Monday, January 26, 2009

The Passing of Toby Kinsella

Last night at storytelling, I got the news that my friend Toby Kinsella passed away the Sunday previous in Ireland after a relatively short battle with cancer. He was diagnosed with a malignant tumor that had formed around the base of his spine back in August 2008, and although there were some successful operations, the cancer had spread too quickly to stop it's rampage upon this gentle and talented man.

Toby was a musician and storyteller who lived and loved his passions. He could play over 40 different instruments (often several at the same time!) and managed to combine his musical talents with storytelling to great effect. He performed in schools, festivals, pubs, everywhere, anywhere. He was well-known in Montreal, but also across Ireland.

He is one of my many inspirations to becoming a storyteller myself. He always gave me honest and encouraging advice and always pushed me to put my fears aside and live my artform. I will always be grateful to him for his kind words.

So as a tribute to Toby (and with permission from his daughter Isabeau), I am posting one of his musical stories, which is a collaboration with his son Django.

King of Fools: Toby Kinsella and Django Doucet (3:08 minutes)

Good night Toby... Until we meet again.

Update: You can share your Toby stories at This blog was set up by Toby's children Isabeau and Django.


Leon Basin said...

Hey, how are you doing? Hope all is well. Would love to speak to you sometime.

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