Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Chieftains: For 50 Years, Irish Music For The World

English: The Chieftains performing at the Inte...Image via WikipediaPaul McCartney, Madonna, Doc Watson and Luciano Pavarotti have at least one thing in common: They've all collaborated with Irish folk band The Chieftains.

The band, credited with helping to revive Irish music, is celebrating its 50th anniversary and a career that includes more than 50 albums, six Grammys and an Oscar. The latest album, Voice of Ages, includes recordings of traditional songs with help from indie-rocker Bon Iver, folk group The Civil Wars, string band Carolina Chocolate Drops and country trio Pistol Annies, among others. Chieftains founder Paddy Moloney tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne that it all began for him in the 1940s, with a gift from his mother.

"I was 6 years of age," he says, "and my mother bought me what you call a pennywhistle — a tin whistle — for one shilling and nine pence."

The Chieftains began in 1962, at a time when rock 'n' roll was king. Moloney's goal was not only to bring back traditional Irish music, but to infuse it with new life.

"I adapted my own style of arrangements and little compositions and riffs here and there, and harmonies," he says. "It got to be heard everywhere by the likes of John Peel, who was the great disc jockey of that era, in the '60s and '70s and '80s. And John was playing our tape in among the Beatles and Rolling Stones."

The Chieftains collaborated with everyone from Tom Jones and Elvis Costello to Van Morrison and John Hiatt — even Mick Jagger.

"I remember, in the '60s, Mick coming to one of our concerts in Dublin," Moloney says. "I never realized, you know, that there were people out there listening and wanting to get back to roots, get back to where it all might have started from."

The Chieftains went to Nashville, too, where the band worked with Lyle Lovett, Rosanne Cash and Ricky Skaggs.

"For me to go to Nashville was almost going to another part of Ireland, meeting up with all your country cousins and just go for it," he says, "because you didn't have to duck and dash with these people — they knew the music. And if you played it once or twice, naturally they'd just pick it up and play it."

For one collaboration, in the '80s, The Chieftains went all the way to China. There, the group blended traditional Chinese music with its own sound.

"Some of the pieces you will hear — melody-wise there's a big difference, but it's the same ideas, you know, music to do with the seasons, to do with love, to do with battles that took place," he says. "It's just so Irish in a way. And we took a trip down the Yangtze River with all our Chinese friends, and we got them up dancing the 'Walls of Limerick,' which is a set dance, an Irish set dance. They were very suspicious at the beginning, and they weren't quite sure what to make of us, you know, but the Maotai was taking effect on them as well as us."

Maotai is a Chinese liquor, and gan bei is a common Chinese toast — their slainte: "That means bottoms up," he says. "That's how we got them all dancing."

The Chieftains' members have traveled even farther afield to make music.

"A very good friend of mine, Cady Coleman, she's an astronaut," Moloney says. He gave her bandmate Matt Molloy's flute, one of his own tin whistles and some sheet music the last time she went up to the International Space Station. That St. Patrick's Day, Moloney says, the group got a missive from way up high.

"Straight to Matt Molloy's iPad comes this Cady," Moloney says. "She's floating and she plays the tune that I gave her, 'Fanny Power,' which is on the album [under the title 'The Chieftains in Orbit'], and she floats away, her hair sticking up in the air, and the tin whistle floats with her. I took that recording and put it on so when you hear her whistle sort of disappearing to the left, I come in on the right. So we have done funny things in our time, you know?"

The Chieftains: For 50 Years, Irish Music For The World : NPR

Friday, 10 February 2012

Gaelic music, song and dance weekend in Isle of Man

Bilingual welcome road sign in Douglas, Isle o...Image via WikipediaTHE Manx Heritage Foundation’s annual traditional music, song and dance workshop weekend is back in 2012, and while the timetable is yet to be finalised, the dates, venue and guests of honour have been revealed.

The workshops are confirmed for the weekend of March 10 and 11, to be held at Manx Heritage Foundation headquarters in the stable building and chapel at The Nunnery in Douglas and will be led by Donegal singer Noeleen Ni Cholla and Belfast-based dancer and instrumentalist Tim Flaherty.

Both visitors are experienced tutors as well as performers.

