Saturday, 28 November 2009
Cherish the Ladies
Like jazz and rock, Celtic music has traditionally been a male-dominated scene. But in 1985, folklorist/musician Mick Moloney had the idea of sponsoring a concert series featuring the finest female Irish traditional musicians.
The result was Cherish the Ladies, a band that has become one of the most celebrated Celtic ensembles in the world. They will perform their Christmas program as part of the Kutztown University Performing Artists Series, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Schaeffer Auditorium.
Cherish the Ladies will perform a Christmas program Wednesday as part of the Kutztown University Performing Artists Series.
The leader, Joanie Madden, born in the Bronx, N.Y., to Irish parents, was the first American to win the senior all-Ireland championship on the tin whistle in 1984. She has played flute and tin whistle with the group since its inception.
The rest of the current lineup includes founding member and fellow New Yorker Mary Coogan on guitar; All-Ireland champion Mirella Murray from County Galway, Ireland, on accordion; Roisin Dillon from Belfast, Northern Ireland, on fiddle; Kathleen Boyle of Glasgow, Scotland, on piano; and Michelle Burke from County Cork, Ireland, on lead vocals.
Former members include fiddler Eileen Ivers and singer Cathie Ryan, along with many others who have gone on to solo careers.
For Wednesday's concert, the group is also bringing three step dancers, including Jonathan Srour, from York, Pa., which has a vibrant Irish music scene. The other two are Cara Butler (the sister of Jean Butler of "Riverdance") and Dan Stacey.
"Everyone is a phenomenal musician," Madden said of her bandmates in a recent telephone interview. "We do music, singing, dancing, sing-alongs - all aspects of the culture - and we have a lot of fun while we are doing it."
Madden said that as a young girl growing up in the Bronx, "I never thought I'd make a living as an Irish musician."
But she, like the other band members, was inspired by her father, an accordionist who had a successful Irish band in New York.
"All of us have musical backgrounds; all our dads played and danced," she said. "We're all from dads who were a driving force. Music was the greatest gift they could give us."
Of the seven Madden children, only Joanie and one brother, a drummer, took up music.
She started playing the tin whistle at age 13, studying with Jack Coen, a Galway-born Irish whistle player who lived nearby. She began performing with her father's band and jamming with Eileen Ivers, who went to school with her. In five years, she had honed her skills so well that she took second place in the All-Ireland competition; she won at age 25, the age her father was when he won for accordion.
In 1985, Cherish the Ladies released an album, "Fathers and Daughters," featuring each woman in a duet with her father.
The group has recorded many CDs, the most recent of which, a second Christmas album called "A Star in the East," was released Nov. 19.
"We started doing Christmas shows eight or nine years ago," Madden said. "They were extremely successful. It seems that once the Thanksgiving turkey is carved up, people are ready for Christmas. The concert is a big family day - we get parents and grandparents and grandchildren. It's our favorite time to tour."
The program will consist of songs everyone likes to sing, with a Celtic twist, as well as traditional Irish carols like "The Holly and the Berry" and "The Wexford Carol," and jigs and reels.
The band's future plans include a trip to China and a 25th-anniversary CD.
"It's great to be part of a culture that's very into its music and culture," Madden said. "It's important to pass down that culture."
Contact Susan Peé?a: email@example.com.
