14" Bodhrán
Albert Alfonso, Dallas, TX
The traditional frame drum of Ireland, known as the bodhrán, has become an increasingly popular instrument in Irish music, and of late has crossed over into other musical forms as well. Though it was originally a ritual instrument, rudimentary forms of the bodhrán were appearing on recordings of traditional Irish dance music as early as the mid-1920s.

By the early 1960s, Sean O’Riada, who led the pioneering Ceoltoiri Chualann (later to metamorphose into the Chieftains), was utilizing the bodhrán as a less jarring alternative to the ceili-band-style trap drums then in vogue. The Chieftains opened the floodgates, and before long, the bodhrán was entrenched in Irish music.
-Myron Bretholz, “musicHound folk, The Essential Album Guide”

My bodhráns are all very special to me. I have had the great fortune of meeting and befriending some of the best craftsmen in the world over the past 20 years. The bodhrán I am seen playing most often (and my favorite) is a fine instrument made for me by my good friend, Albert Alfonso. It is made of a 14” birch-ply shell, and the goatskin head is one of Albert’s finest. The brass tuning ring is probably most responsible for its clear, deep sound. The color is Albert’s signature deep red. I also own a wonderful 12” drum with a natural finish (that I had to beg Albert to let me have!). I have owned many of his drums over the years. They are my drum of preference.

Mark Stone


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