Monday, October 17, 2011

Irish singer Fiona Molloy performs at Irish center Nov. 12

"Singer Fiona Molloy will perform with Dublin O'Shea for a 7:30 p.m. show Nov. 12 at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Also on the bill - bodhran player David Klawes, highland piper Sean Cavanaugh and the Kinsella Academy of Irish Dance.

Molloy is a native of Derry, Northern Ireland, who now lives in Wisconsin. She earned the nickname "songbird of peace" for performances during turbulence in Ireland in the 1970s.

Molloy and Klawes are both regulars at Irish Fest in Milwaukee.

Reserved seat tickets are $19. To order, visit, or call (414) 345-8800.

Irish singer Fiona Molloy performs at Irish center Nov. 12 - JSOnline

Sample the best of Irish music and dancing at Southport Theatre

IRISH dance spectacular Rhythm of the Dance will be getting audiences in Southport on their feet this week.
Originally produced for a three-week tour of the US in 1998, the show has since visited 43 countries and sold over five million tickets.
Now the much anticipated production comes to the UK for its premiere tour.
This two-hour dance and music extravaganza contains a wealth of Irish talent.
The show is an inspiring epic, reliving the journey of the Irish Celts throughout history. Using modern art forms of dance and music, this richly-costumed show marries the contemporary and the ancient.
Combining traditional dance and music with the most up-to-date stage technology, the show continues to receive critical acclaim year after year thanks to the constant striving for perfection by the creative team to keep the show fresh, and full of the very best that the Emerald Isle has to offer.
With a wonderful, gifted young cast of dancers, musicians and three Irish tenors, featuring 100% live performances from the entire troupe, it is no surprise that Rhythm of the Dance continues to win over audiences wherever it plays.
For more than a decade the show has been delighting and enthralling live audiences across the globe. In China’s Shenzhen City, on the Eve of the new Millennium with a live audience at the Earth Dome, the show was also beamed to over 750 million viewers on syndicated National Television.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Michael Curran & Kieran Leonard

IONA to open 'Winterfest 31'

ONLEY --The Arts Council of the Eastern Shore presents the first performance of the new season, "Winterfest 31" on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. at Nandua High School. This will be the first of seven performances (one more than the season usually offers) which began in October and will end in April 2012.

The opener will be IONA, a Celtic band that has been at the forefront of the Celtic Music revival since the band's inception in 1986. Founded by Barbara Tresidder Ryan and Bernard Argent, IONA has evolved into what is probably the most comprehensive pan-Celtic band in the world. The band's mission is to present the rich musical elements of all the Celtic cultures-- Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Manx, Cornish, Breton, Asturian and Galician, blending them into New World cultures: Appalachian, Cape Breton and Cajun.

IONA is known for its ability to connect with the audience, for its professionalism and energy. IONA members have researched IONA's material by traveling to all the Celtic lands to excavate the traditions and learn from those from whom the music originated. The group's name comes from the island of Iona, the first landfall in Scotland out of the sight of Ireland. The founders decided to capitalize the name because another group subsequently chose the same name. The band consists of five performers: Barbara Tresidder Ryan, Bernart Argent, Chuck Lawhorn, Jim Queen, and Kathleen Larrick

IONA to open 'Winterfest 31' | The Daily Times |

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Féile Frank McCann

"Contrary to the view expressed by Seamus Ennis – that the best way to play the bodhrán was with a pen knife – the folks of Strokestown are girding their loins in anticipation of the ninth Féile Frank McCann this weekend, honouring the late bodhrán player and all-round traditional music aficionado.

This year’s gathering will include the irrepressible west Kerry box player and singer Seamus Begley, along with the TG4 Traditional Musician of the Year and Clare concertina master Noel Hill. Tomorrow, an afternoon session of music, song and tall tales will be hosted by radio presenter and box player Danny O’Mahony, fiddler MacDara Ó Raghallaigh and guitarist Paul Doyle.

