If you live in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware, here are some great links and events that I've come across. If you have a link or event that you'd like to add, please e-mail me. I will make every effort to post them in time, however sometimes life intervenes...
Daltai na Gaeilge: (Irish for "students of Irish") This is a nonprofit group dedicated to teaching the Irish language and culture. They are based in New Jersey, but have immersion programs in the Irish language around the country. They also may be able to hook you up with a teacher of Irish in your area. Their immersion programs are for a day, a weekend or a week, and consist of Irish classes, workshops in musical instruments and dance, lectures, and fun ceilis with live music. Their web site has audio of Irish words and phrases, so you can hear how words are pronounced; a message board for questions; lots of info about the Irish language; vocabulary; info about upcoming and photos of past Daltai events, and much more.
East of the Hebrides: Promoters Bill and Karen Reid have held a number of Irish and Scottish music festivals in the wide Delaware Valley area, throughout the year, including in the Poconos, New Jersey, northern Delaware, and southeast Pennsylvania, for many years. The music was always great and varied - and there were also celtic vendors, Irish and Scottish food (as well as American), representation of nonprofit groups and organizations, and much more.
The Irish Memorial: An Gorta Mor (the Great Hunger) of the mid-19th century in Ireland was a tragedy of major proportion, causing the deaths of one million people and forcing another 1-2 million to emigrate. Recently this history has been taught in the schools and in communities, to raise awareness and to try to prevent such things from happening again. A memorial to the famine has been created by sculptor Glenna Goodacre, and placed at Front and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia. The landscaping has plants native to Ireland. There are also educational tools at the site, to help teach people about the famine. The sculpture itself is very large and made of bronze (see photos to the right and below).
The Irish Edition is a newspaper published near Philadelphia, which covers events both here and in Ireland. It comes out once a month (about 20-some pages), and has so many interesting sections every month. Local Irish-related events are posted, including fraternal organizations, festivals, concerts, seisiuns, etc.; and there are always articles and columns about current and political events concerning Ireland and from Ireland; there is a large column devoted to recent CD releases with enthusiastic reviews; cultural news such as theater, prose, poetry, dance, art, etc.; and Irish sports news. They can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org) or at (215) 836-1929.
The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre is a theater group based at 2111 Sansom Street in Philadelphia. The level of their productions is very high, and their plays are always so spirited, original and imaginative, including the acting, scenery, costumes, music, etc. One special thing about them is that they present Shakespeare in such a clear fashion that it is easy to follow and enjoy the story. Sometimes they take creative liberties with music or costumes, etc. to produce a contemporary edge. See also Philly Shakespeare for more information.
Famine Memorial Sculpture by Glenna Goodacre, Philadelphia, PA (at Front & Chestnut Streets near Penns Landing) - This large bronze sculpture (12 feet high by 12 feet wide by 24 feet long) contains about 35 figures. The sculpture consists of the metaphorical journey of emigrants of the Irish famine from their beloved land to a ship that carried them over the great ocean to a new land of promise and survival. Emigrants enter the ship on one side of the sculpture, and on the other side of the sculpure, immigrants leave the ship to begin their new lives in America. This photo, taken by my sister-in-law, Ann Hazlett, shows the sculpture from the side representing people struggling during the Irish famine of the mid-19th century. Celtic crosses are shown, and the figures are shown trying to scavenge a spoiled potato crop, and crowding up toward the inside of the sailing ship. The sculpture has been installed in its permanent location, and is landscaped with plants native to Ireland and America. At the landing in America, a tall male figure with a top hat welcomes the new immigrants (shown in the left side of the photo to the left, in front of the flag pole).
The Irish Repertory Theatre of Philadelphia is located at the Lion Theater at 4442 Frankford Avenue in Philly. Call 215-744-5277 for more information. The Irish Repertory Theatre of Philadelphia is located at 4442 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19124.
There were about four events a year, in the mid-winter and mid-summer, and spring and fall. They had as many as three stages of music going at once - with great traditional and contemporary celtic music from the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, England and Brittany. And there was always so much more to do and see there as well. Sadly, the Scottish-Irish Music Festival that was held in King of Prussia, PA every February is no longer going to be held. It will be greatly missed!