Noeleen is well-known in the Gaelic world and has performed around the world with some of the scene’s biggest names. She will be teaching Irish solo and choral singing to the adults, as well as a traditional music session with youngsters.

Tim dances will Belfast’s All Set, and will teach set dancing as well as sean nos – a very social, fast moving dance style – to more experienced dancers. He will also lead sessions on the whistle and teach Irish tunes to all instruments.

Manx Heritage Foundation’s Breesha Maddrell is pleased to welcome both on what will be their first visits to the island.

She said: ‘Noeleen is a fantastic Irish Gaelic singer, I saw her perform at Festival Interceltique de Lorient in Brittany in France. She brings an opportunity to learn solo and harmony vocals in Irish Gaelic.’

Breesha went on to explain: ‘We like to do these weekends once a year, and try to vary where our guests come from, and the instruments they specialise in, as it brings in new ideas and techniques.’

Noeleen and Tim needed no convincing to come over, as people heavily involved in the Celtic identity of Ireland they were both intrigued by parallels to the Isle of Man. They both speak Irish, and Noeleen is from the Donegal Gaeltacht (an area where Irish is the predominant first language) and also speaks Scottish Gaelic, so she in particular is looking forward to getting her ears around the Manx language.

Breesha added: ‘It’s very important for the island- it contextualises Manx culture and arts in the wider Gaelic context, which is why each year we try to get guests from Scotland and Ireland in particular because of the Gaelic link.’

The setting lends itself well to the workshop weekends. Aside from the inspiring landscape of The Nunnery grounds, and good parking, the converted chapel is a good sized hall for singing and dancing, and the smaller seminar rooms around the building are used for instrument workshops.

Previous weekends have culminated in concert performances, and Breesha says this year there will again likely be an opportunity for the tutors to showcase what they do.

Breesha can be contacted at mhfmusic@mhf.org.im for more details.

Gaelic music, song and dance weekend - Manx Entertainment News - iomtoday

Paddy Moloney & The Chieftains Celebrate 50th Anniversary Tour In Philly 3/9

Paddy MoloneyCover of Paddy MoloneyThe Chieftains celebrate their 50th Anniversary Tour with Philadelphia performance at the Kimmel Center on March 9, 2012 at 8 p.m. in Verizon Hall. The six-time Grammy-winning ensemble performs traditional Irish music and dancing on stage, as well as new works from their 2012 release, Voice of Ages. Their performance features Paddy Moloney as pipe virtuoso and master of ceremonies, Matt Molloy on flute, Kevin Conneff as the rhythmic and vocal heartbeat of the ensemble on the bodhrán, along with Deanie Richardson and Jon Pilatzke on fiddles, Triona Marshall on harp, and Jeff White on guitar.

Philadelphia marks one of the final U.S. stops on The Chieftains’ 50th Anniversary Tour, which concludes with a special St. Patrick’s Day concert at Carnegie Hall on March 17. Also marking their semi-centennial is the February 21 release of Voice of Ages, an imaginative recording featuring a dazzling collection of like-minded musical visionaries and kindred spirits. The album includes collaborations with stars of indie-rock, country and Americana, and Irish-Scottish folk such as The Decemberists, The Punch Brothers, The Civil Wars, Lisa Hannigan, Paolo Nutini, Imelda May, Bon Iver, and more.

Tickets for Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains are available at $37.50 to $77, and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at kimmelcenter.org, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office located on Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia, Pa. (open daily from 10am to 6pm, later on performance evenings).

Read more: http://tunes.broadwayworld.com/article/Paddy-Moloney-The-Chieftains-Celebrate-50th-Anniversary-Tour-In-Philly-39-20120210#ixzz1m33UqO00

Paddy Moloney & The Chieftains Celebrate 50th Anniversary Tour In Philly 3/9

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Time change for MTSU's Irish Music Day

Feeling a need for a bit of music from the auld sod? Then don’t miss the first Irish Music Day on Saturday, Feb. 11, on the MTSU campus.

MTSU’s School of Music is collaborating with the Franklin, Tenn.-based Authentic Ireland Cultural Enrichment organization to conduct the daylong event. It will include workshops for traditional singing, step dancing, fiddle, Irish flute, bodhran and bouzouki as well asclasses in the Gaelic language and other associated topics.

