Hot Topics Percolating Through the Cafe


Got any newsy tidbits?
Let us know. E-mail them to: bernadette@celticcafe.com

We started the "Buzz" section here at the Celtic Cafe as a means of sharing some of the news and information posted to our associated mail lists, which are devoted mostly (but not exclusively) to Irish dance and Celtic music. For more detailed information, and to join in the discussion about "anything Celtic," please sign up for our main list, large and very international. Click on the following to learn more: Celtic Cafe Yahoo Group

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Please note:

Cafe Buzz items will be added as time allows --
see our main Celtic Cafe Yahoo Group for more regular updates on news and information.
CLICK HERE

The current Cafe Buzz page can always be reached through the link from our main page at CelticCafe.com
Scroll to the bottom of this page for links to the previous Cafe Buzz pages.

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May 8

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, DANCE OF DESIRE!

And many more!

Official site: DanceofDesire.com

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April 30

MICHAEL FLATLEY DONATES ROLLS ROYCE TO PEOPLE IN NEED CHARITY

The People in Need Trust was established in May 1988 with the purpose of raising and distributing money to charitable organisations throughout Ireland, and this year's donations by celebrities to the RTÉ Telethon includes Michael Flatley's Rolls Royce Seraph. Today, at a special event at the Westbury Hotel in Dublin, Michael handed the keys of the 1999 beauty with only 8000 miles on the odometer to RTE host Gay Byrne, who accepted on behalf of the People in Need organization. The Rolls Royce will be auctioned on the night of the RTÉ People in Need Telethon 2004, presented by Gay, and broadcast live on Friday 21st May. This year's event features a number of different elements including a bizarre talent show called Can't Sing Can't Dance and a week-long reality television show, Inside 252, which follows the attempts of a group of celebrities to run a national radio station. RTÉ Charity 252 Radio for People in Need will be broadcast throughout the week on Long Wave 252.

"Following the last Telethon in 2000, over €7.7 million was distributed to 897 projects throughout all 26 counties. The main areas where the monies were distributed were the elderly; children and young people; learning and physical disability; the homeless and a variety of social services supporting family resource centres, rape crisis centres, hospice care and unemployment centres.

The monies raised from this year’s Telethon will, as in previous years be distributed far and wide throughout the 26 counties. In 2000 some of the beneficiaries included the Adapt Shelter for women and children in Limerick; the Simon Community in Dundalk, Co. Louth; the St. Vincent de Paul Society housing scheme for the elderly in Gweedore, Co. Donegal; and the Irish Society for Autism’s farm for autistic adults in Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath."

Click here to find out more about the People in Need Telethon 2004.

This is the 10th anniversary of the Eurovision interval at which Michael Flatley and Riverdance exploded onto the world stage, and the SuperStar Irish dancer has always been generous with charitable contributions to worthy causes. Kudos!

Learn more about Da Man at the Celtic Cafe's MIKEroCosm, MichaelFlatley.com, LordoftheDance.com and of course at CelticCafeFLATLEY, our mail list/discussion group devoted to fans of Michael and his shows worldwide. Click here.

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April 15

BRIAN KENNEDY LIVE IN THE WLIW STUDIO

We continue the trend of focusing on former Riverdance performers with the news of Brian Kennedy's in-studio appearance tomorrow evening, April 16, 9 p.m. at WLIW in New York, to accompany the showing of his new DVD "Brian Kennedy, Live in Belfast." That DVD and the 2-CD set are being offered as pledge premiums for the WLIW membership drive. Taped in November, 2003 at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, Ireland, his hometown, the prolific singer/songwriter performs some of his most popular pop hits. Included are breathtaking renditions of ‘A Better Man’, ‘Get On With Your Short Life’, ‘Put The Message In The Box’, as well as choice selections from his BBC Northern Ireland TV series, ‘On Song’ - from which come ‘The Ballad of Killaloe’, ‘Carrickfergus’, ‘The Curragh of Kildare’ and ‘Danny Boy’. It also features inspired versions of ‘You Raise Me Up’ and a tender medley of Van Morrison songs in ‘Crazy Love’ / ‘Have I Told You Lately’, as well as a heartfelt take on the Neil Young classic, ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’.