UPCOMING PERFORMANCE DATES FOR DAN PAISLEY & THE SOUTHERN GRASS CAN BE FOUND AT www.southerngrass.net. Click on "Schedule"
Brian Conway - Sunday session at Dunne's based on the Wednesday night format. The first session will be February 13th from 5:30-8:30. Gabe Donohue will be with him to launch the Sunday sessions. More details to follow. Dunne's is located at 15 Shapham Place in White Plains, New York and the phone number there is 914-421-1451. The session gets going at 7:30. See www.brianconway.com
The session at Blaggards is sponsored by Ull Mor Nua Eabhrac, The New York Branch of Comhaltas (CCE) every Sunday, from 5 to 8 pm, and is located at 8 West 38th Street (just west of Fifth Avenue), Manhattan (212-382-2611)
The New Castle County Irish Society is located in Wilmington, Delaware at 1301 South Rodney Street. Their phone number is 302-655-8097. They have many Irish activities, including ceili dances and ceili dance lessons, potluck dinners, parties, and more. They also have a library containing Irish-related books, cd's, etc.
Ian Gallagher is a performer equally at home singing traditional Irish folk tunes and contemporary music including blues, rock, jazz, country and soul. Though his music is firmly based in Irish tradition, Ian Gallagher's professional manner, warmth and years of experience will make entertainment one less thing to worry about. Relax - you've got the best in live entertainment. Irish affairs our specialty.
Ronnie's Sports Bar and Family Restaurant, 215-217 South Street, Holyoke, MA 01040, 413-536-0484 (home of the largest St. Patrick's parade in the area outside of Boston). We have an open Irish session on Sundays, from 1pm-4pm. Our session is hosted by Pat Dunn, a young man from the Black Velvet Band. Pat is a first generation American and he goes often to Ireland to study the traditional music and instruments. You can bring your family.
Brian Conway Biography
New York born fiddler Brian Conway is a leading exponent of the highly ornamented Sligo fiddling style made famous by the late Michael Coleman. The winner of two All-Ireland junior titles in 1973 and 1974 and the All-Ireland senior championship of 1986, Brian's early studies were with his father Jim of Plumbridge, County Tyrone and with Limerick born fiddler/teacher Martin Mulvihill. However, it was the legendary fiddler and composer Martin Wynne who taught him the real secrets of the County Sligo style. Later, Brian met and befriended the great Andy McGann of New York, a direct student of Michael Coleman, who further shaped his precision and skill on the instrument. In 1979, Brian recorded a duet album, The Apple in Winter, with fellow New York fiddler Tony Demarco. He recently released a new solo CD called First Through the Gate in July 2002. This CD was voted the prestigious Album of the Year by the Irish Echo. He has recorded with many of the great Irish musicians of our time, including accordion player Joe Burke. Brian is also featured on the CD, My Love is in America, recorded at the Boston College Irish Fiddle Festival, and on the documentary "Shore to Shore" which highlights traditional Irish music in New York. Brian remains faithful to the rich tradition handed down to him. The directness of his tone, the lift of his playing, and the deft ornamentation he brings to the tunes have placed him among the finest Irish fiddlers of any style. He has performed all over North America from San Francisco to New York and places in between. His talents have also been enthusiastically received throughout Ireland and the rest of Europe. He is also a noted instructor who has mentored many fine fiddle players.
CLAN NA GAEL REUNION TOUR
Before there was Seven Nations, there was Clan na Gael - Kirk McLeod, Neil Anderson, Struby and Nick Watson. Seven Nations is the most popular celtic rock band in the U.S. The four original members of Clan na Gael reunited for a 4-concert tour in October and November 2005. (See photos of the Glenside concert) Bagpipes and rock music - a natural blend - the pipes sound like electric guitars! and celtic music has always had a strong "beat" - which for us rock fans is the most important thing. Plus, they both have "attitude"!
Neil sang and played highland bagpipes, the uilleann pipes (the Irish bagpipe), and tinwhistle; Kirk sang, played keyboards, guitar; Struby played electric guitar; and Nick Watson played the drums. You really had to be there - it can't be described!
COMPASS RECORDS - A site for independent and quality roots music and American Irish traditional music - Free downloads, multimedia section with posters, press photos and streaming videos. A new blog, open to your comments and featuring guest postings from Compass artists. RSS feeds with updates on new releases, Compass Records news, contests and giveaways. Up-to-date, easily accessible information on all of your favorite Compass Records artists.
Irish Language Greeting Cards - including birthday, sympathy, Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, and congratulations cards - Nancy Doyle Fine Art
The Heart of Camden is a local non-profit community development corporation dedicated to the revitalization of the South Camden neighborhood known as Waterfront South. Their Mission is to restore the dignity and quality of life in the community through programs for housing restoration, economic expansion and human development.
