Posts filed under ‘Irish music’
Celebrate 15 Years of Celtic Music Greatness with Solas, America’s #1 Irish Band: February 25th, Saturday @8:00 p.m.
That’s right, it is indeed the 15th anniversary of the highly renowned, extremely popular Irish-American band Solas. However, this momentous occasion isn’t simply about commemorating a band’s history, it is also about honoring the staying power of a musical legacy that has definitely left a major imprint upon the evolution of Celtic traditional music as a genre. Known for their leading-edge dynamic style, this “super band” is undisputedly our nation’s most beloved and highly revered Celtic music ensemble of all time. According to major music critics they have virtually taken America by storm, and I quote: “the first truly great Irish band to arise from America” (Boston Herald), “mind-blowing Irish music, maybe the world’s best” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “the standard by which contemporary Celtic groups are judged” (Austin American-Statesman). Of course, it should come as no surprise then that they have also earned for themselves a stellar international reputation as well.
The band was founded by Seamus Egan, the truest of multi-instrumentalists, who plays more than seven instruments with the band and fiddler Winifred “Win” Horan. Both of them have developed such a reputation amongst the music community at large that their playing styles are often mimicked. Although they definitely serve as the basic foundation of the band’s music, they are accompanied by three fabulous virtuosos in their own right, Mick McAuley, Eamon McElholm, and Niamh Varion-Barry. Solas’ repertoire consists of both original and re-interpreted traditional pieces all of which exhibit that exceptionally unique, creative, highly progressive style for which they so well-known. They have a special knack for enriching the old standards in such a way as to effectively provide them with a new and exciting modern flair without overpowering their original character to the degree that it becomes lost. The band adds both content and stylistic variety to their musical offerings by spicing them up with the occasional American or English folk piece or experimenting with the incorporation of blues, jazz, and/or world music elements into their overall sound.
This anniversary concert also serves as a cd release performance for the band’s latest recording “Shamrock City”. As part of a very special project that is near and dear to their hearts, Solas has produced a collection of pieces honoring the Irish immigrants who came to Butte, Montana in the early 20th-century in hopes of attaining a better life for themselves mining copper. Along with it, they have also produced a companion DVD, a musical/historical documentary, which was filmed live on location. Excerpts of it can be seen as a visual backdrop during the concert performance. Solas will share with you the story of this hardy group of Irish souls as only they can tell it, through an intriguing series of intensely emotional, lyrical ballads complimented by livelier folk tunes filled with the most rapid and thrilling of improvisational passages, designed to challenge the best of virtuosos.
When: February 25th, Saturday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: Somerville Theatre (Davis Square)
Tickets: $28.oo (+ $1.00 fee)
More Info: 617-876-4275
Kick Back and Indulge in an Evening of Informal Irish Music-Making with Maeve Gilchrist & Friends: Mondays (Weekly) (8:00 p.m. – Midnight)
Head on over to The Beehive in Boston’s South End each and every Monday night for their exciting new “Irish & Celtic Music Series“. This seisun-style performance is led by Celtic harpist, vocalist, and jazz artist Maeve Gilchrist who will be joined by a different set of guest musicians every week. An especially nice feature of this rather informal brand of entertainment is its spontaneity and variety. You never know quite which direction the music will take you in any given performance. What you do know, however, is that some of the area’s top local talent will be bringing you nothing but the best in traditional Celtic music. Gilchrist herself, already a rising star on the Boston world music scene by the of age 25, is quite well-known for her rather avant-garde style of musicianship, which often exhibits a heavy presence of chromaticism. Also of note is her exceptional ability to so freely and effortlessly allow her fingers to fly across the harp strings in a most rapid fashion.
