Around NYC: the Irish traditional music seisiún and céilí events


The Irish live in a much wider area than just Manhattan in the lár (urban center). Traditional Irish music events such as the seisiún and the céilí pop up all over the region at various times. This is an incomplete list, but a good place to get started.

The list below works well with Maureen Donnachie's Ceol agus Rince calendar, which can be found here, and compiles gatherings happening among the musicians, listeners and dancers around town that create the unique seisiún and céilí culture of New York City.

A seisiún is an event (imeacht, imockt) where Irish traditional musicians go to play tunes from the large traditional repertoire. The audience can be a listening crowd, or when they're not, a threatening din.

A céilí is an event (imeacht, imockt) where live music drives Irish dancing, so the audience at a céilí are there for the music or to dance sets or step dance.

Concerts or ceolchoirm (kyolkyorum) are regularly produced by Don Meade's Blarney Star productions at NYU's Ireland House. Other venues include the New York Irish Center in Long Island City and the Irish Arts Center on 11th ave. There are many concerts around the region at various times and venues. What's listed below are sessions and céilí dances.

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10pm every Sunday, in the East Village at The 11th Street Bar.

Tony DeMarco has been as spine and central nervous system to the Irish seisiún scene long before it became trendy. He leads the session that happens there each Sunday starting at 10pm. Predictably, the bar is on 11th St., between Avenues A and B, in the East Village. Their website is here. A map. The address and phone: 510 East 11th Street, New York, NY‎ - (212) 982-3929‎.
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6:00 Sundays, Porter House seisiún in Montvale, NJ.

Rose Conway Flanagan on fiddle and Linda Hickman on flute lead a seisiún at the Porter House in Montvale, NJ. Address and phone: 125 Kinderkamack Road, Montvale, NJ 07645, 201-307-6300. A map. Their website.
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Every Sunday at 1:30, seisiún at Cannon's Blackthorn
Fiddler Bernadette Fee leads a seisiún on Long Island in Rockville Center at Cannon's Blackthorn. You can visit their website here. This is their address:49 North Village Ave., Rockville Centre, NY 11570. The phone: (516) 594-1222. And map.
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Every Sunday at 2:00, St. James Gate seisiún
Tom Dunne and Tony Horswill have a fun session at St. James Gate in Maplewood, NJ. The address and phone: 167 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood, NJ 07040-2555, (973) 378-2222. A map. Their website.
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3:00 Sundays, Seisiún at Affair on 8th in Greenwich Village
Desi Groark on banjo and Marie Barrett on flute, have a seisiún at this Greenwich Village pub called Affair on 8th. The website is here. The address and phone: 35 West 8th St
(Btwn 5th & 6th Avenues)New York, NY 10011(212)253-2999. A map.
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7:00 O'Neill's seisiún, east midtown Manhattan
O'Neill's is the city's longest running venue for Irish traditional music. The proprietor is Ciarán Staunton, a committed supporter of the culture.
Address and phone: O'Neill's Irish Bar, 729 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10017-3203(212) 661-3530‎. A map.
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4:00 on Sundays, Céilí in Dumont, NJ.

Bergen Irish Musicians' Céilí in Dumont, NJ at the Bergen Irish Center, 41 Omaha Street, Dumont, NY, (201)385-9277.
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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 8:00 on Mondays, The Landmark seisiún on 11th Ave in midtown Manhattan

Don Meade hosts a new artist each week to lead this seisiún at one of New York City's most ancient venues. This old pub has been pulling pints--or however it was done in the 19th century--since 1868. Address and phone: 626 11th Avenue (at 46th Street), New York, NY 10036, (212) 247-2562. Their website. A map. And check out the Blarney Star Productions website to see what's happening at the session from week to week.
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8:30 on Mondays, the Spike Hill seisiún in Brooklyn.
The host at Spike Hill is Neil, from Tyrone who comes from a musical family, that knows the music, his mother being a well-known banjo player. Neil keeps the vibe Irish on Mondays, in a setting replete with trad on the stereo system before and after the live music, with traditional snugs and an excellent menu of gourmet pub grub. It's a very nice seisiún, and the leader rotates each week. The address and phone: 184 & 186 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, (718) 218-9737. Their website. A map.
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Every Tuesday at 8 in the East Village at Dempseys.

