A composer and multi-instrumentalist, Egan is a fifteen year veteran of the Minneapolis/Saint Paul music scene. He works in a variety of genres, including Irish traditional music, folk, rock, blues, classical music, and free improvisation; and performs on clarinet, saxophone, tin whistle, piano, and percussion.
Egan was born and raised in Hammond, Indiana. He studied music at DePaul University in Chicago, receiving a degree in composition in 1986. While in Chicago he was a member of the Irish traditional music group Baal Tinne, and also worked with the Irish trad-rock group The Drovers, and with members of Robert Fripp’s League of Crafty Guitarists.
After leaving school, Egan lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he performed with local folk artists and poets, and was a member of the free improv/spoken word trio The Memory and Desire Project.
In 1992, Egan settled in the Twin Cities, where he has family roots going back several generations. In Minnesota, he has been a member of the Celtic music groups The Blackbirds, The Doon Ceili Band, and Field Day; and worked with Celtic musicians Sean O’Driscoll, Daithi Sproule, Marty McHugh, Laura MacKenzie, Martin Hayes, and Kate and Jode Dowling. He has performed traditional jazz and blues with Peace Meal, Dan Newton and John Walker, and James “Cornbread” Harris; and has been a member of the folk-rock group Disrectangular, the jug band Art Carnage, and the underground garage-jam collective The Gnarly Hinterlanders.
He has created collaborative improvisations with Semiconductor, The Blended Cultures Orchestra, Jigsaw, and guitarist Tim Johnson; provided music for the modern dance group The Composers; and designed found-object percussion used by Macalester College’s New Music Ensemble.
Egan’s compositions have been performed as part of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s CONNECT concert series, the Minnesota Dance Alliance’s Choreographer/Composer Workshops, the North Carolina Composers Alliance’s Composerworks Concert Series, and in recital at the California Institute of the Arts. He has recorded for the Shanachie, New Folk, Prairie Dog Music, Lifescapes, and MPR record labels; and his media appearances include MPR’s Morning Show, KFAI’s Century Song, WCCO’s Tim Russell Show, KTCA’s NewsNight Minnesota, WFMT’s The Studs Terkel Show, and NPR’s The Flea Market.
In addition to his musical activities, Egan spent nearly a decade working for local environmental organizations. He lives in Saint Paul with his partner Mali Schroeder, their daughter Rana, and their dog Frankie.