Originally from Scotland but also of Irish heritage, Maeve spent her childhood years surrounded by a heavily music-oriented family. Although their focus was on traditional genres, she spent hours listening to her father’s rather large and eclectic collection of sound recordings. As a result of such exposure early on, Gilchrist quickly developed a keen taste for music of many different genres and cultures and has since developed into the highly innovative artist she is today. Maeve became quite a well-established musician nationally by the time she was a teenager and landed herself a scholarship overseas at the Berklee College of Music. From there she developed a highly successful professional career in the US appearing at both national and international premier events including the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, World Harp Congress, the Celtic Connections Festival and elsewhere. She has also performed with numerous world-renown musicians including Alasdair Fraser, Esperanza Spalding, Darol Anger and Vardan Ovespian. Her first cd release was an international success and she has recently produced another entitled “Song of Delight”. She currently appears locally with bassist Aidan O’Donnell. as well as Scottish folk/jazz fusion ensemble the Ultra-Modern String Quartet. With respect to her role as leader of the weekly Beehive seisuns, Maeve Gilchrist’s affinity for the new and creative should prove to be an exciting catalyst for one interesting evening of traditional Celtic music.
When: Mondays (Weekly) (8:00 p.m. – Midnight)
Call ahead before attending the show as some special events may interrupt regular scheduling
Where: The Beehive (South End)
Admission: No cover charge
More Info: 617-423-0069 / 617-423-0096 (Fax) / email@example.com
For dinner reservations, call OR use online form
Party Irish Style All Night and All Month Long at Mr. Dooley’s Grand Holiday Celebration: December 2011
The holiday season is a big deal at Mr. Dooley’s in downtown Boston! Last year’s entertainment schedule seemed like it would be pretty hard to beat, but they did it this year with the addition of a weekly Tuesday night series of Christmas parties lasting the entire month of December. Best part is, that there is plenty of live traditional Irish music to be heard and enjoyed at each and every one of these holiday shindigs which also include a St. Stephen’s Day celebration and, of course, a News Year’s eve bash, as well.
Herein lie the event details:
December (Every Tuesday – 8:00 ’til closing) – “Irish Christmas Party Bash” – Featuring popular Irish standards and Christmas songs, as well as prizes and give-aways
Patsy Whelan – Highly energetic and fun-loving, this fiddler/guitarist isn’t happy until his audience is up and out of their seats dancing. Upon arriving in Boston, he rose rapidly to legendary status and besides remaining heavily active on the entertainment circuit is also included on the performance roster at numerous Irish music festivals. He has performed with some of celtic music’s biggest names including Paddy Reilly, Brendon Mulvihill, Brian Gaffney, The Waterboys, and others.
Michael “Maxi” Courtney – Originally from Ireland, he was raised within a family of musicians and had already started a professional performing career by the age of 14. As a fast learner he never had a formal music lesson in his life. He toured Europe before coming to Boston where he became quite popular amongst the local Irish music circuit. He is known for his great vocals and the ability to display an impressive degree of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic complexity in his guitar playing.
December 26th (Monday – 8:30 ’til closing) – “St. Stephen’s Night Party” – Featuring prizes and give-aways, Irish dinner specials, Irish Christmas crackers, and Irish selection boxes
Devri – This band is known for its “partying” spirit! While maintaining a close-knit connection to Ireland, this Boston ensemble has toured internationally performing all genres of Irish music. Their membership includes Declan Houton, Larry Flint, Steve O’Callaghan and Chuck Parrish on fiddle, mandolin, banjo, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, whistle, and drums.
Directions: Mr. Dooley’s Boston Tavern (Downtown Boston)
More Info: 617-338-5656
Experience the Great Irish Famine through the Artistically Unique Perspective of the Falling Flight Project Dance Theater: Thursday, March 17th @ 8:00 p.m.
Watch the Falling Flight Project.