Among many other fine programs, the Heart of Camden holds a Celtic Spring concert each January, with Irish music and dance provided by Mick Moloney and Friends at Sacred Heart Church. (What a great show! - Webmaster)
My Irish Jeweler has a collection of useful and relevant resources their site, as well as jewelry direct from Ireland
www.folkjam.org is a growing national list of user-contributed acoustic jam sessions in many styles. If you attend or run acoustic jam sessions please consider registering at www.folkjam.org (free, we just need a valid email address to fend off spammers) and contributing your sessions to the site.
[find jams. post jams. play well with others]
Kami Music Co. is a family owned business, manufacturing bagpipes for 50 years - uilleann pipes, Irish pipes, Scottish Highland Bagpipes, Smallpipes, Pipe Chanters, Reeds, Tone Enhancers and a range of other music instruments and accessories.
Green Willow Folk Club is headquartered in Wilmington and Newark, Delaware. They have some great concerts year-round at several venues in the Delaware Valley area. They are dedicated to the preservation and growth of British Isles and Celtic Folk Music. Some of the groups they have presented include the Irish band Teada and the Scottish band Old Blind Dogs.
Located at Carpenter Lane and Emlen Street, Phila., PA 19119 - 215-248-0502
Irish Roots Magazine is a genealogy and family history magazine, aimed at assisting all those interested in tracing their Irish ancestry. Irish Roots Magazine is a celebration of all things Irish and runs many features on all aspects Irish culture, heritage and tradition.
Above: Ballroom at the Irish Center. Right: Bar at the Irish Center (shown talking are Irish traditional musician Fintan Malone and Connie Tyrrell, wife of Irish musician Sean Tyrrell, who was performing at the Center - see below, Sean's program of the life of Irish patriot and poet John Boyle O'Reilly, and Sean talking with concert-goers afterward)
The Irish Culture Club of Delaware is another Irish group in Wilmington, Delaware - Check out their website! They run the St. Patrick's Day parade every year, as well as a feis in August that hosts Irish dance competitions. They meet at Catherine Rooney's pub once a month for an Irish history/culture event, such as speakers, films, etc.
Concerts start at 8:00 pm at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 420 Willa Road, Newark, DE 19711, unless another venue indicated. Tickets: Public $17; Seniors $14; BFOTM Members $12; Ages 17 and under FREE!
Inis Nua Theatre Company
The Philadelphia-based Inis Nua Theatre Company stages contemporary, provocative plays from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, or from American playwrights with heritage, which reflect those cultural identities in today's world. Their mission is to show that the iconic storytelling tradition of this part of the world is still as vibrant as ever. Translated as "New Island" from the Irish language, Inis Nua is located in Center City Philadelphia. Performed in The Drake at 302 S. Hicks St., you can reach Inis Nua for tickets and information at www.inisnuatheatre.org or email email@example.com.
Above photo by: Kathryn Raines
Love, Lies and Taxidermy is their new play; they are sure you can relate to the growing pains during the transitions of life. They bring you a snapshot of a family going through these shifts - sometimes painful, sometimes bizarre, but very heartwarming and funny!
*******WE NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP THE COATESVILLE TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SERIES GOING...*******
When you buy your tickets online please remember that CTIMS is in the midst of its Spring 2012 fundraising drive. If you can, go the extra mile and make a donation to assist us in bringing you the finest Irish traditional musicians from Ireland and elsewhere in an affordable, intimate setting. Please read the kind letter from Mick Moloney on the CTIMS web page and then do what you can. "No one makes any money but the musicians themselves, and believe us, they don't make much." - Slainte from CTIMS
There is a weekly Irish traditional music session at Catherine Rooney's Pub and Restaurant in Wilmington, DE, on Sunday nights from 4:00-7:00. You can have dinner and drinks while the 5 or so musicians play on the uilleann pipes, fiddle, bodhran, guitar, bouzouki, concertina etc. and sing as well. It's great craic! Other musicians and dancers are also welcome to perform. The pub is located in the Trolley Square (or Forty Acres!) section of Wilmington, at Delaware Avenue and Dupont Street.
IRELAND XO - Ireland Reaching Out is an Irish-government-sponsored genealogy program in Ireland, where people from all over the world can trace their ancestors' roots in Ireland. Thousands of volunteers in Ireland are doing reverse genealogy - they are researching emigrants and reaching out to descendants worldwide. You register on the site, join the group from your ancestral home parish, and receive help from other searchers and from the volunteers on the site. If you don't know your parish of origin, they will help you locate it, and if you decide to go to Ireland, they will help your search when you get there!
