Pew Fellow, 2000
Folk and Traditional Arts
Mick Moloney (1944-2022) was a musician and folklorist. He was born in Ireland and began playing the banjo in 1959, moving to the US in 1973 and eventually earning a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his own work, Moloney spent much of his career documenting and presenting traditional Irish music and musicians. He sang and primarily played tenor banjo, along with guitar and mandolin, producing and/or playing on roughly 125 albums in his career.
In addition to his Pew Fellowship, Moloney received numerous accolades, including a Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad from the Irish government and a National Heritage Fellowship, a lifetime honor from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Moloney earned a BA from University College Dublin and a master’s degree and PhD in folklore and folk life from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught at NYU, where he was named a global distinguished professor, as well as Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Villanova University. In his later years, he split his time between New York and Thailand, volunteering as a music therapist and teacher for abandoned children in Bangkok.