Upcoming Irish music events around New York City


A reminder for those out in western New Jersey, Lunasa will be rolling around again to Blairstown at the historic Blairstown Theatre (30 Main Street) on Thursday, March 23 at 8 p.m.

I’m hoping that this could be a great new venue for Irish touring acts out that way, and we can always do with a few more venues. Visit www.theHBT.com or call 908-349-1428.

This coming Friday, March 16 at 8 p.m. in Baltimore is a special reunion concert for the 1982 edition of Celtic Thunder, who were one of the first of the U.S.-based Irish trad bands during the folk revival of the last century.

(There is no connection to the outfit that commandeered their name which now regularly appears on our PBS stations pleading for our “donations” if we ever want to see them again.)

The original Celtic Thunder, founded by brothers Jesse (bodhran) and Terry Winch (button accordion) from the Bronx and flautist Linda Hickman from Colorado, first performed at the Harp Pub in Baltimore in 1977. In 1981 they were joined by singer Dominick Murray from Detroit and later fiddler Tony DeMarco from Brooklyn.

Playing mostly around the greater Washington, D.C. area, their act mixed original songs, harmonies, tunes and even stepdancing.

Poet and writer Winch penned the popular song “When New York Was Irish” featured on their second CD The Light of Other Days, one of three albums recorded by the band.
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They are appearing in a concert hosted by the Creative Alliance at the Patterson Theater (3134 Eastern Avenue) in Baltimore. Call 410-276-1651 or visit www.creativealliance.org.

On Friday, March 23 the New York Irish Center in Long Island City will screen a couple of documentaries that have had limited distribution but make for a great pairing for a night’s entertainment.

First up is a behind the scenes look at the highly competitive world of Irish stepdancing captured en route to the 2010 Irish Dancing World Championships (or the Worlds as they are called in that scene) in Glasgow, Scotland.

Zeroing in on the lives of eight dance competitors of varying ages and places, their families and teachers, the film Jig takes most of us on a colorful and realistic view of the life of a competitive dancer in 99 minutes. Just don’t look for all the answers about why the fashion side of it has gotten so out of control.

Jig is paired with a documentary by Sam Adelman about a local New York session at Dempsey’s that describes itself as the “longest running Irish music session in New York City.”

Called Beautiful People, the 67-minute film profiles a number of the individuals who are loyal denizens of the East Village hangout, and what draws them into their love of the music and the weekly gathering.
Contact the New York Irish Center at 718-482-0909 or visit www.nyirish.org.


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