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The incomparable Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill Photo by: NPR

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill in residence at the Irish Arts Center (VIDEO)

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The incomparable Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill Photo by: NPR

Two of the world’s most accomplished Irish traditional musicians, the fiddler Martin Hayes and the American guitarist Dennis Cahill, will - for their only NYC duo appearance this year - be in residence at the Irish Arts Center. The duo will perform a series of unique collaborations with eight world-renowned artists, including the pianist/composer Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), clarinetist Doug Wieselman, and poet and The New Yorker Poetry Editor Paul Muldoon.

The list of New York-based, genre-defying guest artists will also include All-Ireland uilleann piper Ivan Goff, Brooklyn-based Irish and classical violinist Dana Lyn, epiphone guitarist and composer Kyle Sanna, old-time and Irish fiddler Cleek Schrey, and influential fiddler and electronic music composer Dan Trueman.

For this residency Hayes and Cahill will collaborate with a different special guest each night, making each performance a completely unique experience. For Hayes, "Collaboration reinforces the experience of authenticity. Many of these artists have some connection to Irish music, but for the most part Irish music is not their lives. Their work crosses genres."

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill have been creating adventurous, soulful interpretations of traditional tunes for 20 years, and are recognized the world over for their exquisite musicality and irresistible rhythm.

For each of the eight concerts they will perform a retrospective of tunes from their long association together. This will include tracks from the three critically acclaimed albums - The Lonesome Touch (1997), Live in Seattle (1999) and Welcome Here Again (2008) - in addition to Hayes's solo albums and unrecorded repertoire. This is a unique opportunity to catch the pair, who have played to crowds of thousands around the world as well as for President Obama at The White House, in the intimate setting of IAC’s Donaghy Theatre.

Martin Hayes is one of the most extraordinary talents to emerge in the world of Irish traditional music. His unique sound, his mastery of the fiddle, his acknowledgement of the past and his shaping of the future of the music, combine to create a formidable artistic intelligence.

A native of County Clare, Martin has traveled the world but remains grounded in the music he grew up with in his own locality, and from his father, a noted fiddler in his own right, P. Joe Hayes. Martin has composed scores for film, theatre, and modern dance, and collaborated with such artists as viola da gamba player Jordi Savall, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, electric violinist Darol Anger, classical quartet Brooklyn Rider, and Irish composer David Flynn. Martin is artistic director of the Masters of Tradition Festival in West County Cork, Ireland, and the touring ensemble of the same name. Both Martin and Dennis are part of the new Irish “supergroup,” The Gloaming, which includes singer Iarla Ó Lionáird  (Afro Celt Sound System) and the New York pianist, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman). The group performed on a double-bill with the Kronos Quartet at Lincoln Center in July. www.martinhayes.com

Dennis Cahill is a master guitarist from Chicago born to Irish-speaking parents from the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. His spare, essential accompaniment to Martin Hayes’ fiddle is acknowledged as a major breakthrough for guitar in the Irish tradition. Besides touring with Martin Hayes for their duet performances, Dennis is a member of the Masters of Tradition ensemble as well as an annual participant at the festival of the same name, and plays with The Gloaming. He is a sought-after record producer where he works with musicians in his home studio in Chicago, as well as a talented photographer. www.denniscahill.com

These eight one-night-only events run Friday September 20th through Sunday September 22nd, and Wednesday September 25th through Sunday September 29th, at 8pm at the Irish Arts Center (553 West 51st Street between 10th and 11th avenues.)

Tickets are $44 for IAC members and $55 for the general public, while opening night tickets for Friday September 20th are $100 and include a post-show reception with the artists. Tickets are available online at www.irishartscenter.org or by calling 866-811-4111.

Here’s a clip of the duo in action:


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