Friday, 27 January 2012

Winter Fest returns for eighth year

AMHERST -- Irish music and dance will come together on stage Saturday during the eighth annual Winter Fest, host by local band Green Tea.
"I like this event, because it's about everyone coming together," said Trevor Roark, event organizer and a member of Green Tea. "We have such a diverse group -- local dancers, competitive dancers, musicians from Madison who focus on traditional Irish music and (Green Tea), who focus more on making our own kind of Irish music. And we are all coming together for the love of music and dance."
This year's event again will feature a matinee concert with the O'Dell Irish Dancers of Stevens Point performing with Green Tea, as well as an evening show with the An Blas Quartet of Madison and the Cashel Dennehy Irish Dancers of Milwaukee performing with Green Tea.
"This is really exciting, because typically people don't see dancers on stage with local bands," Roark said. "What (Green Tea does) is fuse the traditional music of Ireland with more contemporary sounds of rock and folk and dance. So you have traditional Irish dance with this fusion music, and these two layers compete with and complement each other on stage."
Irish dance and instrumental workshops also will return in the afternoon. The O'Dell Irish Dancers will lead the dance workshops, and members of Green Tea will offer instrumental workshops in whistles/flutes, bodhran, piano, bass guitar and drums. Desiah Melby, a friend of the band, will lead a fiddle workshop.
The workshops are targeted at beginners and will last about 11/2 hours. Workshop participants should bring their own instruments, with the exception of the whistles and bodhran.
"This is only the second year for the workshops. We had a very good turnout last year, and it was very exciting," Roark said. "We plan to teach the students the basics, and then the whole group will come together for a 'session.'"
Members of Green Tea also are excited to debut some of their new music at the Irish festival. The band is in the process of completing its new album, which will be released in March, and they will perform many of the songs from the new album.
"We've brought some new styles and influences to this album, and we are very excited to share the new music," Roark said.
An intermission will be held during each performance, and refreshments will be available.
"I think this event has been so successful because of the family-friendly atmosphere," Roark said. "All ages come out to our shows and to this festival, from kids to grandparents.
"People just really enjoy the fun, energy and community around this type of music."

Winter Fest returns for eighth year: Irish music, dance featured | Wausau Daily Herald | wausaudailyherald.com

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Derry Fleadh bid to go ahead after decision reversed

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí ÉireannThe Ulster Council of Comhaltas has reversed its decision not to endorse Derry's bid to host the All-Ireland Fleadh.

It followed a meeting of senior officers last night.

The Derry branch of Comhaltas had appealed against the decision of the organisation's Ulster Council not to put the city forward as host.

A decision on whether the city will host 2013's event will now take place this weekend.

At a meeting of Derry Comhaltas last Wednesday, members voted 13-1 in favour of the bid.

However, after two dissident republican bombs exploded in the city last week, the Ulster council turned down the bid.

Comhaltas promotes traditional Irish music and culture around the world.

On Sunday, the organisation's Ulster council said it was impossible to support the city's bid to host the popular music and dance festival because of the danger from dissident violence.

It said that with "deep regret and long consideration", it was turning down the bid because safety was paramount.

The UK City of Culture organisers had been hoping to bring the Fleadh to Northern Ireland for the first time ever in 2013.

But the UK link to the traditional Irish event had already proved a stumbling block with some members.

Director general of Comhaltas nationally, Labhras O Murchu said: "There was a meeting again with the same body who met last Saturday.

"They reconsidered the decision which was made and we're expecting an application to arrive on Wednesday.

"It's impossible at this stage to call what way the vote may go.

"Because this issue has been so well debated there isn't a member on the council who hasn't a greater understanding of the issues involved in the Derry bid."
Bid ratified

Eibhlin Ni Dochairtaigh, chair of the the Derry City branch of Comhaltas, welcomed the move.

"I think that whatever issues and concerns were expressed have been addressed to their satisfaction.

"I very much appreciate and welcome their continued support. The reversed decision has ratified the bid."

Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson said: "This follows two days of intensive discussions.

"The reassurance that some of the members needed has been given. I'm delighted the application will progress. There is still a lot of work to do.

"There was a massive ground swell of support nationally and internationally for Derry."

