From The Hobby Paul Keating
- New Jersey Fleadh weekend a huge success
- Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Congress celebrates growth - with 415 branches in 15 countries
- Recalling the great Irish musician Felix Dolan - VIDEO
- The Yanks are coming - debut album of New York City favorite building a buzz
- New York Irish Center hosts great night - Oliver O’Connell, Mickey Dunne live in Queens
The month of April now drawing to a close had so many wonderful trad music events happening that I had to double-check the diary to make sure that March and the St. Patrick’s season hadn’t overstayed its place in the calendar.
After a quiet Easter weekend the pace quickened starting with the Comhaltas Parsippany convention, closely followed by a marathon weekend of six events finally closed out by a sublime late Sunday early evening soiree in Mineola.
It is one of those amazing aspects of organizational life in that an event that can be a year in the planning and organizing can rapidly unfurl in a fast and furious four days and be well behind you before you have a chance to dwell on it.
Such an experience is the annual North American convention of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann which I and my many colleagues in the New York and New Jersey branches of the movement were deeply involved in over a long weekend from April 8-11.
Wherever my travels take me near or far in the time that I have been writing in this space for the Irish Voice, it has been abundantly clear to me that there have never been more musicians playing traditional Irish music at a very high standard.
Whether it is for commercial reasons or just being part of the tradition in learning, playing and passing it on for its own sake is not up to debate here. Many of these artists - and that is what they are really even if they aren’t formally designated so - choose to make recordings to validate their time and skills for the wider community after many live performances that indicate some popularity and demand among their enthusiastic followers.
Virginia, Co. Cavan -- For seven years now the NYAH festival in Co. Cavan has sought to involve the community in this Ulster county and widen the awareness of the rich musical heritage all around it.
NYAH is one of those wonderful expressions (pronounced neeyah) used to describe music from the heart that is neither forced nor phony, so the festival tends to recognize those who have made the deepest contributions not only in the Breffni County but all around Ireland.