Taking Note: Irish and African Roots of American Music

Mick Moloney recipient of the National Heritage Award presents at ICCNE, December 1, 2012
Mick Moloney recipient of the National Heritage
Award presents at ICCNE, December 1, 2012
On Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. the Irish Cultural Centre of New England welcomes musician and folklorist Mick Moloney as he traces the evolution of Old Time American, Country and Bluegrass styles of music to their Irish and African roots.

As Moloney recounts the confluence of Irish immigrant and African American musical elements which occurred in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, the audience will enjoy live performance and audio-visual illustration. The story is a rich multi-cultural tapestry beginning in the 18th and early 19th centuries when waves of Northern Irish immigrants, known today as the Scotch Irish or the Ulster Scots, ended up in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, bringing with them the music, songs and stories of Ireland and Scotland. They settled in Virginia, West Virginia, the Carolinas, east Tennessee, east Kentucky and north Georgia. They met and lived beside Cherokee, German, Scottish and English settlers who had moved to the mountains from the Southern East Coast Tidewater. Eventually, these Irish were living beside African Americans who had moved to the mountains from Southern plantations before and after the Civil War. The African Americans brought the banjo and a highly developed tradition of music and dance. In time, the strains of musical tradition from the two cultures blended and gave birth to distinctly American genres.

Mick Moloney’s presentation on the Irish and African roots of American music begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Irish Cultural Centre, 200 New Boston Drive, Canton, MA 02021. There is an admission fee of $10 for per person at the door. The ICC Pub will be open for dinner beforehand. For additional information please call 781-821-8291or e-mail info@irishculture.org.

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