerick’s Irish World Academy and also works with Music Generation Laois as a musician educator.
In his early twenties Tommy toured the world with the band Ciorras who were formed by bouzouki maestro and producer Donal Lunny as part of the series for TG4 ‘Lorg Lunny’ .
In high demand as performer and teacher , Tommy is a regular on the traditional Irish music festival circuit in Ireland and internationally. Of late , he has performed with some of the giants of Irish music including Frankie Gavin (fiddle) and Dermot Byrne (button accordion). He recently released the critically acclaimed flute and fiddle album ‘The Bank of Turf’ with Monaghan fiddle maestro Dónal McCague in 2018.
Tommy holds an MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance and a Graduate Diploma in Music Education from the University of Limerick.