Described as “the hottest Irish Acoustic band on the planet,” Irish band Lunasa returns to the Birchmere stage on Wednesday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Named for an ancient Celtic harvest festival in honor of the Irish god Lugh, patron of the arts, Lunasa is indeed a gathering of some of the top musical talents in Ireland. Its members have helped form the backbone of some of the greatest Irish groups of the decade.

Bassist Trevor Hutchinson was a key member of The Waterboys, and later he, with guitarist Donogh Hennessy, would form the dynamic rhythm section of the Sharon Shannon Band; Ed Boyd (Flook, Michael McGoldrick Band) has recently replaced Hennessy; fiddler Sean Smyth is an All-Ireland champion who has played with Donal Lunny’s Coolfin; Kevin Crawford, considered to be among the finest flutists in Ireland played with the acclaimed traditional group Moving Cloud; and piper Cillian Vallely of the famous Vallely artistic clan has performed with Riverdance and recently recorded with Bruce Springsteen. Folk Roots magazine has rightly termed them an “Irish music dream team.”

Lunasa have sold more than quarter of a million albums in the course of the band’s career and boast an impressive back catalog of seven highly acclaimed and award-winning studio albums.

The band is internationally acknowledged as being the finest traditional Irish instrumental outfit of recent times. They are renowned for their stunning shows honed by superb musicianship and a constant touring cycle. They have performed over 1,500 shows across 36 countries since the band formed in 1997.

Their inventive arrangements and bass driven grooves have steered Irish acoustic music into surprising new territory. Their recordings have been hailed as some of the best and most important world music albums anywhere, while their blend of intelligence, innovation, virtuosity, and passion has brought them to the forefront of Celtic music.

Of the band, legendary Irish fiddler Kevin Burke says, “Maintaining the unique, intimate qualities of a musical tradition while at the same time meeting and fulfilling the demands of the contemporary music world is a difficult juxtaposition to achieve, yet Lunasa have managed to accomplish exactly that.”

The Birchmere is located at 3701 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster/800-745-3000.

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Lunasa.