I learned a tune yesterday!
"What," I hear you think, "don't you do that every day, or at least every week?"
In fact, sadly, no. I rarely take time to learn tunes for the fun of it. What a shame!
Oona Grady grew up in the rich musical community of Ithaca, NY, and has been been listening to and playing music as long as she can remember. She began her musical studies on violin with Jan Butler and Kirsten Marshall at the Suzuki school Ithaca Talent Education, and soon after added Irish fiddle lessons with Ed McGowan.
As a teenager she gradually shifted her focus from classical to Irish music when she began traveling to New York City, where she won the regional Fleadh Cheoil, and to Ireland to compete in the final Fleadh (the Fleadh is colloquially known as the All Ireland, a highly respected Irish music competition and festival). Back at home, her musical experiences were expanded by regularly attending world class music events in her own back yard-- such as the Fingerlakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance, where she began performing with her cousin, flutist Marie De Mott Grady, in various Irish music ensembles.
At eighteen, she decided to pursue a "Diploma in Irish Traditional Music" at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland. While attending UCC she received the Donal “Doc” Gleeson Award for performance excellence, made many long lasting musical friendships, and traveled to Spain and the Isle of Man to perform with the UCC Irish Traditional Music Society (of which she was an active committee member). She graduated with honors from UCC with a Diploma in Irish Traditional Music ('05) and a Bachelor of Music ('08).
She returned home to Ithaca in 2009 and began performing regularly in the region with her Irish band The Grady Girls. While back in Ithaca, she was inspired and encouraged by many local musicians to branch out into playing other types of music on the fiddle (especially Old Time and Cajun) and also began playing the upright bass. These new musical adventures lead to many performance opportunities, band formations, and recording projects, including playing with: The Evil City String Band, Home Remedy, the Bouvin Lovers, and Luke G & the Candyhearts.
Since relocating to Saratoga Springs, NY, in 2015, she has made fast friends with many in the thriving local music scene. She has added electric bass to her repertoire, is in demand as a session musician and creative collaborator, and performs regularly with James Gascoyne as their duo Drank The Gold. In addition to her playing schedule, Oona runs a busy violin/viola/fiddle lesson studio.