An autumnal boutique festival to ease musicians and singers alike into the longer, darker evenings, this gathering is less about the cult of personality than it is about relishing the vibrancy of the tradition."

Féile Frank McCann - The Irish Times - Fri, Oct 07, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

In love, with the bodhrán

I have been playing the traditional drum set for six year. I love the set, don’t get me wrong, but lately I’ve been wanting to explore other percussion instruments. And thus began my relationship with the Irish bodhrán.

My drum teacher, Bob, is obsessed with the Irish culture. He visits Ireland every year, plays in an Irish band, and of course is a maniac on traditional Irish percussion instruments such as the bodhrán, the bones, and the spoons.

Growing up in an Irish family, I’ve been around these instruments all of my life. My grandfather is from Ireland and has a sick Irish accent, while my grandmother is from England and has an equally “bad ass” British accent. My mother came to America when she was four years old. So, these cultures have always been a big part of my life.

I spent countless hours watching my sister master the art of Irish dancing. We traveled from festival to festival watching her compete, and dominate. For a while I danced too, but it was short lived, due to my extreme dorkiness and lack of coordination.

Anyway, I always loved the Irish culture, as it is a big part of who I am. When Bob introduced me to the bodhrán, I fell in love.
In love, with the bodhrán - High School - - Albany NY

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Latest in Irish and Irish-American Music | Irish America Magazine, Irish American | IrishCentral

How to Tune a Fish • Beoga

An exciting new release from Compass Records, How to Tune a Fish by Beoga is sure to be a lively hit amongst long-time trad fans and newcomers alike. Eamon Murray’s presence on the bodhran is a dominant one. Trad music is by its nature very percussive, but Murray, a former All-Ireland champion player, demands more than just toe tapping. On the title track he downright steals the show, no easy task in a band of two button accordions and a fiddle.

Beoga is a five-piece band, very appropriately named (‘beoga’ is Irish for ‘lively’) who met at an All-Ireland Fleadh. The five accomplished players turned heads in 2004 with their debut album and will certainly have heads bobbing with this follow-up.

With perfectly woven arrangements and an electric chemistry, How to Tune a Fish is a tongue-in-cheek album packed with life and energy. Tapping into the always welcome bluegrass crossover in “Home cookin,’” Beoga never seems to falter in their vacuum-sealed-tight playing. None of the quintet waiver, but each steps forward to shine on various tracks throughout the album, creating a true ensemble record.

Voices & Harps • Moya Brennan and Cormac de Barra

Cormac de Barra has long been the premier name mentioned among a sadly scarce breed: the Irish harpist. De Barra has played with many of Ireland’s best including The Chieftains and Julie Feeney. With roots in Cork, he is a studied and creative harpist, and his partner on this record, Moya Brennan is a fellow harpist and vocalist widely known as the “First Lady of Celtic Music.”

These two Celtic powerhouses come together for their aptly named album, Voices & Harps. The curt name of the album speaks to the very acoustic and sparing production choices throughout the album. And while the album has a simple feeling to it, as though the listener is seated in the room with the band, the intricacies of these expert players’ arrangements and skill of play is, as always, astounding. Brennan’s voice leads many vocal journeys into traditional Irish songs, flawlessly in the track “A Seanduine Doite.”

The album is a must have for any Irish-speaker or lover of the rhythm and beauty of the Irish language. Brennan’s performance of the classic “Taim Breoite Go Leor” is breathtaking and with added harmonies, it is stunningly tragic. De Barra is no vocal slouch himself. Lending harmonies to most of the record, he takes the reins on the haunting “Bean Duch A’ Ghleanna” and does it more than justice.

It is so rare that any piece of music gives the harp its fair dues and this album is entirely dedicated to it. Voices & Harps is a showcase of one of the most underrated and diverse instruments in the Irish trad genre.

Read more:

Music Reviews: The Latest in Irish and Irish-American Music | Irish America Magazine, Irish American | IrishCentral