Corey Purcell is an award winning Irish step-dancer and musician,
currently residing in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA.




Having been introduced to Irish culture at a very young age, Corey quickly grew to love the Irish music and dance which surrounded him. Advancing rapidly through the ranks of the competitive Irish dancing scene, Corey soon found himself on the National, then World stage of competition. After competing for 14 years, and discovering that he preferred his own artistic and rhythmic approach to the strict form required by the judges, Corey transitioned from competitions to stage productions and performance. He now dances with several notable bands including the esteemed Irish group Danú.


Corey’s musical talents began developing when he was 16, and started teaching himself tunes on the Irish style button accordion which he bought himself for his birthday. Progressing quickly, he was soon studying under 7 time All Ireland Champion John Whelan, and began honing his technique under John's tutelage. Corey found his true calling in traditional Irish music, and rapidly branched into other instruments including cittern, guitar, bodhran, and voice.

Poor Man's Gambit

Poor Man's Gambit is the musical collaboration of Corey Purcell (button accordion, cittern, guitar, vocals, bodhran, and dance), Federico Betti (guitar, fiddle), and Deirdre Lockman (fiddle, vocals, and dance).


Initially put together as a pickup band, the trio quickly realized that their combination of musical styles was worth pursuing as a more permanent venture, as they are set apart by not only offering a varied array of instrumental combinations, but also by including the visual (and audial) element of dance.


Building on their roots as traditional Irish musicians, the trio's repertoire is also influenced by traditional music of other cultures including France, Scotland, England, and America, some of which can be heard on their latest release 'Kind Providence'. Several original tunes have also been included on the album including a waltz 'The Second Goodnight', and a jig, 'The Nickel Plated Show'.

Collectively, PMG's members have toured and performed with such notable groups as The John Whelan Band and Danu, and have become one of the most notable Celtic/Irish bands on the East Coast.

Learn more about Poor Man's Gambit, and any upcoming shows at



The Free Reeds

This unique configuration of two accordions came into existence when Corey and Rob Curto met while working at Liberty Bellows, the one-stop accordion shop in Philadelphia. Coming from completely different musical backgrounds, they began experimenting with repertoire from diverse genres and discovered that the combination of their distinct styles was worth pursuing. The Free Reeds repertoire features a lot of original compositions by both Corey and Rob, in addition to traditional music of many countries including Ireland, France, and Sweden. 

Learn more here -


Stomp Box

Ever wonder what that thumping is that you hear at Corey's shows?

Wonder no more, it's a ToeKicker stomp box by KOPF Percussion!

Corey is a KOPF sponsored artist, and uses a ToeKicker at most shows on his own and with Poor Man's Gambit.

You can pick one up yourself here: