An unexpected happy hour stop at the Camel led me to some excellent Irish music, where The Jolly Beggars played for an intimate crowd and brought a collection of fun, upbeat Irish songs for everyone to enjoy. I was greatly impressed by their vocal harmonies and their multi-instrument use.Richmond Playlist, Richmond, VA
- Jeff Desrosier – vocals, mandolin, guitar
- Chris Vece — vocals, whistles
- Dave Uhl — vocals, bass
- Greg Wilfrid — vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin
The Jolly Beggars bring the rich tradition of Celtic folk music and storytelling to modern day audiences. Based out of Connecticut, their traditional songs and musical arrangements have exposed many to the joys of Celtic music. They tell stories from Irish folklore and intersperse their musical arrangements with traditional reels and jigs. Characterized by their tight harmonies and use of guitars, mandolin, tin whistles, octave mandolin, mandola, tenor banjo, double bass, bodhran, spoons, and more, The Jolly Beggars have quickly built a solid following and continue to spread their music around the east coast. All four are graduates of the Hart School of Music, educators with gigs teaching music, and musicians performing whenever they can.
The Jolly Beggars… have adopted the legacy of Irish folk music and carried on that tradition successfully as the first decade of the 21st century transitions to the next. They possess an exuberant enthusiasm, a winning charm, and above all outstanding musical chops, all of which enables them both vocally and instrumentally to share their delight in all aspects of this old-time music with a contemporary audience of all ages. They are a joy to listen to and are vastly entertaining.Nick Noble, host of THE FOLK REVIVAL on WICN 90.5, Worcester Public Radio
Jeff grew up in Wethersfield, CT and has been listening to Celtic music since his earliest memories. Born into a family with a rich musical background, his musical skills were always encouraged by his parents, sister, and grandparents. Jeff has degrees from the Hartt School in Music Education and French horn performance; he currently teaches middle school band in Fairfield, Connecticut. Jeff performs exclusively on his C.F. Martin guitar and Eastman mandolin.
David was born and raised in Huntington, New York, and currently lives in Hamden, Connecticut. He holds a B.M. from the Hartt School of Music in Double Bass performance. He comes from a musical family, and was surrounded by music of all styles from an early age. He is a freelance bassist and teacher at many different schools and workshops throughout Connecticut. He plays a bass from Kolstein’s in Baldwin, NY.
Christopher grew up in North Haven, CT and is currently living in Middletown. Christopher did not come from a family of musical geniuses but one that always nurtured his love for music. He began playing trumpet in 4th grade and continued to do so through college. Along the way, many instruments were picked up and loved much more than the trumpet, including the penny whistle. Christopher has two degrees from the Hartt School in Music Education and is currently teaching music in Wallingford Public Schools. Christopher plays Burke tin whistles.
Greg, currently liveing in Wethersfield, CT, began taking piano lessons in kindergarten to follow in his sister’s footsteps and eventually started studying jazz piano in middle school. While in high school, he taught himself guitar, bass, and drums, and currently holds a Bachelors and Masters of Music in Music Education from the Hartt School of Music. He teaches General Music, Choir, and Jazz Band at Toffolon Elementary in Plainville, CT, directs the Plainville Choral Society, and presents workshops at Music Education workshops at the collegiate, state, regional, and national levels. Greg plays a Breedlove acoustic guitar, a Vega tenor banjo, and whichever instruments Jeff lets him touch.