Deeply rooted in Irish traditional music, Boston-based flute player/singer/composer Shannon Heaton has appeared on stages in four continents. She has shared tunes for learning on her educational YouTube channel since 2015. And after receiving a 2016 Artist Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, she launched the Irish Music Stories oral history project which explores universal themes through an Irish music and dance lens. Live Ireland named her Female Artist of the Year in 2011 and 2010; and she was Irish American News’s Female Musician of the Year in 2009.
When she is not playing Irish music, Shannon is an avid runner and hiker, and is STILL able to get lost in her local Middlesex Fells Reservation. Many of her compositions and podcast episodes have been written and developed after long forest explorations.
Boston-based Irish flute player/singer Shannon Heaton has performed and taught on four continents. In her duo with guitarist Matt Heaton and with her Irish Music Stories podcast, Shannon has made Irish traditional music accessible and welcoming for many. She received a 2016 Artist Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was twice named Live Ireland’s Female Artist of the Year.
Boston-based Shannon Heaton specializes in Irish wooden flute and traditional style singing. She is deeply involved with her local music community: she co-founded Boston’s Celtic Music Fest with Laura Cortese in 2003; taught for Boston’s CCE Irish Music School for a decade; and was named Massachusetts Cultural Council Traditional Arts Fellow in 2016.
Shannon was exposed to many music traditions on her way to Irish music, travelling extensively throughout the U.S., Mexico, Nigeria, Europe, and Britain and Ireland with academic parents. After her first year of college in Suphanburi, Thailand, she studied music performance and ethnomusicology at Northwestern University and attended Irish music sessions throughout Chicago. There she met guitarist Matt Heaton, with whom she spent many winters in Ireland.
When not performing as Matt & Shannon Heaton, Shannon has collaborated with numerous acts including Japanese-based tricolor, Newfoundland native Keith Murphy, balladeer Robbie O’Connell, harpist Maeve Gilchrist, and fiddle player Sam Amidon.
A wildly creative teacher, Shannon has created free resources for Irish traditional musicians, including her long-running “Tune of the Month” video/podcast series. During the early days of the pandemic, she started the Virtual Guided Session with participants from over 50 countries. She is also a prolific composer and arranger. And her original music has been recorded by the Battlefield Band, Allie Robertson, Childsplay, and many others.
Shannon is a world class American performer with Irish roots and universal appeal. She is passionate about making Irish music accessible to players and listeners of all levels and backgrounds.