The central council of Comhaltas will meet on Saturday for a final decision on the venue. Sligo and Ennis are also bidding to host the fleadh

BBC News - Derry Fleadh bid to go ahead after decision reversed

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Appeal by Derry Comhaltas over Fleadh decision

FleadhImage via Wikipedia
The Derry branch of Comhaltas has appealed against the decision of the organisation's Ulster Council not to put the city forward as host for the 2013 Fleadh.

At a meeting of Derry Comhaltas last Wednesday, members voted was 13-1 in favour of the bid.

However, after two dissident republican bombs exploded in the city on Thursday, the Ulster council turned down the bid.

Comhaltas promotes traditional Irish music and culture around the world.

The Ulster council said it was impossible to support the city's bid to host the popular music and dance festival because of the danger from dissident violence.

It said that with "deep regret and long consideration", it was turning down the bid because safety was paramount.

The UK City of Culture organisers had been pushing to bring the Fleadh to Northern Ireland for the first time ever in 2013.

But the UK link to the traditional Irish event had already proved a stumbling block with some members.

Director general of Comhaltas nationally, Labhras O Murchu told Talkback that in the 60 year history of the organisation, branch applications that reached provincial level automatically went through for consideration at national level.

This is the first time that an appeal has been lodged.

The national council will meet on Saturday to discuss the Derry appeal and to consider applications from Sligo and Ennis.

"The appeal is based on the fact that a decision had already been made by the full Ulster council to encourage and support the application," said Mr O Murchu.

"The decision not to do that was made by a sub committee."

Mr O Murchu said a decision on the appeal would be made by the central executive council which includes delegates from the four provinces, Britain and North America.

"We have been inundated with emails, 65 to date from all over the world, and those are very positive about the fleadh going to Derry," he added.

"We wouldn't want to send the message out to the world that Derry was not a safe city.

"Comhaltas is now organised in 15 countries, on four continents, and the dialogue I've been having for the last few days is unanimous in the non-political, non-sectarian aspect of Comhaltas and that is going to be paramount in any discussions we have."

Mr O Murchu added that the deadline for applications to host the 2013 fleadh was Thursday evening and the Ulster council could, in theory, reverse its decision and submit an application from Derry.

BBC News - Appeal by Derry Comhaltas over Fleadh decision

Manchester Irish Festival to stage world premiere of Coronation Street musical

Curly WattsImage via WikipediaStars from Manchester’s illustrious Coronation Streetwill be performing in the world premiere of Street of Dreams, during the 2012 Manchester Irish Festival. The spectacular event will feature faces from the soap, past and present, alongside host Paul O’Grady.

The show will debut at the Manchester Arena on Wednesday March 21 with the official premiere on March 22. Tickets are on sale now here; prices start from £25.

After more than fifty years on air, the world’s longest running soap has a celebrated heritage of unforgettable stories and iconic characters. Award-winning musical writer, composer and lyricist Trisha Ward will be carefully crafting handpicked moments from the Street’s history.

Famous faces from the past and present will include Kevin Kennedy (Curly Watts), Julie Goodyear (Bet Lynch), Brian Capron (Richard Hillman) and William Roche (Ken Barlow). The event’s host Paul O’Grady said: “I’m a great fan of the street! I’ve watched it for most of my life! Chunks of script from 30 years ago are engraved in my memory, I can’t wait to watch it all come together and the reaction it receives.”

The Manchester Irish Festival is now in its 17th year and is already one of Europe’s biggest Irish festivals. The 17 day cultural festival begins on Friday March 2 and runs to Sunday March 18, as well as numerous pre and post events.

The two week spectacular has over 80 venues staging just over 200 events involving art, comedy, culture, dance, music, theatre and sport. Other highlights include a four day city centre outdoor Irish market and entertainment marquee, the annual three hour St Patrick’s Day Parade and the two week Tradfest in South Manchester.

Manchester Irish Festival to stage world premiere of Coronation Street musical | Mancunian Matters

Monday, 23 January 2012

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Music from Roscommon

Video from 1981 with Peac Gately, Tommie Kildea, Tim Dolan, Peter Nestor, Patsy Hanly & Pakie Duignan.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Celtic Connections opens almightily with Bela Fleck

Jolting 2012's Celtic Connection festival into all go, Bela Fleck And The Flecktones were the opening act for this year's globally renowned folk, roots and world music festival. Incorporating over 300 events into 18 days, the Royal Concert Hall, on the crest of the city centre, played host to the opening event.

