A wee bit of a light week as we welcome the flowers of May.
The 35th anniversary of the death of Irish Hunger Striker Bobby Sands will be commemorated on Thursday at Tir na nOg , 1324 Hamilton Avenue in Trenton. No details on what’s going to be happening, but it starts at 8 PM. There’s sure to be music.
Also on Thursday, the duo, Slainte, will be playing at Con Murphy’s Pub on the Parkway in Philadelphia.
The John Byrne Band will be performing in concert on Friday at the parish house at Christ Church Riverton in Riverton, NJ.
This Sunday, April 24, Irish organizations from all over the region will converge on Philadelphia to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, the lost battle that ultimately won Ireland its independence from British rule.
It starts with a flag-raising at The Irish Memorial at Front and Chestnut Streets at 10 AM followed by a procession to Independence Hall at 5th and Market Streets where the Proclamation—Ireland’s “Declaration of Independence”–will be read out loud.
There will be food available after the ceremonies at The Irish Center, 6815 Emlen Street in Philadelphia. Several bands will be playing.
Whoever came up with the idea of turning Mick Moloney, Robbie O’Connell and Jimmy Keane into a group, hurray for you.
These three traditional Irish musicians have been at the forefront of Irish music for more years than they care to count. And they’re coming to the Irish Center on Saturday night for a concert sponsored by the Philadelphia Ceili Group.
Singer and musician Mick Moloney, a Limerick native, is an honorary Philadelphia. He pursued his graduate studies at Penn in 1973 and stayed on for several years to revive the Irish music tradition in the city. He’s also the architect of two topnotch groups, Cherish the Ladies and The Green Fields of America. He is a Natational Endowment of the Arts Heritage fellow.
Put up your dukes! This Saturday quite a few people will be doing just that at the Young Irelands Gaelic Football Club’s “Fight Night” fundraiser at The Irish Center in Philadelphia. There will be a real ring, real referees and real fighters. And yes, real blood. It’s real boxing. It happens.
You’re a lover, not a fighter? Well, Jamison is The Red Rooster in Philly on Saturday night. You’ll love their brand of Celtic rock. They’re also the only band in Philly whose fiddler is sometimes airborne. Said fiddler CJ Mills will also be at Reedy’s on Frankford Avenue on Friday, April 15, as part of Slainte, with Frank Daly, his Jamison bandmate.
You have two ways to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising this weekend and another mid-week.
On Saturday, Cherish the Ladies will be at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia playing tunes that celebrate this major event in Irish history. At least two local performers will be joining them onstage: Gabriel Donohue and Marian Makins, who produced a special song honoring one of the women of the revolution, Countess Constance Markievicz, which has been getting air time both in the US and Ireland.
On Sunday, the annual Easter Rising commemoration takes place at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon at the graves of Joseph McGarrity, considered the financier of the rising, and Luke Dillon, who was part of a bombing campaign in England and Canada. This ceremony will be followed by an event at Oaks Ballroom in Glenolden with music by The Spirit of 16 and food and drink.
In some ways, we’ve entered a post-St. Patrick’s Day lull. In other ways, with the commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising, we’re heading into another period of celebration, with multiple events. You can read more about them here.
As for the rest of this week, a reminder that we’re up to our keisters in traditional Irish music sessions. You can get details on many of them on our calendar. With the exception of the sessions conspicuously not on our calendar. (Hey, you guys: free advertising! Get off your keisters and post them!) BTW, “keister” is ancient Irish Gaelic. It means “buns.” (OK, now we’re totally making this up.)
Here’s what else to look for this week—and, by the way, the second one is a biggie for you Celtic Thunder fans. Of which there are literally herds.
It’s not over yet! Remember, it’s Irish Heritage month, so there are still plenty of ways to be Irish this week!
Irish musician, songwriter and producer Phil Coulter–winner of 23 platinum discs and a Grammy nominee—will be at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center with popular singer Andy Cooney on Saturday night. He’s best known for his solo instrumental albums and for being part of the creative brains behind Celtic Thunder, the ultra-popular group of male singers whose fans, known as Thunderheads, follow them all around the country.
Andy Cooney is an Irish-American singer from Long Island who began his career at 17. He was already touring with Irish bandleader Paddy Noonan by the time he was 19. He’s one of the “New York Tenors,” and has performed to sell-out crowds at Carnegie Hall.
Hope you love a parade. There are a few of them this weekend.
The biggest is the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday. It marches down the Parkway (and, heads up, around all the construction between the library and the Franklin Institute which PennDOT is referring to as “changing traffic patterns”) to Eakins Oval at the foot of the Philadelphia of Museum of Art. Fox29 is broadcasting the parade this year, but it’s even more fun experienced in person.
Some of the best spots to watch the parade: Around 16th Street, near Tir na nOg, though there’s construction there in Love Plaza that could cut down on the standing and sitting room; around the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, or, as one experienced parade goer recommended, from inside Con Murphy’s Pub on the Parkway. Seamus McGroary will be performing there.