CRAN are a unique group in the Irish folk-music world with their highly-individualistic approach and a bewildering array of styles and repertoire. 

Each member of the trio already had international reputations in their own fields before the band was formed.  Desi Wilkinson had become a major force in the field of Irish flute-playing, both at home and abroad;  Sean Corcoran was known internationally as one of the leading singers in the Hiberno-English and Gaelic traditions and also as a researcher and teacher;  Ronan Browne had not only carved out a name for himself as one of the leading lights among the younger generation of uilleann pipers but he was already giving master-classes in Europe and the U.S.A.

“One of the finest pipers of his generation.  An innovator who has developed his own unique style.”

                                                        – Irish Times.

Since Ronan took up the uilleann pipes in 1972, he has soaked up the music of the old Masters of Irish Music, Willie Clancy, Seamus Ennis, Johnny Doran, Tommy Potts and Denis Murphy. 

He straddles that difficult divide between pure traditional music and the modern world, ranging from solo work and writing for film & television, his celebrated duo with Peter O'Loughlin, through playing with CRAN, on to his work as the original piper with both the Afro Celt Sound System and Riverdance.

Discography :

The South West Wind - Claddagh,1988

The Drones & the Chanters - Claddagh, 1994

Riverdance - Celtic Heartbeat, 1994

Afro Celt Sound System I - Real World, 1996

Afro Celt Sound System II - Real World, 1999

The Wynd you know - Claddagh, 2001

Touch me if You dare - Claddagh, 2002

Piper’s Choice Vol 1 - NPU, 2007

Ronan Browne uilleann pipes, flute, vocals

“Dazzling display of virtuosity and quirky genius”

                                                                – In Dublin

Desi plays concert flute (fiddle, and 'sometimes' clarinet) and is a fine singer to boot.

An experienced, well travelled and popular performer with eclectic musical interests, he also contributes articles to academic books and journals.  He currently lectures at ICMUS at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.  

His wish is to be relatively healthy, try to do some good, have a good time and to be always able to enjoy music and to play and sing honestly and well - that's about all.


Cosa gan bhroga - Gael Linn, 1986

The Three Piece Flute - Spring, 1987

Hent St Jakez - Shamrock, 1993

Shady Woods - Deas01, 2001

Sounds from the North - Liekedeler, 2001

Visit Desi’s site

Desi Wilkinson flutes, whistle & vocals    

“His highly-ornate vocal technique is the true voice of the Irish folk.”    –– WASHINGTON POST

Seán is a vastly experienced performer who has appeared in major festivals and theatre circuits throughout Europe, North America and Japan.  He is a song collector, bouzouki player, ethnomusicologist, a general wit and cultured man-about-town. 

Seán's extensive field work has drawn CRAN towards previously unrecorded songs and his deep interest in the great collectors has provided numerous songs from the pre-recording era.  

He recently re-formed his cult a capella group Pressgang and they are holding celebrated concerts.


The Press Gang - 1982

Sailing through Walpole’s Marsh - Green Linnet, 1978

Seán Corcoran bouzouki & vocals    




More pics of CRAN here!

CRAN's concert performances are a dazzling display of technical virtuosity combined with fun and humour, banter and stories.  The core of their repertoire is their native Irish material - bubbling dance music or haunting slow airs on flute and pipes, and vocals ranging from the highly-ornamented sean-nós songs of Conamara to the rollicking port a'bhéil or mouth music of Donegal.  Their Hiberno-English song repertoire (songs from Ireland in English) covers the entire gamut from the old story-telling "long ballads" to lively comic songs of "pure divilment and rascality".  They also include material from the related Scots-Gaelic tradition and from the other Atlantic Celts, the Bretons.

Discography :

CRAN have released 5 CDs to date:

The Crooked Stair


Black Black Black


Lover’s Ghost


Music from the Edge of the World        


Dally & Stray        


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