CelticMKE Milwaukee Irish Fest Irish Fest Scrapbook School of Music Summer School Ward Irish Music Archives
Over 100 Acts Across 16 Stages!
From traditional Irish to indie-rock there's musical entertainment for everyone at Milwaukee Irish Fest! Explore the lineup below and click on each artist to learn more about their music and to view their performance schedule!
3 Pints Gone performs traditional style Celtic folk songs with a distinctive harmony-rich sound. The band has a passion for patriotic and rebel songs of Ireland and Scotland. Led by Bill's powerful tenor voice, 3 Pints Gone is rounded out with the clever Jeremy and Rex Blazer joining them on Fiddle.
The mission of the Academy of Irish Music is to create a community of young musicians dedicated to playing and sharing Irish music.
The school, founded by Noel Rice under the original name of Scoil Baal Tinne goes back to 1982.
Our Irish fest shows are all inclusive so get ready to get your Irish on! Young and old, we want you! And as always everyone leaves our show with a prize!
Alicia Guinn is a leading teacher of sean-nós dance in the United States. Her teaching style reaches beyond dance steps to the culture and history of Irish dance.
With expertise rooted in the dance traditions of Galway and Clare, Alicia helps students develop joy, fluency, flow, musicality, and personal style in their dancing.
For more than 20 years, Alicia has taught locally in Seattle and worked for festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada, teaching, performing, consulting, and helping develop teaching approaches for traditional Irish dance.
Gray and Gosa (founding members of the accomplished group Cé) team up with Noyes and Langby to play straight ahead Irish traditional music on fiddle, uilleann pipes, accordion, and concertina.
Milwaukee Irish band áthas lights the dance floor on fire with a combination of traditional and newly composed Irish dance tunes. Fierce fiddle, driving bodhrán, and funky guitar riffs come together to lift listeners' feet, drinks, and spirits.
The band found each other and their voice as an ensemble while playing in Irish sessions around Milwaukee throughout 2005. Spending their time between tunes laughing and joking inspired them to make music together and their name, which is the Irish word for joy and happiness.
Heather Lewin: fiddle and vocals
Amy Richter: bodhrán and percussion
Jeff Ksiazek: guitar, bouzouki, tin whistle
Formed in Milwaukee in 2004, Atlantic Wave plays music of Celtic nations that touch the Atlantic Ocean and beyond. A highly respected regional band, Atlantic Wave's performances pay special attention to Cape Breton music along with Irish and Scottish tunes featuring a duo of fiddles.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Barry Dodd is a local favorite. Barry will tug at your heart with a ballad and then lift your spirits with an old-fashioned sing-along. An Irish Fest crowd-pleaser, Dodd is a perennial performer at Irish Fest.
Beglan Academy of Irish Dance was founded in 2007 by former Riverdance lead dancer, Sean Beglan, TCRG, and his wife, Jillian. Both Irish dance world medalists who chose to set up their school in Milwaukee, WI. Beglan Academy has gained a reputation for being a tight knit school with a family-like atmosphere, all while still achieving regional and international success in the competitive world. Beglan Academy is about more than just Irish dance- where each student learns hard work but also to cheer on their friends!
Irish Dance School located in Germantown, WI since 2018. Classes taught by Chelsea Holloway, Mid-West Champion and World Medalist. Our focus is on teaching dancers a warrior mentality. #bellatormentality
The award-winning Billy Mitchell Scottish Pipe Band, Wisconsin's oldest, has performed in the Mid-west, Canada, Scotland and Japan. The Band often appears with the champion Caledonian Scottish Dancers. The Band is delighted and proud to have played in every Irishfest, and considers it one of the best events in its calendar.
Thomas Daly was born April 30, 1960, in San Francisco. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco in 1982; a master of divinity from St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California, in 1987; and a master of education degree from Boston College in 1996. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1987.
Pope Benedict XVI named him auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of San Jose on March 16, 2011. He was ordained on May 25, 2011.
Pope Francis named him the seventh Bishop of Spokane on March 12, 2015. Bishop Daly was installed on May 20, 2015 in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Spokane.
Blackthorn Folly is a five piece traditionally inspired band performing in the Milwaukee area. We play traditional Celtic and American folk music with high energy and a ground stomping tempo.
Hailing from the picturesque west coast of Ireland, Boxing Banjo have quickly become one of the hottest musical properties around. Having made their debut in the U.S. in 2019 they have acquired a legion of devoted followers who have been spellbound by their energy, charisma and musicianship. Recently awarded Up & Coming Band of the Year (ALSR), their live shows exude a feel-good factor which persuades the inner dancer and vocalist in every audience member. Combining a myriad of instruments including button accordion, banjo, guitar, fiddle and bodhrán their sound transcends musical boundaries, effortlessly fusing Irish Traditional, Bluegrass, Old-time and Folk music and song bringing listeners on a truly captivating musical voyage like no other. Audience centered, the striking vocal arrangements from these “four gifted vocalists” (Folk World) afford the listener an opportunity to sit back and appreciate the nuances while equally inviting them to propel the band’s memorable choruses.
Brendan O’Leary is Lauder Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Honorary Professor of Political Science at Queen’s University, Belfast. He is both a Southerner (born in Cork) and a Northerner (schooled in counties Antrim and Down). He is a graduate of Oxford University and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Professor O’Leary has been deeply engaged in conflict resolution in Ireland for nearly four decades, including over a decade advising the British Labour Party in the run-up to the Good Friday Agreement; advising an influential group of Irish-Americans led by Congressman Bruce Morrison through the 1990s; and writing advisory memoranda for the Irish government. He has advised on national and ethnic conflicts in a number of African and Asian countries and has worked for the UK’s International Department of Development and for the European Union. He was the second Senior Advisor on Power-Sharing in the Mediation Unit of the United Nations.
Making Sense of a United Ireland is Professor O’Leary’s thirtieth book.
Bio coming soon
Brian Ó Conchubhair is an Associate Professor of Irish Language and Literature at the University of Notre Dame and a fellow of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.
He has served as Director of the Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures (2013-2020); Executive Director of the IRISH Seminar (2011-2013), and President of the American Conference for Irish Studies (2015-2017). He has been a Visiting Professor at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, the University of Notre Dame, Dhaka, (Bangladesh), and Charles University (Prague.)
