Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman, March 27

Next Generation Theatre, 39 Center St, Brewer, 7PM

“This celebrated duo took the place by storm. Stately Carolan tunes, jazzy Django-ish numbers, dazzling Doc Watson style flat picking fliers, driving Irish dance tunes – this pair can nonchalantly do the lot. Guitar players applauded and went sadly home to burn their instruments!”

THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH (Ireland)

The celebrated virtuoso partnership of “the doyenne of Irish harpers” (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY) and “one of the UK’s most staggering and influential acoustic guitarists” (fROOTS), has by now brought its special musical vision to venues large and small – from the tiniest of historic churches in England, Germany and Italy to palaces in Kyoto and Istanbul, London’s Barbican, Sydney Town Hall and the Philharmonie in Cologne – in twenty-two countries on five continents. Their performances – described by The Irish Times as “music of fire and brilliance from the high-wire act in traditional music” – are rooted but eclectic, emotional but adventurous: a breathtaking blend of traditional Irish music, hot jazz, bluegrass and baroque, coupled with striking new compositions and Chris’s delightfully subversive wit. They’ve made many appearances on TV and radio and their busy touring schedule has brought them to twenty-one countries on five continents.
Chris and Máire are thrilled that a recent Chicago performance has been awarded “Concert of the Year” and Chris named “Male Musician of the Year” in the 2019 Live Ireland Awards!

MÁIRE

is one of Ireland’s most important and influential traditional musicians. In 2001 she received Irish music’s most prestigious award, that of TRADITIONAL MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR – GRADAM CHEOIL TG4 – “for the excellence and pioneering force of her music, the remarkable growth she has brought to the music of the harp and for the positive influence she has had on the young generation of harpers”.

She began to play the harp at the age of eleven. A West Cork background steeped in the oral tradition led her, while still a teenager, to develop new techniques that made it possible for the first time to play traditional music on the harp in a stylistically accurate way. She won the All-Ireland and Pan-Celtic Harp Competitions several times and in 1985 recorded the first harp album ever to concentrate on traditional Irish dance music, The New-Strung Harp – “an intensely passionate and intelligent record and a milestone in Irish harp music” THE IRISH EXAMINER. Her approach has been profoundly influential wherever lever harps are played – “a single-handed reinvention of the harp”.

Recent harp festival performances world-wide have included a solo concert at the 11th World Harp Congress, Vancouver; Swiss Harp Festival, International Harp School, Wells, B.C., Canada, and VII Rio Harp Festival, Rio de Janeiro. Two volumes of her arrangements have been published: The Irish Harper Vols. I and II. She contributed two articles about the Irish harp and modes in Irish music to the Companion to Irish Traditional Music (Cork University Press) and is profiled there, in Celtic Women in Music (Quarry Books, Canada) and in the Rough Guide to Irish Music. “Her work restores the harp to its true voice” THE IRISH TIMES.

Additional Awards include:

Female Musician of the Year in the Live Ireland Music Awards 2016. Máire was described in the citation as “the greatest Celtic harper of our age”. Female Musician of the Year in the Chicago Irish American News Top TIR Awards 2016.

CHRIS

is a “brilliant English master of the acoustic guitar” (THE DAILY TELEGRAPH), a “dazzling player” (ACOUSTIC GUITAR, USA) whose work is “nothing short of brilliant” (DIRTY LINEN, USA). He began to play guitar at the age of four and at fourteen played his first paid gig in a folk club.

A prolific composer, arranger and record producer, he’s played with luminaries of many musical worlds: folk (harper Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Boys of the Lough, Aly Bain, Kathryn Tickell, Danny Thompson), jazz (Stéphane Grappelli, Diz Disley and Danny Thompson again) and comedy (Fred Wedlock, the Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra) – receiving a silver disc for producing Fred’s international hit The Oldest Swinger in Town, to which he also composed the tune and which reached No 2 in the charts in the UK and No 1 in several other countries.

