Bill Ochs, 1946-2016
The Irish music world was saddened to learn that Bill Ochs passed away on October 5, 2016. There will be a memorial celebration for Bill on April 22, 2017, at 1:30pm at All Souls Unitarian Church in Manhattan (79th & Lexington Ave.). All friends are welcome.
ABOUT BILL OCHS
Bill Ochs has been called a "central figure in the renaissance of the tin whistle" by National Public Radio's All Things Considered and "the leading tin whistle teacher in North America" by New York's Irish Voice newspaper. He has devoted over thirty-five years to playing and teaching the instrument.
Ochs is author of The Clarke Tin Whistle handbook, now in its twenty-first printing with over 250,000 copies in print. He is producer of Micho Russell's Ireland's Whistling Ambassador, and co-producer of Cathal McConnell's Long Expectant Comes At Last, both of which were nominated for "Best Celtic Album of the Year" in the NAIRD Indie Awards. Ochs's most recent project is a double-CD of unreleased and out-of-print recordings of Micho Russell titled Rarities & Old Favorites 19491993: Tin Whistle, Flute & Songs from North Clare and Beyond.
Playing with S. African kwela master Rob't. Sithole at 1993 Clarke Festival
(Photo by Elizabeth Ikin; courtesy Malachite Film & TV)
Ochs also plays the Irish uilleann pipes, which he learned from master pipers Andy Conroy, Pat Mitchell and Tom Standeven in Ireland and the U.S. Ochs's piping studies in Ireland were supported by a 1976 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His piping and tin whistle playing can be heard on the Rounder CD Light Through The Leaves.
Ochs's performing credits include playing for José Quintero's Broadway production of A Touch of the Poet, Pilobolus Dance Company's Broadway début, the soundtrack for Bob Rafelson's film Mountains of the Moon and the première of Wind by Eiko and Koma at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. He was also piper in the original touring lineup of The Green Fields of America, which included Liz Carroll, Jack and Charlie Coen, Michael Flatley, Sean McGlynn and Mick Moloney.
Ochs has written on Irish music for New York Magazine, Sing Out, The Pipers' Review and other publications. He is currently writing a book on the music of Micho Russell. Ochs lives in New York City where he teaches uilleann pipes, tin whistle, and Irish flute at The Irish Arts Center, at his own studio, and over the internet via Skype.