Professor Ó Conchubhair’s writings include an award-winning monograph on the intellectual history of the Irish Revival entitled Fin de Siècle na Gaeilge: Darwin, An Athbheochan agus Smaointeoireacht na hEorpa (The Irish Fin de Siècle: Darwin, the Revival and European Thought). That book analyzed the European context for the 19th-century Irish language and cultural revival and traced the impact and influence of the writings of Charles Darwin, Max Nordau, Friedrich Max Müller and theories of race extermination, cultural decline, degeneration and cultural nationalism as they shaped and sculpted Irish debates on dialects, orthography, fonts, grammar, cultural criticism, and literary production.
Briana Fitzsimons grew up in Yonkers, NY, USA and has lived in Ireland since 2017. She has been a secondary school teacher for 12 years and holds degrees in English, Creative Writing, and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Briana joined the Black and Irish team in 2021 and has been working to make schools across the country more inclusive for all students ever since. One of her main goals is to empower teachers and young people with the tools they need to make sure that everyone is seen and heard and feels a sense of belonging in all educational spaces in Ireland. She lives in Co. Kildare with her partner and two children and is proud to call Ireland home.
Our talk will be called The Black and Irish Experience.
Description: Join members of the Black and Irish team as they discuss the work they are doing around raising awareness of the black and mixed race experience and how they are working to bring their community together. They will discuss their work in the areas of Advocacy, Community and Education and their hopes and dreams for the future of Ireland.
The Caledonian Scottish Dancers was formed in 1966 under the direction of Meribeth Zielke (Waldrop), with the purpose of high quality presentation and preservation of Scottish music and dance. Meribeth’s brother, Reuel Zielke, assisted with the group and eventually moved into the role of group director. The group's current leadership includes Dance Director, Heather St. Ledger, and Business Director, Jody Henderson-Sykes.
The Caledonian Scottish Dancers perform Highland and National dances as well as some lesser known dances. Besides performing the dances in the traditional fashion, they also incorporate arrangements of the dances as well as new choreography. ----- The group has appeared at numerous festivals, conventions, and cultural events throughout the Midwest United States. Annual performances include Holiday Folk Fair International, Milwaukee's Irish Fest, and St. Andrew Society's Robert Burns Banquet. They have also completed four successful tours of Scotland, including performances during the Edinburgh. Festival, the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, and the Robert Burns Cottage and Heritage Center near Ayr. Other international destinations where the group has represented the Wisconsin folk dance community include Chiba, Japan and Montreal, Canada. ----- The group primarily performs under the accompaniment of the Billy Mitchell Scottish Pipes and Drums. Gary Bottoni, the pipe major, will also occasionally accompany the group as a soloist. The group has been privileged to perform with other renowned musicians, including Kim Robertson, Navan, and Carlos Núñez.
Bryan Whiting and Alan Ng have not only been polishing their flute-fiddle duet for twenty years, they are also longtime set dancers who love the thrill of great dance music driving great dancers. Chelcy Bowles has been conjuring imaginative rhythm and harmony on harp and piano for these two friends for even longer.
Alan Ng was a founding member of the Public House Ceili Band, formed in 1995 and the first band in North America to record an album of music for set dancers. Public House was a featured ceili band at Milwaukee Irish Fest for many years. Alan and Chelcy Bowles also performed widely for many years with uilleann piper Bill Peden as members of The Snug, a classic Irish instrumental trio. Chelcy is a professor emerita of music at UW-Madison specializing in adult music education. Bryan Whiting and Alan share a long history as session mates, as veterans of the Milwaukee set-dancing scene, and simply as neighbors who keep the old Irish ceili house tradition alive.
Capitol Ceili Band made its first Milwaukee Irish Fest appearance in August 2010 and has returned many times!
Milwaukee's Cashel Academy of Irish Dance is celebrating their 40th year of entertaining Irish Fest with their traditional, yet innovative, dancing. Cashel continues to excel in regional, national and world competitions. The school offers a balanced program for dancers seeking performance or competitive opportunities, and is known for its family-friendly atmosphere.
Nova Scotian sisters Cassie and Maggie have been lighting up the world with their unique blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic instrumentals and vocals. Appearing on stages across North America, the UK, and Europe the sisters have enchanted audiences far and wide with lively fiddle, piano and guitar arrangements, stunning sibling vocal harmonies in both English and Gaelic, all complemented by their intricate and percussive stepdancing style.
2016 Live Ireland Radio’s “VOCALISTS OF THE YEAR” “NEW GROUP OF THE YEAR”, Chicago Irish-American Newspaper’s EMERGING ARTIST RECORDING OF THE YEAR winners, Galaxie Radio Rising Stars, Independent Music Award World Song of the Year nominees, multiple Canadian Folk Music Award, East Coast Music Award and Music Nova Scotia Award nominees, Nova Scotian sisters Cassie & Maggie are among the top musical acts in demand on the Irish/American/Canadian scene- Irish Music Magazine
Be it their foot percussion accompanying driving Nova Scotian sets, their perfect blend of sibling harmonies, added to a stunning interplay on various instruments, a musical evening spent with Cassie and Maggie is a great night, altogether -Irish Music Magazine. Their new album, The Willow Collection showcases not only their musical ability, but the depth and variety of their musicianship. IMM Cassie and Maggie are an unbelievably gifted duo... the train is just gathering steam and leaving the station on these new stars. It is going to be a glorious journey, and it is already well-begun. –Live Ireland Radio- Dublin, IR
Cat and Hare is a quartet exploring Irish and Scottish music on fiddle, concertina, tenor banjo, bodhran, and bouzouki.
Founded just before the Great Pause of 2020, Cat and Hare are: ----- Olivia Langby: fiddle and concertina ----- Christian Wandzala: tenor banjo, tin whistle, harp, bouzouki, voice ----- Amy Richter: bodhrán and percussion ----- Jeff Ksiazek: bouzouki and tin whistle
Cathal is a multi-instrumentalist from Gaoth Dobhair, Donegal, who specializes in Irish Traditional and Folk Music on fiddle, banjo, bouzouki and song. From an early age Cathal was immersed in music from attending regular sessions in Teach Hiudai Beag with the likes of Mairead and Ciaran O Maonaigh. Hailing from a family that are best known for their singing Cathal learned his songs from his aunties Caitlin and Brid Joe Jack.
Performing from a young age with An Crann Og, Cathal has travelled the world with different bands to America, Australia, New Zealand and all throughout Europe. His most recent work features on albums with The High Seas, The Friel Sisters and Aoife Scott and his debut solo album Cosán Ceoil was launched in 2022. Cathal was named Best Emerging Artist Radio 1 Folk Awards in 2022.
