|Bloomsday at Ulysses (@Ray Foley)|
How It’s New York: See the name of this blog! Ok, not everything was based here, but a lot was.
How It’s Irish: Everything has an Irish connection. We define the term loosely, but we think it fits!
We decided to give you a blast from the past this year, and remind you of some of our favorite posts and events from a year with New York Irish Arts.
It was a year of a new CD by Glen Hansard, the beginning of SongLives curated by Susan McKeown at Irish Arts Center, a great 1st Irish Festival, wonderful nights at the Irish American Writers & Artists Salon, a visit from Druid Theatre Company, some amazing dance performances, including Rian, Bloomsday celebrations (we picked a post about the readings at Ulysses, but the mock trial for obscenity was a real highlight too), the debut of Copper, a television show with a Civil War era Irish cop, Scottish events including the Tartan Day Parade and the Great Book of Gaelic, as well as an election year with two vice-presidential candidates of Irish descent, Hurricane Sandy, and the passing of Linda Hood, a beloved member of the Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra.
We’ve put in one representative podcast in this “best of” but we hope you’ll check out the rest; just visit the podcast tab of the blog to download interviews with Moya Brennan, Paddy Moloney, Garry Hynes, Glen Hansard and many more.
Here’s a look back at some contributions from myself and our outstanding roster of bloggers, and a couple of guest posts. And here’s to 2013.
Jan. 7, 2012
|May 1954: Yvonne Voigt Molloy, John Molloy, Christopher Fitz-Simon and other members of the Trinity Players head off on a University Tour that included Oxford University|
How It’s New York: Honor Molloy is a New York writer and a regular partner in crime at the Irish American Writers and Artists Salon.
Honor Molloy remembers the fun of poetry, buskers and theatrical parents, and John Molloy’s Dublin
Monday, January 23, 2012
For all that Come On Over is as fake-Irish-twee as a bowl of leprechauns, it does this knowingly, and what it has in heart and spirit more than make up for it.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
|Kevin Spacey as Richard III (Joan Marcus)|
How It’s New York: Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is one of New York’s beloved institutions, founded in 1861, and at its present location since 1908, it’s the go-to place these days for international work,a s well as cinema, music, local performers and of course theatre. And some of the performers in the Bridge Project are New York based.How It’s Irish: It’s English, but Shakespeare has deep roots in Irish theatre too. Who can forget Frank McCourt’s description of Shakespeare to mashed potatoes– you can’t get enough. Kevin Spacey is a wonder in this production which literally took my breath away (as in, at times I forgot to breathe). Runs through March 4.
A version of this review first appeared in Irish Examiner USA.
Excerpt of video after the jump, too!
Spacey dazzles, changing midline from anger to deadpan comedy to cold control.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Paul Keating on Cruising with Cherish!
How It’s New York: Paul Keating, author of this piece, runs Catskills Irish Arts Week, and about music for the Irish Voice. If it’s Irish music in NY (and really, much of the world), Paul knows about it.
|Photo: Frank Rudiger|
How It’s Irish: Joanie Madden organized a Celtic Cruise (see our interview with Joanie before the cruise, in which we prayed nothing would happen to the boat)– and brought an amazing array of performers with her, including New York stalwarts Gabriel Donohue and Donie Carroll, as well as Maura O’Connell, Mary Black, Scot Phil Cunningham, and many more!
Paul went on the cruise and as Joanie says on the podcast, led some set dancing; he reports back and we can all live vicariously through him! He describes Joanie taking Cherish the Ladies and her “boy band”, the Pride of New York, on the High Seas.
Read more »
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
How It’s Irish: Boy Gets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Writes Song! BUT. Those songs ARE pretty great.
I admit some of Fitzgerald’s commentary is funny, like this one on “Leave” by The Swell Season:
This song may have been directed from Hansard his to his Swell Season bandmate Marketa Irglova who took heed to the song and not only broke up with Glen but has stopped performing with him as well.
to share his 10 favorite Irish love songs with us. He did– and it’s a terrific mix of trad and pop (AND YES! One of them is “As I Roved Out,” about the man who “marries the lassie with the land!” Honest, I didn’t put Tommy up to it. Take note of songs of dead or permanently unavailable loves).
Friday, February 17, 2012
How It’s New York: Not only does it take place at our home away from home, Irish Arts Center, which is so New York in its cultural fusions and happenings, the new SongLives program will include Irish singer-songwriters who are based in the city, as well as visiting. New York has made an impact on Irish songwriting– see Luka Bloom, for example! (who I think is working on his next, and we can’t wait!) And of course Susan McKeown herself, whose brainchild this is, is an East Village Lady.
How It’s Irish: All of the singer-songwriters are Irish, and the idea behind the series of programs (there will be 3) is to bring some of the Grafton Street feeling here. The Irish are known for their poetry and for their music, and songwriting brings those strands together.
You can hear Susan talk more about this, and snips from all the musicians, on the Feb. 12 podcast!
A version of this article first appeared in Irish Examiner USA, Feb. 14.