As Fred’s Musical Director and bandleader, appearances on such iconic national TV progammes as BBC’s Top of the Pops followed. One day in 1985 he decided he’d really rather play interesting music than pursue interesting paychecks, so turned his back on the commercial world and returned to his folk and improvisational roots. He has since concentrated on composition, the traditional music of these islands and beyond, and bluegrass and its intersection with the cutting edge of swing jazz – he and Beppe Gambetta are probably the most highly-regarded American-style flatpickers in the world who are not from the US, and he has shared the stage on a number of occasions with Beppe, Dan Crary, Mark Cosgrove and many other such luminaries. He is a regular flatpick guitar instructor and performer at Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp, held annually in Maryville, TN.

In addition to his work with Máire, Chris toured until 1997 as a member of Boys of the Lough in North America, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Denmark, China and Italy. He has been principal guitar tutor for Newcastle University’s Folk B.Mus course since its inception. His book of guitar compositions and arrangements Adventures with a Flatpick was published in 2001. His 1998 solo CD Fretwork was “a stunning and stylistically-varied album, heaving with good tunes, from one of the UK’s most staggering and influential acoustic guitarists” FOLK ROOTS (UK) “Dazzling” ACOUSTIC GUITAR (USA) “Revered” TAPLAS (Wales) “Spectacular” TIME OUT. His fourth solo CD Still Getting Away with It was released to critical acclaim in 2010.

Awards for Chris as a guitarist:

Male Musician of the Year in the Live Ireland Music Awards 2009.

Robert Burns Night/Supper with music by the Napper Tandies, Feb 1

Join us for a fun night of celebration of Scotland’s bard Robert (Robbie) Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796).

Featuring Pipe major Scott Heney with musical entertainment by the Napper Tandies.
The Burns night program includes: Piping in the Guests, Chairperson’s Welcome, The Selkirk Grace, Piping in the Haggis, Address to the Haggis, Dinner, Musical Entertainment, Robert Burns’ Poems and Songs, Traditional dressed contest, Auld Lang Syne.

Wear your tartan for the best-dressed contest!

The traditional dinner will include Cock a Leekie Soup, Haggis (vegetarian option available) neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes) dinner rolls, coffee and dessert. Cash bar.

You are welcome to bring a favorite Burns poem or song to share.

Seating is limited therefore we recommend tickets be purchased in advance.

This is a fundraising event for the 2020 Bangor Celtic Crossroads festival.

Fall Concert Series: Mac Mac Morin and Wendy MacIsaac, November 15

Wendy MacIsaac is a fiddler/piano player/stepdancer from Creignish, Cape Breton, Canada. Since the early 1990’s, she has toured the world in support of her solo recordings as well as a member of Beolach, and with Mary Jane Lamond.

Pianist Mac Morin has recorded and toured with Beolach, Natalie MacMaster, Buddy MacMaster, Ian MacDougall, YoYo Ma, the Rankin Family, Ashley MacIsaac, Allison Krauss, Dianne Krall, the Chieftains, and Art Garfunkel.

Next Generation Theatre, 39 Center St, Brewer, Maine
November 15, 2019 7:00 pm

Fall Concert Series starts with Gillian Boucher and Bob McNeill on Sunday!

Cathy Segee and I just returned from Celtic Colours in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia where we witnessed some outstanding performers. We are very excited to bring two of them– Gillian Boucher and Bob McNeill— to you coming up this coming Sunday, October 27 at 6 pm in Brewer at the Next Generation Theater 39 Center St. This is going to be a great show. Note the show is at 6 not 7 to accommodate those who have to work on Monday. If you love Cape Breton music and dance and Scottish song, you will love this duo. I hope to see you there on Sunday. More information below.

-Pauleena MacDougall

Gillian Boucher & Bob McNeill are a touch of magic and a musical force to be reckoned with. Based on New Zealand’s beautiful Kapiti Coast, both Gillian, an exceptional fiddler & dancer originally from Canada’s Scottish- infused East Coast, and Bob, an award-winning guitarist, singer & songwriter originally from Scotland, share a deeply seeded passion for their musical heritage and culture.

Gillian’s fiddle style is unique, seamlessly blending the music of her ancestors with contemporary sounds, enthralling not only with the serene beauty of her music but with her stage persona and skills. Paired with Bob’s innovative, rhythmic accompaniment and powerful lyricism, they present a truly dynamic yet sensitive acoustic conversation that captivates any audience.