Celtic Nations Pipes and Drums is a diverse group of musicians dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the Celtic Heritage and the music of The Great Highland Bagpipe accompanied by Highland pipe-band style Drumming. As a teaching organization, the Band has created an atmosphere where all of its Members, regardless of experience, enjoy the fellowship of the group. Performances portray the high value the Band places on music. Each Member is dedicated to continually making Celtic Nations Pipes and Drums an organization where everyone is encouraged to be their very best.
In our short existence, we've compiled a nice resume. Since our founding in 2002, we've become pretty well-rounded. In addition to the traditional parades, we’re regularly hired for performances and also compete at Highland Games in the region. We're most proud of having formed a combined teaching and mutually beneficial relationship with other pipe bands in the area under the Great Milwaukee Pipe Band Association.
Ceol Cairde has its roots in the 1988 Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School. Band members enjoy sharing the energy and spirit of traditional Irish music at weddings, festivals, parties, and ceili and set dances. The irresistible blending of their instruments provides the unique sound that is the Music of Friends.
I have a rich culinary background, growing up on a dairy farm in West Limerick and accumulating over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working in numerous esteemed establishments worldwide, including Singapore, London, Hardfordshire (UK), Cairns, Brisbane, Melbourne (Australia), and Manila (Philippines), in addition to many renowned hotels and restaurants in Ireland.
Since July 2021, I have been running a successful Chef & Food Consultancy business, providing invaluable support and expert advice to the food and hospitality industry. My extensive knowledge and expertise have been honed during my 22-year tenure as an Executive Chef in Limerick, where I had the privilege of spearheading the opening of the Hilton Hotel Limerick in 2007.
In addition to my consultancy work, I am actively involved in various culinary initiatives. As a Founding Member and Chairman of the Limerick Food Group and The Pigtown Food Series in Limerick, I strive to promote local producers and foster a thriving food community. I am also honoured to serve as a Trustee of The Limerick Milk Market and contribute to the steering group for Limerick Wild Atlantic Way Gateway City Strategy.
On a national level, I play a vital role as part of the steering group committee for The Commis Chef Apprenticeship Program with Failte Ireland, the Restaurant Association of Ireland, and the Irish Hotel Federation. Moreover, I am a founding member and Youth Chair of Limerick Central Rotary Club, where I organize a prestigious National Junior Chef Competition for students under 17 years of age from across Ireland.
My unwavering passion lies in supporting local producers who are the heart and soul of our culinary landscape. Having grown up as a farmer, I deeply appreciate the dedication and commitment required to produce exceptional ingredients. It is this devotion to quality that shapes the distinctive flavours and characteristics found in our fresh produce and showcased by our talented producers. I feel immensely fortunate to live in such a wonderful country that offers an abundance of culinary treasures right at our doorstep.
Chicago Reel brings some of the city's finest musicians together for a new look at Irish traditional music. Fiddle, flute, banjo, and button accordion combine with piano to showcase a wide repertoire of reels and jigs old and new, energetic and full of spirit.
Irish singer-songwriter Colm Keegan and his wife, Scottish Cellist Laura Durrant, are best known as principal performers in the world-renowned singing group Celtic Thunder. Joining the group in 2011, they have featured on three Celtic Thunder DVDs and four CDs, the CDs repeatedly rocketing to #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart. He has performed with the group on many of the world’s most prominent stages in the United States, Canada, and Australia, as well as on two Celtic Thunder cruises. With the group, he opened the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and he was featured in a private show at the Pentagon, where Celtic Thunder was invited to perform by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Cream City Ceili Band, based in Milwaukee, consists of Maria Terres on fiddle, Brett Lipshutz on flute and whistle, Randy Gosa on guitar and tenor banjo, and Amy McFarland on piano. All four members are seasoned traditional musicians with a deep devotion to Celtic music, particularly for Irish Set and Ceili dancing. Their driving rhythms and lyrical harmonies regularly delight Irish social dancers in Wisconsin and beyond. Along with playing for dancing, Maria, Brett, Randy, and Amy are all versatile and prodigious musicians who perform at concerts and festivals, and who are dedicated teachers as well. They have a unique musical chemistry and an exquisite sensibility that enthrall dancers time after time.
A Milwaukee favorite, The Curtis Crossroads Bands plays traditional Irish jigs, reels and vocal tunes. Dual fiddles give the group its distinctive and lively sound along with a rollicking bodhran and and the full sound of a twelve string guitar. Curtis Crossroads has played at Irish Fest for 23 years.
Derek Byrne came to America after touring with Riverdance. His band Paddygrass has been playing together over 15 years. Their live shows mix upbeat Irish Ballads, Bluegrass, Gospel and Sea Shanties with Irish Dancing. Paddygrass will move you to sing, dance, drink and forget all else. Apart from playing local Wisconsin venues and festivals, they also livestream regularly on patreon.com/paddygrass
Derek Warfield’s 50 years of experience coupled with the talent and energy of The Young Wolfe Tones brings the old tradition of Irish balladry into a new age. The story of Ireland is transmitted in their music and song and illuminated by the outstanding musicianship of three wonderful ambassadors of a new generation of traditional players. Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones deliver Ireland’s traditional music and folk songs with an energy and skill that shows the quality of contemporaries within that tradition. The patriotic spirit of Irish music carried through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s by the Wolfe Tones now marches on in the dynamic sound of The Young Wolfe Tones.
The Diddley Idols are the New York based duo with the full band sound. Dave Barckow (Queens, NYC) and Louise Barry (Dublin, Ireland). After a chance encounter in 2012, Dave and Louise's undeniable chemistry made them inseparable and together they formed The Diddley Idols in 2013, dropping the American# from Dave's previous title. As two lead vocalists, they added Dave's foot operated drum kit and guitar and Louise's ukulele and percussion to finish out their sound. A live tour de force and proof that great things do come in small packages!
After three years of breakout touring at some of the biggest roots festivals in the United States and Canada, and another three years locked out of the live performance world they have so ambitiously cultivated, Doolin’, France’s premiere practitioners of Irish and Celtic music, return in early 2023 with a new album entitled CIRCUS BOY.