From Grafton Street To NYC
Had Susan McKeown not abandoned her operatic studies at the College of Music to busk on Grafton Street, SongLives, a new musical series beginning Friday at the Irish Arts Center , showcasing Irish singer-songwriters, might never have happened.
You might know about the tradition of musical performance on Grafton Street from the movie and musical Once. That was a very real thing, Susan says.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
How It’s New York: This memorial was written by Kevin Holohan, an Irish writer based in New York. Books Editor Michelle Woods reviewed his The Brothers’ Lot and loved it. Also, Hoban was Jewish– so this is Jirish, which is so New York (even though Hoban lived in London).How It’s Irish: This remembrance of Russell Hoban was originally published in Writing.Ie. And Holohan first came across Hoban’s books in Dublin.
I grew up on the Frances books, but never looked for any other works of the author. Thanks to Kevin for bringing this to our attention! Hoban’s children’s books, says Kevin:
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Terence Mulligan on The Craic Festival, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh from Altan on the new album, The Poison Glen, the Irish language, and Courtly Love (the band is at City Winery March 8!); Brendan Fay on the St. Pats for All Parade, March 4 (fundraiser concert at Irish Arts Center March 2); and excerpts from Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s speech at the Consulate February 9.
Featured tune from Altan!
sustained journey into a beautiful netherworld of plaintive verses and haunting choruses…
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
“The American audiences come in bit earlier, they are a bit more diligent. They don’t congregate around the bar.”
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Reading Report: Kathy Callahan laughs with Malachy McCourt at Death
How It’s New York: Malachy McCourt is a literary Irish fixture in New York, one of the founders of Irish American Writers & Artists (IAWA), and the person who suggested the salon. This reading took place at SOPAC, NJ: South Orange Performing Arts Center. And one of the things about New York, of course, is that it’s tri-state!
How It’s Irish: McCourt is from Limerick, like his brother Frank (author of the famous Angela’s Ashes). He’s a writer too, and has that gift of the gab.
Friday, March 23, 2012
|Shay and Michael Black with fiddler Bobbi Nikles|
Tom Clancy brings San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Day to New York in his post! A report on the Black Brothers in concert and a mouth-watering list of all the traditional players serenading California this month!
|Waving to the Parade Committee|
Late one Saint Paddy’s Night past, amid all of the discarded cups and cans, the seashells filled with cigarette butts, and the other debris left behind by the revelers at Marty O’Brien’s Public House, Kevin McKee, my friend from Chicago whom I only see on Saint Patrick’s Day, was about to take his leave. Since we had had such a good time, as we always do, I made a suggestion.
“Y’know, we should keep in touch during the year.”
“No, John,” said he. “I’m afraid that’s not possible.”
Monday, March 26, 2012
|Jim Fletcher, Scott Shepherd (Joan Marcus)|
How It’s Irish: F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, was Irish American, and the book’s roots in Irish dreams have never been clearer or more painfully realized.
I spent much of Gatz weeping quietly. At one point I worried I was about to break out in sobs. Certainly I was whimpering audibly. It’s important to put this upfront.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Sunday, April 1, 2012
How It’s New York: author Honor Molloy is a New York resident and celebrated reader at the Irish American Writers’ and Artists Salon. She also occasionally blogs for us!
Here’s Honor on her father and the Nelson Memorial, too!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
How It’s Irish: The book includes poems chosen by Irish as well as Scottish poets, and also demonstrates the closeness of the Gaelic cultures– the languages had almost no differences until the 16th century!
A version of this article appeared in this week’s Irish Examiner USA! Just when St. Patrick’s day is over, and the March season begins to draw to a close, the Scottish season begins: Scotland week, or Tartan week, culminates in the Tartan Day Parade on April 14, with Grand Marshall Brian Cox. All kinds of Scottish events will be going on, including Whiskey Live! Single malt tastings on April 11, Scottish plays at 59e59, an evening with the Scottish band Scocha at St. Andrews Restaurant on April 12, and much more (events are listed at www.tartanweek.com) . One of the most exciting events kicking off the celebrations, is an exhibit from the The Leabhar Mor/ Great Book of Gaelic at Ellis Island Immigration Museum through April 8. This remarkable anthology has been touring the world since its debut in 2002—what we have here is not the book itself but some of its artwork, with readings and performances on April 3 and April 5 (details below). And at the exhibition on Ellis Island this weekend there will be storytellers, jugglers, clarsach players, pipes and drums!
The book consists of 100 Gaelic poems chosen by 50 of the most noted poets in Ireland and Scotland, with artistic responses by 100 artists, and beautiful
calligraphy as well.
Read more »
Thursday, April 19, 2012
|Mike Ogletree and Caitlin Boyle boogie down|
How it’s New York: In its 10th year, this is NYC’s version of the national observation of all things Scottish – with a cast of thousands…of proud, fun-loving New York Scots.
How it’s [Scottish] Irish: In Scotland, April 6th marks the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 at Arbroath Abbey, when Scottish nobles declared Scotland to be an independent nation with the right to live free from rule or oppression by other countries. It also claimed that Scottish independence was the right and responsibility of the Scottish people, not the King – and that the nobles would choose another king if they had to.
Tartan Day in Scotland was inspired by this historical occasion to celebrate all that is good about Scotland – its people, its heritage, its history, its culture, and its amazing legacy.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
How It’s New York: Jack Coen (who was based in the Bronx), John McGann and Barney McKenna inspired and taught some of the musicians playing around the city today. .
How It’s Irish: They were all Irish and played Irish music.
This column appeared in the April 18, 2012, edition of the Irish Echo.
Recently, the Irish traditional musical community lost several important and cherished musicians in rapid succession, including Boston-based mandolin and guitar player John McGann, Dublin-based banjoist Barney McKenna, and Bronx-based flute player Jack Coen. Individually, each passing is remarkable and together they’re overwhelming, but this unfortunate confluence offers us a moment to briefly step back and reflect on how these losses affect some from the younger generations.
Friday, April 27, 2012
How It’s New York: Charles R. Hale runs the Irish American Writers and Artist’s Salon, which is a New York treasure. Many terrific writers, actors, musicians show up there every week!
How It’s Irish: the subject of the movie is Charles’ search for an ancestral grave. The film also looks at the concept of Original Sin. Religion, heritage, death, love…..
Charles R. Hale debuted his short film “The Death of Baby Florence” at Irish American Writers and Artists’ Salon at The Cell April 17. The film focuses on Hale’s search to learn the burial place of his maternal grandparents’ third child and his attempt to honor their pain. For religious reasons–the child wasn’t baptized–she was denied burial with her family. Hale traces the issue of Original Sin from St. Augustine, through eighteenth century Ireland and New York City to the baby’s death in 1925. The film runs for eight minutes.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
How It’s New York: L.E. McCullough is not only a noted musician and author; he’s also a regular at the Cat and Fiddle Session at St. James’ Gate in Maplewood, NJ, and a playwright whose work has been staged locally (see our notice of his historical play First Mothers: the Women Who Raised America’s Presidents here)
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
|Darrah Carr Dance company members perform Cuimhne Fado. (@Brian Rossi)|
“…the New York City Irish Dance Festival provides a rare and important opportunity for dancers to gather in a non-competitive environment where they can learn from and appreciate each other’s skills”
Saturday, June 2, 2012
A version of this article first appeared in Irish Examiner USA, on May 29. I spoke to Kevin Crawford and Martin Hayes; you can hear them on this week’s podcast! The lads are at Stratford Theater in Connecticut tonight and at Joe’s Pub, NYC, tomorrow!
Friday, June 8, 2012
|Florence Fabricant, Drew Nieporent, Gabriel Kreuther, and Bill Yosses|
In the shadow of MoMA, there nestles at the base of the building at 13-15 West 54th Street a promising little restaurant called La Petite Maison. Within its Euro-white walls, a third Pen, Paper and Palate event celebrating Irish, French, and American writing, culture, and food took place on May 8th (we’ve also written a bit about earlier Pen, Paper and Palate outings, Writers as Witness, and the first one last May!).
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
And stay tuned for Lisa’s emailed responses, too!
Everybody Falls In Love With Lisa Hannigan Producer and singer/songwriter Joe Henry said “I admire her as much as any human being; I think she’s absolutely fantastic.”
Sunday, June 24, 2012
|Colum McCann and Aedin Moloney (@Ray Foley|
As we pointed out here, the readings at Ulysses Folk House which start at 1 p.m. every year are a highlight of Bloomsday. You couldn’t have asked for a better day this June 16, which was sunny, blue skies, a nice breeze and fluffy white clouds going by.
|Ulysses (@Ray Foley)|
Spotted: Origin Theatre Company’s George C. Heslin; Fallen Angel Theatre’s Aedin Moloney (whose Molly Bloom soliloquy was, as always, outstanding); organizer and author Colum McCann; Black 47’s Larry Kirwan, Singer Moley Ó Súilleabháin, author Honor Molloy (who just reviewed Brendan Fay’s documentary Taking a Chance on God), author Joesph Goodrich (who blogged about the luncheon at the Irish Consulate for us), photographer Ray Foley and artist Kim Umichaya, Irish Echo’s Peter McDermott, author Pete Hamill, musician Tony DeMarco, author Maura Mulligan, harper Cormac DeBarra and many many more!
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
|Miles Krassen (l) on fiddle, L.E. McCullough (r) on whistle, Bloomington, Indiana, Feb. 1974.|
He says: My Other Birthday Cake is Made Out of Chiff (with a Dab of Fresh Fipple Icing)
Read more »
Monday, July 9, 2012
How it’s New York: Author Maura Mulligan teaches Irish dancing and Irish in New York, and is a frequent reader at Irish American Writers & Artists Salon.
How it’s Irish: Mulligan gives a bracing picture of life in Mayo in the 1940s and 1950s and immigration to New York.
Books Editor Michelle Woods finds Maura Mulligan’s memoir Call of the Lark fascinating: The book, she writes, “evokes an era not long past where the alternatives were really stark in Ireland”– with wry humor.
“You might be better off not getting married at all,” Maura Mulligan’s mother told her when she was a kid. “Tis a hard life, trying to rear a crowd like this.”
Mulligan, in her fascinating new memoir, Call of the Lark is not kidding about not getting married – except to Christ. Mulligan, an immigrant to New York from Mayo, joined a convent not long after arriving, following in the footsteps of her sister Mag.
Friday, July 13, 2012
|Marie Mullen in Famine (@Stephanie Berger)|
Home Is The Place Where…
Terrible. The plays by Tom Murphy that make up the cycle called DruidMurphy in the Lincoln Center Festival, which run through July 14, are terrible.
They cause alarm, fear, and terror.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
|Glen teaches us “You’ve got, you’ve got my love…”|
Not because my feet hurt, though I’d been standing for four hours (one on line around the corner before the doors opened).
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
How It’s New York: Michael Brunnock lives in NYC, and is a member of Fairplay Collective, a group that includes Brendan O’Shea, Mark Dignam and Jenna Nichols.
Michael Brunnock is launching his CD The Orchard at Rockwood Music Hall this Friday, July 20th. We reviewed his appearance at SongLives at Irish Arts Center here. If you’re not in the Catskills this week, go to Rockwood! Catch him before he soars to international fame. Seriously.
A version of this article first appeared in Irish Examiner USA.
New Album for Award-Winning Meathman
There’s an old song by the late new wave bandleader Ian Dury, called “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3.”
Read more »
Saturday, July 28, 2012
|Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny and Joe Hurley|
A version of this article was first published in IrishCentral.
On Sunday July 29th, for the first time in NYC, Lincoln Center Out of Doors will present a day long, multifaceted festival of Irish culture. “Our Land” will celebrate the artistic, literary and musical heritage of Ireland, the mark it made on America and the continuing cross-cultural ties that bind the two countries.
“It’s well established what the Irish American contribution is to this country and indeed other cultures,” says OurLand curator and all-around rock star Joe Hurley. “ This festival celebrates that”
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Music was featured during last Tuesday night’s Salon at The Cell. Brothers Moley and Owen Suillebhain offered a blend of ancient Irish sacred songs with modern pop tunes and mesmerized the audience with a brilliant musical performance. Particularly moving was a Gregorian Latin Chant, “Caminus Ardebat.” Liam O’Connell, the first rap artist to appear at a salon, inspired the audience with his pulsating sounds and rhythms and the opening of my video, Fathers, Sons and Baseball, was set to the American baseball classic, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Singer, songwriter Tara O’Grady opened the show reading from her unpublished memoir Transatlantic Butterflies & the November Moon, a story that takes the reader on a journey across America, where Tara replicated her Waterford Granny’s 1957 road trip in a Chevy Bel Air, searching for the spirit of the immigrant grandmother she never met, as well as the spirit of America during a time of economic uncertainty. She convinced Chevrolet to pay for her symbolic migration. The iconic car company was inspired by her quest to chase not only her Granny’s spirit, but also the spirit of America to find out if the American dream still exists.
Read more »
How It’s Irish: He’s writing this FROM Ireland, and it’s ABOUT Ireland! Go Dan!
In which Dan Neely tells us about Clare, people he’s met, and… ostriches and emus…
New York Irish Arts Folks,
I’m writing to you from the north part of County Clare where I’m on vacation with my family. Good news is that Ireland is still here! Bad news is that an invasive species has invaded the county. (More on that later.)
First thing’s first: if you’re ever in Ballyvaughn on a Wednesday, keep in mind there are some nice tunes at Greene’s. Seán Tyrrell is the host and he does it with a great backer named Fergal (I think?) and the extremely fine fiddle player Liam Lewis (who, I understand, learned from the notoriously cagey Paddy Fahy). Incidentally, Seán will be kicking off the Don Meade’s “Blarney Star” fall season at Ireland House on September 21. It’ll be a great evening of music, so I’d say you’ll want to make it out for that one.
As Joanie Madden introduced a whistle tune she’d taught during the week, on Thursday, July 19, during the concert at the Catskills Irish Arts Week, a group of her young students whooped and hollered.
They were sitting on the ground, because the chairs near the front were all taken. Some of the kids played air-whistle while Joanie played.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
How It’s New York: Dan Neely, who runs the week, is a New York trad maven, and many of the teachers come up to NY and play for a week or two after. Dan and some of the teachers raced back the final day to play at Lillie’s, at the session that he runs!
Dan Neely, the new Artistic Director of Augusta Irish/Celtic week at Elkins, wraps up the week. An earlier version was originally published in the Irish Echo, August 6.
The craic was mighty last week in the West Virginia mountains! As I wrote back in April, this year is the 30th anniversary of the Augusta Irish/Celtic Week, the first program to celebrate traditional Irish music and heritage in the United States. As the week’s new artistic director and coordinator, I am happy to report that this year’s event went off with a bang. It was a pleasure getting to know the people and the culture of the Augusta Irish Week for the first time, and I look forward to building on its great energy, next year and beyond.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
It was one of those warm Irish summers. Or do all teenage summers seem warm in the rear mirror?
I spent much of that August in Rosslare Strand hanging around my Aunt’s seaside café while the jukebox pumped out future classics from scratchy 45’s.
