Thursday, 24 February 2011

‘Riverdance’ star to join Irish celebration at Scherr

"Kerry Records will present the third annual Irish Hooley (“boisterous party”) in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at 2 p.m. Sun., March 6 at the Scherr Forum, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.

This year, the lineup of artists is made up of “Riverdance” star Patrick Barnett, Irish actor Sheelagh Cullen, singers Laura Turner and Robyn Heller, Irish harpist Keri Lynn Zwicker, fiddler Bella Issakova, uilleann piper Patrick D’Arcy, instrumentalist Zac Leger and members of the Kerry Dance Troupe.

The hooley was for generations the highlight of Irish social life. The hooley took place in homes, dance halls, school houses and on the boats that traveled from Ireland to America in the early 20th century when immigrants brought their instruments with them to the New World.

Tickets are on sale at the Civic Arts Plaza box office and at Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. For group sales, call the box office at (805) 449-2387."

St Patrick's Day to turn eco-green

"From acrobats to street cleaners and recycled musical instruments, Belfast will be going green in more ways than one this St Patrick’s Day.

The city’s annual carnival |procession will feature a host |of eco-friendly celebrations around the theme of the |environment.

Performers, floats and musicians will take part in a series of hands-on projects to help keep the capital “clean and green” during the parade.

A car with the world’s lowest carbon-emissions figures, a dust-buster competition, and instruments made from recycled materials are just some of the events planned for the big day.

A stunning acrobatics display will see a tightrope walker |perform their dizzying act |between the twin Belfast |landmark cranes of Samson |and Goliath.

St Patrick’s Day to turn eco-green - Environment, News -

St. Patrick's Day parade set for March 5

"BINGHAMTON -- The city's 44th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade will be celebrated March 5.

The parade, themed 'Ireland: Land of Saints' and Scholars, will start at 1:30 p.m. at St. Mary's of the Assumption Church and head west on Court and Main Streets.

This year's parade will feature eight regional pipe bands as well as bands from Binghamton and Vestal high schools, the Broome County Celtic Kazoos and the Maine Community Band.

Featured attractions include a Watkins Glen pace car, therapy dogs and the four-horse Wells Fargo Stagecoach.

The Grand Marshals will be Sheila Madigan; Maid of Erin, Mary Katherine Kulp; and official starter, Patrick McCormick."

St. Patrick’s Day Parade To Be Held Sat. March 12th

"By Elliott West, The Raleigh Telegram
Friday, February 25, 2011

RALEIGH - The official Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day parade will be held a little early this year. The annual parade and festival afterwards will be held on Saturday, March 12th, starting at noon.

The parade route will wind through downtown Raleigh as usual (see parade website for details).

There will also be the festival in Moore Square off of Blount Street after the event with food, beer, music, items for sale, and more.

Local bars such as TirNaNog Irish Pub and other Irish bars in Raleigh also usually have their own festivities and are packed on the parade day."

Monday, 21 February 2011

Washington University Welcomes DANU

"In Ireland, the toe-tapping collegiality of an impromptu living room concert can be summed up in single word: craic.

And perhaps no band better exemplifies the essence of craic than Danú. Hailed as a 'spirit-raising concoction' by The Irish Times, this five-member ensemble is among the most charismatic and sophisticated traditional Irish groups working today, known for mixing ancient Irish songs with new additions to the repertoire in concerts that are at once authentic, clever and fun.

Next month, guest artists Shauna Mullin and Ivan Goff will join Danú for a special one-night-only performance hosted by the Edison Ovations Series at Washington University.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 5, in the university's 560 Music Center. Tickets are $35; $30 seniors; $25 for Washington University faculty and staff; and $20 for students and children."

Circle of Friends presents Celtic Band RUNA

"The Circle of Friends Coffeehouse will celebrate St. Patrick's Day early with Celtic Band RUNA, performing traditional and contemporary music, on Saturday, Feb. 26, 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20.

Members of RUNA include vocalist Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist Fionan de Barra, and Cheryl Prashkler of Canada, percussion. The band also performed with world-renowned guest musicians, Isaac Alderson on the uilleann pipes, flutes, and whistles, and Tomoko Omura on the fiddle.

The band has just completed a new album, “Stretched On Your Grave,” that will be available for the first time during this tour. They have played with Solas, Slide, and Riverdance."

Paying tribute to a friend

"WOODSTOCK — Irish music played by Ingersoll musicians honoured the memory of a popular local counsellor and women's advocate who died earlier this month of complications from H1N1.

