Cover photo for Dennis Cahill's Obituary
Dennis Cahill Profile Photo
1954 Dennis 2022

Dennis Cahill

June 16, 1954 — June 20, 2022

Tributes are pouring in following news of the death on June 20, 2022 of Dennis Cahill, one of the most acclaimed guitarists in traditional Irish music.

"His unique guitar playing had a huge impact on the Irish music tradition; he has left a beautiful catalogue of music behind him," says Minister Catherine Martin. President Michael D Higgins said "it is with great sadness that those with a love of traditional Irish music across Ireland, his native Chicago and around the world will have heard of the death of Dennis Cahill.”

Dennis Cahill, whose parents were from Co.Kerry, Ireland was born on Bloomsday, June 16,1954 in Chicago. He started learning guitar at nine years of age, eventually studying at the Chicago Music College. He was regarded as one of the most respected and innovative guitar players in the world of traditional Irish music, developing his own unique style of playing and performing his music around the world. He was probably best known for his musical partnership with fiddler Martin Hayes. The two played as a duo and also as part of the Irish traditional supergroup The Gloaming.

Dennis and Martin collaborated or played with artists including Sting, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, Grammy-winning bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, newgrass artists Darol Anger and Mike Marshall, and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Together they played in venues in Australia, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Holland, India, Scandinavia, Canada, the U.K., and Ireland as well as stops in Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China, Poland, and Mexico. In 2011 they were the featured performers at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama, the Vice-President, and the President of Ireland. With The Gloaming, they performed in Brussels in 2013 to celebrate Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union, and in 2014 at London's Royal Albert Hall for the historic first state visit by the Irish President.

A statement posted by musician Jimmy Keane shared the news "Dennis passed away peacefully on Monday evening, with his beloved wife, Mary, by his side as she has been throughout his journey" 

"Just moments before — we were comforting Dennis while The Lament for Limerick from Dennis’ album with Martin was on in the background — and as the track advanced to My Love is in America, Mary turned off the player, leaned over to hug and kiss Dennis one last time – and then he was gone." the statement continues. "Play a tune today. Sing a song. Tell a corny joke. Sip a whiskey. Cherish a memory… My loving condolences to Mary, Cliodhna, the Cahill family, and all of Dennis’ many friends… Love you Dennis and rest gently in peace…"

Services to be announced.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.


Arrangements entrusted to Chicagoland Cremation Options of Schiller Park, IL

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