Fred Gilmartin

With Scottish and Irish music influences going back to grade school, Fred has been involved in the music most of his life. “My father used to wake us up on Saturday morning with the Scottish Highland bagpipes. He played them either live or on the stereo.”

Fred first played piano in grade school. His next door neighbor was a choir director so his first professional gig was singing in the boy’s choir at Trinity Episcopal. Soon after he was old enough to start learning to play the bagpipes and was playing in the Liberty High school pipe band along with the MacLaren pipes and drums, a local bagpipe band. During high school he learned to play the guitar and spent the next 15 years playing for himself and jamming with friends at parties. In 1996 he went to his first bluegrass festival and became interested in the mandolin.

Shortly after that he bought his first mandolin and began learning Irish, Scottish, Canadian, old-time and American fiddle tunes. And along the way he picked up the Irish tenor banjo and fiddle. Playing them all gives Fred a chance to add variety to the dynamics and the “sound” of the music Piper’s Request performs.

Fred also performs regularly with the acoustic rock ensembles “the JK Trio” and “Skulldiggers,” and plays in a bluegrass band known as “Last Small Town.” There are so many crossovers between Irish and Bluegrass music, yet so many differences! Fred enjoys both styles and you'll see him on area stages for a long time to come.

You can hear more from Fred here:

Last Small Town