Performers & Entertainers – 2017


Kilmaine Saints

Kilmaine Saints is a band formed on good whiskey and bad intentions. The brainchild of two members of a Harrisburg Pipe & Drum band, this side project was originally created with the sole intent of getting them free beer at St Patrick’s Day shows in the Central PA area (and might I add – mission accomplished). After incorporating the help of fellow members from the pipe band and other notable musicians from the area, they soon realized they were in for one hell of a ride. Since 2009 they have continued to pound through blistering, high-energy live sets that keep people singing along, stomping their feet, lifting their pints and shouting for more. With several hundred shows at venues and festivals up and down the East Coast, 5 critically acclaimed releases under their belts, national and international airplay, and an ever-expanding and extremely loyal fan base, it’s no wonder the world is starting to stand up and take notice. In short, the Kilmaine Saints are equal parts Irish swagger, Scottish pride, and whiskey. This explosive Celtic rock band from central PA will steal your heart, your spirit, and your pint when you’re not looking.


Barleyjuice

The ayes have it – Barley Juice is a grand group of talented tunesmiths and prodigious performers, and the absolute best time you can have at a concert without removing your kilt.

With six studio albums and a double CD collection in their sporrans to date, these five spirited yanks are currently one of the most beloved celtic rock bands in the USA. Frontmen Kyf Brewer and Keith “Swanny” Swanson lithely cover lead vocals, guitars, accordion, harmonica, mandolin, bouzouki, and bagpipes. Both originally piped in the Loch Rannoch Pipe Band, and performed in Edinburgh’s Millennium March for Prince Charles. While Swanson was once a member of New York’s legendary Flailin’ Shilaleghs, Kyf’s been a pro performer since his first band, The Ravyns, produced the hit “Raised on the Radio” for the 1982 film Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Backing Brewer & Swanson are a mad trio of characters: captivating fiddler Alice O’Quirke, whose classical roots stray to Irish & bluegrass in the middle of the most authentic jigs & hornpipes; drummer John Tracey, a powerhouse of driving decadence; and hopping bassist Eric Worthington, musical snake-charmer of the deep and dulcet.


Dublin 5

Dublin 5 has taken the Celtic music scene by storm thanks to an eclectic mix of traditional roots and blazing instrumentals with an amped up rock twist. Their musicianship and show is nothing short of high octane. Their fan base is continually expanding and covers people of all ages from all walks of life. The name Dublin 5 is the region in Ireland where Ray Murphy, lead singer in the band, grew up as a child.

Dublin 5 has performed at The Milwaukee Irish Festival, The Syracuse Irish Festival, The Oshkosh Irish Festival, The Maryland Irish Festival, The Celtic Classic, The Celtic Fling, The Dayton Ohio Irish Festival, The Annapolis Irish Festival,The Maryland Renaissance Festival, FEDEX Field, Southern Maryland Celtic Festival, Raven’s Stadium, USNA Stadium and Shamrock Fest Washington, D.C.

Dublin 5 are fronted by Ray Murphy (lead guitar) from Dublin, Ireland and backed by Jenn Belle (fiddle), Gary Hewitt (bass), Jim Martin, (percussion), and drummer Kevin Shook. They are sure to keep you on edge until the final track has been played!


Blackwater

 For nearly 20 years, Blackwater has been performing their high-energy brand of Celtic music to audiences across North America from sessions and pubs to concert halls and festival stages.  Formed in 1996, the group has released several albums, appeared on multiple compilations and brought their inspired love of their shared musical heritage to an ever growing fan base.  The band’s members have a rich tradition in Celtic, Folk, Classical and Contemporary Music and have successfully merged those individual influences into a unique and dynamic sound.

Striking vocal harmonies, intricate fiddle styles, multi-instrumental talent and a penchant for compelling rhythms lend the group its unmistakable take on the traditional.  Original compositions, innovative arrangements and an all embracing passion for fun freshen the mix for a show that has been described as “Sheer Ceili Aerobics!”


The Fitzgeralds

 

The Fitzgeralds –  family group consisting of fiddling and step dancing siblings – Tom, Kerry & Julie Fitzgerald. These siblings, from just outside of Canada’s renowned Ottawa Valley, have come a long way from their small town roots. Featuring 3-time Canadian Grandmaster Fiddle Champions and Ontario Open Step Dance Champions, this unique act features high-energy fiddling and mind-blowing step dancing. It is the rare combination of exceptional musicianship, incomparable step dancing, audience interaction, evident love of performing, and genuine sibling connection that resonates with audiences of all ages and sets this group apart.

