Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Irish Music Festival kicks off Friday in Muskegon


The Holland Sentinel
Posted Sep 15, 2009 @ 05:11 PM
Muskegon, MI —
The annual Michigan Irish Music Festival returns to Heritage Landing in downtown Muskegon Friday through Sunday, with a complete weekend of live Irish entertainment, activities and culture. Presented by Mercy General Health Partners, the festival features live Irish and Celtic music on three covered stages.


Festival favorites returning this year include Seamus Kennedy, Kennedy’s Kitchen, Switchback, Craic Wisely, Old Blind Dogs, Fonn Mor, and Blackthorn. In addition, several new bands will make an appearance at this year’s festival including Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, Solas, Slide, and The Makem & Spain Brothers.


Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, masters of fiddle, are two of the world’s most celebrated fiddlers. They also happen to be married. Together, Natalie and Donnell are a whirlwind of fiddle-driven music, dance and song. Festival guests will have the chance to hear the fruits of this renowned musical matrimony during an evening of Celtic music.


Solas stepped out onto the world stage in 1996, when Irish music was poised at the brink of a new era of innovation and popularity. The five young musicians who made up the band at the time had no idea that they were to be a galvanizing element in the Irish music scene.


The Makem & Spain Brothers promise to be a crowd favorite this year. A host of various instruments and five male vocals, using three-part harmonies blend for what many have described as a wall of sound.


The origins of Slide trace back to 1999, to southwest Ireland, to a town called Brandon. It was here that the organizers of a local festival invited three Dublin based musicians to play sessions in various pubs over the weekend. Such was the inherent connection of musical approach, style and mindset that the idea of forming some kind of group was born.


Bob and Bernie’s Pub will offer live music, a limerick contest, and irish food.


Other festival activities include the Irish Marketplace, children’s activities, a cultural center, and an acoustic tent.


A highlight on Saturday is the Feis, an Irish dance competition taking place at Muskegon Catholic Central High School. Admission is $8. The school is located at 1145 W. Laketon Ave., Muskegon.
Sunday morning, a Catholic Mass will be held at 9 a.m. followed by a traditional Irish breakfast.
The festival offers an Early-In Free promotion on Friday only from 5 to 6 p.m. sponsored by Family Financial Credit Union. General admission tickets for the festival are $6 on Friday (5 to 11 p.m.), $12 on Saturday (10 a.m. to 11 p.m.) and $10 on Sunday (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.). For additional information, tickets, and a complete entertainment schedule, call (231) 739-2028 or visit www.michiganirish.org.

http://www.hollandsentinel.com/lifestyle/x1021283191/Irish-Music-Festival-kicks-off-Friday-in-Muskegon

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