Hanway, Tom


  • From Larchmont, New York. Currently lives in Ireland.
  • Began performing at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA in the early 1980’s. He was studying law and labor history at the time.
  • 1984, busked in Europe, was a street musician in Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris.
  • 1985, returned to New York and studied banjo under Tony Trischka and Bill Keith.
  • 1986, formed band called Cumberland Gap.
  • 1988-1990, played banjo with the John Herald Band. Also appeared in the Off-Broadway bluegrass musical “Feast Here Tonight” (1989).
  • 1991, released solo project Bucket Of Bees album (Joyous Gard).
  • 1992, formed Grass Menagerie, later called Blue Horizon. They recorded one album Tom Hanway & Blue Horizon (Joyous Gard Music).
  • 1995, joined Burnt Toast.
  • 1997, co-designed Tom Hanway SwallowTail Deluxe banjo with Geoff Stelling, which becomes a production model (1998) with Standard and Deluxe options. Steve Martin bought one of these models for himself.
  • 1998, Mel Bay published his book/CD “Complete Book of Irish and Celtic 5-String Banjo.” Hanway is originator of a unique style called “Celtic Fingerstyle” banjo.
  • 1997-2002, co-founded Big Apple Bluegrass Society with his first wife, Kathleen Low Hanway (deceased), and promoted the annual Big Apple Bluegrass & Folk Festival in Greenwich Village, NYC.
  • 2003, married Denise Conroy and moved to Ireland
  • 2004-2006, worked with Carmel Sheerin & The Ravens, voted #1 European Bluegrass Band 2005-2006 by EBMA.
  • 2006, promotes Americana music at the United Arts Club in Dublin. Performs with the Badbelly Project and Tennessee Hob.