Brendan Mulvihill's roots in Irish music run deep but his style is uniquely his own.
Though inspired by many traditional Irish musicians, Brendan also developed a passion for classical music. This influence can be heard most clearly perhaps in his playing of the baroque music of Turlough O'Carolan. The final distinctive result of Brendan’s many influences was best summed up by a quote printed by the Washington Irish Folk Festival, "It's often said that the difference between a fiddle and a violin lies not in the instrument but in the player. If that's the case, then Brendan is not the player one should look to when trying to draw such distinctions. Here is a man whose heritage, background and training epitomize that of the fiddler, but whose full, firm tone, exquisite bow work and subtle, sensitive musicianship bear all the hallmarks of the classical violinist."
Brendan emigrated to New York with his family in 1965. In the ‘70s he traveled to Ireland playing throughout the country with his contemporaries and building a huge repertoire of tunes. During this time, he won the All Ireland Fiddle Championship. Later, he moved to Birmingham where he played in céilidh bands and with the many Irish musicians who had also settled in the English Midlands. In 1975, Brendan returned to New York, where he soon began playing with accordion player Billy McComiskey and singer/guitarist Andy O'Brien. The three eventually made their way to Washington, DC, ostensibly for a week-long gig in The Dubliner pub as The Irish Tradition. The week turned into several years, and The Irish Tradition became a seminal influence in traditional music, helping to establish it as a permanent and integral part of Washington's musical fabric. During this same time period, Billy and Brendan traveled back to Ireland to win the All Ireland Fiddle/Accordion Duet Championship.
After recording several albums, the Irish Tradition disbanded. Brendan remained in the Washington, DC/Baltimore area, using the region as a home base for his travels. The Washington Irish Folk Festival published the following about Brendan’s current playing style, "The raw, unbridled energy of his youth has given way to a seasoned, sophisticated and mature immersion in an art form in which each individual note can speak volumes." \
He has unparalleled knowledge of the music, the history of the music and the people who carried the tradition forward over the past several decades. He played with many of them and learned tunes handed down by them. In 2005 and 2018, Brendan received Maryland Traditions Folk Arts and Culture Apprenticeship Award for teaching traditional Irish music. Brendan was inducted into the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Mid-Atlantic Region Hall of Fame in 2008.
Brendan published his first tune book with a learning CD in 2013, Brendan Mulvihill’s Irish Scroll Volume One; it contains 93 tunes, mostly traditional tas well as a few of his own compositions.
His new CD, The Journey, produced in May 2018, is recorded from live concerts with no editing, allowing a rare opportunity to hear Brendan as a solo musician.