Featuring heart-wrenching slow airs, riveting arrangements of songs and toe-tapping dance tunes, both take what you know about traditional Scottish music and bring it to another level altogether. Having rediscovered a musical connection forged on the road fifteen years ago, they have finally decided to do something about it with the release of their album, Race for the Sun, later this year.

“In the hands of Gillian Boucher, the violin becomes a vehicle of transportation for the mind… Her lyrical approach and sensitivity transcends genres and cultures, transporting listeners to far off exotic places accessible only in imagination.”

Glenn Meisner, CBC Radio

Recipient of the Nova Scotia Music Week Award in 2009 for Roots Recording of the Year and a 2010 East Coast Music Award Nomination in the same category, Gillian’s eclectic debut album Elemental, recorded by CBC Radio-Canada, received high acclaim and put her individual stamp on the world of Celtic music. Four years later, demonstrating her diversity as a traditional artist, her anticipated acoustic second album Attuned received a 2014 Music Nova Scotia Award Nomination for Folk/Roots Recording of the Year, a 2014 East Coast Music Award Nomination for Instrumental Roots Recording of the Year as well a prestigious 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award Nomination for Instrumental Recording of the Year.

“Endearing, and at times haunting songs… yearning and enchanting… a thoroughly captivating album. Bob McNeill is a gifted singer songwriter.”

NEW ZEALAND MUSICIAN MAGAZINE

Bob McNeill moved to New Zealand in 1999 and quickly established himself as one of New Zealand’s best-known Folk artists for his solo work and with Ben the Hoose. An innovative songwriter, he is a 3-time New Zealand Music Award recipient for Best Folk Album. His songs have been covered by artists in New Zealand, Scotland, Australia and the USA. McNeill’s musical and songwriting style is a hybrid of the Celtic music of his native Scotland and the American New Folk and Americana styles. The Dominion Post compared him to Jackson Brown, James Taylor, Luka Bloom and Dougie MacLean; New Zealand Musician compared his songwriting to Bruce Springsteen and Mark Knopfler.

Irish Fiddler Gerry O’Connor heads the 2019 Bangor Celtic Crossroads Festival

The festival kicks off Friday night with a concert at the Bangor Arts Exchange (189 Exchange St) ballroom at 7 pm with Gerry O’Connor and Kevin McElroy.

Gerry O’Connor and Kevin McElroy in Concert

A master of Irish Traditional fiddle!

Celebrated Irish fiddler Gerry OConnor (Skylark, Lá Lugh) will be joined by Freeport, ME-based guitarist and singer, Kevin McElroy. Gerry grew up in a family of musicians, dancers, and singers and plays in the fluid, lyrical style of the great Sligo masters. He has recorded 14 albums and toured with various members of legendary Irish ensembles including Planxty and the Chieftains and is considered one of the great fiddlers of his generation. He has just released his second solo album “Last Night’s Joy”

Guitarist, singer, banjo and fiddle player Kevin McElroy has performed regularly in New England for three decades as a soloist and with such luminaries as Seamus Connolly, Brendan Tonra and Joe Burke. Combined wit, prodigious talent and infectious sincerity promise enjoyment for seasoned aficionados of the music and newcomers alike.”

Saturday, the festival opens at 10 am at the Bangor Public Library.

  • 10 am children’s Gaelic Athletic Games with coach Michael Keim. Coach Keim will lead the children in some Gaelic Athletic games such as hurling and Gaelic football.
  • 10-12 Piper and musical instrument petting zoo (with local traditional musicians). Local musicians will bring bagpipes, whistles, fiddles and other musical instruments used in Celtic music and will show children how they are used.
  • 11-12 Celtic story time
  • 12-1 Irish author lecture with Gerry O’Connor The Rose in the Gap. Irish fiddler and author Gerry O’Connor will present a lecture/performance about the background of the Gaelic Cultural Revival of the early 20th Century. He will discuss the Irish instrumental music from the South East Ulster area located by the author in the archives of the University College of Dublin and featured in his book “The Rose in the Gap” highlighting the rich body of dance music, song and dances that were in circulation in Counties Louth, Armagh, Monaghan and Cavan over 100 years ago. The influence of Scottish music and culture celebrated in this area will also be examined. His presentation includes landscape images of the area, maps locating the music to place, and quality images of the original hand written manuscripts of the music. Gerry will also play some of the music for the audience. Refreshments: Irish Soda bread and tea.
  • 2 pm Genealogy workshop with Librarian Betsy Paradis

