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Mike Dunne....

Mick At WorkBorn in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland, 1947, Mick took to playing music the way a fish takes to water.
 
At the tender age of  4 years, he began playing the accordion and was soon entering amateur competitions. In 1953 at age 7, he won the World Champion Accordion Competition held in .the Mansion House, Dublin. You would find him playing in the pubs on weekends busking for amateur singers.

As a natural progression from the accordion, he began playing keyboards at age 14. His first organ was a Hohner organ with an accordion base which eventually led to music becoming a full time career for him playing with various Irish Showbands.
 
In the early 60’s, Mick was invited to audition for The Mexicans at the Top Hat in Dunlaoghaire.  Mick stayed with this band over the next 8 years while various other fellow Bray musicians joined The Mexicansand left including Seanny Owens (bass), Franky Owens (rhythm guitar and vocal), Alan Cranny (lead guitar), Tony Kinneal (drums) and male lead vocalist Noel Dempsey. The band’s name changed to Tina and the Mexicans when the very talented female vocalist Tina Quinn joined the band. During this time they toured Ireland, England Scotland and Germany.

After the break up of two bands -Tina and the Mexicans and John Farrell and the Dreams, some members formed a new band “The Groundhogs” featuring John Farrell (vocals), Willie O’Hagen (bass), Alan Cranny (lead guitar), Tommy McKearnin (trumpet and drums), Sticky Torrins (trombone), Carl Gerathy (tenor sax, flute), Barry Williams (drums) and Mick Dunne on keyboards with 2 female backup vocals.

The GroundhogsFor a short time, in the early 70’s Mick along with Aidan Scannell (drums), Pat Morris (lead vocals), Ernie Durkin (bass, vocals), Alan Cranny (lead guitar, vocals) played as a group called Jessie.

In 1972, Mick joined the band Carnival  which toured Canada for one year.

He returned to Ireland in the 1973 and joined Stage 2  whom he stayed with for 2 years playing with such notable musicians as Joe McCarthy (drummer, comedian), Brendon O’Brien (lead vocals) – both former members of the “Dixies Showband”, Ernie Durkin (bass guitar and vocals), Alan Cranny (lead guitar and vocals), Dermot Ryan (tenor sax, baritone, flute and vocals), Mick Nolan (trumpet), and Danny Ellis (band leader, trombone and vocalist).

In 1975, a group based in Canada, called The Newcomers invited Mick to join. The Newcomers were a popular, multi-talented group of singers, comedians and musicians that presented a power packed show of music, comedy and impersonations. The group was led by a dynamic trio of Ian and Robyn Hillis, and  Noel McAtasney, and backed with other talented musicians over the years such as Willie O’Hagen (bass, keyboards, vocals), Bob Wilson (drums), Ralph Ferano (drums), Colin Laroque (lead guitar) Ray Elliott (sax and flute), Paddy Nash (drums and vocals), Frank Anderson (bass), Robert Lee (bass, fiddle), and Mick Firth (lead guitar) Mick toured with this group throughout Canada and the United States for over three years.
 Stage 2
In 1978, Mick left the band to return to Ireland to welcome the birth of his new son. While in Ireland he rejoined Stage 2 for approximately 6 months. Again he was asked to rejoin The Newcomers and this time he packed up his family and returned to make Canada his permanent home.

In 1981, Mick decided to come off the road and put down roots in Toronto with his family.  He left the Newcomers and formed a trio called Friends with Pat Morris (Vocals) and Al Weir (lead guitar and vocals). Pat Morris left and he was replaced by Smokey.. (a superb vocalist who unfortunately had to leave the band some time later due to health problems.) Noel McAtasney (formerly of the Newcomers) returned from the U.S.A. to join the group.

This group came to an end in 1984 when Noel returned to the United States and Al Weir left the group.

Mick then formed a duo with Ray Clifford from Dublin Ireland who was staying only in Canada for a short time. They called themselves Cliffdunn.
 
Mick made contact with Ian and Robyn (The Newcomers) who had just returned from an Australian tour in 1985 and inquired whether they would be interested in forming a trio. – This power packed trio has stayed together and is still going strong and attracting  audiences of all ages to this very day.
 
In addition to playing with the group, Mick is kept busy, composing musical arrangements and recording a number of CD’s including  The Newcomers – “From A Distance”, Aidan Scannell – “Walking Beside Him”, track – Mother Mary, in “Keeping the Faith Alive”, Willie OHagen – “Tenderly”and an original instrumental CD for Guy Quigley –“Mountains in the Sky”.