The Coatesville Traditional Irish Music Series is currently located in a beautiful old theater at The Coatesville Cultural Society Building, 143 E. Lincoln Highway, in Coatesville, PA. (610) 486-2220 - email CTIMSfirstname.lastname@example.org. It is an intimate performance space that has a small café that serves food and beverages. It is a great space for Irish music! Visit the CTIMS website.
Come out for an evening of mighty Irish music, when the Green Willow Folk Club presents Meara Meara! - Monday, June 27, 2016 - 7:30 pm (doors open at 7 pm) at the Blue Ball Barn, 1914 West Park Drive (in Alapocas Run State Park), Wilmington, DE - TICKETS: $15.00 Advance Reserved / $18.00 at Door - 17 and under FREE when accompanied by a paying adult - Seating limited - Reservations recommended - Cash or check accepted for payment. E-mail concert ticket reservations to email@example.com or call 302-456-3242. (Advance reservations close at noon on the day of the concert.)
Meara Meara ("MARE-uh MAR-uh") is Irish for lively fingers and this trio has them! They are Haley Richardson (fiddle & vocals), Keegan Loesel (uilleann pipes, whistles, & vocals), and Dylan Richardson (guitar & bouzouki). Haley recently received the Junior Fiddler of Dooney title, and has won seven Mid-Atlantic Fleadh awards and two All-Ireland titles. Keegan has won twelve Mid-Atlantic Fleadh titles, and is also an All-Ireland medalist. They are joined by Dylan Richardson, who (though not keep on competing) has also qualified for the All-Ireland competition. Meara Meara have appeared onstage with such Irish music luminaries as The Chieftains, John Whelan, Paddy Keenan, The Teetotallers, and Altan, and have performed from Vermont to Boston, from Long Island to the south Jersey shore. Tim Edey (of The Chieftains) says: "Haley, Keegan, and Dylan are absolutely astounding musicians and singers with skills that belie their years ... Watch out scene." In the days preceding this show, Keegan and Haley will compete at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in Parsippany, NJ, in solo events and as a duet, where they hope to qualify for the All-Ireland Fleadh to be held in August in County Clare. This concert kicks off a brief fundraising effort to help offset their travel costs. Stay tuned!
Irish House Concert - West Philly, Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 - 7:30-10:30 pm
Enjoy an evening of traditional music at Trinity House in West Philadelphia, with Oona Grady (fiddle/viola/vocals) & James Gascoyne (guitar/banjo/vocals), who as DRANK THE GOLD play and sing North Atlantic dance tunes and folk songs. Steeped in Irish music as far back as she can remember, Oona spent many years living in Cork, Ireland, honing her skills as a fiddle player. Moving back to her hometown of Ithaca, NY, she immersed herself in the music scene there and incorporated old-time and Cajun tunes into her repertoire. Growing up outside Louisville, KY, James was always surrounded by music: radio, records, church music, and live concerts were part of daily life. James keeps his ears open for sounds - new, old, familiar, or strange. Singing and playing guitar and banjo, he delves into American old-time music and Irish dance tunes.
Philadelphia area Irish musicians Sasha Hsuczyk & Keegan Loesel will play an opening set on fiddle and uilleann pipes. Sasha sources her repertoire from archival recordings of masters from generations past, as well as from her time living in Ireland. Keegan shares tunes learned from his friend and mentor, uilleann piper Patrick Hutchinson, known himself for reviving forgotten piping gems from old books and even older tune collections.
Sasha and Keegan will be joined for a few sets by special guest Patrick Cummins from Dublin. Known for his solid tenor banjo playing, Patrick is a graduate of University of Limerick's program in traditional Irish music.
Trinity House is located south of 48th St. and Baltimore Ave.; email Sasha at firstname.lastname@example.org for the exact address. Sliding scale suggested donation of $5 - $15; no one turned away for lack of funds! All welcome. BYOB.
From Wales: American Premiere - LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY, by Alan Harris - February 14-March 4
Valentyn can't decide which is worse - the teenage anguish of his unfulfilled love for Ashley or the dire predicaments of both their parents. Throw in an ice cream truck, a possible soft core porn movie and some of the more bizarre uses of taxidermy for a funny and endearing picture of young love and middle-aged longing, brought to life in a claustrophobic small town in Wales. Directed by Tom Reing in the Louis Bluver Theater at The Drake. Click on above links for tickets and information.
CAST: Joseph Teti, Francesca Piccioni, Seith Reichgott (appears courtesy of Actor's Equity)