Irish Wakers


“Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.” —E. Harburg

Blake Williams,
Singer, Song-Writer, Bodhran, Band Manager

The band has excelled in playing high quality tunes and songs based on not only their individual accomplishments but also on their creative arrangements and commitment to tailor our gigs for our clients needs and to ensure that audiences have fun.

When I bought my first bodhran in Ireland , I thought it would be an easy instrument to play. It wasn’t!
But with the bodhran being the “heartbeat of Celtic music” I decided to go back to Ireland to learn more in trad music sessions and have had the honour to sing Irish songs and play in many notable pubs around Ireland . After 3 attempts , I was honoured to place second at the World Bodhran Championships in County Kerry.

I really enjoy using my skill on the bodhran to help enhance the rhythm, excitement , and quality sound of the band . We have a variety of tried and true traditional and modern Irish songs to sing along with.

As a sailor, I have been exposed to songs of the Maritimes and sea shanties so it’s pure pleasure to see and hear audiences join in on songs of the sea. This past year we featured the “Wellerman Shanty” which is a huge success. Performing with The Irish Wakers is an honour and a pleasure as they are a very creative , fun bunch .

Our philosophy is that if we’re not having fun, then you’re not likely to have fun either. So why not “Come for the Craic and enjoy life with the Wakers! 

(P.S. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!)

Hugh Brock,
Irish flute & Uilleann Pipes

I have played and sung in live bands since I was a teenager, including a dance band, medieval, renaissance and baroque ensembles, and a UK folk band.  I learned to love folk music because it is fun to play, and because audiences respond emotionally, by singing along, and dancing.  For the past 16 years I have played Irish music on flute, whistle and the Irish bagpipes. I am thrilled to have played with the Irish Wakers since the band was founded in 2008.

Michael Burnyeat, Fiddle

Michael Burnyeat is a fiddler and multi-instrumentalist based in Vancouver, BC. He led the well known Jericho Folk Club sessions for many years, is the founder of the UBC Fiddle Club, and is a two-time BC fiddle champion (2017-2018). In 2018, 2019, and 2021 he was a finalist in the Canadian Grandmasters Fiddle Competition, the most prestigious fiddle contest in Canada. In 2018 he released his first album of fiddle music, entitled A Sense of Tradition, which Folk World magazine listed as one of the best traditional albums of the year. His second  album On The Edge was released in early February 2022. He currently is also an in demand music instructor in Vancouver. He enjoys sharing his passion for traditional music at various events, festivals, and performing in concerts with the Irish Wakers.

Craig McGregor, GUITAR

I am a professional musician  who has played guitar solo and in bands, and have accompanied musicians from many genres. Playing with the Irish Wakers gives me the  opportunity to creatively accompany a wide variety of songs and tunes for appreciative audiences.


We have performed at a variety of events including Canada Day , the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, music festivals, concert venues and charitable fundraisers.

The line-up includes vocals, fiddle, Irish flute, mandolin, guitar, and bodhran. We’ll gladly play at weddings, parties, pubs, restaurants, coffeehouses, festivals, or conventions, and, of course, wakes!

Visit us on YouTube

For a taste of the Wakers’ good times, watch our video on Youtube.

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