Danny, Jimmy, and Friends
A little Beaver Island past and present. Traditional music is performed by some of the Island’s most excellent musicians.
Danny Gillespie was born to Jewell Gillespie and Rita O’Donnell into a musical family. He was raised on Beaver Island and grew up playing old songs. If you’ve been to a Beaver Island party, you’ve probably heard of the local band Danny, Jimmy, and Friends, in which Danny Gillespie sings and plays guitar.
Jim is a Jesuit Brother originally from Saint Ignace. The summer Jim was 15, his uncle took him to a barn sale, where Jim saw a fiddle and immediately fell in love with it. He told his folks if they let him buy it, he would learn to play it, and learn it he did. His connection to Beaver Island musicians started at a Fiddler’s Jamboree in Cheybogan, where he met Danny Johnston. Through him, Jim met Jewell Gillespie and then Danny Gillespie. He now says his “music connection has grown into the best two friendships one could have.” In addition to the fiddle, Jim plays the mandolin, tin whistle, guitar, and piano. He says that music sounds best when surrounded by the waters of Northern Michigan.