Brian's first DVD contains the same performances that you can hear on his new CD, but includes the Special Features of an interview with Brian, and behind the scenes footage. Click here for the WLIW page for specifics of the included tracks and here for a page at Brian's site where there are MP3 samples. Check out the main page at the WLIW website for the focus on this very special broadcast: WLIW.org

We hear that Brian and Michael Londra, the singer who took his place in Riverdance on Broadway (and now the Music Director of RadioCelt), will be painting the town red on Saturday. Watch out for this dynamic duo if you live in New York City!

Michael's site is at MichaelLondra.com and Brian's at BrianKennedy.co.uk

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April 10

DARREN HOLDEN "MOVIN' OUT"

This being close to the 10th anniversary of the emergence of Riverdance, we love hearing about current and former performers with the show and "where are they now?" One such talent is Darren Holden, who toured with Riverdance as lead singer for three years, as well as on Broadway, and fans can see him on tour again -- this time in the Billy Joel/Twyla Tharp Tony Award-winning hit "Moving Out" where he's thrilling audiences with his piano and lead vocals.

He's also just been nominated for the 2004 New Music Weekly Award in the category of Best Country Artist, and the single "Wherever You Are" off his CD "Live & Learn" is now in the Top 30! That song was written by Eddie Snyder, the man who wrote “Strangers in the Night” for Frank Sinatra.

Learn more at Darren's official site, DarrenHolden.com and see if the "Movin' Out" tour is headed your way via that official site at: MovinOutOnBroadway.com

Congratulations on the nomination, Darren!

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April 5

CASTING WORKSHOPS FOR BALOR THE SHOW

Breandán de Gallai, formerly a Principal Dancer with Riverdance, and Joe Csibi, former Musical Director at Riverdance, are the creative forces behind a most exciting new production called BALOR. It is confirmed to be opening in Dublin (with a world tour planned). Casting workshops are scheduled for the Irish dance World Championships in Belfast this week, on Saturday, April 10th and Sunday, April 11th. A further workshop will be held in Dublin on Saturday, April 24.

The show is casting for both principal and troupe dancers, and the ideal candidates are:

Irish Dancers (World Championship Recall Standard)
Contemporary/ballet experience, Acting and relevant performance experience would be a plus.

From the Balor World website: "Joe and I wanted to develop a dance form that would have the dramatic scope to deliver this story through ballet and contemporary dance styles, but give all the excitement and energy of the Irish hard shoe discipline. We have seamlessly fused dancers with experience in other dance forms on the same stage, to tell the story as stage-actors....

With the dramatic highs of Macbeth, the sultry moods of a Midsummer Night’s Dream and the sensuality of Salome, the music has a film score feel in the vein of a thriller or horror. The dancing is integral to the overall musical effect and has been worked into the score to form part of the percussion. The dramatic score and daring choreography makes Balor distinctive and unique among theatre events."

To learn more, see the Auditions Page at the Balor.com site by clicking here.

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March 10

LOOK AROUND IRELAND: WIN A CD-ROM!

Michael Londra, former Riverdance singer and current Music Director of RadioCelt, brings us this competition whereby you can win a CD-Rom and LOOK AROUND IRELAND! Here are the details:

Radiocelt.com and LookAroundIreland.com have teamed up to give the Celtic Cafe folks a chance at winning one of 20 CD-Roms which offer a beautiful view of Ireland's stunning scenery. The folks at RadioCelt think the CD-Rom is an amazing product, which, like RadioCelt itself, offers a new approach to attract people to visit Ireland

The team at Lookaround Ireland, based in Louth, the smallest county in Ireland, are delighted to bring to you the beauty of the tourist attractions of Ireland. They have travelled the entire country to bring you over 30 interactive CD-Roms allowing you to take a virtual tour of Ireland or your favourite county. Each CD-Rom shows you the local tourist attractions and gives tourist information on that location.

On each one they include interactive 360-degree virtual tours, a slideshow and screensaver of pictures of Ireland, narration to accompany the virtual tour and music. The CD-Rom can be run in automatic mode so that the user sits back and watches and listens to each location, or in manual mode, where the user can control where they want to go. When in manual mode the user has more control options and there is a feeling of actually being in Ireland. They have attractions in Ireland from every county, and each county CD-Rom has twelve locations which include the local tourist attractions and relevant information.

Check out www.lookaroundireland.com (while you are listening to RadioCelt, of course!) and enter the contest to win one of these terrific CD-Roms by e-mailing Michael (click here) with the answer to the following question:

Where is Michael Londra's home town in Ireland?

Hint: The answer can be found easily at Michael's official site. Click here: MichaelLondra.com

The names of 20 lucky winners will be drawn on March 24, 2004.

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March 5

MIKE HANRAHAN and RONNIE DREW

The U.S. premiere of the critically-acclaimed show "Ronnie, I Hardly Knew Ya" takes place at the Irish Arts Center in New York City and runs from March 9 to 21, 2004. This is a not-to-be-missed chance to hear the wonderful stories and songs of the one-and-only Ronnie Drew (formerly of The Dubliners), accompanied on guitar by ex-Stockton’s Wing frontman, Mike Hanrahan. Originally written and performed by Ronnie and Mike in 1997, the show has traveled to various venues around the world. The new show still features the writings and songs of Patrick Kavannagh, Sean O' Casey and Brendan Behan, but they've also added the works of Shane
Mc Gowan, Christy Moore, and Irish poets Paul Durkin and Brendan Keneally. It is a true mix of Irish writing, "with the past very comfortable in the company of the present."

Mike's website at MikeHanrahan.com is a great place to keep up with news about Ronnie Drew and Stockton's Wing Reunions as well as tourdates, and there is much information there about Mike's impressive background (click here for the full bio) as one of Ireland's finest musical talents. In addition to his collaboration with Ronnie Drew, he continues to tour as a solo artist, and samples of his terrific music can be heard at the official site. Click here for that particular page, which also includes a full MP3 download of "Firefighter" from the CD "What You Know."

Musicians will likely also appreciate Mike for his work as Chairman of IMRO - the Irish Music Rights Organisation, a national not-for-profit organization that administers the performing right in copyright music in Ireland on behalf of its members - songwriters, composers and music publishers - and on behalf of the members of the international overseas societies that are affiliated to it. IMRO, according to its site at IMRO.ie, is also prominently involved in the sponsorship and promotion of music in Ireland. Every year it sponsors a large number of song contests, music festivals, seminars, workshops, research projects and showcase performances. Indeed, IMRO is now synonymous with helping to showcase emerging talent in Ireland.

Click here for info and tickets for Ronnie, I Hardly Knew Ya at IrishArtsCenter.org and here for more on Mike and Ronnie at MikeHanrahan.com.

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March 4

THE IRISH DESCENDANTS

Chosen as the official band for Newfoundland's 500th anniversary, and dubbed by the Irish Press as "the lost Celtic tribe of Newfoundland," The Irish Descendants first became known to many in the Celtic Cafe community during their time with Needfire, a wonderful music and dance production that some referred to as "Canada's answer to Riverdance!"

The lads are moving Westward this month to garner even more admirers for their "strong, hearty vocals, incredible musicianship, and an astonishing ability to make even the most cynical music fan dance.” Starting in Belleville, Ontario on Friday, March 5th, at the Empire Theater, and Saturday, March 6th in Brockville at the Wall St. United Church, they make their way across Canada to Vancouver, B.C. and back, with a foray into Massachusetts in April.

The Brockville gig is hosted by the Brockville Celtic Festival in Ontario, and 2004 marks the fourth year in which it just keeps growing and getting better. Learn more about the festival, held on June 4, 5, 6, at the official site: BrockvilleCelticFestival.com

Check out the tourdates and learn more about The Irish Descendants, including their new CD, "We Are the Irish Descendants," at: IrishDescendants.com

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Feb. 20

MARY BLACK AT WLIW 21

On Sunday, February 22, at 9:30 p.m. fans of Irish music are in for quite a treat, thanks to PBS station WLIW21. Not only is there the Sunday premiere of MARY BLACK: LIVE AT THE OLYMPIA to look forward to, but the legendary vocalist and former member of the Irish traditional group De Dannan appears live in the WLIW studio to chat about her career and the upcoming concert (March 11) at the Inter-Media Art Center on Long Island, New York. Tune in for details about tickets for the concert and a meet-and-greet with Mary!

From a press release:

In addition to Mary Black's public television debut, WLIW's Irish-American Heritage Month programming includes the return of viewer favorites Daniel O'Donnell, live in the studio to premiere his new "Songs of Faith" concert on Tuesday, March 9 at 7:30 pm, followed by an encore presentation of "Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance" at 9:30 pm; highlights from WLIW's cultural celebration, "May the Road Rise to Meet You," on Tuesday, March 16 at 7:30 pm followed by an encore of "The Irish Tenors: Ellis Island;" and a St. Patrick's Day encore of "Daniel O'Donnell: Songs of Faith" at 8 pm.

These specials continue WLIW's longstanding commitment to programming that explores and celebrates Irish culture and tradition. The station also broadcasts and distributes the weekly newsmagazine "Out of Ireland" with Patricia O'Reilly (Sundays at 6:30 pm) and "Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks" (Saturdays at 8:30 am and Fridays at 4:30 pm), an animated series set in Ireland. WLIW New York is the fourth most-watched public television station in the United States, with an average weekly cumulative audience of nearly two million households in the New York metropolitan area.

Visit WLIW.org for more information, and see a great website devoted to Mary Black, including tour schedule, at: Mary-Black.net

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Feb. 19

BROBDINGNAGIAN BARDS AT "LORD OF THE RINGS" OSCAR PARTY

Celtic duo Marc Gunn and Andrew McKee, the Brobdingnagian Bards, will present an exclusive performance at New Line Cinema's official Lord of the Rings Fan Club Oscar Party on Sunday, February 29th, 2004.

The Brobdingnagian Bards first released their original instrumental "Tolkien (The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings)" on the late MP3.com three years ago. The single quickly dominated the charts and subsequently earned over one million mp3 downloads.

The success of that single prompted the duo to record an entire album of music inspired by JRR Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" entitled "Memories of Middle Earth". This CD has earned continual praise from fans and critics alike for its unique sound and stirring Celtic and folk-influenced music.

Thanks to the international grassroot efforts of LOTR fans from many different groups, including The Official Fan Club, Ringbearer.Org, LOTR Fanatics, War of the Ring, Council of Elrond, Tolkien Online, the LOTR Fanclub Scrapbook, and Tolkien Forever, The Official Fan Club is proud and excited to present this Lord of the Rings themed Oscar party.

Learn more in Marc's posting to the Celtic Cafe mail list by clicking here. See the Bards' official site at: TheBards.net

Website for the Oscar Party: IntoTheWest.net

 

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Feb. 14

50 GREAT IRISH LOVE SONGS

Happy Valentine's Day! What a perfect time to let folks know about a ballad book, with CD, entitled "50 Great Irish Love Songs."

The description is "The Irish are great lovers, and these songs prove it! In this book you have all you need to play and sing some of the greatest Irish love songs ever written - the lyrics, guitar chords and simplified music score. And what a magnificent selection of songs, from the haunting 'Danny Boy' and 'She Moves Through the Fair' to the beautiful 'Mountains of Mourne' and 'Rose of Tralee' and to the mischievous 'German Clockwinder' and 'Maids When You're Young.' They're all here!"

The item includes all the lyrics, music score, guitar chords and chord shapes, plus CD with first versus/chorus of each song. Also included are historical backgrounds and information on the songs, where available.

The folks at Music-Ireland also have "130 Great Irish Ballads," and later this year will offer "100 Favorite Irish Ballads." Definitely a site worth checking out while munching on those Valentine chocolates!

See Music-Ireland.com

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Feb. 06

MY PIECE OF OLD IRELAND

Does your family have roots on the Emerald Isle, but no land? Well, now you have the opportunity! The fine folks at "My Piece of Old Ireland" are offering "The ultimate heirloom, the ultimate gift." A family tree is planted in your name in beautiful County Wicklow (known as the garden of Ireland) and the land can be yours for all time, making for a wonderful heirloom. Folks in the U.S. will be interested to know that they can see a feature about this on the PBS program "Out of Ireland," most likely around May of 2004.

From the website:

"The history of Ireland throughout the centuries has had one common feature. The displacement of her People from their land and the almost inevitable consequence... mass emigration.

