O'Keeffe, Dennis


    Dennis O'Keeffe is one of the nation's leading performers of Australian traditional songs, and has been a successful song-writing teacher for over ten years. For as many years, he has led the Australian traditional song sessions at the National Folk Festival in Canberra. Dennis plays an anglo- concertina, an instrument that came to Australia during the gold-rushes of the 1850s, and was the most popular instrument in the Australian outback until the turn of the century. Regrettably, there are very few concertina players left in Australia. Dennis has been at the birth of literally hundreds of songs, having written some forty songs about Australian history, and nurtured many song-writers from their first idea through to the first public performance of their song. Twenty years of painstaking research into the origins of Waltzing Matilda, combined with his knowledge of Australian traditional songs and proven song-writing ability, gives Dennis an intimate understanding of how the song was written.<br />

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