DruidDruid promises to be a spectacular stage and musical sensation, featuring five of Ireland's finest male vocalists coming together in a dramatic celebration of Ireland's music culture.

Backed by an 11-piece orchestra, Druid is performed by Ciaran Nagle (Riverdance, The Three Irish Tenors), Tony Norton (La Scala, The Three Irish Tenors), Eoin Brady (National Chamber Choir), Simon Morgan (Anuna, The Drawing Room Opera Company) and Brian Dunphy (Riverdance, The Three Irish Tenors).

Druid opened in the Mahony Hall of The Helix, DCU on Friday, March 17. Click on the image to read more, and click here for a larger version of the Druid poster.

Check back soon for the Druid feature at the Celtic Cafe.

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Gaelforce DanceIt's been way too long since fans have had the chance to see Gaelforce Dance, but the good news is that a new world tour kicked off in Talinn, Estonia, on March 8!

Our comprehensive coverage about Gaelforce begins with the auditions for new dancers, with much more to come in the way of photos and interviews. Click on the image for the very beginning, and check back regularly for the coming installments.

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Darren HoldenFormer Riverdance lead singer and "Piano Man" Darren Holden is starring in the national tour of the Tony award-winning Broadway musical Movin' Out, where Billy Joel recently surprised him and the audience, performing some of his own songs. Click on the image to go to DarrenHolden.com to learn more! While there, be sure to check out his song in aid of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Kudos, Darren!

recently performed at the US-Ireland Alliance event "Oscar Wilde: Honoring Irish Writing in Film" honoring Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan and David Holmes, during Oscar week in Los Angeles. Click here for information on that exciting event, emceed by Jean Butler, of Riverdance fame.

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Hands Across the WaterA benefit for the children of the tsunami, The CD release of Hands Across the Water on Dec. 20 brings together those in the world of Celtic music with their counterparts in American roots and country, including Vince Gill, Altan, John Prine, Maura O'Connell, Rodney Crowell, Paul Brady, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Sharon Shannon, Alison Brown, Lúnasa, Jim Lauderdale, Pauline Scanlon, Jerry Douglas, John Cowan, Jon Randall, Darrell Scott, Máirtín O'Connor, Ciaran Tourish, Blue Merle, The Duhks, Danu, Mindy Smith, Solas, Tim O'Brien, and more.

Kudos to Compass Records and organizers John Cutliffe and Andrea Zonn for a most worthwhile project. Click on the image to go to HandsAcrossTheWater.com to learn more!

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The High History of Celtic Music

Drone On! The High History of Celtic MusicWinnie Czulinski has written this book about "The High History of Celtic Music" in not only a most informative and engaging manner, but one that seems ideally suited to those of us who came to "Celtic culture" as a result of Irish dance shows like Riverdance and Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance, which she includes in her coverage.

Click on the image to read an excerpt from the book at Amazon.com to get a delightful taste of her writing style, and watch out for our full feature on this terrific tome and a contest, coming SOON!

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Cora Smyth and Breda SmythCora and Breda Smyth, sisters from County Mayo who have won over 40 All-Ireland titles, are long-time favorites of the Celtic Cafe for their years of touring with Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames. They come from a family with not only a strong musical tradition -- brother Sean Smyth is a founding member of the fantastic group Lúnasa -- but all three are medical doctors!

Cora and Breda have just recently collaborated on an exciting self-titled album which represents the music they've loved and shared together. Learn more about it by going to CoraSmythBredaSmyth.com by clicking on the image above.

See Cora's fiddling burning up the stage in Celtic Tiger!

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The Essential ChieftainsThis new release is a 2-disc set containing 35 tracks spanning from the Chieftains' 4th LP in 1965 through 2002's "Down the Old Plank Road" -- with an amazing line-up of guests!

The Essential Chieftains (RCA Victor/ Legacy/SonyBMG), draws from their output on Columbia in the 1970s, Claddagh in the '80s, and RCA Victor in the '90s and 2000s, as personally selected by original founding member Paddy Moloney, with over a dozen guest stars ranging from James Galway, the Corrs, Carlos Núñez, Ry Cooder, Emmylou Harris, and Béla Fleck, to Sting, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithfull, Van Morrison, Alison Krauss, Jackson Browne, the McGarrigles, and many others; compiled by Jerry Rappaport and Paddy Moloney, with scholarly liner notes written by Nashville's Robert K. Oermann.

