2019 Entertainment Line-Up
Multi-award winning Irish singer Colm Keegan is best known as one of the Principal singers with PBS sensation show, Celtic Thunder. A Dubliner born and bred, Colm may be young but has already achieved an extensive career to date.
Colm graduated from UCD with a BAhons Music and Irish degree, to immediately become a member of the Aontas Choral Ensemble, touring with the Irish global phenomenon Celtic Woman. Having spent a year with the group, completing two European tours, a tour of Asia, the making of ‘Believe’ CD & DVD and a five-month North American tour, Colm audition and was accepted to become a Principal singer in one of the biggest shows Ireland has produced, Celtic Thunder.
With Celtic Thunder, Colm featured on a several Albums and DVDs, reaching Number 1 on the prestigious Billboard’s World Artist of the year. He has toured around some of the biggest stages across America, Canada and Australia, whilst also being invited to perform for a private audience in the Pentagon. http://colmkeegan.com/
Dennis Doyle is a Celtic harpist, singer, and storyteller from California. His people are from County Wicklow but his parents have immediate roots in coal country Pennsylvania. His delightful program of traditional Irish harp music, stories, songs, bits of history, and jokes have been performed all over North America, Japan and Ireland. He has over a dozen recordings and two published books on Celtic music with Mel Bay. His television work includes performances on the show Murder, She Wrote, and research and artwork for the History Channel. Recently his childhood family is portrayed in a new comedy on ABC, The Kids Are Alright, produced by his brother, Tim Doyle.
Doolin’ is France’s premiere Celtic band whose name derives from the little village of musical fame in south-west Ireland. Born in 2005 from an encounter between six accomplished musicians, from its inception Doolin’ perfected a mixture of novel musical genres. Whilst some of the band were immersed in the world of traditional Irish music, and others were active in the jazz scene or in the pop rock wave of the 80s and 90s, they found a common love in traditional Irish music. From ballads to furiously fast jigs, from their own compositions to traditional tunes, Doolin’ offers a rich palette of sound. www.doolin.fr
Grammy awarded, Emmy nominated, London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, guest starred with over 40 orchestras, original Musical Star of Riverdance, Nine Time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, Sting, Hall and Oates, The Chieftains, ‘Fiddlers 3’ with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Regina Carter, Patti Smith, Al Di Meola, Steve Gadd, founding member of Cherish the Ladies, movie soundtracks including Gangs of New York, performed for Presidents and Royalty worldwide…this is just a short list of accomplishments, headliners, tours, and affiliations.
JigJam are a multi-award winning quartet from the heart of the midlands in Ireland. Blending the best of traditional Irish music with Bluegrass and Americana in a new genre which has been branded as ‘I-Grass’ (Irish influenced Bluegrass), their onstage energy along with their virtuosic musical ability has captivated audiences throughout the world. www.jigjam.ie/
MAKEM & CLANCY
Continuing on their family tradition, which began with their fathers in The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, independently celebrated musicians Rory Makem and Dónal Clancy come together with charismatic interpretations of songs and stories in the Irish folk tradition, and lend original music and songs of the modern folk era to the mix.
The Screaming Orphans are 4 sisters from Donegal in Ireland who were brought up playing traditional Irish music. They first came to prominence when Sinead O’Connor took them as her back up vocalists and her opening act. Sounding like a mix between the Cranberries and The Corrs, their own songs are high energy pop songs with unbelievably catchy melodies and with some rousing Traditional Irish tunes thrown in for good measure, they are a band not to be missed. http://www.screamingorphans.com
Washington DC-based Scythian began over 12 years ago as a bunch of college buddies playing Celtic music in the streets and has grown to be a headliner on the US Celtic Festival Circuit as well as a name in the Bluegrass/Americana Festival Circuit. They found that their brand of high-energy folk music found a resonance that led The Washington Post to state: “Scythian’s enthusiasm is contagious, and shows seem to end with everyone dancing, jumping around or hoisting glasses.”