Wilfried Besse’s vocals are supported as usual by the driving rhythm section of Josselin Fournel (percussion), Sébastien Saunié (bass) and Nicolas Besse (guitars), and the trad-Irish influence remains evidenced through the whistles of Jacob Fournel, the bodhran of his brother, Josselin, and the nimble accordion playing of Nicolas’ brother, Wilfried. But CIRCUS BOY represents a more powerful and bigger musical vision for the band, made possible by the introduction of piano, drums, and brass as new sonic elements. That said, the Irish music tradition is not complete without the presence of a fiddle or two, and on CIRCUS BOY Doolin’ includes three of the best European fiddlers of the genre: Niahm Gallagher, Niall Murphy, and Guilhem Cavaillé, himself a founding member of the band.
Dr. Niamh Hamill is a lecturer of Irish culture and history, and director of the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland, based in Donegal, Ireland. She is the author of ‘Global Perspectives through the Narratives of Ireland’, a sixteen-module online course of Irish Studies, and a regular panelist and presenter on the importance of cultural competency and internationalization in American higher education. She and co-director John O’Connell host ‘The Calling’, the Milwaukee Irish Fest trip to Ireland at their ISAI campus in January each year, and she is a regular lecturer at the CelticMKE Summer School.
Dublin O'Shea is a high energy Celtic folk music group from Waukesha, Wisconsin formed in 2002. Focusing on pub tunes from Ireland, Scotland, and the Nautical Tradition, their music stretches from 300 year old sea shanties to contemporary songs. This lively group takes a free wheeling and fun loving approach to their shows.
Grammy awarded, Emmy nominated, London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, guest starred with over 50 orchestras, original Musical Star of Riverdance, Nine Time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, Sting, Hall and Oates, The Chieftains, 'Fiddlers 3' with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Regina Carter, Patti Smith, Al Di Meola, Steve Gadd, founding member of Cherish the Ladies, movie soundtracks including “Gangs of New York,” performed for Presidents and Royalty worldwide & this is a short list of accomplishments, headliners, tours, and affiliations. Fiddler Eileen Ivers has established herself as the pre-eminent exponent of the Irish fiddle in the world today.
Enda Reilly is a winner of the prestigious IMRO Christie Hennessy Songwriting Competition and co-writer of many songs with Aoife Scott including All Along The Wild Atlantic Way, which got to no.1 in Ireland. From Dublin and now living in Michigan, Enda's shows draw upon his self-produced albums, which include “Whisperings,” fresh guitar and vocal arrangements of classics including The Lakes Of Pontchartrain, Danny Boy, The Foggy Dew, Caledonia and Red Is The Rose, “Amhráin Nua i nGaeilge - New Songs in Irish his original contribution to keeping the Irish language alive | “Whorls” songs which bring the poetry of WB Yeats off the page and climatechangesongs.com which explores our interaction with the environment.
Evan and Tom Leahy are an offshoot of Leahys Luck, a Milwaukee Irish Fest staple for over 30 years. Evan and Tom have been expanding their musical range as a father-son duo over the past sixteen years, demonstrating their full range of musical talents as they combine Irish folk and modern folk-rock songs in an eclectic and exciting mix.
Finbar MacCarthy is an authentic Irish balladeer with a focus on pub songs, ballads and humor. Finbar moved with his family from their home in Dublin, Ireland in 1992 and describes his musical talent as being a jack of all instruments, master of none. An Irish Fest favorite, MacCarthy is making his 29th appearance at the festival accompanied by Eoin MacCarthy on bass, Franco Rupcich on keyboards and accordion, Dave Clark on banjo and guitar and Marco Conley on mandolin and fiddle.
For over two decades, Dave Fox and Will Branch have energized audiences in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Ireland. Their dynamic mix of old-time music, original songs, and family folk music has appealed to children and adults, giving everyone a chance to actively participate.
Fox and Branch recordings have won five Parent Choice recommended awards. The duo has appeared at festivals such as the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival. They have been featured at venues like the National Theater in Washington D.C., Symphony Space in New York City, Club Passim in Boston, and the Overture Center in Madison, WI.
Whether it's at a theater, a school performance, a community event, or a library show, Fox and Branch entertain, educate, and actively engage people. Their aim is to create a communal atmosphere of fun and high spirits shared by all those present.
Frogwater is the acoustic musical pairing of John Jack & Susan Nicholson. Renowned for their virtuosity and exuberant live performances, they are excited to be returning to Irish Fest, which is always like a big family reunion!
Their repertoire spans from Celtic to Delta blues, from classical to pop with a healthy dose of unique original material filling out the mix.
When they first came to festival in 1998, the group was a bar band just coming off an appearance in the movie Titanic. Today they are internationally-known performers who have traveled the world and had multiple albums debut at #1 on the Billboard World Albums chart. They combine traditional Irish music with Scottish music and even offer up original compositions.
Glencastle Irish Dancers, Inc. is a vibrant and inclusive Irish dance school located in Franklin, Wisconsin. Our dedicated studio provides comprehensive Irish dance instruction for both children and adults. We offer a diverse range of opportunities, including competition, solo and team dancing, performances, and a chance to immerse oneself in the traditions of Irish culture. At Glencastle, we prioritize our families and believe in tailoring involvement levels to individual preferences. Whether you seek to learn a few steps or aspire to perform and compete, our experienced staff is committed to fostering a sense of belonging, friendship, school spirit, and confidence in each and every student. Join us as we celebrate the joy of Irish dance while creating lifelong memories.
The Irish World Academy @ Milwaukee Irish Fest Student Awards offers two traditional musicians registered at the Irish World Academy the opportunity to travel to take part in Milwaukee Irish Fest and the Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School.
Gráinne Fitzgibbon is a performer and teacher of the harp from Banogue Co. Limerick. She grew up surrounded by music as her mother taught traditional music to children across Limerick. She is twice All- Ireland harp champion on the harp, winning the 15-18 title in 2012 and the senior title in 2015. She has toured with Comhaltas across Ireland, Britain, and Canada. She worked professionally as a harpist at Bunratty castle for 4 years, from 2016-2019.
Grace Galligan is a performer and teacher of the Uilleann pipes, tin whistle and flute. Born in Dun Laoghaire, she is currently studying in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, on the course for Master of Arts in Irish Traditional Music Performance. Her primary instrument is the uilleann pipes and second instrument is the piano.
The Greater Milwaukee Fire and Police Pipes and Drums was founded in 2000 by active and retired members of area fire and police services. Its mission statement is: To honor fire and law enforcement personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The band also performs at all the Milwaukee Stars and Stripes Honor Flights.
Milwaukee's entertaining Irish music duo, Green Sails, consists of fiddler Amy Otis-Wilborn and guitarist/lead vocalist Sandy Weisto. Their performances offer luscious melodies and rousing dance tunes as well as delightful songs, intriguing stories, and engaging opportunities for audience participation. The band's name, Green Sails, represents Green for Irish music as well as ecological sustainability and Sails for Celtic sailing tales and tunes.