The Fitzgerald siblings were raised in a musical household, and toured internationally with their family band “Everything Fitz”. Growing up in the Ottawa Valley, they were immersed in the rich tradition of Canadian Old Time fiddling and step dancing that evolved with the arrival of Irish, Scottish and French immigrants. Over time, they have developed their art form to include various styles of fiddle music including Celtic, jazz, bluegrass, French-Canadian, and pop. They have also explored other dance forms including tap and Irish. The siblings continue to push boundaries by fusing traditional and modern styles of fiddle and dance to create their own unique sound and style. Their creativity and passion for experimentation has led them to compose original tunes and arrangements, some which were released on their latest album. The result is a groovy and catchy new sound and look that appeals to all ages.

In conclusion, The Fitzgeralds are some of the most talented, energetic, animated, and genuine performers you will come across. This is a group of entertainers who truly love what they are doing and thrive on interaction with their audiences. Presenters can expect a high-calibre, polished, varied, and action packed show, with some goofiness thrown in here and there. They even step dance and fiddle at the same time!


Brendan’s Voyage -Brian Gaffney

Brendan’s Voyage The Band, was formed in the early 90’s with Brian Gaffney from Tralee, and Fergus Kennedy and Steve Morris who are both from Strabane.

Together, their style runs the gambit from classic rock and roll to country, to traditional Irish music.  Brian’s guitar and crooning vocals, Fergus’s accomplished run of the keyboards and Steve’s unsurpassed fiddle, guitar and vocals have made them a much sought after band for concerts, festivals and major events all around America for many years.  Brendan’s Voyage is sure to bring any crowd to it’s feet as audience members revel in their diversity and lively performances.

Brendan’s Voyage currently reside in the Washington DC metropolitan area.


 Shamrogues

The ShamRogues have been entertaining crowds all over the East Coast since 2009 with their unique brand of Irish music and dance. From Washington D.C. to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the famous Irish venues of New York City, the band has attracted fans of all ages and walks of life wherever they travel with their show. Having performed a series of sell out shows in Ireland two years in a row the band has blasted onto the International scene in a blaze of electric fiddles and banjos.

Formed by banjo player and County Laois native Jim Phelan, the band features Adam Wyatt on Vocals and Bodhran, Sarah Stepanik on Fiddle, Chris Marsheck on Guitar, Gary Peresta on Bass, Evan Phillips on Drums and World Irish Dancing Finalists Katie Fox and Katie Whitman.

Not a band to stand around on stage blasting out song after song, The ShamRogues like to involve their audience in a fun, lively evening of songs and stories of Ireland, and God help anyone who forgets to clap along!


Seamus Kennedy

Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been entertaining audiences all over the United States for almost four decades. An accomplished guitarist with a ready wit and a vast store of songs, he travels the country performing for thousands of people each year.
With a thorough knowledge of the traditional and contemporary songs of Ireland and Scotland, he is equally proficient with American music, whether it be folk, country, bluegrass or a little Western Swing. A thirty-seven-year veteran of the Irish/Celtic festival circuit, he was first influenced by the legendary Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, and from them he learned the importance of not only being a solid musician and singer, but also of being an all-round entertainer.
Seamus is at home in venues ranging from intimate house-concerts and folk-clubs to concert halls and festivals; from Alaska to Florida, from Maryland to California, he makes folks laugh, sing and forget their cares for a while.
Kennedy’s ability to combine a total command of the music with humor makes him unique in the industry. His strong interactive entertainment skills and his participation with his audiences have helped him create an exceptionally loyal fan base everywhere he goes.


The 19th Street Band

The 19th Street Band High is an amazingly talented group of entertainers with a fun-filled, diverse set list. Caolaidhe Davis came from Holywood, Northern Ireland to the U.S. eleven years ago to pursue a music career. Fate crossed his paths with fiddler, Meghan, in 2007. They instantly had an infectious musical connection. Becoming “partners in crime” and partners in life, they have been performing and writing music together ever since. They bring high energy and genuine joy to the stage, instantly forming a bond with the audience. Caolaidhe & Meghan have been honored to play with some super-talented musicians in the area. You can find them performing regularly with Brian White on the bass, Patty Dougherty on drums, and special guest, Tom Verratti on banjo.


Irish Blessing

Irish Blessing, the acclaimed York, Pa based family quartet, intensely & unapologetically carries on the purest forms of traditional Irish music & dance. With 4 tours of Michael Flately’s LORD OF THE DANCE under his belt, and having been sought out by RIVERDANCE, Jonathon mesmerizes his audience with explosive , mind boggling dance rhythms & powerfully fast & furious , flute tunes. He recently placed 6th in the world (again) & was the top N. American dancer.

