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Tom Rota

Uilleann Pipes

MA in Traditional Irish Dance Music - University of Limerick, Ireland


Tom is originally from New Milford, NJ where he began playing bluegrass music on the 5-string banjo at the age of 12. He later developed an interest in acoustic and electric guitar and was involved in several rock and roll bands. Tom came back to the banjo in 1990 and was fortunate to study with legendary banjo master Tony Trischka for several years.


In 1993, Tom started working for an Irish music record label and his obsession with Irish dance music and the uilleann pipes began. Having received his first "practice set" as a Christmas bonus, he began studying the pipes in 1995 under the tutelage of famed piper and teacher Bill Ochs in New York City.

Tom studied with Bill consistently for the next 4 years and eventually moved to Maine in 1998 where he began to perform Irish music for the first time.


Tom is a staple of the Sunday afternoon session at Brian Boru in Portland and has been performing there for over 7 years.


In 2001/2002, Tom attended the University of Limerick in Ireland and earned an MA in Traditional Irish Dance Music. He currently lives in Portland, ME, teaches uillean pipes and banjo, plays gigs whenever he can, and works a boring day job.


Tom's interview with the Portland Press Herald 12/05