The traditional music trio Grosse Isle was born out of the “absolutely magical” collaboration between three exceptional musicians from Quebec and Ireland (The Irish Music Magazine). Together, Sophie Lavoie du Lac-St-Jean (fiddle, piano, vocal), André Marchand the legendary (guitar, vocal), and Fiachra O’Regan, Irish champion (uilleann pipes, whistle, banjo) shine with their rich and enveloping music. These musicians all have a national and international reputation as a duo mainly in the case of Sophie & Fiachra and within several groups for 40 years as far as André Marchand is concerned (La Bottine Souriante, Les Charbonniers de l’Enfer and others).
We're a Wisconsin based band that plays a mixture of traditional, contemporary and original Celtic rock music.
Hermitage Green have built a dedicated legion of fans across the globe thanks to their captivating and unforgettable live sets. Playing gigs in South Africa, Australia, New York, Canada, Dubai, France and London, the band self-released the album ‘Hermitage Green- Live At Whelans’ in 2013 to the delight of their followers and captured the power of the band on stage.
Their unique arrangement of instruments that includes the bodhrán, djembe, rhythmic guitar and banjo sets them apart as a truly original offering of Irish Music. They have already played alongside the likes of Gavin James, Josh Ritter, Walking On Cars and The Pogues and 2016 will see them bring their music to many, many more.
Hugh Irwin, The Kilted Magician, performs comedy magic for all ages. He performs magic in bars/restaurants in the metro Detroit area.
He has performed at various Celtic festivals:
Sparta Irish festival
MotorCity Irish festival
Saline Irish festival
Hugh is a family entertainer. He will amaze and amuse you.
Ian, an immigrant from Belfast, Northern Ireland, began his musical career as a kid playing in bands throughout Ireland, the UK & Europe. Ian is currently a solo artist and a singer/songwriter. He has been performing internationally for more than 20 years but is now Milwaukee's Irish son. Ian performs with a wide variety of instruments including the bodhrán, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica and guitar.
Jeff's interest in music began at a very early age, as part of a very musical family. After cutting his musical teeth on classical violin, He changed direction and in his early teens he took up the guitar and learned to play and sing traditional songs of Ireland and Scotland.
Now as a seasoned performer, Jeff's music includes a nice mix of Irish & Scottish ballads and drinking songs and acoustic American folk songs that suit a broad palette of people's musical tastes.
Joanie McGovern sings Irish folk tales about fairies, giants, leprechauns, and pirates! She has set these tales to traditional Irish music, and accompanies herself on guitar, Irish whistle, and bodhran. This is a show the whole family will enjoy-just be sure to stay for the Unicorn Song!
Joe O Donaill grew up on Arainn Mhor (Aran Island) in Donegal. He is an experienced educator and the priomhoide (principal) of Gaelscoil Mide in Dublin.
Joe is well known as the singing partner of Ray Mac Manais. Together they've won countless competitions in luibini and agallaimh bheirte. Oireachtas na Gaeilge honored them with a lifetime achievement award for their contribution to the preservation and promotion of this traditional Irish-language art form.
Joe emcees the sean-nos dancing competitions at the Oireachtas na Gaeilge, broadcast each fall on TG4. One of Joe's songs, Amhran an Ghaeilgeora Bhig no Amhran Chian, is featured in the collection Leabhar Nua na namhran.
Jose Lanters is professor of English emerita at UWM, and a former co-director of the UWM Center for Celtic Studies. She specializes in modern Irish literature and has published extensively on Irish drama and fiction, including several articles on the plays and films of Martin McDonagh. Her books include The “Tinkers” in Irish Literature: Unsettled Subjects and the Construction of Difference (Irish Academic Press, 2008), and The Theatre of Thomas Kilroy: No Absolutes (Cork University Press, 2018).
Kim Robertson is a prominent performer, arranger, recording artist and pioneer of the Celtic harp in North America. Her playing combines inventiveness & virtuosity with a keen sense of melody & respect for tradition. Classically trained on piano and pedal harp, her discovery of the Celtic harp in the mid-70's grew into a profound love for the instrument, setting her upon the path of exploration for which she is now widely known. Her work encompasses numerous recordings, published harp arrangements, and an international itinerary of concerts, workshops and retreats.
Kinsella Irish Dance was founded in 2004 with the mission to develop a premier Irish dance program. The founders and owners of Kinsella are Ryan and Brigid Kinsella-Alba. With locations in Milwaukee, Brookfield, and the Fox Cities, Kinsella offers instruction for dancers as young as 2 years old. Kinsella currently has three solo regional champions and dancers raked as high as fifth in the world. It is an honor to be able to teach Irish dancing and pass down many traditions.
A Milwaukee tradition in Irish folk music, Leahy's Luck has performed its brand of traditional and popular Irish songs throughout the Midwest and at Irish Fest for 32 consecutive years. A past winner of the Wisconsin Area Music Industry's World/Ethnic Group of the Year, this family band conveys the essence of Ireland with passionate vocals and rousing music.
Leon Diop is a mixed-race man from Tallaght, Dublin. He is the Co-Founder & CEO of Black and Irish. He attended Maynooth University where he received a degree in psychology and also served as Students' Union president for two years. In 2020, he founded the organization Black and Irish alongside two friends which is now working on behalf of the black community in Ireland.
Hailing from Co. Mayo on the West Coast of Ireland, Lisa Canny grew up immersed in the traditional Irish music scene. 7-time All-Ireland champion on harp and banjo, Lisa has toured the U.S., Canada, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, UK and Ireland extensively as lead singer and music with groups Celtic Crossroads and The Young Irelanders, playing to live crowds of over 50k and appearing on PBS specials to millions. Branching out to pursue her solo career Lisa blends Irish Trad and folk with pop, RnB, gospel and electronica elements to create something truly unique. Named “best of 2021” by sofar sounds, “one-to-watch” 2022 by SPIN radio, selling out her own 2020 tours across Ireland, UK & Europe and in venues like Jazz Cafe, performing at Rolex, TedX, London Fashion week & at Buckingham Palace, and amassing over 5 million views online, Lisa is making big waves in the industry. Don't miss your chance to see this powerhouse live!