accordion achill activities Affiliate Program Alan Kelly Alan Shatter Alasdair Roberts Alison Krauss All Ireland Fleadh Altan Andy Irvine antrim archive armagh Arthur McBride Arts Arts and Entertainment Arts Council Arty McGlynn Athlone Baltimore band banjo Bantry Barney McKenna Baroque music Bill Whelan Bluegrass music bodhran Bodhrán bouzouki brendan begley Brendan Dolan brian boru Brian Conway Brian Cunningham Brock McGuire Band bunsatty Caoimhin O Raghallaigh Cape Breton Castlebar Cathy Davey Cavan cd ceili Céilí Band Céilidh celtic Celtic music Celtic rock ceol charlie lennon Chicago chieftains christmas Christmas music Christy Moore ciorras clancy Clancy Brothers classes classical music comhaltas Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Compact Disc Compass Records concert concertina Concerts and Events Connemara Conradh na Gaeilge Cootehill cork Cork County Council Cork University Press Cormac De Barra County Clare County Leitrim Dáithí Sproule Damien Dempsey Dán Dance Dancing at Lughnasa Danny Boy danu Dave Swarbrick De Dannan Declan Sinnott Deezer Derry dervish dkit Dolores Keane Dónal Lunny Donegal Donegal Fiddle Tradition Donnacha Dennehy doolin drisheen Drogheda Drumkeeran drums Drumshanbo dublin Dubliners dun uladh Dundalk early music East Clare Ed Reavy Education Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Eileen Ivers Eleanor McEvoy Electric Picnic emer mayock ennis European Union Fairytale of New York Feakle feis Feis Ceoil felix dolan festival Festivals fidde fiddle Fiddling Film festival Fleadh Fleadh Cheoil Fleadh Cheoil Competition Céilí Band Jig Comhaltas Fleadh Cheoil fleadh nua flute Folk music Folk music of Ireland folklore france outdoors Francis O'Neill Frank Harte Frankie Gavin frankie kennedy free download Gaeilge gael-linn Gaelic galway Galway Arts Festival galway bay George Bernard Shaw gig glor goodman manuscripts Grammy Award Green Linnet Records group Grouse Lodge Guinness guitar harp hinse history holidays hornpipe Iarla Ó Lionáird iPhone Ireland irish Irish American irish arts centre irish dance irish flute Irish language irish music Irish people Irish Recorded Music Association irish times irish traditional music Irish Traditional Music Archive irish whistle IrishCentral IrishTimes irishtune.info Israel itma Ivan Goff jack coen JAMES JOYCE James Joyce Centre Jig jigs Joanie Madden Joe Derrane John Carty John Doyle John McCusker John McKenna John McSherry john spillane John Wynne Julie Fowlis Junior Crehan Karan Casey Karen Matheson Kathleen MacInnes Kevin Crawford Kilfenora Kilfenora Céilí Band Latin America Le Vent du Nord learn Len Graham Leopold Bloom Lieutenant of Inishmore Literature Liz Carroll London London Irish Centre Lord of the Dance louisburgh lunasa Lúnasa MacTalla Mor Maggie MacInnes Máirtín Ó Direáin mairtin o'connor Máirtín O'Connor Malawi Mandolin Margaret Bennett Martin Carthy martin fay Martin Hayes Martin McDonagh Martin Quinn Mary Bergin Mary Black Maryland Massachusetts Matt Molloy mayo McMahon Merry Sisters of Fate Michael Flatley Michael Rooney Michael Tubridy Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin Micho Russell Mick Moloney mick o'brien milwaukee Monaghan Moya Brennan mp3 Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh music Music festival Music of Ireland Musical composition Natasha McShane Neil Young New York Noel Hill Northern Ireland npu NUIG o'carolan omagh Orkney Paddy Fahey paddy keenan paddy moloney paddy o'brien Padraig Rynne passionfruit theatre Paul Brady penny whistle pennywhistle Peter Horan Philadelphia Philip Duffy piano pipes Planxty podcast Poetry Pogues Quebec radio radisson Raidió Teilifís Éireann recording reel reels riverdance Robert Downey Jr Ronan Browne Ronnie Drew Roscommon rose of tralee rowsome Royal Irish Academy of Music RTÉ Concert Orchestra Ryan Molloy Saint Patrick's Day school scoil acla Scoil Éigse scotland Seachtain na Gaeilge Sean Nós Seán Ó Ríordáin Séan O'Riada séan potts sean tyrell Sean-nós song session Set dancing Shanachie Records shannon shannonside Sharon Shannon shetland show singer Singing Skara Brae Sliabh Luachra sligo solas Sorley MacLean st.patrick stephen ducke Streaming media Stuart MacRae summer school teada teetotallers tg4 the forge theatre Tin whistle Tommy McCarthy Tommy Peoples Tommy Sands Toner Quinn Town Hall Theatre trad trad music traditional Traditional Folk and Celtic Traditional music tradmusiconline.com tradschool trocaire Tulla Tulla Céilí Band tune makers tunepal tutorial tv uilleann pipes Ulysses University of Limerick vallely Van Morrison venue Vermont video Violin W. B. Yeats Waterford westmeath whistle willie Willie Clancy Willie Walsh workshop workshops world fleadh