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Swinging at Lincoln Center in New York City

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Lincoln Center Midsummer Night Swing with Eamon Cotter, Charlie Harris, Maeve Donnelly and Geraldine Cotter. (Photo by Maurice Gunning)
It is one of the great features of Lincoln Center Out of Doors programming and since 1989 thousands of dancers have tripped the night fantastic under the stars at the Midsummer Night Swing series on the West Side campus of New York City’s most prestigious cultural performance venue.

Reflecting New York multicultural tapestry, the entertaining dance series features music for dancing from around the world for over two decades.  From time to time, the Irish have had their turn on the bandstand over the years.
Irish dance bands have included local favorites like the Kips Bay Ceili Band led by John Whelan and Pat Kilbride, Cherish the Ladies and Pride of New York (with Joanie Madden at the respective helms of CTL and PONY).

Once again the Irish will have a ceili on the Lincoln Center Campus as part of Midsummer Night Swing (www.midsummernightswing.org) on Wednesday, July 13 from 6-10 p.m.

As usual with the series it begins with a dance lesson, and popular Queens native Megan Downes returns to put people through their paces at 6:30 p.m., and the Irish DJ Kevin Westley will have his turntable in operation for the breaks which will also feature Donny Golden Dancers.

It is a collaboration with the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Midsummer Night Swing and “Imagine Ireland 2011” initiative of Culture Ireland. A group of all-star musicians recruited for the Catskills Irish Arts week will be coming down from the mountains for the night.

Led by an outstanding quartet featuring box player Charlie Harris (Limerick) who won the TG4 Traditional Musician of the Year Award in 2010, Galway fiddler Donnelly, flute player Eamonn Cotter and his sister Geraldine Cotter from Clare on piano they will be augmented on the night by multi-instrumentalist John Carty from Roscommon and Caitlin nic Gabhann from Meath.  They will be playing for dancing starting at 7:30 p.m. after the dance lesson by Downes.

The Midsummer Night Swing Dance Series takes place at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park now on new improved dance floor (capacity up to 1,200 people) as part of Lincoln Center’s overall upgrading of facilities in the aftermath of its 50th anniversary a couple of years ago.

Damrosch Park Amphitheater is located on 63rd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenue. Admission is only $17 and tickets can be purchased in advance at CenterCharge 212-721-6500 or online at www.midsummernightswing.org.

And listeners and well as dancers are encouraged to come along and support the Irish Night at Lincoln Center in a celebration of Irish Music at Manhattan’s cultural Mecca.

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