Performers & Entertainers – 2018


The Screaming Orphans

 

             The Screaming Orphans are four sisters with the good fortune to have been raised in the magic of Bundoran in County Donegal, Ireland. There is a great tradition of music to be found in Irish homes.  Our home was no exception. From we were young, we’ve been singing and playing traditional Irish music, but when we hit our teenage years we knew it was time to start our own pop rock band.
            The band has toured the United States and Europe since mid-1990s. In 1997, the band played as Sinéad O’Connor’s opening band and her back-up singers on her Gospel Oak Tour across Europe, America and Canada. In 2001 the band traveled back and forth to New York City to work on music for cartoon pilots with Funny Garbage. They then decided to make New York City their permanent base and started playing Irish festivals, colleges, universities and performing arts centers throughout the US. The Screaming Orphans continue to actively tour throughout the US and Europe.
            Although they are known for their pop songs they have never lost touch with their roots and can easily switch from an original pop song into a trad tune or a verse of the Galway Shawl.


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 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!


Pigeon Kings

With a lifetime of touring and performance experience between them, musicians Josef Crosby and Victor Gagnon have joined forces to create something new – a sound that’s rooted in tradition, but in the voice and spirit of today.  

Pigeon Kings draws from Celtic and Rock influences, but they’re not Celtic Rock; there are traditional elements, but they are by no means a traditional band. With elements of Americana and Bluegrass threaded in, they have a sound and persona all their own, without gimmicks or pretense. 

This is a group of extremely serious players with a high energy stage show, backed by unique compositions, honest lyrics and the experienced showmanship of career musicians.

“When you find yourself in a position where reinvention becomes a necessity, your musical world expands well beyond your comfort zone and suddenly you find yourself writing and performing in ways that were not possible before.  And then the music itself becomes the fuel of the reinvention.” 

 


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.


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.


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!


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!!


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.


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.


The Tanzania Ceili Band

          The Tanzania Ceili Band began performing in 2009 and has raised and donated over $10,000 to The Tanzanian Children’s Project. The Tanzanian Children’s Project, founded by the Knights of Columbus Council 7559, is working to bring a better life to these children and their communities by building a medical clinic and other important structures such as a school.

          The band was started by Claudette Sikora and has a rotating cast of some of finest traditional musicians in the area. All of their performance fees are donated to the Tanzanian Children’s Project.  They have played the Maryland Irish Festival, the Emerald Isle Club Monthly Ceili in Baltimore, the HOCO Folk Festival, and the Frederick Celtic Festival. Recently they performed in Patterson Park in Baltimore City courtesy of the  Baltimore Folk Music Society. The band donated the performance fee to the Tanzanian Children’s Project. The donation officially kicks off the Water Well project for the Stella Matuntina pre-school in Tanzania which the Tanzanian Children’s Project is raising $10,000 to cover the cost of drilling the well.


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!