The Blarney Star concerts are the longest running presentation of Irish traditional music in Manhattan. Don Meade has showcased world-class trad talent in downtown New York in various now-epic venues for decades, but has found a true home for his concert series on Fifth Avenue at NYU.
Among the super-stars of Irish traditional music---the kind that has a quiet crowd of afficionados agape--are Kevin Crawford & Cillian Vallely of the mega-group Lúnasa. Their show, with wickedly sensitive guitar accompaniment by Ted Davis packed the house and was an event to remember.
Below are some of the pictures from the Blarney Star concert at Ireland House last month. Clare flute, whistle and bodhrán player Kevin Crawford and Armagh uilleann piper and whistle player Cillian Vallely will be playing with their full group Lúnasa--Seán Smyth, Trevor Hutchinson and Paul Meehan the other members of the quintet--in New York very soon, and you can follow the band's schedule on Facebook--here. The band have just released their long-awaited new album Lá Nua, and you can find out more on their website--here. Paul Keating has also written a nice piece on Lúnasa, their latest release and up-coming gigs, you can look at here.
Your last chance to catch the Blarney Star is May 14th, when James Keane and Randal Bays close out the series with a highly anticipated show. Keane on accordion and Bays on fiddle and guitar are known for playing with Daithí Sproule in their trio Fingal. This is an unusual performance for the two while Sproule is traveling, and a chance to hear the bare interplay of two master instrumentalists in the intimate setting of Ireland House.