Patrick Ourceau was born in France, where he discovered and started to play Irish music. In 1989 he emigrated to NYC and since 2005 has been living in Toronto. Mostly self taught, Patrick’s style was influenced early on by the discovery of the music of the legendary fiddle players Paddy Canny, Bobby Casey and Paddy Fahey. Since the mid-eighties, Patrick has been regularly visiting Ireland and especially county Clare. Over the years during those trips, he has been able to play with and learn from Paddy Canny, as well as from many other local musicians, including flute and fiddle player Peter O’Loughlin. During the many years he lived in New York, Patrick often played with such great musicians as fiddle players Andy McGann and Paddy Reynolds among many others, but was particularly influenced by the style, repertoire and knowledge of Woodford, Co. Galway flute player Jack Coen.
Patrick is a member since 2003 of the trio Chulrua. Since the mid-nineties, Patrick has toured all over North America and Europe in a variety of duets, trios and bands, most notably with Ennis, Co. Clare concertina player Gearoid O’hAllmhurain, Tulla, Co. Clare accordion player Andrew Mac Namara and with the legendary Tulla Ceili band, on its last American tour.
Patrick has been featured on a host of recordings, including the 2007 Chulrua release The Singing Kettle, on Shanachie Records; Live at Mona’s in 2004 with guitarist Eamon O’Leary; on flute player Cathal McConnell’s Long Expectant Comes at Last, on Compass Records; on accordion player John Whelan’s Celtic Roots, on Narada Records; on Steve Johnson’s Lowlands, released in 2009, and on the TG4 CD and DVD release Geantrai, a compilation celebrating the first ten years of the popular traditional Irish music television program.
Patrick is in great demand as a teacher across North America and Europe. In Toronto, Patrick teaches many pupils of all ages interested in Irish Music and in learning the fiddle. He is currently involved with Toronto’s Traditional Irish Music School which he opened in 2010 with local piper Debbie Quigley. He also teaches in an Irish music after school program at St. Paul school, in downtown Toronto that was inspired by the need of the children of that part of town for enriched extracurricular opportunities, and by the historical connection of the school to Toronto’s Irish ancestry.
Since 1996, he has been part of the teaching staff at Irish Arts Week in East Durham, New York and taught for many years at Celtic College in Goderich, Canada. He has been regularly teaching the past several years at Augusta’s Irish Week in Elkins, West Virginia; at the East Coast Tionol in East Durham, New York. He taught at the Chris Langan Weekend in Toronto, Canada and at Europadanse week in Vannes, France. Patrick taught several years at Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp in San Juan Island, Washington, and has also taught at the Alaska Fiddle Camp in Chugiak, Alaska; at the St. Louis Tionol in St. Louis, Missouri; at O’Flaherty’s Retreat in Dallas, Texas; at the Armagh Piper’s Club in County Armagh, Northern Ireland; and at the Fleadh Nua in Ennis, County Clare, Ireland.
“…Soulful, stylish fiddling.”
Sally K. Sommers Smith – Irish Music Magazine
“Ourceau’s belly-deep tone bespeaks of a musician with a gloriously original voice”
Siobhan Long – The Irish Times
“He is a really marvelous fiddler, wonderful. He has such a deep knowledge of the music … He really is
extraordinary, how he deals with the sensitivity he has with the heart of a great tune”