Founded by brothers Alexander and Danylo Fedoryka who are first-generation sons of Ukrainian immigrants, Scythian from the start has been a search and love for the “old time, good time music” of many cultures. https://www.scythianmusic.com/home
THE STEAM TRIO ft KATIE GRENNAN
Steam is the result of a powerful combo of the leading exponents of traditional Irish music from the international acoustic scene. John Williams, Katie Grennan, and Steve Morrow have thrilled audiences from Shanghai to Chicago and from Paris to Pittsburgh. Concertina, fiddle, and bodhran ignite to raise the rafters and warm the heart. Appearances on BBC, PBS, Dreamworks, Riverdance, and the Chieftains round out their various backgrounds and their versatility as entertainers embraces dance, wit, and road-tested musical wisdom.
Abbots Cross is a Celtic music duo made up of Alan Booth and Mike Clancy. The combination of Alan Booth’s rich vocals and Mike Clancy’s jazz background makes for an exciting musical experience. Their influences range from The Wolfe Tones to John Coltrane. Booth and Clancy’s set list includes traditional and modern Celtic music as well as original instrumentals combined with jigs and reels inspired by Brian Finnegan and Michael McGoldrick. Over the past couple of years, Abbots Cross has been featured at The Three Rivers Arts Festival, The Pittsburgh Irish Festival, and The West Moreland Arts and Heritage Festival. In October, 2016, Alan and Mike debuted their Celtic Christmas CD, “Christmas Visions,” at the very popular Christmas In The Woods Festival, in Ohio. This instrumental CD features traditional jigs and reels paired with Christmas classics. http://www.abbotscross.com/
For years, Alan’s ghost stories and humorous tales kept everyone huddled close to the campfire. In time, his repertoire of stories grew to include folktales and legends, as well as his own fantasy tales. He moved north to Pittsburgh in 1984, and continued to expand his repertoire and to hone his craft. In addition to performing, Alan teaches workshops and classes on storytelling. In 1988, he help found the storytelling group StorySwap, and has often served as its president. He has produced numerous storytelling shows, and was the chair of the 2006 National Storytellers Conference. Alan has numerous recordings, several of which have won Storytelling World and NAPPA awards. www.alanirvine.com
BASTARD BEARDED IRISHMEN
Pittsburgh-based Bastard Bearded Irishmen is one of the most entertaining and energetic live shows around. Their sound is an original, ferocious blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic music, mixed with punk, gypsy and high-energy rock n’ roll. https://bastardbeardedirishmen.com/
BALLET ACADEMY OF PITTSBURGH
The Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh is committed to the belief that experiencing the performing arts is a vital element in the education of our children. We hope to enhance the lives of children and the community through the beauty and discipline of classical ballet. We provide the highest-quality classical ballet instruction in the greater Pittsburgh area to children ages 18 months & up, preschool through advanced. Performing opportunities include The Nutcracker in December, and our Spring Gala series in late April/early May featuring such classics as Coppelia, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as works by the great 20th-century choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. http://www.balletacademypgh.com/
BELL SCHOOL OF IRISH DANCE
At the Bell School, Irish dancing is their passion and they are very serious about it. Since their inception in 1999, it has been their mission to inspire the same passion for Irish dancing in each and every one of their students. They do this through an uncompromising commitment to excellence in the instruction they provide, their relentless drive to succeed in competition, and by fostering an environment that is positive, encouraging, and welcoming to all regardless of age or skill level. http://www.bellschool.com
THE BOG CARROTS WITH JIM GUAY
The Bog Carrots are several Pittsburgh-based fellow travelers who play for Irish ceili dancing. This year’s crop of Bog Carrots consist of: Bruce Molyneaux (mandolin and banjo), Richard Withers (flute and tin whistle), Molly Thompson (fiddle) and Mike Byrnes (guitar).
Jim Guay has been dancing for 18 years. He is currently the Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh Ceili Club Dance Ensemble, a position he has had for the last 10 years. Over the years he has instructed and called at various monthly ceilis and on occasion Tuesday nights at the Harp & Fiddle.