The day will culminate at 4:30 p.m. with a special public concert in Room 101 of the University’s Saunders Fine Arts Building.

The workshops cost $40 each with a discount for multiple sessions, and the closing concert costs $10 per person. MTSU students with a valid ID will be admitted free.

For more information about the individual workshops, visit the AICE’s workshop page at www.eiliscreanaice.com/weekend_workshops.html. Attendees can pre-register by emailing AICE founder Éilís Crean at eiliscrean@gmail.com.

Time change for MTSU's Irish Music Day | The Daily News Journal | dnj.com

Manchester concert in aid of Michael Davitt film

A special traditional Irish music concert in aid of a film on Michael Davitt will be held on Friday, March 2, at the Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester.
The film, which will cover the life and times of Mayo’s most famous son and leader of the Land League, is the brainchild of Irish musician Donal Maguire and film maker Paul Vernon Lydiate. The special concert, which features a host of award-winning musicians, includes performances from Debbie Garvey, Steve Johnston, Dónal Maguire, Mike McGoldrick, Emma Sweeney and special-guest, singer Dick Gaughan.
Maguire decided to embark on the project because he felt a film on Davitt’s part in Irish history is long overdue, and because his own path often crossed that of the historical figure: “Davitt lived in Haslingden when his family moved here from Mayo, which is where I am living at present. My first London address in Battersea, as a student, was across the road from where Davitt lived during his brief spell as an elected MP. I seem to have been chasing him all my life thus the name of the film project has been selected as ‘Chasing Michael Davitt’.
“We feel that Davitt’s part in the course of Irish history is largely underplayed, and we hope to highlight the remarkable contribution he made not only through his work with the Land League but as a social reformer generally,” he said.
The concert and film boast a significant number of musicians with Mayo connections. Fiddle player Emma Sweeney’s father comes from Charlestown, flute player Mike McGoldrick’s grandfather comes from just outside Castlebar. Accordion player Debbie Garvey’s father comes from Roscommon and her partner’s family hails from Mayo too, as does the grandfather of Scots singer Dick Gaughan. Banjo player Donal Maguire comes from Drogheda.
The Gala concert will kick-start Manchester’s annual Irish Festival, which is now in its 17th year. The 17-day festival, which includes over 200 events at 80 different venues, runs until Sunday, March 18, and is one of Europe’s biggest celebrations of Irish culture.
Tickets for the concert are just £10, and the event starts at 8.15pm. For information about the concert log onto www.manchesteririshfestival.co.uk.

ARTS Manchester concert in aid of Michael Davitt film

Monday, 6 February 2012

Irish Musicians Achieve New Height of Recognition at the 4th Annual Irish Music Award Presentation on Jan. 28, 2012

Paddy KeenanImage via WikipediaAs we speed toward that metamorphic holiday in March where the whole world turns green and becomes Irish, St Patrick's Day, the Irish Music Association has released a new list of the Best in Irish Music, creating new international icons in the genre.

Last weekend, on Saturday, January 28, 2012, during the 4th Annual Irish Music Award Presentation ceremony, the IMA recognized outstanding Irish artists in 18 different categories. The event took place in the 60-foot-underground historic brewery cellars of the 1842 Royal Brewing Company at O'Malley's Pub in Weston, Missouri.

More than six weeks of voting and electioneering occurred in two online forums: "Members of the Irish Music Association" and "Free Public Voting." The two forums for voting are used as checks and balances to insure fair and balanced reporting. Close races were in the following categories: Top Button Accordion, Top Fiddle, and Best Female Vocalist. (List of award recipients is below.)

"There is magnificent talent among the ranks of Irish performers and musicians today. The Irish Music Association is proud to highlight these extraordinary artists, celebrating not only that which is traditionally Irish, but also appreciating more eclectic sounds," IMA Executive Director R. T. Reeder said. "This year's nominations include some of the Irish music industry's most famous artists and performing groups."

Reeder, who founded the organization in 2003, said the mission of the IMA is to "promote, produce and perpetuate Irish music worldwide." This is accomplished by producing shows, sponsoring festivals, and producing the annual Irish Music Association Awards Ceremony, he said. Website: http://www.irishmusicassociation.com

The IMA Awards event helps "recognize, promote and support Irish music and musicians from the U.S., Ireland, the European Union, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom." The awards program can be seen in its entirety at http://www.irishmusicawards.com

This year's "Lifetime Achievement Award" went to Paddy Keenan for his dedication to Irish music.