Josh, with flying feet, is also a rising fiddle phenomenon whose phrases draw the audience into the infectious toe tapping, hand clapping world of jigs & reels. Both boys have the rare & dual distinction of competing in the World Championships of both Irish music & dance.

Hailing from New Zealand with Irish roots, Cushla provides strong rhythmic accompaniment on the piano and beautiful melodic phrases on the whistle and flute. Jim rounds out the band with the percussive palpitations of the bodhran, the traditional Irish drum. Together, Irish Blessing has electrified audiences from New Zealand to New York. Prepare to be wowed!!


Bogside Rogues

The veteran Irish rock group, Bogside Rogues, is based in the Philadelphia area in the Mid Atlantic United States and is known for an upbeat sound while maintaining their traditional roots. Drawing from the varied experience of its members, the band performs a variety of Irish and Celtic styles including ballads, rebel songs, traditional dance music (Ceili) and contemporary Irish songs. Featuring Accordion/Tin Whistle, Guitar, Bass and Drums, each of the band’s members have come together from different Celtic music backgrounds to form a striking live sound that has won over audiences wherever they go, and inspired many other musicians to take up instruments in order to continue the tradition.


Capital Celtic

When performing Irish music in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC, Capital Celtic typically performs as a trio, and occasionally as a duo or as individual solo musicians to suit our clients’ individual needs.

Steve started Capital Celtic in a Virginia Irish pub in pursuit of his dream to make beautiful music as a tribute to his Irish heritage. His great-grandfather, Edward O’Toole emigrated to America from Dublin in 1888. Steve started his musical journey playing violin at the age of 10. Today he plays acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjitar and harmonica, and provides vocals for many of the group’s Irish ballads and Irish pub songs.

Kaitlyn Likas (A.KA. The Wild Irish Rose) is an award-winning fiddler and Irish/ Scottish dancer based in the Washington DC area. From an early age, Momma Likas ingrained in Kaitlyn and her siblings an awareness and appreciation of their cultural heritage. As a first-generation Irish American, Kaitlyn makes a point to be active in her local Irish community here in Virginia, DC and Maryland. You might have seen her sawing on strings, and dancing on swords with the well-known Irish sister group, “The Wild Irish Roses.”

Jessica plays flute, recorder and also provides vocals for the band. Jess has to thank her high school band instructor who had a poster in the band room saying: “Behold the turtle who makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.” Jess stuck her neck out and tried her hand at playing Irish music on a whim. The result was joining this band.


Peter Brice

Peter Brice sings old songs in a traditional style, and plays Irish Traditional music on the button accordion.​  ​A native Annapolitan and an exponent of Baltimore, Maryland’s Irish traditional music community, Peter’s work blends singing and musicianship with musicology and history, humor and colorful design, and a vision for traditional culture as a foundation for an intellectual life. His playing reflects his admiration for Galway accordionists such as Joe Cooley, Kevin Keegan, and Raymond Roland—a style into which he was initiated by Brooklyn-born accordionist and National Heritage Fellow Billy McComiskey. A lifelong singer, Peter has married a repertoire of American historical songs with a wide-ranging English-language style that he gleaned from his teachers Dónal Maguire and the late Louis Killen.​  In 2011, he became the Executive Director of the New Century American Irish-Arts Company​.  ​​Peter is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory Preparatory program, and holds a BA in Irish Traditional Music and Dance from the University of Limerick.


Andrew Caden

Andrew Caden is a 15 year-old sophomore at Walt Whitman High School in  Bethesda, MD.  He is the 2017 All-Ireland fiddle champion in the under-18 age category, and a second place All-Ireland medal winner in fiddle slow airs.  Andrew studies with the great Sligo-style fiddler Brian Conway from White Plains, NY, and is also a member of the Bog Band, a group of young musicians playing traditional Irish music in the DC metropolitan area.  In 2014, Andrew received the Frankie Kennedy Memorial Scholarship awarded to traditional Irish musicians by the Greater Washington Ceili Club and he is a regular player at traditional Irish music sessions throughout the area.


Irish Jasper Greens

The Irish Jasper Greens Recipe:

Start with 8-10 portions of friendship. Add equal amounts of Irish and American heritage. Fold in Irish tunes, ballads, sea shanties, drink and rebel songs. Mix the fiddle, mandolin, pipes, guitar, banjo and bodhran as needed. Add hefty scoops of humor, laughter, horseplay. In a separate bowl, slowly mix in lager, lite and stout. Sprinkle in stories, toasts and poems. Garnish with welcome and good cheer. Top off with several shots of Irish whiskey. Serve by candlelight around an oval table in a cellar bar.  What a great formula for Irish music!


Conor Delaney

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