From The Hobby Paul Keating
- Pearl River trad group Girsa to perform holiday concerts in the tristate area
- Clancy Legacy continues with Christmas shows from Aoife and Robbie, new CD from Donal
- Boston’s WGBH to present 11th annual broadcast of “A Christmas Celtic Sojourn”
- At concerts across the tristate area, artists will celebrate an Irish Christmas
- Owners of Boston’s Burren Pub to host CD release party while helping homeless
Joseph K. Cunningham of Crusheen, Co. Clare reached the century mark earlier this year, born around the time the Titanic set sail, only he was more successful in reaching America in 1929 at the age of 17. An accordion player, he started the Joe Cunningham Orchestra in 1931, entertaining Irish American audiences for 60 years and turning over the legacy to his sons Joe and Jimmy who as the Cunningham Brothers have maintained a reputation as one of the top Irish bands in the greater New York area.
Joe’s span in the New York Irish traditional music scene was highlighted by his own playing and his work with the historically more well-known Michael Coleman and James Morrison from Sligo, whose recordings helped stoke the revival of the genre back in Ireland and also establish it here for the many Irish immigrants.
His longevity and sharp memory right up to the end made him a go-to source for researchers like Harry Bradley and Martin Enright for information. He made significant contributions to the Sligo/New York history as witnessed by visits to the Morrison Teach Cheoil in Riverstown, Co. Sligo in recent years as a contemporary of Coleman, Morrison, Paddy Killoran, Lad O’Beirne and Martin Wynne.
The whole evening was a credit to GIRSA and their families and friends, and it is remarkable to witness the road they have traveled thus far not alone but in the company of so many who share the same passion for Irish music.
It is always a bit of a risk to move from comfortable surroundings and a smaller venue where there are not a multiplicity of factors at play for your performance.
But there are times when you have worked hard to make a production the best it can be and you seek validation of a wider audience, even if you have had success at your home base.
If you can pull it off there is so much more to gain, so that is what infused the brain trust that produces the annual show An Irish Christmas: A Musical Solstice Celebration at the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan to move uptown to the Bronx and the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University for a one-time show this past Sunday afternoon.
for information on the cruise and end of year tour dates.
As we all realize now after Hurricane Sandy, we are one big community, whether we share it at a live performance or over comforting airwaves that seek to unite our common bonds.