This is a fun round robin session where lots of students from music classes go afterwards to play tunes. After the round robin, anything can happen, and every three weeks, a new musician is hired to lead the session. All skill levels are welcome. John Nevin has promoted Dempseys for a long time. Address and phone: 61 2nd Avenue, bet. 3rd & 4th Streets, New York City, 10003, (212) 388 0662. The website. A map.
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Every Tuesday at 9:30 on e.4th near The Bowery.

Swift Hibernian Lounge is a popular spot with all kinds of people. A Tuesday night session with amplification has been going strong here for a long time. Address and phone: 34 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003, (212) 227-9438. The website. A map.
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Every Wednesday at 7:30, Brian Conway and guest, the seisiún in White Plains.
You can read about this long-running seisiún here. The host is fiddle virtuoso Brian Conway. He has been a mainstay of NYC's session scene for decades like Tony DeMarco, with whom he recorded a classic album Apples in Winter in 1981. The address and phone for the Dunne's session is: 15 Shapham Place, White Plains, NY 10605,(914) 421-1451. A map.
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9:00 on Wednesdays, Tony DeMarco & Éamonn O'Leary seisiún at Amity Hall

This is a new seisiún in downtown Manhattan led by Tony DeMarco with Éamonn O'Leary. Address and phone: 80 West 3rd Street, New York, NY 10012-1008,(212) 677-2290. Their website. A map.
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Every Wednesday at 9:00, The Trinity Pub seisiún
Caitlin Warbelow invites various guests each week to the Trinity seisiún on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Their address: The Trinity Pub, 299 East 84th St., New York, NY 10028, 212-327-4450. Their website. A map.
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Every Thursday at 7, Punch Bowl seisiún in Riverdale

Bernadette Fee leads this Riverdale seisiún in the Bronx from 7pm to 10. Address and phone: 5820 Broadway at West 238th Street, 718-884-7322. A map.
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Every Friday at 8:00, O'Casey seisiún

O'Casey's seisiún takes places on the lower level of the establishment in a quiet setting. Keith O'Neill on fiddle & Dan Lowery on flute host the new session in Manhattan every Friday at 8 p.m.. Address and phone: 22 East 41st Street, New York, NY‎ - (212) 685-6807‎. A map.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx7:30 Mulvihill CCÉ seisiún in Pearl River
7:30 pm ~ an Irish language lesson, a short set dance lesson, kids’ seisiún; 9 pm ~ advanced student & adult seisiún. All are welcome to attend. Address and phone: AOH Hall, Railroad Ave, Pearl River, Call Rose: 845-735-1743; Margie: 845-735-1204 or; Patty: 845-735-3282. The CCÉ website for the Mulvihill Branch.
A map.
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8:00 Philadelphia Irish Center seisiún

Address and phone: Philadelphia, PA 19119-2642, (215) 843-8051. Their website. A map.
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Every Friday at 4:30, in Maspeth, Queens.


Pio Ryan, Peter Maguireand Alan Gogarty lead a seisiún in Maspeth, Queens. Address and phone: 64-14 Grand Avenue, Maspeth NY 11378, 718-894-8100. Their website. A map.
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Every Saturday at 4:00, Lillie's seisiún in Manhattan.

Donie Carroll and Dan Neely invite new seisiún leaders each week to this Victorian bar that was dismantled in Belfast and reconstructed in New York City. Address and phone: 13 E.17TH St. NY,NY. 10003, info@lilliesnyc.com, 212-337-1970, betweeen Broadway & Fifth Ave. Their website. A map.
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8:00 IAANJ seisiún, Rockaway Twp, NJ.

Address and phone: 352 Richard Mine Rd. Rockaway Tnsp. NJ.
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8:00 Plainview Céilí

Address and phone: 115 Southern Parkway, Plainview, NY 11803. The céilí happens every First Saturday from 8pm-12am, Donations $20 Coffee, Tea and Soda Bread. Their website. A map.
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Every Saturday at 9:00 O'Neill's seisiún, east midtown Manhattan
O'Neill's is the city's longest running venue for Irish traditional music. The proprietor is Ciarán Staunton, a committed supporter of the culture.
Address and phone: O'Neill's Irish Bar, 729 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10017-3203(212) 661-3530‎. A map.
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