Reeling over the midweek hump with Irish trad and folk sessions at Dunnes


Getting over the Wednesday hump takes something to look forward to. Usually that's the weekend, but not so in White Plains, where daydreamers in the office can look forward to Wednesday night at Dunne's Pub to bring them out of the rut, and have been for more than a decade.

With master Irish-American fiddler Brian Conway at the helm, the performance-level session attracts serious musicians and an audience of serious listeners.

Brian Conway is a lion among the true Irish fiddlers of New York, coming out of the tradition from a continuum that stretches back to 19th century players who performed and recorded Irish traditional music for the same labels that the earliest jazz recordings were made on.

Conway's new CD "Consider the Source" is testament to his sense of lineage and responsibility to continue and advance from within the tradition, the early masters' work. Samples of the CD can be heard here. As the premier teacher of Irish fiddle in New York, Conway has been able to bridge the generation of players he learned from directly to the youngest coming up today.

Damien Connolly joins Brian this week to keep the tunes driving well into the night. Connolly is visiting from Fairfield, Connecticut, where he now lives by way of Clare, having spent much of his teenage years there, amidst a family of stellar musicians. Connolly has recently published a tutorial on the button accordion with DVD, being a highly sought teacher on both box and fiddle.

Wednesday night at Dunnes has been an institution, bringing many surprises and often the cream of Irish traditional musicians together. Regulars to Conway's seisiún have been many, and include members of the super-group "Pride of New York"-- who with Conway are Joannie Madden, Billy McComiskey and Brendan Dolan.

They share the experiences of having grown up in the city's old Irish neighborhoods to the live soundtrack of Ireland's master players in exile. They have released a critically acclaimed CD of their uniquely important music.

Seán Dunne--the owner and key to the Wednesday happening's success--loves traditional Irish music and has been incredibly welcoming to the musicians over the many years. The pub is located at 15 Shapham Place in White Plains, more information can be got by calling (914) 421-1451.

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