Mairin Ui Cheide was born in Galway, Ireland and grew up in Ceantar na nOilean in the Conamara Gaeltacht. She is a native Irish speaker and has continued to do so in Boston where she has lived since 1986 with her husband Paraic and five children. She has immersed herself in the cultural and language movement since her arrival to the United States, traveling around the country teaching and performing the art of Sean-nos singing. She has recorded many of her songs and has a collection in the Burns Library of Boston College. She has many awards from Oireachtas na Gaeilge including the coveted Corn Ui Riada.
Mairin was inducted into the North American Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann Hall of Fame in recognition of her ardent championing of Irish cultural traditions. She has also taught Irish language and singing for many years to students from across the globe, maintaining the oral nature of the transmission of the culture as much as possible. She has presented successful Irish language radio programs in the US and Ireland for many years.
MAMO KEERA (meaning Grandmother Friend): comes a long way from Ireland to teach you how to make the best cup of tea in the world! She'll tell a story of a Leprechaun whose very special teapot was stolen, and how, during his search, found something much more valuable.
Mamo Keera has more Tea Stories to warm your heart. And she would love to visit your home or special event. She has also been a regular visitor at Irish Fest!
Celtic harpist Mary Ann Miller has appeared at Milwaukee Irish Fest since our first year in 1981. This local artist has traveled the world honing her craft and has become a true legend. We are honored to invite her back year after year.
Through Irish dance, McNamara McCarthy dancers learn to embrace their true selves, work hard and lift each other up, allowing them to achieve feats they never thought possible.
Merfolk is the musical union of Aisling Lyons (harp/concertina), Seán Lyons (vocals/guitar/uilleann pipes/whistles) and Dermot Sheedy (bodhrán/percussion). The three began playing together in 2021 and have refined a folk sound that is deeply-rooted in tradition yet brimming with originality. Focusing primarily on the traditions of music and song in County Clare, their music displays a reverence for the past as well as a willingness to embrace modern influences and international folk traditions. Through soulful musicianship, thoughtful arrangements and rhythmic exploration, Merfolk breathe new life into some of the finest traditional tunes and songs of Clare’s rich canon while also adding new compositions of their own.
Milwaukee Irish Arts has been bringing the Irish story to American audiences for over 30 years.
The Milwaukee Irish Dance Studio was founded with the goal of providing an accessible and enjoyable environment for dancers of all ages and abilities to learn Irish dance.
With professional teachers, a variety of classes, multiple performance and competitive opportunities, we offer a unique and personalized experience!
The Milwaukee Irish Fest Choirs (Youth and Children's Choir) are a community of singers who study and perform Irish and Celtic folk songs, poetry, and composers of Celtic culture throughout the world. Founded in 1988 by Pat Moschea and Ed Ward to promote Irish music and culture, the Irish Fest Choirs consist of children, teens and young adults performing traditional Irish music. It is currently conducted by Alli Johnson.
Over the years, the Youth Choir has been delighting audiences at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, and has toured throughout Ireland, including with the Omagh Community Youth Choir. Each year at Milwaukee Irish Fest, both choirs perform throughout the weekend and have been guest performers with bands such as We Banjo 3 and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
In keeping with our mission to promote Irish music and culture, Milwaukee Irish Fest is proud to sponsor The Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music. Opened in the fall of 2002 at the beautiful Milwaukee Irish Fest center, a dedicated faculty of musicians has come together to offer instruction in instrumental Irish traditional dance music to students of all ages. The Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music is part of CelticMKE.
James Browne was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with responsibility for Law Reform in September 2020.
James was elected to Dáil Éireann in the February 2016 general election as a representative of Wexford and re-elected in the 2020 general election.
He has served as the Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health, leading initiatives to reform mental health services in Ireland, including the Mental Health (Amendment) Act 2018 and served on the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Mental Healthcare.
He was born in Enniscorthy, Wexford, and is the oldest of a family of 4. He was educated locally at St. Mary’s CBS, Enniscorthy before attending Waterford IT, University College Cork and the King’s Inns. He was called to the Bar in 2006.
Traditional music from the Celtic diaspora: Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Galicia, Asturias, Brittany, and the Canadian Maritimes.
Coasting through its tenth anniversary, Pay the Devil finished the year 2022 with a finale in the form of a live-tracked album, Turn to Gold, which is to be released April 14th 2023. Staying true to their source sounds of a raucous old-timey nautical stringband, Pay the Devil ventures further within the sea of all-things-Americana. The thirteen song LP, Turn to Gold, is a culmination of the band’s last half-decade of graceful navigation through a world-crippling pandemic, re-introduction to public performance, and keeping a leisurely yet consistent pace of musical improvements.
On Turn to Gold, the band brings original songs from each of the string-players, showcasing the album’s namesake, written by bassist Jacqueline Lalley. Additionally, new routes of percussion piloted by longtime ally/member Kent Heberling have taken Pay the Devil on a novel course of refinement and experimentation.
Playing original tunes in a variety of styles alongside an assortment of bluegrass and old-time standards, sea shanties, folk, Irish traditional, and country music, this five-piece made up of a guitar, mandolin, banjo, upright bass, and drums puts on a fun live show filled with foot-stomping, thigh-slapping music, and enough hollering to go around. Pay The Devil's music can be hard to categorize but the band feels “Shantygrass” and “Riotgrass describe their style best.”.
Pierre Yimbog is 27, originally from Cameroon and has grown up and lived in Dublin most of his life. He graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Law from DIT, and stayed on in college to become Vice President for Education and President for DIT Students’ Union, and the first President of Technological University Dublin Students’ Union. He joined Black & Irish soon after it was launched in June 2020, and oversees the governance, legal and compliance across the organization. Pierre is currently undertaking a Masters in Corporate Governance at the University of Law and works as Community Engagement Executive for Engineers Ireland.
Polly Barrett, a familiar name on Ireland’s music scene for many years, has released two studio albums; Mr. Bookshop in 2011 and Probably Me in 2014. Polly toured Ireland and the UK extensively during this time, including playing support for Agnes Obel, Julie Felix, Roddy Woomble and Cara Luft.
Having taken a break from the industry in the past few years to spend time with her family, Polly is back. Fresh off a hugely successful trip to Kansas City for an Official Showcase at Folk Alliance International in May 2022, she has released her highly anticipated new EP, Dark Garden.
The first track to be released, ‘Thinking About You’, was included on the RTE Radio 1 Recommends Playlist and chosen to feature in a Discover Ireland campaign for West Cork. Polly has played support to Jack O'Rourke and Caoimhín O'Raghallaigh this year and she continues to write and record new music from her home on the Mizen Peninsula.