Indeed, it has often been said that Ireland's greatest export has been her people. St. Brendan, the navigator, could be considered the first of the Irish to land on the North American shores. When Brendan set foot in this land (long before the Vikings or Columbus) he was to be the first of millions of his fellow Irish men and women to make their home in the New World.

During the famine years of 1845 to 1850 a million Irish came to North America. A further 6 million Irish have come to the U.S. since those dark years. Today, a staggering 40 million Americans claim Irish descent. Their contribution to American society has been immense. Hard working and enthusiastic, they have embraced their adoptive home, rising to the highest levels of political and economic life in America. Yet, even whilst enjoying such success, there has always been a deep and urgent longing. No other peoples have retained such a powerful connection to the land of their forefathers. Perhaps it is as a result of forced eviction and centuries of injustice that the spiritual bond between the Irish and the land of Ireland has never been broken."

My Piece of Old Ireland offers those of the Irish diaspora to re-establish a link with their homeland. For details, please visit the official website at: MyPieceOfOldIreland.com

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Feb. 05

MARIE DUFFY MARRIES MICHAEL PASK

The choreographer who can claim a great deal of credit for the success of Irish dance as world-class entertainment recently stepped down the aisle in Dorset, England. Marie Duffy wed Michael Pask on Saturday, January 3rd, and the Celtic Cafe sends its very best wishes and congratulations to the happy couple.

Ms. Duffy's boss and close friend Michael Flatley attended the wedding with his own lovely fiancee, Lisa Murphy, as did numerous family and friends from the world of Irish dance. The accompanying photograph is courtesy of the wedding photographer Courtenay Hitchcock, of Courtenay Photographic. See their official site at: CourtenayPhotographic.co.uk

Ms. Duffy's official site: MarieDuffy.com

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Feb. 04

VICAR STREET ADDS DATES FOR PLANXTY

Christy Moore, Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny and Liam O'Flynn have reformed legendary trad band Planxty, and fortunate fans have had a chance to see several gigs at Vicar Street in Dublin. Due to overwhelming demand, more shows have been added, and in some cases it's standing room only. Planxty was one of the greatest Irish folk/traditional groups in the pivotal decade of the Seventies, where along with The Bothy Band, they fused traditional with folk and popularised it to a huge new audience.

In 1971, folk singer Christy Moore gathered some musicians - old school friend Dónal Lunny (bouzouki), uillean piper Liam O'Flynn, and former Sweeney's Men multi-instrumentalist Andy Irvine - to work on his album 'Prosperous'. The foursome decided to continue working together, calling themselves Planxty, and they released three albums before going their separate ways in 1975.

In 1979, they returned with 'After the Break'. Two more critically-acclaimed Planxty records, 'The Woman I Loved So Well' (1980) and their final LP, 'Words and Music' (1983) were released before they parted company for the second time.

Last October, the band spent time rehearsing in North Clare and performed at the Royal Spa Hotel in Lisdoonvarna, leading to Planxty's "Third Coming." That included recent gigs at the Glór Irish Music Centre in Ennis, Co. Clare.

Check Vicar Street for February's gig dates at VicarStreet.com, as well as Ticketmaster.ie

For details about the birth of Planxty, click here for some great info at AndyIrvine.com.

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To see our Buzz for Nov. 6-Nov. 19, click here.
To see our Buzz for Oct. 12-Oct. 31, click here.
To see our Buzz for Sept. 14-Oct. 9, click here.
To see our Buzz for August 26-Sept. 12, click here.
To see our Buzz for August 3-12, click here.
To see our Buzz for July 20-July 31, click here.
To see our Buzz for July 6-July 19, click here.
To see our Buzz for June 22-July 5, click here.
To see our Buzz for June 8-June 21, click here.
To see our Buzz for May 25-June 7, click here.
To see our Buzz for May 11-24, click here.
To see our first-ever Cafe Buzz items, click here.

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Feature: Bernadette Price
Original Web Design: Alexander Servas

 
 
Michael Flatley and the Rolls Royce Seraph
Brian Kennedy
Darren Holden
Breandan de Gallai
Look Around Ireland CD-Rom
Mike Hanrahan
The Irish Descendants
Mary Black
Brobdingnagian Bards
50 Great Irish Love Songs
My Piece of Old Ireland
Marie Duffy wedding
Planxty
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
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