From The Hobby Paul Keating
- 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
- Teetotallers, Kevin Crawford, Martin Hayes and John Doyle ready to mix it up on US tour
Both were steeped in the Sliabh Luachra tradition around the Northwest borders of Co. Cork and East Kerry, where the music predominated by polkas and slides percolated for decades and gave rise to many a great set dance as well.
Each has had a distinguished career playing with others in groups and also in their solo efforts as musicians and teacher/performers like at the Catskills event. For a number of years they led the Sliabh Luachra Admiration Society that formed every summer in East Durham, and it led them to consider making an album together. Thankfully the Arts Council of Ireland agreed and provided funding last year to help with the recording.
Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (pronounced ceoltas kiltory erin) is now in its 60th year, and that occasion will be marked on several fronts over the next three weekends around the U.S.
Back in 1951, a number of musicians and individuals who were concerned about the survival of traditional Irish music with immigration depleting the populace in Ireland alongside the national disinterest in the native music, song and dance met in Mullingar to see what could be done about it.
The latest in the series of Dr. Mick Moloney/Irish Arts Center mega-shows had folks scurrying to secure ducats and ensuring a sellout a week in advance. And there wasn’t too much vacant real estate on stage either as the professor assembled a cast of 50 to help tell the tale of the Vaudeville-inspired family band led by the indomitable Annie “Ma” McNulty and her two children Peter and Eileen.
The show and tell approach has worked well in the past for these kinds of artistic collaborations for the academic Moloney and the theatrical Irish Arts Center, especially at the setting of Symphony Space, home for artistic endeavors on the Upper West Side.
Opening this past weekend is a historical collection of archival material in various media dealing with the performing arts entitled “Ireland America: The Ties That Bind.”
The exhibit is housed at the Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery at the New York Public Library (NYPL) for the Performing Arts on the plaza level of Lincoln Center for six months until August 13.
Visit our special St Patrick's Day section
That trend for many of the touring trad super groups to bypass New York City continues unabated this season save for one example down below.
The Chieftains (Paddy Moloney, Matt Molloy and Kevin Conneff) are currently on a long St. Patrick’s under the aegis of the Imagine Ireland program throughout the U.S. in 2011. As usual it winds up on St. Patrick’s Day where this year they will celebrate it in Toronto, Canada at the Roy Thomson Hall.
He signed on with New York University’s music department as a global distinguished professor of music and also affiliated with the Glucksman Ireland House Irish Studies program.
These pages have chronicled much of the great programming, lectures and workshops stimulated by the Limerick native’s fertile and incessant creativity. One of the more intriguing projects is an ongoing one that dovetails nicely with his digging for gold in Irish Americana like Tin Pan Alley and Harrigan and Hart and the McNultys.