Flute and Tin Whistle

Kate (Wade) Dowling grew up step-dancing and playing music in an Irish-Italian neighborhood in Chicago, where maintaining one’s heritage was a way of life. She studied Irish music with Noel Rice (Co. Offaly) and dancing with Jim McGing and Mark Howard (later Trinity). A championship level dancer, Kate turned her full attention to the music after the age of 17, playing with various groups including Baltiorum, Mind-the-Gap, Quaking Bog, Field Day, Doon Céilí Band and the HiBs. Overall, Kate has been playing Irish traditional music for 30 years.

After meeting her husband Jode while playing tunes at Milwaukee Irish Fest, Kate moved to Minnesota in 1995. Through college and grad school, she kept at the music and traveled many times to Ireland, most frequently to Cork and Belfast, where she has enjoyed playing music with friends and family. Among these are her great influences Martin McHugh (Co. Rosscommon) and Fintan Vallely (Co. Armagh).

Kate is an exuberant, passionate proponent of traditional Irish music and is a sought-after music instructor. A natural teacher, she has given lessons in North America, Ireland and Germany. In 2004, she and Jode founded the Center for Irish Music (CIM) in St. Paul, MN. CIM is an independent, non-profit organization based on a community of musicians and serving whole families in the Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin.