I am a huge fan of these guys–  I wrote about Matt for Irish Examiner USA last February.  He’s a great and also very funny fiddler who I met up in the Catskills in 2009 during Catskills Irish Arts Week (yep, I’m going to link to it every time it comes up).  Matt and Jackie launched their CD The Living Stream there too.   If you want to catch them at the Irish American Association of Northwest Jersey, email Irish Nevins (who calls herself the “token Latina” of the Celtic set) “No obligation,” she says.

On the last night of Catskills Irish Arts Week (CIAW) the session at Furlong’s went on until well after dawn. People got a little bit punchy around five a.m., purple hats were worn, but the tunes just kept going, sprightly and clear (and the Guinness kept pouring, too). One of the fiddlers in the silly purple headpieces was Cork fiddler Matt Cranitch. He had played a concert on the mainstage earlier that night but showed no signs of slowing down, despite a brewing cold, and the evenness of his bow arm as it went back and forth was so smooth it looked almost mechanical.

He’s playing a few gigs in the area in coming weeks and I will definitely try to have him on the podcast, but if you’re in South Jersey, this one should be fun!

 I’ve also written about IAANJ for Irish Examiner USA:

While Rockaway Township is a trek for many, Nevins says their programming attracts visitors from New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. People come from miles around to hang out at the white-frame building that was once the Mt. Hope School.”It’s more than just a session; it’s a traditional Irish music and dance party, we play sets too. There is free food out, and we’re not averse to food contributions to table; there’s always plenty of parking. People who come are babies to great grandparents. We can’t serve liquor, but you can bring your own. It’s more than just a concert where you pay your ticket and leave; there is extreme interaction with performers. It’s really wholesome compared to bar gigs.” 

She’ll have you picked up at the train if you let her know.   Jackie Daly was one of the first musicians she programmed there, so it should be old home week…

Jackie Daly & Matt Cranitch in concert at IAANJ.  3/26/11
Showtime is 8:00PM, doors open 7:30.
Free parking, food refreshments, session at end!
Tickets are $20 or $15 for IAANJ members.
IAANJ is located at 352 Richard Mine Rd. Rockaway Tnsp. NJ.

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.

One Comment

  1. Avatar
    iris nevins / March 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    There may not be anyone available for a train run, but you can call a taxi:
    (973) 366-7712
    (973) 442-2443
    at any of these three. The fare I beleive is about $10, which can be shared with a few people of course.
    We have a great party. It is a bit far, about an hour from midtown NYC, but EASY, it’s right off route 80. directions at

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