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Irish American News  - January 2001 

McDermott Comfortable On His Own

Formerly one of the three Irish Tenors, John McDermott is a popular and best-selling recording artist who has been called "one of the finest vocal entertainers in the country."

John McDermott has had a year that most of us will never have to go through.  A year that would test the faith and perseverance of anyone but he still counts his blessings.  Not only did his mother pass away at the age of 80, he lost a sister to cancer and a brother who died in his sleep on his birthday.

McDermott's year left a lot of questions in the minds of fans who he was no longer a part of the Irish Tenors so we called to find out what happened.  John's mother was ill during the rehearsal time for the Irish Tenor concert in Belfast and he did not want to hold up or reschedule rehearsals, so he stepped aside for another tenor.

He is happy doing what he is doing on his own.  "I like the freedom to do my own show and set my own schedule.  If I could work it into my schedule, I would be happy to do guest appearances again with the Irish Tenors," said John.

And that schedule is a busy one.  Coming up this year are a PBS Special in late summer or early fall that will be filmed in Massachusetts with special guests.  The show will air in later 2001 or in early 2002.   He will also be part of a special for Global Catholic Television on March 14-15 which will air worldwide.

McDermott's 2001 tour will kick off in March in Chicago where fans can catch John at the Paramount Arts Centre, Aurora, IL on Sunday, March 4th at 3 p.m.  For tickets to that event you can call the box office at 630-896-6666.


Fans of John's music will welcome the upcoming release of John's newest album entitled A Day to Myself on the EMI label.  The single to the album was released to radio stations in November, 2000 but the album will not be available to the public until January 2001 in Canada.  In the U.S. the album can be purchased at

In addition to the Irish and Scottish classics that brought him fame in the early years of his career, the new release sees John sourcing his repertories from his life experience over the last two years and his own personal musical experience.  While in the past it had been John's custom to solicit song suggestions from his audience, for this latest recording he has drawn from songs and stories by his favorite writers including the "Streets of London", "A Songs for a Winter's Night", "smile" and the title track "A Day to Myself".


John does a lot of fund-raising for veterans and will be doing a benefit for veterans of the Korean War in September that will be part of his 1st Annual Veterans Tour in the fall of this year when he will hit 25 U.S. cities east of Chicago.

On October 12, 2000 John dedicated the opening of The Hope McDermott Day Program Center, a newly constructed annex of the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, which is named in honor of John's mother, Hope.  The goal of the Hope McDermott Day Program Center is to reach out to veterans who are chronically homeless and we are the "hardest to service" of the homeless veterans.  The Day Program Center will provide counseling and living-skills instructions to these veterans, as well as make sure that their basic needs (food, clothing, health care) are satisfied.  It is a unique opportunity to fill a gap between the transitional services that the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans currently provides and need of chronically homeless veterans.  

John was born just outside Glasgow Scotland.  His parents were both Irish-born and bred; they themselves were immigrants to Scotland, so you wouldn't be at all wrong in calling him Irish.  (His parents are from Scotland with Irish roots; his father's family is from Donegal, his mother's family is from Ballymena, Co. Antrim).

John's family emigrated from Scotland to Canada when John was 12, so John is presently a Canadian citizen, with an adopted love of Hockey - he has often sung the Canadian National Anthem before the hometown crowds at Maple Leaf Gardens and the Air Canada Centre.  However, he has sung the "Star Spangled Banner" just as often before patriotic crowds in places like Cleveland's Jacob's Field, Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field.

Toronto is home.  When asked if he was married, John's reply was "Yes, I'm married and my wife does a lot of traveling with me.  I like it.  It's conducive to a strong relationship."

If you can't find John's new album in your local Irish import store, you can order it online at his website