Wexford was mad about music and moved to the inexorable beat of Luxembourg, Caroline, and the BBC. No one would be caught dead listening to Radio Éireann, except when the county hurling team made it to the All-Ireland Final, and that was rare enough.
You can still catch echoes of those long-ago radio hits in the lanes and backstreets of Wexford town. Teddyboys on the cusp of 70 saunter by whistling Buddy Holly tunes; while skinheads who have long since hung up their bovver boots strut past in Ska unison.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
|Session at The Spotted Dog. Do you see Tony?|
How It’s New York: Tony Horswill is a beloved figure in music in the tristate; he leads the Cat and Fiddle Session at St. James’ Gate in Maplewood, NJ, with Tom Dunne, and also plays in the Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra.
Friday, August 24, 2012
|Barack Obama at The Dubliner pub, D.C., St. Patrick’s Day 2012|
What Is The Irish Vote? Brendan W. Gill On Paul Ryan
The selection of Paul Ryan for Republican Candidate Mitt Romney’s Vice-Presidential running mate on August 11 has sparked the Romney campaign.
Handsome, tall, young (only 42), articulate and experienced (Ryan’s been in Congress since 1998), Ryan seemed an ideal friendly face to the more reserved and, to some, off-putting Romney.
Monday, August 27, 2012
While the rest of the sane world was enjoying the birthday of our fine country on July 4th, I was trapped with a gaggle of crazy Irish dance moms at the North American Dance National Championships in Chicago.
Read more »
Friday, August 31, 2012
How It’s New York: Iris Nevins not only programs concerts at the Irish American Association of New Jersey (IAANJ), she also plays locally (a regular at the happy happy happy Cat and Fiddle Session at St. James’ Gate in Maplewood on Sundays), teaches jewelry-making at Catskills Irish Arts Week, and plays at many festivals. She’s joined by excellent local musicians. We interviewed her about the IAANJ sessions in Rockaway for Irish Examiner USA a few years ago, read it here.
How It’s Irish: This is a CD fo Celtic music on harp and guitar.
Irish Nevins’ String Theory is a sweet addition to your ipod! You can buy it at www.hearts-content.net.
String Theory, an album of Celtic tunes on harp and guitar, has a sweet, delicate vibe. Iris Nevins programs concerts at the Irish American Association of New Jersey (IAANJ), and is well known in the area as a guitar player, jewelry maker, and, for the past few years, a harper. Her CD Celtic Dreams is a charmer, and now String Theory captures an ethereal sweetness.
Friday, September 14, 2012
|That’s Linda on the flute, behind Dan|
Shocking news this morning… Dan Neely reports that Linda Mason Hood has passed. We don’t have details yet but it seems to have been sudden. Only yesterday she posted to facebook about the passing of Mike Rafferty… and a few days ago had a very funny cartoon which we’ve included below as evidence of her sweet yet sly sense of humor. Linda was the author of the “Truffles, Turtles and Tunes” blog that we “like” and read here. She also was the singer on “Waltz Me Around Again Willie” which was the featured tune when we did our very first podcast, which included a feature on Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra’s first CD When Maggie Dooley Learned the Hooley Hooley (our review of the launch is here). It’s a shock, and she will be very, very missed.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
How It’s New York: New Yorkers love their horses, especially racing, whether it’s Aqueduct, Belmont, or the lovely Saratoga upstate. Just think of Nicely Nicely singing “I’ve got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere” in “fugue for tinhorns” at the beginning of Guys and Dolls.
How It’s Irish: and the Irish, of course, are well known for their love of horses, breeding them, racing them, caring for them. Who invented the word “steeplechase,” after all? (Wikipedia notes: The first steeplechase is said to have been the result of a wager in 1752 between Cornelius O’Callaghan and Edmund Blake, racing four miles (6 km) cross-country from Buttevant Church to St. Leger Church in Doneraile, in Cork, Ireland.)
John Cash, a photographer in Ireland, shares this photo essay from the Ballinasloe Horse Fair in County Galway. We look forward to more pictures from Erin to come!
Friday, September 21, 2012
How It’s New York: The show is set in NYC, in Five Points in 1863. Its story is quintessential New York: immigrants jammed together hustling to get by.
How It’s Irish: Irish music, Irish-American cop(pers) abound!
Are you watching Copper, on BBC America yet? If the music sounds familiar, it’s because it’s serious trad: Joanie Madden and Eileen Ivers and John Whelan, among others! The show airs on BBC America Sunday nights at 10. We spoke to composer Brian Keane, and to coppers Tom Weston-Jones and Dubliner Kevin J. Ryan.
“…they’re tough bastards. The Irish, Scottish, Celts, are just grafters – hard workers, who know right from wrong, and they’re tough guys. ” -Kevin J. Ryan
An earlier version of this article was first published in Irish Examiner USA, Sept. 18, 2012.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Theatre: Larry Kirwan’s “Hard Times” Resurrects a Forgotten 19th Century Community and Brings a Modern Audience to Its Feet
How It’s Irish: Hard Times was written by Wexford man, Larry Kirwan, playwright, novelist, author, and leader of the band Black ’47. It is set during the riots and protests staged by Irish immigrants during the American Civil War.
John Kearns reviews Larry Kirwan’s American musical, Hard Times, which runs through Sunday. They added an extra matinee on Saturday, the 29th, due to demand. It is SOLD OUT but well worth your going along and trying to find an empty seat. We’ve put up some other posts about it too, you can read an interview with Larry here and see a promo here.. John finds the play goes by too fast, and particularly loves the music, which he calls the play’s “heart and soul.”
Friday, September 28, 2012
|Pat Kinevane in Silent (@Ger Blanch)|
How It’s New York: The 1st Irish Festival is a New York event, conceived in New York, for a New York audience.
How It’s Irish: It’s the 1st IRISH Festival, with plays by Irish and Irish-American writers.
Here’s my wrap-up of what I’ve seen so far in the Festival: these plays close this weekend, except for one that has already closed, but will be in the upcoming Solos Festival in October. New plays in the Festival have started: For Love, Jimmy Titanic, Brendan and House Strictly Private. The Festival ends this weekend, with the closing ceremony on October 1!
A version of this article was first published in Irish Examiner USA, Tuesday, Sept. 25.
The 1st Irish Festival, now in its fifth year, is halfway through.
Some of the shows have closed, others will be closing next week, and others will begin this week.
For details and to buy tickets visit www.1stirish.org.
Here’s our take on what we’ve seen so far:
Running at Irish Arts Center, extended through September 30. Presented by Fishamble: The New Play Company in association with the Irish Arts Center
Written and directed by Pat Kinevane and directed by Fishamble’s Artistic Director Jim Culleton, the play is a one man show about a homeless man, Corkonian Tino McGoldrig, who was named for Rudolph Valentino.He reflects on his closeted homosexual brother, who killed himself after some aborted (and hilarious) attempts on his own life, his failed marriage, and kindness.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
|Photo credit: Bettmann/Corbis|
How It’s Irish: Good chance that most if not all of these lugs were Irish Americans, and there’s a particularly good case to be made for the two that bookend the group. And Peter Quinn put the pic on the cover of his book on Irish America, Looking for Jimmy, and that’s good enough for me.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
How It’s New York: This reading was part of the 1st Irish Theatre Festival.
How It’s Irish: Tony Macaualay;s book is about The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
With this blog post we welcome “Mrs. Crotty,” aka Jane Kelton, an artist who plays the flute in the local scene. Tony Macaulay’s memoir of being a Protestant boy delivering papers in Belfast would make a good film, she thinks:
“If John Ford were alive, he’d probably option it: How Green/Orange Was My City”
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Why It’s New York Irish Arts: It’s a cross-post from Oscar Wilde In America by guest blogger John Cooper, because it’s Oscar Wilde’s birthday.
How It’s New York: Oscar Wilde arrived in New York for a lecture tour of America in 1882, and he spent more time in New York than anywhere else.
How It’s Irish: Oscar was a celebrated Irish poet, dramatist and wit.
In this post we look at how Oscar’s visit was conflated with that of another visiting curiosity, Jumbo the elephant. Links also to research sections of the Oscar Wilde In America web site.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Judy Collins’s O’Neill Award Celebration Reunites Folk Legends, Inspires Artists
How It’s New York: The 2012 Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award celebration took place at the Manhattan Club above Rosie O’Grady’s, a convivial Times Square fixture for almost 40 years, and a short walk from the birthplace of Eugene O’Neill.
On Monday, October 15, 2012, in the middle of the one of the year’s great celebrations, the Eugene O’Neill awards ceremony, 93-year-old folksinger, songwriter, and fighter for civil rights, peace, and the environment, Pete Seeger, stood strumming his enduring banjo before a hushed audience of over 200.
“If the world is still around in another 100 years,” he declared, “it will be because of the arts.”
And the large crowd in attendance at the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award at the Manhattan Club above Rosie O’Grady’s on a rainy Monday night was testament to the truth of Seeger’s declaration. The crowd, representing all genres of the arts, had gathered to celebrate Judy Collins’s lifetime of artistic achievement and to show its commitment to further such achievement. The spirit of inspiration, encouragement, generosity, and cross-pollination was abundant in the friendly atmosphere of the Manhattan Club. Indeed, Judy Collins’s long-time friend on the folk music scene, Tom Paxton, was on hand to honor her,. Even the City of New York showed its support for the arts: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn issued a special proclamation in honor of the event.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
How It’s New York: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada is on the same seaboard as New York, and although it’s a long drive, it’s a short flight. Many players from New York attend and perform at the Celtic Colours Festival every year. In fact, I sat behind old-time fiddler Bruce Molsky on the plane from Newark.
How It’s Irish: Celtic culture has lived on in Cape Breton for a long time, in part because of the isolation. It’s Scottish more than Irish (Irish is more in Newfoundland), but of course many of the tunes are the same, and some terrific Irish players are there each year. This year’s Irish contingent included John Doyle, Nuala Kennedy, Alan Kelly.
