Some thoughts about Joe Dady’s passing

20 May

joe-dadyThe Rochester Irish music scene suffered a devastating loss on Saturday with the passing of Joe Dady.

I had the pleasure and honor to call Joe Dady a friend. Our history began more than 20 years ago. Like many, my husband Jack and I knew of the Dady brothers from their frequent appearances around town and their reputation as one of Rochester’s top Irish duos. But we really got to know Joe and his brother John when we worked together creating the original Rochester Irish Festival in the mid-1990s, and worked side-by-side for several years to pull the annual festival together. Joe played a leadership role in that effort, because he was passionate about performing Irish music, and his desire to share it with as many people as possible.

Joe Dady was an inspiration, and I don’t use that word lightly. Back in the days of the Irish Festival, as at any performance the Dady Brothers played, when Joe took the stage and started playing his fiddle, everyone stopped to listen. One of those fans was my young son Sean, then only 5 years old.

I often tell the story about how little Sean would stand at the edge of the stage, looking up at Joe Dady as he performed, fascinated by what he was seeing. It was the beginning of a lifelong passion for Irish music and Irish fiddling.

As Sean grew, he would listen to Dady Brothers’ cassette tapes so often he would wear them out. When it came time to choose an instrument at school, naturally he chose the violin — the fiddle — because he wanted to play like Joe Dady.

Sean is now a music teacher, professional musician, and outstanding fiddler. I firmly believe Joe Dady’s influence helped create the incredible young man he is today.

Until a few years ago, the Dady Brothers would regularly play at Barry’s Old School Irish. We would always make sure to stop by when they did, to reconnect and watch our old friends perform. It was always a nice evening, but one stands out among them all.

It was a little more than five years ago when John and Joe were playing for the first time at the pub. Joe at this point knew very well that Sean had become an accomplished fiddle player. At the beginning of their second set, he called Sean up to the microphone and handed him his own fiddle. For 20 minutes, Sean joined the Dady Brothers for a handful of traditional fiddle tunes and Dady Brothers standards, playing side-by-side with the man who inspired his musical career. (You can see video from that evening here.)

It was a magical evening and one I will never forget. Thank you, Joe Dady, for everything.

Click here to read the D&C story about Joe’s passing.

joe and sean

Joe Dady playing with my son Sean at Barry’s Old School Irish. Click here to see video.

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6 Responses to “Some thoughts about Joe Dady’s passing”

  1. Madeline Edmunds May 20, 2019 at 11:17 am #

    Beautiful tribute, Missy. The world has lost a great man, and he will be missed. Joe’s legend will live on in the people he inspired…including Sean. We were at Barry’s that night.

    From the desk of Madeline C. Edmunds


    • websterontheweb May 20, 2019 at 11:27 am #

      You are so right. Thank you so much for adding your thoughts.

  2. Karen Siegelman May 20, 2019 at 3:42 pm #

    I loved your family’s memory of a very special time with the Dady brothers. I have been a fan of theirs for decades, always delighted with their rendition of my favorite Irish songs! My fondest Webster memory is having them perform at my going away party at the Irish Rover about 7 years ago. I remember my wonderful friend, Carol Klem, who arranged the party, called me up a day or two before the gathering to inform me that somehow, some way, the Dady Brothers would be providing the entertainment. (I know with Carol’s powers of persuasion she was responsible!) The Dadys certainly kicked the party up a notch or two…or three. Carol and I and many of the partygoers so enjoyed trying our hand at an Irish jig or two!

  3. Pat Sweetland May 20, 2019 at 5:53 pm #

    Sorry for your loss!

  4. Larry Kilbury May 21, 2019 at 6:47 am #

    Thank you for your informative blog about Joe Dady and Sean. I enjoyed reading it.

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