Welcome to the Cafe Buzz! We started the "Buzz" section here at the Celtic Café 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: Celtic Cafe Yahoo Group
Got any "newsy tidbits"? E-mail us via the Contact Form.
'Tis the Season... and what better way to enjoy the holidays than with Celtic music! The multitude of Eileen Ivers fans here at the Celtic Cafe will be delighted to know that Compass Records has just released Eileen's "An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas" -- and it's a knock-out! Here's a bit of what Eileen has to say about this terrific holiday CD:
"I suppose so many of the traditions of ‘an Irish Christmas’ have been handed down to my sister, Maureen, and me through our Irish born parents, Annie and John. Apart from the gift of faith that they nourished and helped strengthen in us both, the tradition of family was also an important one. Neither of my folks had many material things as they grew up in large families in County Mayo, in the west of Ireland. Family and friends were at the core of Christmas festivities. The modest Christmas present of an orange and several balloons was shared by my mom and her nine brothers and sisters-a memory which she mentioned quite frequently as we were growing up! My father often recalls how he and his siblings celebrated the Wren Day or St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas.
Just like ornaments on a Christmas tree, the tunes on this recording have been lovingly passed down through the generations as well. Some are hundreds of years old - some are new.
May we all continue to treasure the old traditions and welcome the new ones. Nollaig shona daoibh - Merry Christmas to you and your families." – Eileen Ivers
Go to Eileen's website to hear some great samples of the music, and get the dates of her very busy touring schedule. Be sure to check out Compass Records' own website, as they have what is probably the best collection of Celtic music out there!
"Anuna: Celtic Origins" has been soundscanned at number one this week in the Nielsen Soundscan World Music Charts.
We first fell in love with Anuna when they were the original vocal group featured in “Riverdance” and since forming in 1987, they have achieved tremendous European success and international acclaim.
“Celtic Origins,” Anuna’s Public Television concert special, airs nationally in August and September as part of the tv stations’ pledge drives -- see http://www.elevationgrp.com/anuna/broadcast_information.html for dates and times.
Click on the image above for a special feature by Anuna member Patrick Hughes, about how the group came to this place, and what it is that makes the music appealing to fans worldwide.
Members of the group are currently traveling the United States for in-store appearances at Borders bookstores, and Anuna will return in the fall for a full-fledged concert tour starting Oct. 3.
North American fall tour listing of cities and dates:
Keep up with the news at Anuna’s website (www.anuna.ie) and especially through their News Update page: http://www.anuna.ie/news_update.html where you can find some very nice photos taken at Borders appearances. Check out the music immediately at Anuna’s MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/anuna -- we promise you’ll be entranced!
The ground-breaking Irish dance company Solas An Lae is making their New York City debut at Peter Norton Symphony Space on June 14th at 8pm. The show, a "veritable multi-media tour de force", is directed by Patrick Brown, and choreographed by Deirdre Lowry and Ellen Verdibello.
Hailed by critics as “the new breed of Irish dance”, Solas An Lae's mission is to break free from the status quo of the Irish dance world . . . through inventive and dynamic choreography, the use of archival and abstract imagery projected onto and behind the performers, and a musical score of unsuspecting urgency.
Louise Dunphy of Celtic Crossings, WMUA 91.1 FM, says, "They took my breath away and held me spellbound. Fabulous dancers, athletes and entertainers . . . a true delight."
Solas An Lae is transforming Irish dance through impassioned experimentation and a daring sense of individuality, bringing forth a performance of beauty, originality, and power. With this vibrant dance company on the rise, now is the time to catch them for one night under the bright lights of Broadway!
The immensely talented Joel Hanna (Riverdance, Dancing on Dangerous Ground, Fire of Dance) has teamed up with Mike Schulster (Tap Dogs, Fire of Dance) in exciting new show, Revolution! The show will open at the Joyce Theatre in New York City on September 24, 2007.
Click on the image to learn more, and watch this space for further coverage -- we'll be bringing you plenty of information as opening approaches!
"Revolution redefines the theatrical experience for the MTV generation. Driven by the power of rock, Revolution is a sweaty, sultry mix of live music, multi-media, and some of the world's best Irish and tap dancing. Creators Mike Schulster and Joel Hanna are joined on stage by a live rock band and a 10-person ensemble direct from Broadway."
The Irish American Heritage Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and strengthening Irish culture in Chicago, has announced its 22nd annual Irish American Heritage Festival to be held July 13-15, 2007. Advance sale tickets are available beginning May 1.
The festival features three days of music on four stages, including Gaelic Storm, the Makem and Spain Brothers, the Mickey Finns, the Tossers, the Muck Brothers and the Waco Brothers.
For those inclined toward hands-on activity, the Folk Tent returns with various demonstrations of Irish instruments, dances and sing-alongs. Irish and American food will be available throughout the weekend, and dozens of vendors and artisans will be selling Irish clothing, music and jewelry.
The fest activities and contests include a Hooley Happy Hour with music, matchmaking and dancing, a Mashed Potato Eating Contest and the Irish-American Idol Contest for children ages 12-18.
The Irish American Heritage Center fosters the practice, study and celebration of Irish, Celtic and Irish-American cultural traditions. Membership in the Center is open to anyone with an interest in these traditions. The IAHC houses a 650-seat theatre, a library, an authentic Irish pub, a Social Center, a museum, dance/music studios and meeting rooms.
For more information, click on the logo or visit the IAHC website at www.irishamhc.com.
Vacationing in France? You can choose between two top-notch summer Irish Dance camp sessions, each led by some of the world's premier Irish dancers -- or don't choose, you can attend both!
In July, 2007, Joanne Doyle of Riverdance will be joined by Breandan de Gallai, Dearhbla Lennon and Ronan McCormack for Irish Dance South, in Rognac near Aix-en-Provence. And in August, Sarah Clark and Stephen Scariff of Feet of Flames return with Camp Rince Provence. Other teachers will be announced later, but check the websites now for details and booking!
Planning a trip to Ireland this summer? Interested in two weeks of intensive study with some of the finest talents in folk music and dance? Take a look at the course offerings for the Blas International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance, to be held June 25th to July 6th, 2007. If you can't attend the full course of study, there will be concerts, sessions, a ceili, and other events open to the public -- take a look at the full details and book your place in class at the Blas website.
Hosted by the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance on the campus of the University of Limerick, Blas is in its 11th year and has assembled a truly world-class line-up of instructors: just imagine the chance to study fiddle with Kevin Burke and Martin Hayes, voice with Karan Casey, flute with Niall Keegan, bodhran with Tommy Hayes or Mel Mercier, banjo with John Carty, piano with Geraldine Cotter or the legendary Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin.
Click on the image to read more about Blas 2007, or click here to see the line-up of instructors!
Larry Kirwan, leader of the prominent New York-based Irish band Black 47, and Mike Farragher, music editor and columnist for the Irish Voice, have teamed up to create a new, vibrant online community at www.celticlounge.com. In a user-oriented, user-friendly online space, Celts of all nations can meet, share their work, ideas, and interests, listen to music, and keep up with the pulse of the Celtic world.
Click on the image to read more, or click here to join the new community as it gets started!