This was my first year as a press delegate to the Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, but it will not be my last. It was inspiring, exhilerating and absolutely energizing, despite (or maybe because of?) driving hours through woods on the water every day, and staying up way too late watching performances at the Festival Club. This report was written for Irish Examiner USA while the week was going on. There will be more reports, reviews and pictures and video to come– and I’ll be pointing out the musicians when they come to town. For example: Battlefield Band are at DROM on Monday. Don’t miss!
A Celtic Smorgasbord In Nova Scotia
Friday, October 26, 2012
How’s It’s New York: The title The Talk of the Town is taken from the name of the social diary of the New Yorker, the first job with the magazine for Irish writer Maeve Brennan. Herself a New Yorker for most of her life, the play is set in New York in the ’50s and ’60s.
“…a wordy play about a wordy woman… Donoghue’s crisp dialogue frequently sparkles…”
At one point in Emma Donoghue’s The Talk of the Town, the character of Maeve Brennan implores of her long-suffering editor Wallace Shawn, “Do you know how much of me it takes to write these stories? Not how much time, but how much of me?”
Sunday, October 28, 2012
How It’s New York: The Irish American Writers and Artists is a group that began in NYC; this is a NJ installment of the popular writers’ salons.
How It’s Irish: Writers and their topics are Irish-American.
The second monthly installment of the NJ Irish American Writers and Artists Salon at the Irish American Cultural Institute showed a threefold increase in performers and attendees from last month, which means a new creative tradition is thriving in the soil of the Garden State!
The next Salon will be held from 7-9 on Thursday, November 30 at the Irish American Cultural Institute (1 Lackawanna Place, Morristown, NJ), mere steps away from the Morristown train station.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
|Dancers of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre in Rian|
How It’s New York: Rian is presented as part of the white light festival, an international festival that takes place from Oct. 18 through Nov. 18 at Lincoln Center. This year its focuse was on, according to their press materials, “music’s unmatched capacity to illuminate the many dimensions of our interior lives.”
How It’s Irish: Rian is a collaboration between the Irish company, Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, and Irish master musician Liam Ó Maonlaí, who brought over a group of top musicians including Eithne Ní Chatáin, Cormac Ó Beaglaoich (that’s Brendan Begley’s son; Brendan was in Masters in Collaboration with Joanie Madden last year; hear a bit of it on this podcast; and now tours with Oisín Mac Diarmada); Maitiú Ó Casaide, and Peter O Toole.
Ever hear an jig that makes you want to jig? or a reel that makes you so happy you just want to MOVE? But you don’t know Irish step dance or set dance and you can’t really pony to it (well actually, you kind of could, since most Irish Ceili dance is a three-step not that different from the pony). So you kind of bounce on your toes.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
|Cara Seymour as Lily (@Carol Rosegg)|
How It’s New York: With “Occupy Wall Street” not too distant a memory, there’s an urgency and a relevancy to a play about people oppressed for protesting.
How It’s Irish: The Freedom of the City, by Brian Friel, is set in Northern Ireland during theTroubles, and is presented by Irish Repertory Theatre, through Nov. 25
Not just “Waiting for Gunfire,” Brian Friel’s play The Freedom of the City, about three innocents caught up in a Dog Day Afternoon not of their own making is full of laughter, even as it demonstrates how “individual voices are always in danger of being shouted down by those with microphones.
A version of this review was first published in Irish Examiner USA, on Oct. 23.
Just before intermission, a man sitting in front of me at Irish Repertory Theatre’s enthralling production of Brian Friel’s 1973 play The Freedom of the City turned to his companion and said that the play made him question the information we’ve been receiving about what really went on in Libya.
Friel would love that comment. Although it’s 39 years old, and the situation in Northern Ireland has changed for the better since 1970, when the play takes place, The Freedom of the City has immediacy.
How It’s New York: Marie Reilly is the Protocol Officer of the Irish Consulate in NYC.
How It’s Irish: Reilly is from County Longford, and the tunes on the CD are trad but relatively uncommon.
Dan Neely attended the launch of Marie Reilly’s CD The Anvil a few months ago, and reported on the launch and the very unusual and fascinating CD, which he calls a “delight”:
Comprised of tunes from South Leitrim and Longford, much of the music was taken from manuscript collections compiled in those areas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. which captures tunes Marie learned from her father.
This article was originally published in Irish Echo, May 9th, 2012
Marie will be playing at the Concert for the Mercy Centre, which will now also benefit victims of Sandy in the Rockaways, on Monday, Nov. 19 at the Irish Arts Center.
In New York City, we’re privileged to have strong institutional support for traditional music. Organizations like Irish Arts Center, Glucksman Ireland House and the New York Irish Center, for example, each do myriad things for the advancement of the traditional arts in New York City and their work is of great benefit to the community at large. Another such entity doing great work is the Consulate General of Ireland in New York, led by Consul General Noel Kilkenny and his wife Hanora O’Dea Kilkenny. Since arriving in New York in 2010, the Kilkennys have shown an unusual commitment to Irish music and dance by opening wide the Consulate’s doors to the community countless times.
