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
Joanie Madden marching in the McLean Avenue parade
Over the past month, some PBS stations acknowledged that there might be more than one group of Celtic women who are making beautiful music that grew out of the heartland of Irish America, so they opened up their airwaves to a production that was filmed at Bushnell University last year.
Among many of the exciting programming features of Manhattan’s Irish Arts Center, there are none that appeal to me more than the Masters in Collaboration series now in its seventh edition.
It’s coming up next week as singer-songwriters and interpreters Karan Casey and Aoife O’Donovan join forces for the week long exploration of one another’s music and creativity.
Nothing proves the depth of the wellspring of Irish traditional music these days than the annual awarding of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Awards by the Irish language television channel announced last month.
Since they were first were given out in 1998, many of the outstanding traditional musicians in the contemporary era have been recognized in one category or another.
Mick Moloney and the Irish Arts Center triumphed once again at the historic Upper West Side cultural bastion known as Symphony Space which serves as a large platform for its increasingly popular themed variety shows.
With a capacity crowd of nearly 800 people in the restored edifice (that is a tribute to the vision of the late Isaiah Sheffer who died last November) the Irish Arts Center latest show Celtic Appalachia II managed to upstage St. Patrick’s Day celebrated earlier that day at the parade. It wasn’t just a great day for the Irish but also for the Celts, most of whom were represented in some way at the evening performance.
I think part of the charm of the St. Patrick’s season is that it really is a harbinger of spring when people are ready to shed any hibernation tendencies.
Newtown, Connecticut --It was indeed a picturesque New England town in Connecticut before that awful day in December when a deranged young man perpetrated a senseless killing spree that claimed the lives of 26 beautiful educators and children who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The world saw a different, harsher image of the bucolic town on the edge of suburbia just a few months ago than the one in my mind from a number of lovely visits to hear Irish music there hosted by the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society (STIMS) rooted in Fairfield County.
In Parsippany, New Jersey, the Sheraton Hotel has joined with Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann for a St. Patrick’s party on Friday, March 15 starting around 8 p.m. in the Tipperary Pub. This is both a social night and fundraiser for the CCE children’s fleadh education fund in the mid-Atlantic region, bolstering the efforts of the provincial fleadh which will take place over May 10-12 also in Parsippany (www.nyfleadh.com).
Entertainment will be by Jameson’s Revenge. Call Tom Vesey at 973-977-8863 . . .
Well, if last year’s event was any indicator, it certainly looked like the novel gathering at Regis High School in Manhattan for the first annual Sober St. Patrick’s day was an idea long overdue. The sold out crowd packed the Catholic high school with great enthusiasm and curiosity for the visionary occasion organized by television producer William Spencer Reilly.
As one of the pre-eminent folklorists in Irish American music history, Dr. Mick Moloney has spent a lot of time in the 19th and 20th centuries studying aspects of performance, especially as it appeals to the Irish emigrant community in the United States.
I am not sure anyone can juggle a roster of artists like he can in the series of shows he has been doing for the Irish Arts Center in recent years. Upcoming is another spectacular production and the second year exploring the mountain music of Appalachia and the crossover connections to traditional Irish music.
It is time once again to make our readers aware of the multitude of musical opportunities with within the tradosphere as the Green Season is upon us.
Get your exercise in marching in all the local parades, then relax and take in some great Irish music by some of the finest artists anywhere, and in some new venues for the first time as well. You can show your Irishness by supporting the arts and the musicians who create it.