Radiation is a high energy, unorthodox band of equal parts violin rock, traditional Irish folk, punk and alternative rock, comprised of father and two daughters. Founded in 2019, their brand of high energy, eclectic tones are derived from melding chunky, heavy guitar riffs and syncopated, driving drum beats with the uplifting, airy melodies of the fiddle. Nominated in 2023 for WAMI New Artist of the year and Artist of the year, they are quickly garnering the attention of both fans and peers alike. Focused on bringing the world a sound that isn't a dime a dozen, their highly anticipated EP, Road to Chernobyl just released July, 2023.
Radiation is: Guitarist and vocalist Lily Fritz, drummer and vocalist Tom Fritz and violinist Olive Fritz.
Ray is a former President of Oireachtas na Gaeilge. He is a teacher, writer and musician whose published works include biography and children's poetry and stories. He has written several plays for children and adults, some of which were commissioned by An Taibhdhearc, the national Irish language theatre in Galway. He and his colleague Joe O Donaill are well known exponents of the Luibin - the traditional Gaelic satirical two-hander which is sung in verse. Oireachtas na Gaeilge honoured them with a lifetime achievement award for their contribution to the preservation and promotion of this ancient Gaelic art form. Ray was for many years Principal of an all-Irish school in Dublin. He currently lectures in the Irish language Deptartment of the Marino Institute of Education, an associated college of the University of Dublin, Trinity College.
Hedge School Presentation: Traditional Irish Arts: Oireachtas na Gaeilge, 120 years of Culture and Fun ----- The Oireachtas na Gaeilge is an Irish language and cultural organisation which was founded in 1896. Many of the leaders of the 1916 Rising were active in it. Padraig Pearse was national secretary for many years. It is stronger now than it has ever been in its 122 year history and the annual gathering regularly attracts up to 10,000 Gaelic speakers, most of them young people, during the first week in November every year. ----- The Oireachtas, more than any other organization, has been responsible for nurturing and promoting the sean-nos (old style) dancing and singing, which is enjoying a worldwide revival at the moment.
Rebecca Shields is an Instructional Administrator at the UW-Madison College of Letters and Science.
Voted 2019 and 2015 Celtic band of the year by Wisconsin Area Music Industry, Reilly have garnered a reputation for being an interactive, get-off-your-chair act. The band's travel circuit around the Midwest continues to grow along with their reputation for being a highly respected and professional level group. National programs such as Good Morning Ireland, Blarney on the Air, and Paddyrock internet radio have featured Reilly and Celtic Radio Music Network rates them as five out of five stars. Their ability to adapt Celtic music to an American rock audience, and include unexpected rock favorites into their set, makes them the perfect eclectic choice in today's watered down and predictable Celtic scene.
Róisín O has recently returned to her solo career and her latest album, ‘Courageous,’ reached No.1 on the Independent album charts and overall physical sales chart in its first week. Her latest single, ‘Night Stretches Through,’ was released on July 29th. Throughout her career, O has performed with internationally renowned artists such as Lionel Richie, Bryan Ferry, Brad Paisley, Hozier, and Colin Hay. She has also headlined tours in Ireland, Germany, the US, and Australia. In 2016, she was invited to perform at JJ Abram’s Oscar Wilde Awards in LA, where she played for Stephen Spielberg, James Corden, and others. That same year, she received the Tatler Woman of The Year Award for Music.
O has released several successful singles after her debut album ‘The Secret Life of Blue,’ including hits such as ‘Give It Up’ and ‘Warn Me of Silence.’ She also covered Sia’s ‘Chandelier,’ which received over a million views online. After three years working with the band Thanks Brother, the 2020 lockdown gave O the opportunity to reset and return to her solo career. Her cover of Selena Gomez’s ‘Lose You to Love Me’ and her involvement in the No.1 single ‘Dreams’ with Irish Women in Harmony reinforced her resolve to continue her solo career.
Ron Bowen is a recognized authority on the Great Highland Bagpipe worldwide. He has over a half century of piping experience including with top competition bands in Canada. He has authored three different bagpipe-focused books: The Hal Leonard Bagpipe Method, The Hal Leonard Bagpipe Tune Book (which includes fifty original compositions written by Ron Bowen), and Care and Maintenance of the Great Highland Bagpipe.
He is a bagpipe instructor and has taught hundreds of students worldwide. He is currently the Director of Music for Celtic Nations Pipes and Drum Band, Wisconsin’s largest pipe band with more than thirty performing pipers.
He is also the founder and curator of The Bagpipe Place and The Bagpipe Museum, two premier online resources for pipers everywhere. The Bagpipe Museum is the largest and most comprehensive archive of ancient Highland Bagpipes in the world. Ron Bowen has a unique story to tell and is able to combine warmth and charm with his extensive background and experience to create an engaging and information session.
Culture from the ground up: teaching Irish language and heritage at Oideas Gael
Why learn a minority language like Irish? The phrase ‘ni lia duine na tuairim’ (‘people are no more plentiful than opinions’) seems apt as a response to this question. However, one area of increasing interest in recent years is the relationship between language and landscape, and how learning the oldest languages spoken in a given region can help to better understand that place and the people living there. For a long time, Oideas Gael, based in southwest Co. Donegal, has offered a variety of language courses and cultural activity holidays for visitors from Ireland and across the world, but more and more we have tried to interweave the teaching of the language with subjects like archaeology, geology, ecology, place names and folklore. This approach draws on the past but incorporates technology and modern teaching methods to offer participants a holistic picture of the present. This talk will discuss our efforts to date and what we have learned.
Ronan Dochartaigh is Language Director at Oideas Gael in Gleann Cholm Cille, located in the spectacular Donegal Gaeltacht. Oideas Gael has been providing courses in Irish language and culture since 1984. His background is in IT and he built several popular websites such as www.duchas.ie (National Folklore Collection of Ireland). He has also taught the Irish language to adults for almost 15 years and was previously a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the University of Notre Dame.
Rory Modlinski has been singing and playing folk music for the last 20 years. Now in his third decade of emulating the past into a new generation, Rory has launched what he affectionally calls: The Rory Modlinski Experience. Playing songs from the folk revival of the '50s and '60s, to Appalachian music, to Irish folk music, and beyond, you never know what will happen next at a Rory Modlinski Experience show. This gathering of different styles and genres always proves to entertain all ages.
