Hailing from Lorrha, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, Pio Ryan was introduced to the tin whistle and fiddle at an early age under the guidance of his father, John Ryan, himself a renowned whistle player. Pio soon turned to the tenor banjo as his primary instrument, and later expanded his arsenal to include the mandolin and mandola. After years gigging locally with his father, and subsequently winning “Musician of the Year” from Portumna Community School in his final year, he decided to further his interest in traditional music. Pio was accepted into the Ballyfermot College, Dublin to study Irish Professional Music Performance where he graduated in 2002.
After college, Pio transplanted to the US to further his musical career, and was soon playing with some of the best musicians in New York. He spent 9 years teaching music at the Irish Arts Centre in Manhattan, where he was the originator of the Irish Tenor banjo program. People around the music community quickly took notice, and Pio was invited to teach at two of the most prestigious Traditional Irish Music summer schools in the U.S, The Catskills Irish arts week in East Durham and The Swannanoa Gathering in North Carolina.
Pio has had the honour of playing for many luminaries including Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, Former Governor General Of Australia Sir William Deane and was invited to play for the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and the Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence. For several years Pio was also a musical guest on Good Morning America to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
Whilst in New York Pio played with different bands with styles that ranged from traditional Irish music, folk, bluegrass, and country to rock, Celtic Rock and many more in between. This is where he carved out his unique style and became known as a hugely versatile and adaptable musician who is able to mix it with any band.
Over the past 20 years Pio has toured extensively in Europe, including Germany, The UK, Holland, Belgium, Italy and of course Ireland, where he has played in every county. During his time in the US, Ryan played in many Irish Music festivals and residencies in America and also featured with the famous group “Derek Warfield and and the Young Wolftones since 2015 . Also in 2015 he was asked to play a year long residency for The Walt Disney Company at Raglan Road in Orlando, Florida. It was near the end of this contract that he got the call to ask if he would join world renowned Irish folk group The Fureys! Pio played with the band for over three years, appearing on TNaG and in famous Irish venues including The National Concert Hall, The Helix, Vicar Street, The Cork Opera House, The Wexford Opera House, The Waterfront and the Millennium Fourm, among a host of others.