The Falling Flight Project dance company brings intense drama to the stage with their production of Ghosts of the White Ship: the Irish Famine. This is a condensed performance of the original show staged in 2010. Experience the retelling of this historic event as never before via artistic director Karen Murphy-Fitch’s emotionally charged choreography which presents a superb blend of artistic virtuosity, artful story-telling, social and human awareness, edgy humor, and thought-provoking philosophical overtones. That’s right, this event is not meant to be an evening of light-hearted entertainment by any means, but promises to be intriguing nonetheless. Still, through it all, it remains a chief goal of the choreographer to ensure that the audience is sufficiently entertained, but at the same time remains keenly focused on the underlying social messages being communicated throughout the performance. And the Celtic music which accompanies this intense contemporary dance drama? Trust me if you attend the show your ears will be treated to nothing but the best! Thanks to Kevin Burke, Cal Scott, Emerald Rae, Martin Hayes, Les Charbonniers De L’Enfer, Shooglenifty, Saint Patrick Boy’s, Mary Jane Lamond, Lunasa, Ashley MacIsaac, Talitha MacKenzie, and Steve Martin. (that’s right, the big-name actor/comedian is an accomplished musician as well)
The Falling Flight Project founded in 1997 by Murphy-Fitch, is a small company of eight members plus additional guest artists. Her choreography is designed to emphasize the unique skills of each individual dancer, yet she still characterizes each work as a display of company teamwork, as well. She is steadfast in her mission to employ her dance company as an artistic vehicle to promote social awareness among its various audiences. Furthermore, she has engaged Falling Flight Project in numerous educational outreach endeavors within the local community in hopes of strengthening an attitude of general concern and caring for others with respect to any societal hardships local citizens be facing. So, if you do attend this special performance, be prepared not only to be highly entertained both musically and visually, but also philosophically stimulated by this truly inspired dramatic rendition of the Great Irish Famine.
When: March 17th, Thursday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: Multicultural Arts Center (East Cambridge)
Tickets: $25.00 (General) / $20.00 (Multicultural Arts Center and BDA members, seniors, and students with ID)
More Info: 617-577-1400 OR Visit cmacusa.org (For tickets)
Kick It Up a Notch with Irish Holiday Celebrations X Three @ Mr. Dooley’s : December 11th & 25th, Saturday and December 31st, Friday
I’ve posted on this fine establishment before as I was delighted to inform my readers that Mr. Dooley’s offers live Irish music 4 nights a week on a regular basis. (See previous post – 4/28/10) That’s a lot of Celtic music indeed! So it comes as no surprise to learn that they are hosting not 1, but 3 holiday party celebrations during this holiday season. One of them is actually on Christmas day, no less. And … the best part of all, as you would expect, is that there will be plenty of live traditional music at all 3 of these holiday shindigs.
December 11th (Saturday – 2:00 p.m. – ’til closing) – “Old Fashioned Irish Christmas” – Musically speaking, this event is huge, featuring over 30 live musicians throughout its entirety. The menu will be centered around what would be a true Irish Christmas feast, complete with Irish Christmas cake and crackers. The excitement continues as there are contest prizes, free giveaways and “Irish selection boxes” to be claimed. I’m not sure just exactly what’s in those boxes, so I guess you’ll have to attend the party to find out! Santa, of all people, has even agreed to make an appearance during the afternoon. Donations in the form of unwrapped toys or funds will be accepted for Children’s Hospital Boston.
December 25th (Saturday – 7:00 p.m.) – Christmas isn’t over yet at Mr. Dooley’s. Spend the evening of this special day listening to the likes of Sunday’s Well, one of the areas most popular Irish bands. There will more prizes and free giveaways to be claimed, including awards for both the best Christmas sweater (or “jumper” as it’s called in Ireland) and the worst, as well. You will also have additional opportunities to make a donation of funds to Children’s Hospital Boston.
