Irish American Writers banding together for Mexican writers

Celtic Cross
Irish American Writers and Artists Association (IAW&A) will host a night of Celtic and Mexican music on December 8 from 7-11 p.m. at Manhattan’s Klub 45 in Times Square (above Connolly’s).


Chicano and Irish poets, along with Irish and Mexican beer will all be on tap in support of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which is working to bring attention to and provide legal assistance for Mexican journalists who are being killed, intimated and forced to seek asylum in the U.S. for the reporting they are doing on the narco war in Mexico.


Pete Hamill, Rubén Blades, Celtic Cross, Frontera Bugalú, Larry Kirwan of Black 47, Joe Hurley's Rogues March, Ashley Davis, Malachy McCourt, host T.J. English, and other special guests will turn out for a night of entertainment in support of journalists' rights in Mexico.


"This will be a unique and special event," says journalist and author T.J. English, a co-founder of IAW&A who is hosting the event.


"The issues of freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the ability to do your job as a reporter or photographer without the threat of intimidation and death is of the utmost importance to all artists. We will rally around this cause while also having a fantastic night of music, poetry and cross-cultural interchange."


"Just as we did during the Haitian earthquake relief night at Connolly's, we hope to integrate the Celtic and Latino musics on December 8,” says Black 47’s Larry Kirwan.


“Ruben Blades did it with his album, Primogenio; the Chieftains did it with their San Patricio CD, and Black 47 did it with their song San Patricio Brigade. There will be many great improvisers present so be prepared for musical fireworks."


Celtic Cross joins Black 47 on the bill after a busy season as festival favorites ever since their release Shores of America won them critical acclaim (including album of the year in these pages). Now that the festivals are done, Kathleen Fee reports the group is laying low and concentrating on doing new songs.


“I think playing the festivals help you focus more on your performance and original material,” Fee reports. “We have been trying some new songs, one called ‘Irish Girl’ that are really going well. I think in a bar, they want to here the traditional Irish stuff and you have to bow to that more than when you are on a festival stage.

“This gig is obviously unique and we are looking forward to playing it. I just love what the Irish American Writers stand for, a community of artists and writers supporting our culture. I was only happy to say yes to it and was intrigued by this as well.


“The Mexican writers are seeking freedom from censorship. Our ancestors struggled with this as well, so you can really identify what they are going through and it’s a great cause to support.”


Suggested donation for the night is $30.

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