Also on Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 120 Park St the festival continues with workshops, music and dance. Headed by Irish fiddler Andrew Finn Magill accompanied by Dan Faiella, the evening will end with a performance and Scottish Country dancing.

Afternoon workshops 1:30-3 Saturday

  • Shore to Shore. Songs from Ireland and Maritime New England. – Kevin McElroy
  • Beginning DADGAD guitar – Dan Faiella
  • Irish Fiddle Workshop – Andrew Finn Magill
  • Scottish Country Dance – Members of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society from the Belfast Maine class will demonstrate and teach the dances. Scottish Country Dance is the traditional social dance form of Scotland. It involves sets of couples dancing a sequence of figures to Jigs, Reels and Strathspeys. The dancers move through the patterns, which are related to those used in English, Irish and Contra dancing, but using specific footwork technique, the pointed toe and foot placement influenced by ballet. The dance form has been standardized by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and one can go anywhere in the world and find a class or dance to take part in.

Open Irish music session 3-4:30

Ceili /Andrew Finn Magill and Dan Faiella Saturday night performance and Scottish Country dance 7-9pm

Multi-instrumentalist, All-Ireland fiddle finalist and Ropeadope Recording artist Andrew “Finn the fiddler” Magill has watched his career surge ever since the 2016 release of his 2-disc concept album Roots (which debuted at #46 on the Folk DJ charts) & Branches. Raised at The Swannanoa Gathering, Magill has learned and carved out a name for himself in Irish, American and Brazilian music, collaborating with everyone from Rising Appalachia to John Doyle. He has toured five continents and self-released four albums in everything from traditional Irish music to African fusion.

Dan Faiella has been building a reputation throughout New England’s traditional music communities for his sensitive and innovative interpretations of traditional tunes and songs from the Celtic traditions. His harp- and banjo-inspired approach to fingerstyle guitar playing brings grace and energy to the music, and his skill as an accompanist for traditional melody players is increasingly in demand. He studied with folk musician David Surette and classical guitarist David Newsam and he has performed with some of the Northeast’s premier fiddlers including Dan Foster, Alden Robinson, and Winifred Horan, among many others.

Sunday

Enjoy the music of Twisted Strings at Paddy Murphy’s Pub from 12-2.

Gaelic Athletic Games with the Portland Hurling Club will take place from 12-2 pm at the Bangor Public Library grounds. Enjoy demonstrations of Irish Hurling and Gaelic football.

Announcing the 2019 Bangor Celtic Crossroads Festival September 27-29

Featuring the great Gerry O’Connor, one of the great fiddle players of his generation.

From County Lough, Ireland, Gerry is a fourth generation fiddler who has toured with Planxty, the Bothy Band, DeDannan, Boys of the Lough, the Chieftains, and the Irish Baroque Orchestra.

Gerry’s own recordings include music of the Orial region of South Ulster in “Journeyman”, “Jig Away the Donkey,” “Orialla,” “Last Night’s Joy,” and he recently wrote a book about the music of Orial entitled, The Rose in the Gap. https://www.gerryoconnor.net/biog

Gerry will be performing on Friday night at 7 pm accompanied by Maine’s own Keven McElroy at the Bangor Arts Exchange Ballroom. He will also be giving an author’s lecture and performance at the Bangor Public Library on Saturday from 12-1.

Guitarist, singer, banjo and fiddle player Kevin McElroy has performed regularly in New England for three decades as a soloist and with such luminaries as Seamus Connolly, Brendan Tonra and Joe Burke. Combined wit, prodigious talent and infectious sincerity promise enjoyment for seasoned aficionados of the music and newcomers alike.”

