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
While it is not a Christmas show, the idea of giving to those less fortunate is a prime beneficiary of a very special night up in the Boston area on Wednesday, December 4 as part of the Burren Backroom Series produced by Brian O’Donovan of WGBH and Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello, the owners of the Pub.
Since opening the Burren Pub in 1990s Tommy and Louise have welcomed and hosted so many Irish musicians over the years and given them a platform to perform while remaining in the background as ardent supporters.
The Orio J. Palmer Foundation, a non-profit organization spearheaded by the Bronx-based Cara Art Studio, awarded eight scholarships on November 2 to aspiring young artists living in the Irish community of Woodlawn.
The foundation, in memory of FDNY Battalion Chief Orio J. Palmer who was killed on 9/11, is also in recognition of his mother, Agnes Palmer, who started taking art classes at the studio shortly after her son died.
The Cork balladeer Donie Carroll from Douglas has once again organized a massive night of entertainment on behalf of the Mercy Centre in Bangkok, Thailand, whose very difficult mission is to improve the lot of children who are the victims of the drug and sex slave culture in the city slums.
By offering much needed medical attention and educational opportunities to so many under the watchful and attentive eye of Father Joe Maier over many decades, it provides a ray of hope in their otherwise sorrowful lives.
From tiny acorns it is said that mighty oak trees grow, and granted in the concrete jungle that is Manhattan, one has to be realistic about growth prospects.
But it is important to recognize that all events or festivals must start somewhere and lay the seeds that lead to potential fruit down the road. And so the New York Trad Festival organized by Tony DeMarco last weekend began to take root
modestly and demonstrate that not only is the Big Apple awash with many talented traditional Irish musicians, it can come together in a special way to display much of that talent on stage at one time.
If it is healthy and vibrant today, it is only because of the gallant efforts of men like Michael Tubridy and James Keane.
When you are the last one piped aboard a star-studded musical lineup that adorned last February’s Joanie Madden Folk ‘n’ Irish cruise, making a big first impression among the Irish music aficionados sailing the Caribbean waters that week can be a daunting task.
After stowing away my gear on the Norwegian EPIC, I joined Padraig Allen and his McLean Avenue bandmates Buddy Connolly and Tony Ryan in one of the dining areas above deck, and into an open seat sat a young performer whom I never met before by the name of Mickey Coleman.
The Ennis songbird Maura O’Connell who burst upon the Irish scene as the vocalist with Frankie Gavin’s De Danann group in the early 1980s has reached a personal and professional crossroads this year.
O’Connell has decided that the solo career she embarked on after leaving De Danann and moving to Nashville to investigate a wider range of music no longer is viable in the present musical climate where folk clubs and CD sales are so diminished it no longer pays enough to do them.
In the razzle-dazzle atmosphere surrounding the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan these days with their seemingly non-stop programming and the building excitement about their new Clinton headquarters, it doesn’t do any harm to look back on its more humble beginnings that helped establish a foundation.
We were reminded of that in a recent interview with Bill Ochs, one of the first music teachers for the fledgling Irish cultural center known as An Claidheamh Soluis founded by Brian Heron in 1972.