A fundraiser held for the family of Lynda (Belinda) Young Friday night at the CAW Hall raised more than $10,000 through a silent auction, live music and food.

'I have organized many fundraisers, but I have never experienced such generosity from the community before. People couldn't do enough when you explained that the event was for Lynda.

'We had people contacting us wanting to donate prizes for the auction or help out,' Brenda Boswell said. 'It was an evening that Lynda would have greatly enjoyed.'"

Riverdance coming to Rhode Island

"The wildly popular international hit Riverdance is coming to the Providence Performing Arts Center in Rhode Island for one performance only on March 13th, just in time to celebrate an early St. Patrick’s Day.

The show, composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan, is now in its 16th year of performance. It has been performed over 10,000 times and has been seen live by over 22 million people in more than 350 venues across 40 countries and 4 continents.

Even more staggering are its television statistics: it has been shown to a TV audience of over 2 billion people, sold over 3 million copies of the Grammy Award winning CD and has sold over 10 millions copies on video and DVD."

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Pluck of the Irish Celtic folk band Solas endures changes still going strong

"FAIRBANKS - Solas is one of the most prolific, long-lasting names in the Celtic music scene.

And despite numerous band member changes over the years, Solas has stuck around. The Irish folk quintet is known for its energetic, powerful, traditional folk music.

There will even be a lineup change when the group plays Hering Auditorium on Saturday.

Vocalist Máiréad Phelan returned to Dublin to finish medical school. In her place will be Niamh Varian-Barry. Original member Séamus Egan said that’s just how it goes after 15 years of performing together.

“It’s not something we actively try to do,” he said of all the band member comings and goings. “We seem to be able to handle it, though.”"

Blackthorn to play Irish music at Farmington Players Barn in March

"Blackthorn returns by popular demand to the Farmington Players Barn Theater on March 10, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m.

The four talented “boys of Blackthorn” invite you to take a musical trip to Ireland, just in time for St. Patrick's Day.

Blackthorn's music is “an experience that captures the beauty, history and legend of Ireland and its people,” ranging from hilarious Irish songs that will keep you laughing, to lively jigs and reels, to breathtaking, haunting ancient airs."

Monday, 14 February 2011

Irish melodies across Leeds as the CCE come to town

"With a sizeable population of Irish descent, Leeds has always been keen to host events celebrating that heritage.
Now, for the first time in 10 years, the Leeds branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE) plays host to the organisation's National Convention.
This year's festivities will be part of the celebration of 60 years since CCE was formed in Ireland in 1951.
Back then, Irish music was at a low ebb and the formation of the CCE sparked a revival which continues to this day."

Friday, 11 February 2011

Flutes and Fiddles at the Dalriada Festival

"Two of Ireland’s most talented traditional musicians will celebrate the rich musical heritage of Ulster and Scotland during an evening of entertainment as part of the Dalriada Festival.

Cathal McConnell and Gerry O’Connor will take to the stage at the Octagon on the University of Ulster’s Coleraine campus at 8pm on Tuesday February 22.

Both performers have had long and successful careers in the music industry and are highly respected in the traditional entertainment circuit.

Cathal, a flute and whistle player, is a founder member of the acclaimed Boys of the Lough, whose music reflects the similarities and differences of the musical traditions of Ireland and Scotland."

Wharton Music Center Irish Music and Dance Workshop Saturday February 12

"Wharton Music Center celebrates St. Patrick’s Day early with an Irish Music and Dance Workshop on Saturday, February 12. The one-day workshop includes two 90-minute sessions for adults, teens, and children and will introduce students to Irish style music and dance. The first session starts at 12:00 p.m. and the second session starts at 2:00 p.m. Participants can attend one session for $30 or both sessions for $50. The workshop concludes with an Irish Music and Dance demonstration at 4:00 p.m. The demonstration, which is included for workshop participants, is open to the public for a fee of $10. The workshop will be held at Wharton Music Center located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights."

Mayor Apologizes For "Inebriated" Remark

"Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in damage control mode on Thursday after making some off-color remarks to a group of prominent Irish-Americans.
The mayor was speaking Wednesday night at the American Irish Historical Society to help launch a book celebrating the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. Bloomberg made a reference to the fact that he is a neighbor to the society's Upper East Side building.

'I live in the neighborhood, right around the corner,' said the mayor. 'Normally when I walk by this building there are a bunch of people who are totally inebriated, hanging out the window waving. I know that is a stereotype of the Irish, but nevertheless we Jews from around the corner think this.'