Click on the image above for more information, and Click here to go to the Chieftains' official site, where you can find tour information, including Carnegie Hall on St. Patricks' Day!

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Quagmyre's CD "Of Cabbages and Kings"Of Cabbages and Kings is the latest release of the band Quagmyre of Toronto, Canada!

Click on the image to go to their official site to learn more. Hint: You'll encounter the amazing Jon and Nathan Pilatzke, brothers who perform with the Chieftains when they're on tour, and the lovely Cara Butler, who dances up a storm with them!

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Keltika of ItalyKeltika Magazine, a very fine publication in Italy, features articles of great interest to us, however the articles are in Italian only!

Click on the image to read about the current issue of Keltika, and click here to go to their Music Column Editor Alfredo De Pietra's own website.

Click here to see a larger version of the Keltika cover.

Click here to go to the new Keltika website!

Click here to go to Alfredo's special corner of the Celtic Cafe's Music section, with some of his interviews and reviews... with more coming soon!



Click here for some of our Dance features, including interviews with some of the best dancers on the world stage today.

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Learn Irish Dancing Step by Step with Olive HurleyOlive Hurley's videos "Irish Dancing Step by Step, Vol. 1 & 2" have helped thousands of Irish dancers around the globe perfect those steps!

Now available on DVD, they're great for everyone, and especially fun for those of us who aren't Irish dancers, but admire the talented performers in the Irish dance shows we love, and wouldn't mind learning a few steps in our own living rooms!

Click on the image above to learn more about the premier Irish dance instructional tapes at Olive's own site "LearnIrishDancing.com" or OliveHurley.com. Click here to go directly to the page which offers sound and video clips of the new DVDs!

Click here for our Celtic Cafe feature about this marvelous woman!

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Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance: My StoryMichael Flatley is the seminal figure of an artistic revolution that led to a new era of dance theater, which in turn led to the formation of the Celtic Cafe community. We have long awaited the autobiography of the Lord of the Dance, and unsurprisingly, it turns out to be as controversial as the man himself.

Click on the image of the book cover to read the Celtic Cafe's review of "Lord of the Dance: My Story," released on March 7 by Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster. The UK release, simply entitled "Lord of the Dance," arrived at bookstores on April 7, from Macmillan's Sidgwick & Jackson division. Click here for Michael's upcoming book signing events.

Want to discuss the book or his shows like Celtic Tiger, and be informed of media appearances? Join our CelticCafeFLATLEY e-mail group by clicking here. Scroll down to the MIKEroCosm link for our Celtic Cafe microsite for even more.

Interested in all the Irish dance shows, Celtic music, books, etc.? Sign up for our main Celtic Cafe mail list/Yahoo Group! Click here to get an idea of the information posted to our Celtic Cafe community.


Visit our Celtic Cafe microsite devoted to Michael Flatley and his work, and connect up with fans from all over the world!

Here you will find information about anything connected to Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames, and if it's not in the MIKEroCosm itself, you'll be able to find other great sites through our LINKS page there! Click here to go to our CelticCafeFLATLEY discussion group, where you can browse messages related to Da Man and his Lord of the Dance troupes.

Click here for information about his newest show, Celtic Tiger.

Click here for the feature about Michael Flatley, receiving an award at the ICCUSA's Celtic Ball, here for our feature about him and his Lord of the Dance troupe at the Monaco Red Cross Gala, here to read about Michael with Nelson Mandela in South Africa, and here about his participation in the Boxing Debate at the UCD Law Society. Recent features include University College Dublin's special honorary degree ceremony (Dr. Michael Flatley!), The Wild Geese organization's award to Michael for his outstanding achievements in promoting and preserving Irish culture and heritage, a focus on his life in an episode of "Life of Luxury," hosted by George Hamilton, and "Pushing the Envelope" on behalf of the National Literacy Trust of the UK.