We will be announcing additional acts and activities as the festival approaches. In the meantime, we are requesting support to help us bring great acts like Gerry O’Connor to Bangor. We welcome any amount, but a $100 donation includes 2 free tickets to a concert!

We need to raise about $7,000 for the festival and are seeking small business sponsors and major festival sponsors.

Cape Breton’s Kitchen Party with Andrea Beaton and Troy MacGillivray and Sabra MacGillivray

Hi, Friends,

This is our last show for the season, so I hope you will turn out and support these wonderful artists from the Maritimes. Andrea Beaton comes from a long line of Beaton and MacMaster musicians, which explains why her music is her own and deeply rooted in the Cape Breton tradition. Like her father and grandfather, she is a composer, adding fine new music to the island’s repertoire. She tours internationally and is in great demand as a teacher at music camps. Her passion for Cape Breton fiddle, piano, step dancing, and comical stories are sure to delight any crowd. In 2007, Andrea and her family were featured by the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series on an album called “The Beaton Family of Mabou.”

Troy MacGillivray is from Lanark, a small community on the north-eastern shore of Nova Scotia. Troy’s commitment to music has spanned 30 years and includes both practical and academic accomplishments – most recently an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Limerick in Ireland. From as young as six years old, Troy was impressing audiences with step dancing and soon after, fiddle and piano skills. His roots-centered approach has the power to inspire audiences and comes from a family of proud Scottish heritage where fiddle playing and Gaelic traditions runs in the bloodline. His first paid gig was at 9 years old and was teaching by the age of 13 at the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s Cape Breton. Troy is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for contributions to culture in Canada.

Separately they have strong careers that has brought them around the world playing and teaching from the North Pole to the Middle East. Solo recordings by both artists have been acknowledged with East Coast Music awards and nominations, as well as Canadian Folk Music Awards. Together, they share a musical ancestry – they are distant cousins where many of their relatives are excellent and prolific musicians! These two accomplished solo artists offer a taste of Nova Scotia’s best traditional music. Andrea and Troy will captivate and enchant the audience with contemporary tunes fused with the music of their Highland ancestry.

Ireland’s HighTime Bangor Arts Exchange 193 Exchange Street June 7, 2019 7:00 pm

Music Video for ‘TheVillageofCloch Bhuí’ by HighTime

This fresh new trio from the heart of Connemara, Ireland combines Irish music and an intriguing blend of modern folk influences to produce a rich sound and exciting experience to delight listeners. Featuring an unusual line-up of flute, whistles, harp, bodhrán, guitar and vocals (with some Irish dancing steps thrown in!), HighTime make a youthful and energetic statement. Equal measures of music and tradition from old Ireland coupled with bold new arrangements make for a tasty platter of story, music, song and dance from these three young men; hailing from the ‘trad hub’ of Manchester, England and the village of Ardmore on the rugged west coast of Ireland.

The name HighTime came about in reference to a feeling within the band and between its members that it was long overdue (high time) that they started a band seeing as they had been playing together for so long. This is a widely used saying in Ireland and throughout the world. The band are more accustomed to the Gaelic version of this saying as they come from a Gaeltacht (Irish Speaking) area in Connemara in west Galway. This expression has an equivalent in the Irish/Gaelic language (thar ama – pronounced haur – awwmah).

Mac Morin and Wendy MacIsaac concert! April 9, 2019 at 7 PM, Jeff’s Catering, Brewer

Mac Morin

Mac has recorded and toured with Beolach, Natalie MacMaster, Buddy MacMaster, Ian MacDougall, YoYo Ma, the Rankin Family, Ashley MacIsaac, Allison Krauss, Dianne Krall, the Chieftains, and Art Garfunkel.

Wendy MacIsaac

Wendy is a fiddler/piano player/stepdancer from Creignish, Cape Breton, Canada. Since the early 1990’s, she has toured the world in support of her solo recordings as well as a member of Beolach, and with Mary Jane Lamond.

Tickets $15 advance,  $20 at the door. Please note venue change. Jeff’s Catering is at 15 Littlefield Way, Brewer.