Friday, November 16, 2012
How it’s New York: Highline Ballroom is in NYC, and Julie Feeney has played in NYC before, where we love her! Listen to Julie on this podcast, and read reviews that have been put up about her here and here.
Blogger Kathy Callahan saw Julie at Highline a few weeks ago and found Julie mesmerizing! Kathy, like me, lives in New Jersey where it’s been a disaster area (literally). Thanks to Kathy for getting this to us in time for the CD release in Ireland!
|Downtown Millburn, post-Sandy. Dark.|
How It’s New York: This is about Hurricane Sandy, which hit us here big time on October 29. The world was watching.
How It’s Irish: Many of the people hit are Irish and Irish-Americans living here, particularly in Breezy Point and the Jersey Shore.
As everyone who reads this blog surely knows, those of us in the tristate area were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy on October 26. I posted a lot about it on our Facebook page. I’ve also written a few stories about it for The Montclair Times: here’s one on supply shortages— a pub ran out of Guinness! one on me buying a generator, and one on keeping animals warm.
I could go on: I wrote about gas rationing and shortages, and then the messy trick of trying to vote when voting places had moved. But you get the idea.
The worst of it is over now, and I’ll be putting up more on FB and in the newsletter (if you’re reading this on the web, subscribe to our newsletter too– it’s where we do our ticket giveaways!). One post cannot by any means tell the whole story, but here is how the hurricane hit some of the people we know–there will be more to come, and announcements about relief concerts and benefits. Stay tuned!
Monday, December 3, 2012
How It’s New York: Some of the best performers in town performed at New York’s Lehamn College, with many you’ll know from the Irish American Writers and Artists Salon.
How It’s Irish: This was a celebration of Irish heritage, with Irish performers including Niamh Hyland and author Peter Quinn.
Charles R. Hale moderated “Artists Without Walls” and reports on a fascinating night of music, literature and heritage!
Thursday night I moderated an event at Lehman College called “Artists Without Walls.” Artists Without Walls evolved from the notion that while it is important we honor our own culture and heritage–mine is Irish–I believe the more we adopt a multicultural approach, including collaboration between various cultures, races, religions and ethnic groups, the greater the likelihood that creativity and innovation will occur and flourish. Thus, “Artists Without Walls,” is a state of mind where there are no barriers between cultures or barriers to innovation.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
How it’s Irish: There’s Mick Moloney for starters, then just look at the line-up and guest stars and what about the venue? Hey, the show has the word “Irish” right in the title.
John Lee raves about Irish Christmas at The Irish Arts Center… in its fifth year and going strong! (Gwen wrote about it for Time Out when it debuted) Mick tells John: “The mid-winter solstice has always been, culturally, a time for reflection on the big issues we all live with, particularly the themes of life, death and renewal.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
How It’s New York:Holiday CDs are everywhere, played in every restaurant, elevator and shop.
How It’s Irish: And lots of them are Irish
Mike Farragher is nice to Celtic Woman, before he raves about Ashley Davis,whose lovely CD Songs of the Celtic Winter got packed up with Christmasy things, and has been like an early gift to him when he found it again.
Therese Cox wrote an excellent review of Ashley in concert last year, dsecribing the event as “a sustained journey into a beautiful netherworld of plaintive verses and haunting choruses… ”
Mike goes on to look at Anita Daly’s excellent compilation,Together for Christmas: A Contemporary Celtic Christmas Collection.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which must mean a fresh new assortment of Irish holiday music is heading for your stockings (as long as you’re not deserving a fresh delivery of coal)!
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
How It’s (New York) New Jersey: The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, is from New Jersey. Which is a whole separate state from New York, and it’s not a joke when we call it The Garden State. Seriously.
How It’s Irish: This contribution to the documentary Springsteen & I is by Kathy Callahan and Charles R. Hale, both members of the Irish American Writers and Artists and regulars at the Salon. The video tells a lovely story by Callahan, with Hale narrating, with some inspiration from the Freedom Tower and the Irish hunger memorial Bruce for president.
Kathy Callahan shared a memorable experience with Bruce Springsteen and his right hand man Terry Magovern. Recently, Bruce Springstten and producers of upcoming ‘motion picture documentary; put a call out for inspiring video stories to be included in ‘springsteen and i’ Here is Kathy Callahan’s contribution to the film.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
How It’s New York: New York is Christmas town in December, what with the tree at Rockefeller Center and the beautiful shop windows on Fifth Avenue (there was a line just to see them in front of Saks last week!). And music is everywhere.
How It’s Irish: Some of these CDs are from Irish artists, and many include traditional carols that are Celtic. And of course, some of these Irish artists live in NYC.
There are new Celtic/Irish and every other kind of Christmas CDs issued every year. It’s beautiful music, so why not?
These are some of my perennial favorites, in no particular order. And only some: there are some terrific CDs not on this list because I had to stop somewhere, but special mention to Mary Coogan and Liam Tiernan, who have beautiful Christmas CDs, as well as Moya Brennan and…
These discs sound great in the winter, of course, but I love the sound of them in July when they bring a welcome breath of sparkly cold (iPod shuffle can sometimes pleasantly surprise you!).