Joe Derrane
Last year in Fairfield, Connecticut the venerable Boston native Joe Derrane was feted for his 80th birthday in a star-studded Irish music salute and for his contributions to Irish music since bursting onto the recording and Dudley Street Dance Hall scene as an impressive teenager.

This year, the Boston College Gaelic Roots Series directed by Sullivan artist in residence Seamus Connolly kicks off its fall events with a presentation on “The Genius and Growing Impact of Joe Derrane” now in his 81st year.

The lecture and concert will be led by Irish music writer Earle Hitchner, who played a large role in coaxing Derrane into a legendary traditional music reawakening in 1994 that fostered a massive amount of creativity in his “golden years” and also by a musical companion, John McGann, a guitarist and Berklee College professor of music.

McGann, along with Connolly, recorded and performed with Derrane as the Boston Edge back in 2004, and will provide musical highlights honoring the legend who recorded seven albums and received a National Heritage Award in 2004 for his folk-arts contributions to America.

The lecture/concert takes place on Thursday, September 22 from 7-9 p.m. appropriately in the Irish room of Gasson Hall on the Chestnut Hill campus of Boston College under the auspices of the Center for Irish Programs ( where many historic Gaelic roots events have taken place over the past two decades.