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Upcoming Irish traditional music events in and around New York

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Pete Seeger
It is looking like a very special night for the Irish American Writers and Artists annual bash at the Manhattan Club (upstairs from Rosie O’Grady’s at Seventh Avenue and 52nd Street) on Monday, October 15 from 6-9 p.m. 

Receiving the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award is the grand dame of the American folk music movement, Judy Collins, whose sterling voice has touched audiences for over half a century and still holds strong today.  

Along with her magnificent singing, she has a storyteller’s soul and a gift for bringing alive the lyrics of many famous and diverse songwriters like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Stephen Sondheim, Dominick Behan and even Irish poet William Butler Yeats. 

The sixties were known for many things, and not least among them was the emergence of a generation of great socially active folksingers leading a movement. From that group also came Tom Paxton and Pete Seeger (who took the baton from Woody Guthrie to pass onto this younger upstart group of artists), and both of them will be on hand for this gala event.

Tickets are still available for this great Irish American tribute to a wonderful lady who was a huge favorite of mine in my younger days. Check out www.i-am-wa.org and you can get a discounted membership and ticket to the affair at the same time.

On Sunday night, October 14 the Brock-McGuire Band led by veterans Paul Brock and Manus McGuire appear at Sacred Heart University’s Schine Auditorium in Fairfield, Connecticut at 7:30 p.m. Joining them are Garry O’Meara and Denis Carey. Visit www.shamrockirishmusic.org.

Dr. Micheal O’Suilleabhain currently on sabbatical from his pioneering position as director of the Irish World Music Center at the University of Limerick, is coming through the New York City area this week. On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. he will give a lecture-recital on John and William Neale’s “ A Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes” published in Dublin In 1724. It takes place at NYU’s Silver Center at 100 Washington Square East.

On Friday and Saturday, October 12-13, O’Suilleabhain will give an intimate concert with the Chelsea String Quartet entitled “Between Worlds,” where he will travel that musical path in which traditional music meets and crosses the border of classical, jazz and world music.  Shows start at 8 p.m. at the Irish Arts Center both nights (www.irishartscenter.org) or call 866-811-4111 for.

Also on Friday night, October 10 the Blarney Star Concert Series had hoped that Catskill musician Mike McHale would be joining his longtime friend Monsignor Charlie Coen as a pure drop duo.  But illness will prevent McHale from appearing so Jimmy Coen, the outstanding guitarist and son of the late Jack Coen will join his uncle that night. More info at www.blarneystar.com.

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