While the mayor made an effort to explain away his remarks during an event on Thursday, he issued a written apology later in the day."

Monday, 7 February 2011

All The Ways You Wander

The Irish dance up a storm

The Riverdance Irish Dance Troupe is probably most readily recognised by its perfectly synchronised foot-stomping steps, or as the troupe calls it, "hard-shoe routines".

But, as this Riverdance production artfully shows, there is much more to these artists than just their impressively percussive feet.

Riverdance, not unlike Richard Loring's African Footprint, unfolds as a series of short scenes featuring dance, music and song, telling the story of a people who originate from a "primitive and powerful world", who have an intimate relationship with nature no longer typical of our modern technological times, and are forced by "war, famine and slavery" to journey away from home.

At some point, adversity is overcome, and the travelling "emigrant feels the tug of the home place". And, having travelled the world, experienced a plethora of different cultures, the returning people come to realise, in the show's finale, we are more similar than we are different: "We are one people now, our voices blended, our music a great world in which we can feel everywhere at home."

Although there's evidently a clear story governing the drama of the entire show, it is also possible to thoroughly enjoy Riverdance without paying attention to the story at all, as I did.

The Irish dance up a storm - Times LIVE

Music giant HMV Ireland saw a 90% fall in profits last year

"PROFITS AT HMV Ireland plunged by almost 90 per cent to €465,000 last year compared to €4.1 million the previous year.

Accounts filed for the Irish operations of the music giant for the year to the end of April 2010 show that operating profit stood at €400,000, down from €2.8 million the previous year.

The sharp drop occurred despite a 23.3 per cent increase in sales. Revenues climbed from €69.8 million in 2009 to €85.9 million last year.

However, that increase in sales may reflect the fact that HMV opened two new stores in Ireland during the period covered by the accounts."

Friday, 4 February 2011

Irish American Liz Carroll wins major Irish music award

"Ireland’s Irish language TV station TG4 has established a wonderful reputation for presenting a wide array of traditional music shows and documentaries, and also for granting the highest awards for artists in the traditional music awards known as the Gradams.

Following close on the heels of another amazing performance at Celtic Connections in Glasgow in January, Chicago native Liz Carroll has won another accolade for the publication last year of 185 of her own compositions in her book “Collected.” She was chosen Composer of the Year, and isthe first American-born artist to gain a TG4 Gradam.

Each year TG4 selects six categories of honorees. The network also specially commissions a statue by John Coll and a cash honorarium. The awards show is broadcast on Easter Sunday. "

Celtic Crossroads comes to Alerus

Prepare for an emerald invasion from Ireland at the Alerus Center tomorrow night. Celtic Crossroads, The Unique Irish Music Experience, will grace Grand Forks while on their Spring 2011 World Fusion Tour. This tour criss-crosses the United States from California to New Hampshire and from North Dakota to Florida.
Hailing from Galway, Ireland, Celtic Crossroads consists of a seven-person ensemble: Marianne, Michael, Amy, Isaac, Diarmaid, Jonas and Johnny, all of whom perform several roles in the band. Marianne plays the accordian, flute, bodhran (a traditional Irish drum) and also sings. Diarmaid plays the bodhran, percussion and the bouzouki (a Greek guitar). Other instruments played by the group include the harp, violin, guitar, and the flutes. Isaac, the windiest member of the group, will often be found playing the uilleann pipes (bag pipes) or flutes, or he may just be whistling along. No matter what your favorite instrument is, there is sure to be some form of it represented at the show Saturday night.
As far as covers go, Celtic Crossroads does a wonderful cover of "With or Without You" by U2. As the band members feel the toll of working on the road, "With or Without You" is a song they can definitely empathize with. Amy, the harpist, offers a more effeminate and personal rendition of the song without losing Bono's emotional appeal to the listener. Amy doesn't belt it out like Bono does; she lets her voice float through the air, and as she plays the harp it seems to modulate her voice to an ethereal plane.

