Sunday, April 12th
In two Minds- Len Graham and Brian Ó hAirt return to Philadelphia after several years absence from the Irish Center
7:00pm, 6815 Emlen St. Phila., PA 19119
Online Tickets: $18.00 for members; $20.00 non-member; $22.00 at the door for everybody.
Workshops available in Sean Nos dancing with Brian Ó hAirt and Singing: The Ulster Ballad Tradition with Len Graham 11:00am - 1:00pm. The workshops will also take place at the Irish Center
For online tickets and workshop reservations, go to:
To speak of Ireland’s singing traditions is to draw from a patchwork of songs and singers, poets and tongues, histories and stories that reach as far back as fadó ó shin to as near as yesterday. Its richness is matched only by Ireland’s famous shades of green or the subtle accents of her people scattered among provinces and counties, islands and parishes. To bring such disparate traditions together as Ulster’s ballads and Conamara’s lyrical sean-nós would seem contrary. However, the balance of Len Graham’s brassy, rich baritone and Brian Ó hAirt’s silver, clear tenor strikes a chord that touches the heart—that conveys volumes in each note they sing. Further balanced by stories, tunes, lilting and dancing, Len and Brían create a magical backdrop for an enriching evening not often experienced even in Ireland. Join them for their return visit to New England and its surrounding communities in April 2015 as they perform selections from their newest album to be formally launched on this upcoming tour.
County Antrim born, Len Graham has been a full-time professional singer for three decades. From the early 1960s Len sought out and recorded older singers such as Eddie Butcher and Joe Holmes; and after winning the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann traditional singing competition in 1971 his reputation began to grow along with his own passion for the songs of his native Ulster. He has since recorded both solo and collaborative albums with John Campbell, Cathal McConnell, Garry Ó Briain and Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin and with the famed band Skylark. He his list of honors include the Seán O’Boyle Cultural Traditions Award, the TG4 “Traditional Singer Of the Year” award, the “Keeper of the Tradition” award from the Tommy Makem Festival of Traditional Song, the US Irish Music Award in the “Sean-Nós Singing” category, and the Gradam na mBard CCÉ (CCÉ Bardic Award). Len’s book – Here I Am Amongst You on the songs, dance music and traditions of Joe Holmes (1906-1978) was published by Four Courts Press in 2010.
Brian Ó hAirt is the only American to have won the coveted senior title in traditional singing at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Listowel, Co. Kerry in 2002. In his teens, Brian’s introduction to Chicago’s Irish-speaking community allowed him to cultivate a rich understanding of the sean-nós singing tradition even before his eventual immersion in the language while living in the Connemara region of western Co. Galway. This experience has left him with a vast repertoire of song and rich store of language that continues to inform and inspire his singing. He has performed and taught extensively in North America and Ireland and has been featured on various NPR and RTÉ radio programs. Like Len, he also received the US Irish Music Award in the “Sean Nós Singing” category and is an award-winning sean-nós dancer (Cruinniú na mBád, 2003) and accomplished instrumentalist on concertina, accordion, and whistle performing regularly with his Chicago-based ensemble Bua.
The Ulster Ballad Tradition with Len Graham:
The Ulster ballad tradition is one that illustrates the cultural diversity of Ireland’s northern province. Len’s style in particular is indicative of the northeastern Ulster tradition—a blending of songs from the Irish and Scottish tradition describing the breadth of life’s experiences from children songs to songs of love, emigration, murder and humor. Students will learn a wide range of songs in the English language from Len’s repertoire. Lyric sheets will be provided. Please bring a recording device.
Brian Ó hAirt: Sean-nós dancing: beginner/intermediate/advanced:
Come learn the Connemara style of sean-nós dancing--a dance form akin to American flat footing or clogging. Learn the basic Connemara step for both jigs and reels. Those with more advanced skills will be challenged with free-formed dancing focusing on the unique rhythm of various dance tunes. Please bring a pair of flat-soled shoes with hard leather or plastic soles. NO IRISH DANCING HARD SHOES PLEASE.
Monthly CEILI DANCE - Sponsored by the Philadelphia Ceili Group takes place at the Irish Center
Every 4th Friday of the Month at 8:00 p.m. there is a Ceili at the Commodore Barry Club. A Ceili (kay-lee) is a traditional Irish gathering for fun, fellowship, and laughs (or craic as the Irish might say). Traditional Ceili dances were enjoyed at house parties and crossroads gatherings in the rural country sides. There are several dances which are easy for beginners to learn, such as, Haymaker’s jig, Siege of Ennis, Fairy Reel, etc. Many of these traditional dances have a follow the leader pattern that new dancers can easily pickup on their 1st attempt. Our dance caller will teach the basic 3’s, 7s, jig step, and Ceili swing at the start of the event. Come early (7:30 ish) and learn the basic steps while meeting new friends! You’ll never learn if you don’t try. Cost is $12.00 when there is live music, $10 When its recorded music unless otherwise noted.
Sponsored by the Philadelphia Ceili Group takes place at the Irish Center
Every 1st Friday of the Month from 8:00 - 9:00 there is a slow session. This is a traditional Irish session in all ways except one: the tempo. You will play common session tunes at a slower than normal pace, so that beginning and intermediate players can more easily learn the tunes and join in the session. Also great for experienced players who are picking up another instrument! A regular session sponsored by the Irish Center will run after that from 9:00 - on.
The Irish Center 7:30 - 9:30 PM
6815 Emlen St. Philadelphia, PA
All are welcome: any age, any skill level. Sing alone, sing with friends, or just join in on a chorus with everyone.
We start at 7:30 but you may come in and leave as your schedule permits in between songs. Feel free to bring snacks. There is a cash bar for your choice of beverage. Philadelphia Celtic Singing Session is sponsored by Philadelphia Ceili Group www.philadelphiaceiligroup.org