After a previous parting, this evening's show marked the European debut for the quartet's return after their release of Rocket Science last year propelled them into the Billboard, iTunes and SoundScan Jazz charts. Each part of the unit known for their musicianship and innovation as a solo artist, as well as a group, their unity alongside some special Celtic Connection guests had an enthusiastic crowd perched on the edge of their seats for this evening's show.

Their incredibly unique style musically is mirrored visually in their four appearances. Often leaning towards the experimental side of things, an elaborate fusion of bluegrass, jazz and folk, only scuffs the surface of this band's acoustic palate. Add collaborations from Irish songstress Karan Casey, America's Abigail Washburn, Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes and American bluegrass fiddler Casey Driessen, and you can imagine the blend of cultures and influences on the resultant recipe for noise.

Often creating a wonderful chaos with an abundance of cross rhythms and layering complexities, Driessen is added to the mix in the first half, appearing on stage in red patent shoes and a devil's tail. The track which the band play together showcases a rasping harmonica from founder Howard Levy. Here a tongue-in-cheek solo meanders through a few well-known tracks, highlighting his phenomenal tone and dexterity on the instrument, which he plays like one of much greater sophistication.

These tracks which lie closer to a jig and feature extreme drumming pirate, Roy Wooten in all his exuberant drumitar ways, break away to bare works, featuring only three vocals and one fiddle in the arrangement. Saddened song resonates through the poised hall, the contrasting musical styles melting flawlessly from one into the other.

The three female vocalists have very different vocal styles, but again, the variety compliments rather than portraying a weaker performer. An a cappella solo in Gaelic tongue by MacInnes casts an incredible still over the crowd before chinese banjo is added to the mix by Washburn in an experimental track.

With a deranged flavour that you'd expect from an elaborate character like PJ Harvey, the set incorporates another element, before rocking back into more familiar bluegrass territory.

Ending on an old medley of tunes to close, the eleven member strong production receive a standing ovation, before a milder track rears up for the ultimate grand finale.

It wasn’t one for the faint hearted or the non-committed , but opening night at Celtic Connections 2012 was mightily impressive, and an indicator for things to come for Glasgow, throughout the remainder of the famous festival.

Celtic Connections opens almightily with Bela Fleck | Music: Latest News | STV Entertainment

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Traditional Irish Music in a Modern Ireland (Documentary)

A documentary by journalists / film makers Malou Fickling and Robert Gustafsson about Traditional Irish music in a changing Ireland. Set in rural and urban Ireland (Donegal and Dublin) this piece takes a look at the history, themes, preservation and evolution of Irish music. Musicians interviewed include Martin Tourish (TG4 Young Musician of the year 2008), Danny Diamond and Dinny McLaughlin.


Thursday, 5 January 2012

Sinn Fein warns Derry could lose out on fleadh

[Londonderry. County Derry, Ireland] (LOC)Image by The Library of Congress via FlickrSinn Fein has said there is a "real danger" that the all-Ireland fleadh will not come to Londonderry in 2013.

A meeting of the Irish music organisation Comhaltas was held in the city on Wednesday night to discuss the issue, but members could not agree.

Sinn Fein's Martina Anderson said some County Derry members are opposed to hosting the event in 2013 because of the title the UK City of Culture.

"It is deeply disappointing," she said.

"My understanding is that County Derry branches are against it and the city branches are for it."

The fleadh attracts a quarter of a million people and City of Culture organisers are pushing to bring the event to the city next year.

Derry's bid cannot proceed without the local delegates' approval.

If the fleadh is awarded to the city it will be the first time it will come north of the border.

BBC News - Sinn Fein warns Derry could lose out on fleadh

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

'Pride of New York' Reels Its Way Into East Haven

Joanie Madden playing the flute at the Coatesv...Image via WikipediaThe Pride of New York is returning to East Haven this weekend.

The Irish American Community Center, 9 Venice Place in East Haven, will once again play host to the traditional Irish music band, for a special performance Saturday, Jan. 7, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Event organizers said when the Irish American supergroup — Joanie Madden on flute/whistle, Billy McComiskey on accordion, Brian Conway on fiddle; and Brendan Dolan on keyboard — played the community center last year, the concert was a sell out.

For Saturday's performance, donations are $20 at the door.

For more information, call John O’Donovan at 203-281-3563, Pat Stratton at 860-664-1600 or Mary Chesley 203-317-0249.


'Pride of New York' Reels Its Way Into East Haven - East Haven, CT Patch

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