Celtic Crossroads comes to Alerus - Dakota Student - features

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Comhaltas comes home to superb Áras an Mhuilinn - News - Roundup - Articles - Westmeath Examiner

"Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ) came home on Friday last, January 28, when An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen officially opened the organisation’s new cultural centre at Mount Street, Mullingar.
The spectacular premises stands not only as the headquarters of Comhaltas activity in Westmeath, Longford and Offaly, but as a tribute to those whose foresight led to the establishment of the organisation in Mullingar in 1951.
The building functions not only as a cultural and musical centre, but also as a Comhaltas shop and museum, equipped with a bar, performance hall, Comhaltas archives, classrooms and a radio link-up to Raidió na Gaeltachta.
A solemn ecumenical blessing of the new premises was carried out by Rev. Fr. Paul Crosbie (C.C., Mullingar); Rev. Stephen Lockington, Mullingar Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. Alistair Graham, All Saints Church, Mullingar."

Ireland’s The Chieftains coming to the WAC Feb. 27

"Walton Arts Center is proud to welcome six-time Grammy Award-winning Irish folk group The Chieftains to Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall Sunday, February 27 at 7pm. This performance is part of The Chieftains’ 2011 U.S. tour, which will feature an array of surprise guests and local musicians and marks the band’s first return to the states following last year’s release of their critically acclaimed album San Patricio. Tickets range from $46 to $72 and can be purchased by calling the Walton Arts Center Box Office at 479.443.5600 or by visiting
“In 2011, The Chieftains’ performances could be better described as a Big Show or a Spectacular rather than a concert,” says frontman Paddy Moloney. “There will be upwards of 12 people on stage at all times, with additions of local musicians, special guests I’m not allowed to divulge, anywhere from 6 to 20 local dancers on a couple of pieces, and the Scottish pipe bands performing the “March to Battle,” which was narrated by Liam Neeson for San Patricio.”"

Transatlantic Sessions, Royal Festival Hall, review

"The Transatlantic Sessions tour came back to London on Monday night for only the second time - and anyone lucky enough to be inside the Royal Festival Hall was treated to some world class music.
Paul Brady looked enthralled to be part of it, turning at one point to Aly Bain and saying: 'I've known Aly for 40 years - I think we were in the same creche together.' Brady may have looked a tad older than when I last saw him at the Shaw Theatre in London over three decades ago but his enthusiasm is clearly burning as brightly as ever.
Irishman Brady's three songs were exemplary. The World Is What You Make It was uplifting and the gamble to pay tribute to Gerry Rafferty and sing Baker Street was a triumph. The famous saxophone part was taken on Uilleann pipes by Michael McGoldrick and he made the song soar."

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Paddy Moloney receives Medal Of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Music

"Fallen Angel Theatre Company honored legendary Irish musician Paddy Moloney by presenting him with the Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Music at its Gala Benefit on January 27th at the National Arts Club.

The evening also served as a benefit for Fallen Angel, of which Moloney is Honorary Patron. On the night, a host of notable artists, business figures and politicians were present at the club to honor Paddy’s outstanding contribution to Irish and indeed world music."

Shared folk roots make for tears and joy at Transatlantic Sessions

"Shetland traditional-style fiddler Aly Bain knows how to mesmerise an audience.

As he told his collaborator, dobro guitar legend Jerry Douglas, on BBC 4's recent Transatlantic Sessions, 'You hold a note, you watch for the tear in their eye, you see the tear start to move, you release the note.'

Last night a sprawling bunch of world-class musicians from Scotland, Ireland and America drew tears - and laughter - from the off.

Kickstarted by Glasgow's redoubtable Celtic Connections festival, this annual live event continues to explore shared folk roots and unearth new common ground."

Shared folk roots make for tears and joy at Transatlantic Sessions

"Shetland traditional-style fiddler Aly Bain knows how to mesmerise an audience.

As he told his collaborator, dobro guitar legend Jerry Douglas, on BBC 4's recent Transatlantic Sessions, 'You hold a note, you watch for the tear in their eye, you see the tear start to move, you release the note.'

Last night a sprawling bunch of world-class musicians from Scotland, Ireland and America drew tears - and laughter - from the off.

Kickstarted by Glasgow's redoubtable Celtic Connections festival, this annual live event continues to explore shared folk roots and unearth new common ground."

Shared folk roots make for tears and joy at Transatlantic Sessions

"Shetland traditional-style fiddler Aly Bain knows how to mesmerise an audience.

As he told his collaborator, dobro guitar legend Jerry Douglas, on BBC 4's recent Transatlantic Sessions, 'You hold a note, you watch for the tear in their eye, you see the tear start to move, you release the note.'

Last night a sprawling bunch of world-class musicians from Scotland, Ireland and America drew tears - and laughter - from the off.

Kickstarted by Glasgow's redoubtable Celtic Connections festival, this annual live event continues to explore shared folk roots and unearth new common ground."


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