This year we will have several caller-assistants to aide newbies, the ambivalent and the shy to give ceili dancing a go.
Ceili on! Learn more.
BURKE CONROY SCHOOL OF IRISH DANCE
The Burke Conroy School of Irish Dance was originally founded by the world-renowned Theresa “Tessie” Burke, ADCRG. Tessie followed in the footsteps of her Irish-born father, Thomas Scott, who in 1942 opened the first Irish step dance school in Cleveland, Ohio, and began her own charter school in Cleveland in 1958 after studying in Dublin, Ireland, with master teachers. In 1966, she opened a second school in Youngstown, Ohio, and at the invitation of the Board of Directors of the Irish Centre of Pittsburgh, began accepting students for classes at the Irish Centre in 1971. In 2006, the Pittsburgh location was renamed the “Burke Conroy School of Irish Dance” in recognition of sisters Mary and Laura Conroy’s dedication to teaching and their personal commitment to preserving the legacy founded by Tessie Burke nearly 60 years ago.
Cahal Dunne credits his winning of Ireland’s National Song Contest as his biggest break. With his winning song, “Happy Man”, he earned the right to represent Ireland at the International Eurovision Music Contest in Israel. The song became number one in Europe and Ireland with record sales topping the 250,000 mark. Cahal Dunne is a composer, pianist, comedian, storyteller, and television personality. His style is rich and deep, reflecting the many strands in his distinguished career. www.cahaldunne.com
CORNED BEEF AND CURRY
The Corned Beef and Curry Band is the premier Irish party band out of Pittsburgh, PA. They have an uncanny ability to engage an audience and capture their imagination. They always put the “festive” in “festivals”, you and your friends will have “the best time ever”. You will leave feeling that the Pittsburgh Irish Festival was a great event and we guarantee you will return next year… with more friends in tow. Although their core is Irish music from pure Celtic to rock, they also have an amazing portfolio of songs from the 60’s to current. Be prepared to sing and clap along to tunes you know and love! CBCB is a trio consisting of John McCann, lead singer and acoustic guitar; Bob Banerjee, harmonies, fiddle, and mandolin; and Brad “Hamish” Dindak on percussion, pipes, and the famous washboard. http://cornedbeefandcurry.com/
County Mayo is one of the premiere Irish Bands in Northeast Ohio and Northwest PA and has been pleasing audiences for over 30 years. Their performances are lively, engaging and feature a high level of audience participation. The band specializes in Irish ballads but their song bag includes plenty of Scottish, Australian, and Canadian songs as well as familiar Irish-American favorites and American folk tunes. County Mayo was formed in the early 1980’s and is named for the county in the West of Ireland where two of the members have roots. The musicians entertain at festivals, pubs, concerts, conventions, schools, parties and family events including Irish weddings and wakes. http://www.countymayoirishband.com
Donnie Irish is a band from the Pittsburgh area and they play a mix of Traditional Celtic Rock, Irish, Scottish, and American cover tunes. They also play a wide variety of cover tunes and put some much needed drive behind some fantastic traditional Irish ballads.
THE LOW KINGS
MACDONALD PIPE BAND
One of the oldest active bands in the region, Macdonald Pipe Band’s mission is to further the Scottish arts by promoting the study and performance of its music. They are a modern, competitive pipe band with a keen eye towards the future but mindful of their forebears and the traditions that shaped them. http://macdonaldpipeband.net/
One of Pittsburgh’s best known Irish singers! Mark has been a staple in the Pittsburgh Irish music scene for 20+ years. His pleasing and powerful voice allows him to deliver everything from the most solemn Irish ballad to the most upbeat Celtic rock songs to please the crowd in front of him.