Irish Music Award Recipients for 2011

Top Solo Performer in Concert (US, IRE, EU, UK) - Ryan Kelly
Top Solo Performer in a Pub Venue (US, IRE, EU, UK) - George Donaldson
Top Duo in a Pub, Festival, Concert (US, IRE, EU, UK) - Qristina & Quinn Bachand
Top Group (US, IRE, EU, UK) - The High Kings
Best New Irish Artist(s) (IRE, EU, US, UK) - The Ryans
Best New Irish CD - Orla Fallon - My Land
Top Celtic Rock Band (IRE, EU, US, UK) - The Roving Crows
Best Irish Tenor (individual) - Michael Londra
Best Female Vocalist (individual/trad.) - Lisa Kelly
Best Sean-nos Singer - Iarla O Lionaird
Top Traditional Performance Show - Celtic Woman
Top Traditional Group in a Pub, Festival, Concert - Teada
Tommy Makem Award - Enya
Top Uilleann Piper (US, IRE, EU, UK) - Tommy Martin
Top Harpist (US, IRE, EU, UK) - Orla Fallon
Top Fiddle/Violin (US, IRE, EU, UK, CA, AUS) - Caitlin Barrett
Top Button Accordion (US, IRE, EU, UK) - John Whelan
Lifetime Achievement Award - Paddy Keenan

Reeder said the IMA has received an overwhelming response to this year's awards process, from the number of performing artists and groups nominated — to the number of votes already cast. "This outpouring of support reflects a growing appreciation and love for the music of Ireland," he said.

Reeder was pleased the awards ceremony took place at O'Malley's Pub, host of the annual O'Malley's Weston Irish Festival. The pub is also home to the Weston Brewing Company and the American Bowman Restaurant. Promoted as the "oldest brewery West of the Hudson," the brewery sponsored the first Kansas City Royals baseball team in the early 1900's. http://www.westonirish.com/OMALLEYS.html

"The grand response we received from fans of Irish music and talent was so inspiring, as we gain momentum and build from year to year," said Reeder. "I want to thank not only the winners, but those nominated in all of our categories, for their outstanding contributions in every aspect of Irish music." The awards program can be seen in it's entirety at www.irishmusicawards.com

SOURCE Irish Music Association

Irish Musicians Achieve New Height of Recognition at the 4th Annual Irish Music Award Presentation on Jan. 28, 2012 - PR Newswire - sacbee.com

Friday, 3 February 2012

Irish band Goitse will play Maine venues

The five-piece band Goitse, all students at Ireland's University of Limerick, will perform traditional melodies, modern rhythms and new compositions Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center.

The group will also play at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, at The Rack in Carrabassett for the annual Carrabassett Valley “Dirt-bag Prom;" and at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts in Unity.

Curtain at Skye is 7 p.m. Jam sessions will be held one hour prior to show at Skye and Unity.

Now entering its third year, Goitse has gone from supporting acts and opening concerts to performing concerts in the four provinces of Ireland, parts of Europe and in Africa.

Goitse's debut album, released in January 2010, has gained praise from critics. Hotpress Magazine had this to say: "They play with an easy assurance that should cause those fretting about the future of Irish trad to rest more easily at night."

Making up the band are multi-instrumentalist Conal O’Kane of Philadelphia, whose interest in music theory shines through in his chord choices and punchy rhythms; singer and fiddler Aine Mc Geeney, who toured with Michael Flately’s world-famous “Lord of the Dance” show; and Colm Phelan, who has a large fan base of bodhran enthusiasts.

Also, Tadhg O Meachair, recognzed as one of Irelands top young piano and piano accordion players; and vocalist Dave Curley, who plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, bodhran and other instrumentals, and often steals the show with his dancing.

Skye Theater is 2 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Road. UCCPA is at 42 Depot St., Unity. For tickets, $15 at the door, call Skye at 562-4445 or UCCPA at 948-7469.

The Rack is at 5016 Access Road, Carrabassett. Cover charge is $5. For more information, call 237-2211.

Irish band Goitse will play Maine venues | Sun Journal


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