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The Lincoln Center, New York goes Irish - “OurLand: Celebrating Irish Culture in America”

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Noel Kilkenny and Joe Hurley
Joe Hurley, one of the most colorful characters in the New York Irish music scene is teaming up with the Irish Consulate to stage as part of Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival series “OurLand: Celebrating Irish Culture in America.”

The event takes place on Sunday, July 29 from 2-10 p.m. and will be THE Irish event of the summer!

This will be an extravaganza of music, spoken word, traditional arts and more exploring Irish and Irish-Americans continuing contribution to the American songbook and American culture.

Featuring stars of pop, rock, punk, folk and from the worlds of theater, literature and more, “OurLand” takes place at multiple spaces on the Lincoln Center campus, culminating in Damrosch Park at the end of the night, with the All Star Irish Rock Revue!

Fans of Irish music and faithful readers of this column know that Hurley’s March Irish Rock Revues usually gets my vote each year for the best event of the St. Patrick’s Day season. To have it move under the stars and onto the lawn of Lincoln Center is an exciting prospect indeed! 

“OurLand” opens at 2 p.m. on Hearst Plaza Stage with “Gathering of the Bards: From Galway to Rockaway.” Yours truly will be reading from his book This Is Your Brain on Shamrocks, and I will be joined by fellow Irish American writers Malachy McCourt, novelist/political historian Peter Quinn, theater/film actress Angelica Page and many more.

If you like Glen Hansard’s play Once, you will love the buskers and poets holding forth on the lawn, which has been re-christened the Auld Triangle.

The buildup to the grand finale begins at 6 p.m. at the Damrosch Park Bandshell with “A Parting Glass,” celebrating the recent launch of the Association for Cultural Equity’s ACE Online Archive of folklorist/ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax’s landmark work from 1946-1991, collecting and analyzing traditional music from across and America and the many countries, including Ireland, that gave rise to it.

Ireland's musical influence on American music, from folk, county, and bluegrass, to later jazz, rock and pop is the focus of “A Parting Glass.”

Keep your eyes peeled here for more information and interviews with some of the players, but mark your calendars in the meantime!

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