Mike Flaherty, Folk Singer and Balladeer is from Pittsburgh’s South Hills. His influences include The Irish Tenors, Tommy Makem, The Dubliners, and the music of Celtic Thunder. His interpretations of “Danny Boy”, “Grace”, and “Galway Girl” have been fan-favorites wherever he performs. www.facebook.com/mplflaherty
Known primarily for performing Irish and Scottish folk, native Pittsburgher Mike Gallagher has been a constant musical presence throughout the tri-state area. Mike also specializes in contemporary acoustic music and performs a number of original selections, backing his clear tenor voice with sensitivity and versatility on the 12-string guitar. His original works draw on the influences of American roots music and Celtic traditions. Master of the Irish ballad as well as haunting love songs, Mike has established himself as an entertainer who brings emotion, humor and spirit to every performance. www.mike-gallagher.com/
PITTSBURGH CEILI CLUB
The Pittsburgh Ceili Club is celebrating 25 years of promoting Irish culture through music and dance. The Dance Ensemble of the club was formed in 1991 to perform for various community groups, at various cultural events and at regional facilities. Our program consists of various social dances from Ireland, including “set” dances, “ceili” or figure dances and two hand dances. We strive to give our audiences a “taste” of Ireland by including stories about the dances and having fun. Those dancing are dedicated volunteers who give of their time and talent to practice and perform. The Pittsburgh Ceili Club holds monthly “Ceilis” from October through May and hold dance instructions every Tuesday prior to a ceili at Mullaney’s Harp and Fiddle. More information about the Pittsburgh Ceili Club can be found on our website: www.pittsburghceiliclub.org.
PITTSBURGH IRISH REELERS
PITTSBURGH POLICE EMERALD SOCIETY PIPES AND DRUMS
The Pittsburgh Police Pipes and Drums was formed in April 2001 after realizing there was a need for a fitting tribute for those in the law enforcement community who have paid the supreme sacrifice. The band has been honored to participate in many funeral services to honor public safety workers in and around the City of Pittsburgh. http://www.policebagpipes.com
RUST TOWN ROUNDERS
SHOVLIN ACADEMY OF IRISH DANCE
Shovlin Academy of Irish Dance offers solo and figure dancing instruction to students ages 5 and up. Participation in the academy provides each student with the opportunity to grow physically and mentally in a supportive environment while developing an appreciation for Irish music and dance. http://www.shovlinacademy.com
The Tamburitzans – who will be performing their Irish set and celebrating 82 years – is the longest live performing group in the US! Since its inception at Duquesne University in 1937 the Tamburitzans have awarded over 700 scholarships to deserving talented students attending Pittsburgh based colleges and universities. The multicultural stage show features music, songs and dances from all over the world. The group gives students the opportunity to travel all across the country and Canada as ambassadors for Pittsburgh showcasing our rich diverse cultures. https://thetamburitzans.org/
Terry has been performing Irish ballads in local Irish pubs as well as performances at Irish festivals, Renaissance Faires and fundraisers all over the U.S. for over 3 decades. His music reflects his Irish heritage and his experiences in Ireland and appeals to the Irish-Americans who look beyond the stereotypical to the true essence of being Irish. Terry is known for his interpretation of Irish ballads. His rich baritone voice is suited to ballads from the humorous to the emotional and his repertoire is sure to take audiences through the highs and lows that only Irish music can span in an evening. http:// www.pittsburghirish.org/griffith
WEEKEND AT BLARNEY’S
Weekend at Blarney’s is an acoustic pub rock duo formed in 2014 by Brad Wagner and Pat Reilly. Influenced by the Pogues, the Dubliners, the Clancy Brothers and the Dropkick Murphy’s, Brad and Pat have combined to spread foot stomping, hand clapping, sing along fun throughout the pubs of Western PA. In addition to playing the pubs, they have made several appearances on KDKA Radio and have played in Market Square for the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade in both 2015 and 2016. http://www.bradwagnerbarfly.com/
THE WILD GEESE
This Pittsburgh-based group takes the old-school Irish pub feel and morphs it into an electrifying feel-good kitchen party. They astound genre-mixed audiences with their exciting live shows driven by waves of contagious stage energy, unforgettable original & traditional tunes, and mouth-watering five part harmonies. www.thewildgeeseband.com
*Entertainment line-up subject to change