Upcoming Irish traditional music events around New York


Get your feet tappin' with some trad

The May 4 edition of the Blarney Star Concert Series in Manhattan pairs two of the finest singers in the Irish folk tradition you will find anywhere in Robbie O’Connell and Dan Milner, who are long-time friends in the close-knit folk song fraternity in Ireland and America.  

Robbie is well known for his family ties with his uncles the Clancy Brothers (Paddy, Tom, Bobby and Liam), and more recently cousins Donal, Aoife and Finbarr as part of the Clancy legacy here in America along with his sterling work on guitar and vocals for many years with the Green Fields of America.  He is also a gifted songwriter and solo performer who resides in Rhode Island after many years in Massachusetts.

Dan Milner is well known in the New York community as a wonderful tradition bearing singer with a penchant for maritime songs and other colorful and graphic songs that dovetail nicely with his own background as a cultural geographer and song collector.

Milner harkens back to the days of the Eagle Tavern which gave rise to the series that is now bequeathed to the Blarney Star concerts shepherded by Don Meade.

This will be a humorous and entertaining night for those who come along to Glucksman Ireland House at NYU for the concert starting at 9 p.m. (www.blarneystar.com).

The following night they sail up the Long Island Sound to Wallingford, Connecticut for a house concert hosted by another long-time singer Gina Dunlap on Saturday, May 5. Call 203-679-0016 . . . 

THIS Saturday, for those around New York City, the New York Irish Center is hosting a concert by Susan McKeown and Michael Brunnock who were recently seen at the Irish Arts Center SongLives series. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. out in Long Island City . . .

IN New Jersey at the New Jersey Folk Festival in New Brunswick (www.njfolkfestival.rutgers.edu) on Saturday there will be a tribute to the late Mike Rafferty from 4 -4:30 p.m. celebrating his life and legacy led by Lesl Harker, Eileen McIntyre and Dennis Gormley. Attendees are encouraged to bring along their instruments and admission is free to the Festival all day . . .

ON Sunday, April 29 at 2 p.m. Brian Conway has a special concert at An Beal Bocht in Riverdale with a classical nod to Harper Turlough O Carolan’s music, along with guitarist Tim Mitchell prior to the usual Sunday session hosted by the Wexford Wizard on the accordion, John Redmond, at 4 p.m. More info available at http://www.anbealbochtcafe.com . . .

MEANWHILE, down in Baltimore is a whole weekend devoted traditional Irish music and dance in the first ever Baltimore Trad Fest starting on Friday until Sunday (April 27-29).  Showcasing the wonderful Ballmor local talent supplemented by an awesome array of visiting talent, the weekend will be filled with workshops, concerts, ceilithe and sessions and well worth the journey to the harbor town with much to offer.

Among the visitors are Michael Cooney, James Kelly, Kathleen Conneely, Tina Lech and Ted Davis, Pat Egan joining local legend Billy McComiskey, Festival Director Laura Byrne, Donna Long, Myron Bretholz, Peter Fitzgerald, the Bog Band and the Old Bay Ceili Band among others. Visit www.baltimoreirisharts.com.