2017 Entertainment Line-Up
MAKEM AND SPAIN
Not in the past 30 years has a group taken the international stage with such vocal power and stage presence, capturing the essence of their genre, while standing out as something truly unique. A host of various instruments and three male vocals, using precise three-part harmonies blend perfectly for what many have described as a wall of sound. Makem and Spain are at their best onstage where their talent and enthusiasm draw in fans who have never experienced the joy of folk music. www.makem.com
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
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 ‘CeltGrass’, their onstage energy along with their virtuosic musical ability has captivated audiences throughout the world. “Here’s an Irish band that’s going to impact the world as hard as Clancy Brothers or U2 if they get only half a chance.” www.jigjam.ie
Dennis Doyle is a Celtic harpist, singer and storyteller. He’s brought his harp music, stories and songs in Gaelic and in English to feasts and festivals, wakes and weddings all over North America, Japan and Ireland. He has presented concerts, programs, and weekends on Celtic Spirituality throughout the USA as well. He also plays keyboards, mandolin, and is a published composer (Mel Bay). A tenured college professor, Dennis teaches southern California lecturing in English, Humanities and Irish History. http://english.glendale.cc.ca.us/doyle.a.html
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
BASTARD BEARDED IRISHMEN
Pittsburgh-based Bastard Bearded Irishmen is one of the most entertaining and energetic live shows today. Their sound is an original, ferocious blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic music, mixed with punk, gypsy and high-energy rock n’ roll.
Bastard Bearded Irishmen, or BBI, was originally intended to be a one-night-only tribute for a dear, departed friend. Jimmy Bastard and Ben Jaber shared a passion for Irish music and enlisted Dan Stocker on drums and Danny Rectenwald on mandolin to form the nucleus of the band. What began as a tribute in local pub gigs turned into two records with a third on the way, constant touring, sharing the stage with the likes of Street Dogs and Gogol Bordello and a sponsorship from Jameson Irish Whiskey. The group’s lineup is rounded out by Paul Dvorchak on fiddle and Ryan Warmbrodt on rhythm guitar. http://bastardbeardedirishmen.com/
RIVER CITY BRASS
Based in Pittsburgh, River City Brass is the only full time professional brass band in the United States. Since the arrival of renowned Scottish conductor, James Gourlay, River City’s Celtic concerts have become a celebrated annual tradition. Audiences around the country are delighted by Gourlay’s dry wit, brilliant artistry, and worldly flair. Get in touch with your inner Celt with unique brass interpretations of the music of beautiful Ireland. http://www.rivercitybrass.org/
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
MACDONALD PIPE BAND
The Macdonald Pipe Band of Pittsburgh is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to furthering the music of traditional Scottish pipe bands. They are proud to be one of the oldest pipe bands in western PA. Each year, they march in several local parades, including the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Memorial Day Parade in Castle Shannon, and others. In addition to parades, the Macdonald Pipe Band perform in numerous show around the area. They also travel around the Eastern United States competing at various Highland games and Celtic festivals, culminating at the Ligonier Highland Games, held at the band’s birthplace, Idlewild Park, PA. http://macdonaldpipeband.net
THE BOG CARROTS WITH LIZ SHOVLIN
The Bog Carrots is a collection of Pittsburgh’s finest traditional Irish musicians and dancers who perform at concert halls, festivals, colleges and high schools, clubs and pubs, dances, receptions, and weddings throughout western Pennsylvania and the Ohio valley. Learn more.
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
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
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/
Patrick Regan the Bagpiper takes the stage, street, or classroom with an exuberance paralleled only by the instrument he brandishes. A native Texan and world-class bagpiper with his own brand of blarney, Patrick captivates audiences of all ages. In classroom settings, his animated rapport makes Texas history come alive (even teenagers sit up and take notice). Concertgoers expecting only a few choruses of “Amazing Grace” are in for a delightful ear opener. His stories, punctuated by audience laughter, singing, and even dancing in the aisles, provide the perfect balance for a rare presentation of the bagpipe at its finest. Patrick presents a varied repertoire of Scottish, Irish, and American bagpipe music, laced with humorous anecdotes, history, and stories. While the material remains the same, his delivery varies substantially depending on the audience. Scottish music and stories touch the hearts and minds of the very young, the very old and everyone in between, but he adjusts the blarney accordingly. Patrick’s performances fit venues from schools to concert halls. http://www.patrickreganthebagpiper.com/
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
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
Jack Puskar has performed traditional Irish songs around the Pittsburgh area for several years. As a tenor, some of Jack’s greatest influences have been Luke Kelly, Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers.
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/
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.
An exciting Irish group from the Pittsburgh area, it mixes traditional Irish tunes and songs with roguish Celtic rock. Most of the members have been playing and singing this music for several years and decided to come together in 2005. A versatile David Yates shows multiple talent with the tin whistle, the box, bass, and guitar. Charles May is the consummate celtic fiddle and mandolin player bar none. Gerard Rohlf does much of the lead singing and handles the rhythm guitar to perfection. Richard Henry, the percussion guy, began playing the bodhran (Celtic drum), some twenty years ago both here and in Ireland when he visits relatives. Gerard’s daughter Haley sometimes sits in with “na Gaels” and adds a delicate and airy voice to some captivating Irish Ballads. www.pittsburghirish.org/nagaels
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/
IRISH DANCE SCHOOLS
Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh http://www.balletacademypgh.com/
Bell School of Irish Dance http://www.bellschool.com
Burke Conroy School of Irish Dance http://www.burkeirishdance.com/
Pittsburgh Ceili Club http://www.pittsburghceiliclub.org/
Pittsburgh Irish Reelers http://www.facebook.com/people/Pittsburgh-Irish-Reelers/625638464
Shovlin Academy of Irish Dance http://www.shovlinacademy.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.
SHOVLIN ACADEMY OF IRISH DANCE
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.[/vc_column_text]