Join us at the 'Cosm simply by clicking here, won't you? We think you'll be impressed! And you would definitely be impressed by Alexander Servas' original movie trailer "teaser" for the MIKEroCosm. Click here!


WLIW 21Many public television stations across the U.S. have been and continue to be responsible for helping to create a huge interest in Irish dance and Celtic music, including WLIW 21 of New York. We applaud their programming choices, particularly during the month of March, when it seems everyone is on high alert for "Celtic culture." Check WLIW or your local PBS stations to see specials like Celtic Roots Festival; Live Concert of the Greatest Irish Artists: Gael Force; The Corrs: Live in Geneva; Daniel O'Donnell: The Rock 'n Roll Show; Frank Patterson: Ireland's Greatest Tenor - Ireland in Song; Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks "Rain, Rain, Go Away" celebrating St. Patrick's Day; Spirit of the Emerald Isle; and PATRICK: A dramatic portrait of one of the best-loved and least-understood icons of world religion, St. Patrick, featuring narration by Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne as the voice of Patrick, and commentary by author Frank McCourt.

Please pledge support for your local public radio and television stations and these wonderful programs. Click here to go to WLIW.org to learn more!

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Tristan and Isolde

A Celtic Legend

Gwenno of Wales and Cornwall has many fans at the Celtic Cafe due to her days travelling the world in Michael Flatley's "Lord of the Dance." However, she's traded in her high kicks for high notes, launching her musical career with Sain Records of Wales.

CoverDriveRecords will be releasing a new single with Gwenno's vocals gracing the musical version of "Tristan and Isolde" -- capturing the real essence of this beautiful 6th Century Cornish legend. Click here to go to the official site, and watch for our upcoming contest to win the "collector's item" advance CD single.

Click here for our Music section and see other wonderful artists we've featured at the Celtic Cafe.

Click here for interviews with luminaries in our Dance section.



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The Ten Years

Riverdance 10th Anniversary Special Edition CDFeb. 9, 2005 marked the Tenth Anniversary of the touring show that put Irish dance on the map -- worldwide! Irish dance and music fans had much to look forward to last March, including a new Riverdance program on public television stations in the U.S., a North American tour, and a Riverdance CD that was released on March 8! Click on the CD cover image above left to learn more about the Original Cast Recording Tenth Anniversary Special Edition.

Learn more about composer Bill Whelan by going to his official site at BillWhelan.com.

Go to the Riverdance website directly by clicking here.

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Celtica Magazine of ItalyCeltica Magazine of Italy
We just love knowing about magazines around the world devoted to things Celtic, even if we can't read them! Unfortunately, Celtica is just in Italian as is our dear "Keltika," but the Celtic music on the CD that comes bundled with each copy of the magazine can be enjoyed in ANY language!

Click on the above image to go directly to their official site, www.Celtica.it -- and click here to read (in English) about the contents of the July/August edition of this fine publication.

At Celtica.it you can even listen to samples of the great Celtic music that comes bundled with the magazine!

Click here for a larger version of the image above, the cover of the current issue.

WWW celticcafe.com

A Thousand WelcomesKeep up with what's new in the world of Irish dance, Celtic music and more by joining our Celtic Cafe Yahoo Group!

Click on the Celtic circle logo for "newsy tidbits" in our message archives for "anything Celtic."

Join us and post your own, won't you?

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Important notice: Material featured in the Celtic Cafe and associated lists is either original or submitted to us by our contributors, readers and members. All material is accepted without payment or compensation and is, to our knowledge, in the public domain, with the exception of those contributors who have provided their copyright notices to the Celtic Cafe. The Celtic Cafe does not condone, nor will we willingly engage in, copyright infringement. We at the Celtic Cafe make reasonable effort to ensure that no material copyrighted by others is included on our site. If you find material to which you have a copyright claim, please let us know and we will remove it immediately.

This site first created on May 15, 1999
Website design copyright 1999. Velvet E. Durano. All rights reserved.
For questions regarding content of the Celtic Cafe, please forward all correspondence to Bernadette
Last updated on April 2, 2006
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