December 31st (Friday – 7:00 p.m.) – This New Year’s Eve celebration will feature the music of another very popular Irish band, Devri. Appetizers and a midnight toast of champagne will be served and party favors to get the mood going will be distributed to each guest. There will be a cash bar at this 21+ event. TICKETS – Online or at Mr. Dooley’s
Directions: Mr. Dooley’s Boston Tavern (Downtown Boston)
More Info: 617-338-5656
I don’t know about you, but for me wintertime means finding stimulating and interesting indoor activities to help chase those cold weather doldrums away. Well, Monday nights at The Green Briar Irish Pub in Brighton, is definitely a place where you can find some of such stimulating action that’ll make your winter season just a bit more delightful. Come on out and enjoy some good old traditional Irish music compliments of Boston’s most enthusiastic local musicians. The entertainment here takes shape in the form of a traditional Irish seisiun where you can actively participate in the music making yourself, or just sit back and partake of some great world music for your listening pleasure. I also want to add here, that if you just so happen to be looking for that perfect gift for the celtic music lover in your life, there are gift cards available as well.
Why not start your night off right with “a little taste of Ireland“, literally! You can sample traditional ethnic goodies such as Guiness onion soup (topped with herb crotons, cheddar, and swiss), Cocktail sausages and chips (Irish sausages served with house fries and ketchup), Fish & chips (Harper lager battered haddock, house fries, cole slaw, tartar sauce and lemon), or Shepherd’s Pie (slowly braised lamb and sirloin with root vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes and served in a crock of field green salad) and for dessert … Chocolate cake (Jameson’s chocolate sauce and fresh cream). And just to add a little variety to the menu, there are some non-Irish dishes available as well including, Boston Chowderfest Hall of Fame Chowder (3 times the winner at Boston’s annual clam chowder cook-off event) and Chicken Curry (sautéed chicken tenders, spicy coconut curry, slivered almonds, and raisins over Jasmine rice). Here, you can also check out the rest of the menu just in case you’re interested. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a bit of celtic music on a Monday evening, just head on over to The Green Briar Irish Pub and get your fill of Irish night!
When: Monday nights (Weekly) (7:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)
Where: The Green Briar Irish Pub (Brighton)
Admission: No cover charge
Sail Off into the Sunset in Grand Celtic Fashion with Thomas O’Leary & Friends: August 22nd, Sunday (5:30 – 8:00 p.m.)
That’s right, another cruise! … But this one’s a little bit different. (See video) Come and experience the more intimate atmosphere aboard the Thomas E. Lannon as you sail around Gloucester harbour taking in the lovely sunset. This boat is a schooner, so you will be sailing with the group, rather than the crowd. And if you get lucky, they’ll even let you hoist a sail or two! But wait, I haven’t gotten to the best part yet. Well of course, the music.
Your entertainment hosts for the Celtic Music Sail will be Michael O’Leary & Friends. They will be presenting to the audience what the Celts would term a “seisiun”. This means a highly informal performance designed for audience participation. So, be prepared to sing-along and have a rollicking good time all around! O’Leary is a long time resident of the area and an accomplished vocalist, currently performing at weekly seisiuns, local festivals, and numerous additional events. He has trained with the best of Celtic singers including Frank Harte, Andy Irvine, and others. He was also awarded a scholarship by the Massachusetts Cultural Council to study with Bridget Fitzgerald who founded the internationally renown, highly successful, Irish-American ensemble Cherish the Ladies. His “friends” will be accompanying him on fiddle, pipes, guitar, whistle, concertina, and other traditional instruments. This looks to be a cruising experience which is definitely out of the ordinary and a lot of fun too! You can enjoy dinner before or after the cruise at the conveniently located Gloucester House Restaurant. Check out the menu here.
When: August 22nd, Sunday (5:30 – 8:00 p.m.) (See website for additional sailing dates)
Purchase tickets at least 30 minutes prior to boarding!!!
Where: 7 Seas Whale Watch Wharf (Gloucester)
Wharf located next to the Gloucester House Restaurant
Tickets: $47.50 (Adults) / $45.50 (Seniors) / $38.00 (Children) [On site purchase in Gloucester House parking lot]
Purchase online here
More Info: 978-281-6634