Tom Klein plays the uilleann pipes, often called the Irish pipes.
The uilleann (pronounced ill-en: Irish for “elbow”) pipes are the bagpipe of Ireland and one of the world’s most complex folk instruments. Incorporating a sweet, rich tone and built-in chordal and rhythmic accompaniment, the uilleann pipes possess a character and soul not found in any other instrument: at once beautiful, haunting…and appropriate for so many of life’s great moments and occasions.
Tom has played the pipes for much of his adult life. He has been instructed in the art of uilleann piping by many of today’s greatest pipers. He performs for weddings, memorials, parties and other occasions. Tom was raised playing classical music (clarinet). “I received a spontaneous conversion to folk music when I heard the first notes of Finbar Furey’s uilleann pipe playing”, Tom says. He was a member the early ‘90s group Clumsy Lovers (winner of the 1996 Minnesota Music Award for Best Traditional Music Group), as well as the groundbreaking Field Day. In these groups he played mostly whistle, guitar and didgeridoo, instruments he plays in addition to the pipes.