Neil Byrne’s passion for music ignited at a young age, when he discovered the magic of rhythm by using suitcases as makeshift drums. However, it was a pivotal moment at the age of six that sealed his destiny in the world of music. Witnessing his father’s three-piece band perform at a wedding left an indelible impression on him. Neil vividly recalls the experience, noting that while he may not have fully grasped the intricacies of the music, he instinctively recognized its profound beauty.

Soon after, Neil embarked on his professional music journey by joining his father’s band. His musical horizons continued to expand as he delved into jazz, and he eventually ventured into forming a retro funk band called Hipple Street.

Neil’s association with Celtic Thunder began when he was approached to record backing vocals for the first Celtic Thunder DVD in 2007. Over time, he transitioned from backing vocals to lead guitar and, in 2011, assumed one of the lead vocalist roles in the show. His tenure with Celtic Thunder has seen him extensively tour the United States, Canada, and Australia with the ensemble. Additionally, Neil has been a part of all Celtic Thunder Cruises held in 2013, 2014, 2017, 2022 and 2023.

In 2015, Neil embarked on a creative collaboration with animator Aidan McAteer. Together, they composed the musical score for a new Irish short film titled “Deadly.” Their work, in collaboration with Celtic Thunder’s musical director David Munro, earned them the prestigious “Best Film Score” award among 110 films at the Underground Cinema Awards for Short Film.

Notably, Neil has also pursued a solo career under the name “Pale Blue Jak,” releasing several albums. Additionally, he has teamed up with his Celtic Thunder castmate Ryan Kelly for collaborative projects such as “Acoustically Irish,” “Live in Australia,” and “Echoes,” showcasing his versatility as a musician and performer.