The Schauer School of the Arts began offering Irish dance to Hartford in 2003 through collaborations with Cashel-Dennehy Irish Dance, Kinsella Academy of Dance, and Trinity Irish Dance. Irish became a permanent part of the dance schedule in Fall 2012, and the program has grown to include approximately 100 students and four instructors. The Schauer Irish Dance Troupe was established in Fall 2016. Operating under the direction of Hannah Voelkel, the Schauer Irish Dance Troupe allows upper level Irish students the chance to share their passion with the community and learn about dancing at a semi-professional level. They've performed at Milwaukee's Holiday Folk Fair International, ShamRock at Washington County Fair Park, and Scoop Deville in Hartford, as well as at many schools, senior living communities, and community organizations. Schauer Irish dancers made their debut at Irish Fest MKE in 2018 and they are honored to return for a second year.
Named after Ukrainian nomads, Scythian (sith-ee-yin) plays roots music from Celtic, Eastern European and Appalachian traditions with thunderous energy, technical prowess, and storytelling songwriting, beckoning crowds into a barn-dance, rock concert experience. Coming off their most prolific year in 2020 with over 1,000 hours of live streams during the COVID lockdown, releasing TWO new albums (Roots & Stones and Quaranstream: The Album) and four new music videos. Scythian gives no quarter in their quest to entertain and bring a joy to their music that gives it an irony-free, wide open feel of manic possibility. The playing is technically brilliant, but it is the energy that carries the day.
Irish virtuoso guitarist Shane Hennessy has established himself as a musical tour de force on the world stage, known widely for his fingerstyle, flatpicking, and percussive guitar playing approaches. His energetic live performances and his cinematically vivid compositions tie in influences from Bach to Beyoncé and everything in between! With a unique style of solo guitar playing that encompasses the range of a whole band, covering drums, bass, rhythm, and lead lines, mixed with some smooth vocals & improvisations, Shane builds a complete sonic world entirely on his own. Billed as one of the most exciting live performers of his generation with an ability to move between styles and genres with ease by Irish Music Magazine, audiences can never be too sure what will come next during the exciting mix of jazz, blues, country, soul, traditional Irish music, and world music he offers!
Take two brothers, Daniel (Accordion) and Martin Gillespie (pipes, whistles and accordion), steeped in the Scottish west coast ceilidh tradition on the Isle of Tiree, and add in friends Fraser West (drums) and Alec Dalglish (guitar and vocals), with a background in brass bands, wind bands, jazz bands, and with blues, folk and country influences, and you have the 2005, embryonic Skerryvore.
Fast forward 10 years, add Craig Espie (fiddle) and Jodie Bremaneson (bass), bring in your album producer Alan Scobie on Keyboards and mix in the Glasgow music scene, with the addition of Scott in 2019. ----- Skerryvore represent the best in contemporary Scottish traditional music, with a growing fanbase worldwide and with the promise of much more to come.
The Steam Quartet is a powerful combo of the leading exponents of traditional Irish music from the international acoustic scene. Chicago artists John Williams, Katie Grennan, Steve Morrow and Jeff Lindblade have thrilled audiences from Shanghai to Chicago and from Paris to Pittsburgh. Concertina, fiddle, bodhran and guitar ignite to raise the rafters and warm the heart. Appearances on BBC, PBS, Dreamworks, Riverdance and with the Chieftains round out their various backgrounds and their versatility embraces dance, wit, and road-tested musical integrity.
Tallymoore aims to breathe new life into Irish & Scottish folk favorites. They are best known for their strong vocals and complex harmonic treatments of tunes, along with rich instrumentation. Their innovative arrangements of classic tunes and original folk songs have made them a favorite among festival goers. Their vocal harmony blend, distinctive arrangements, and strong musicianship have distinguished them on the Irish music scene.
Terry Clavin is an Editorial Assistant with the Royal Irish Academy’s, Dictionary of Irish Biography, Ireland’s foremost work of biographical reference, and also the joint editor, with Turlough O’Riordan, of Irish Sporting Lives (2022). Since the early 2000s, he has published hundreds of entries in the Dictionary of Irish Biography.
American Celtic Radio Listeners voted them
“Rising Stars of the Year 2021 and Best CD Cover of 2021 for Living the Dream”
The Byrne Brothers are a multi award winning family band and Irish dancers from Dublin and one of the biggest names in traditional Irish music today. They are Luca 17 on Accordion, Finn 15 on Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar, Dempsey 12 on Bodhran & Whistle and Dad, Tommy on Uilleann Pipes, Bagpipes, Fiddle and Guitar. All County Champions on their instruments and Ulster Champion Irish Dancers. Having moved to Orlando Florida in 2018 they became the youngest ever Cast Members of Walt Disney World while performing at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant.
With 30 million views, half a million shares, over 50,000 followers on social media, front cover of The Irish Music Magazine , toured 44 States and 2 Caribbean Cruises, The Byrne Brothers are making a great name for themselves in America and all over the world.
The Coronas seventh album, Time Stopped was released in October and went straight to
number one on the Irish album charts, making them the first and only self-released Irish
band in history to have a third consecutive number one album, an amazing feat for the
The album contains singles such as Strive, If You Let Me and Write Our Own Soundtrack,
which all received strong radio airplay in Ireland in the past year and the latest release from
the album, Getaway Car, is accompanied by a poignant music video starring Laurence and
Oren Kinlan, with cinematography by John Conroy (acclaimed for his work on Penny
Dreadful, Luther and Westworld amongst others) and directed by Laurence Kinlan
The Drowsy Lads thundered onto the Irish music scene in the US over 15 years ago and their fire and comradery has won over both casual music-lovers and those steeped in hardcore Trad. 2018 brought the release of their 4th album, Everyone In, and the distinction of “Best Irish American Band of 2018.” With an undeniable genuineness that flows from their live performances, the future continues to look bright for these Lads.
Boasting 5 multi-instrumentalists, Ohio brothers John and Daniel McKewen, father and son Phil and Josh Franck, and lifelong friend Bryan Brookes bring to the stage a concoction of “we dare you to hold still” Irish dance tunes and songs that have packed festivals, theaters, pubs, and halls everywhere they've played.
The Finns are a highly successful folk music duo from Laois, Ireland, brothers Hugh and Ciaran Finn. Their roots lie in traditional Irish music but their original songs have been described as alt-folk roots, or indie folk music, with strong hints of blues and rock.
The Friel Sisters, Anna, Sheila and Clare Friel are traditional musicians from the Donegal Gaeltacht in Northwest Ireland. They play a mixture of music interspersed with songs in English and Irish, many from their family repertoire. Being siblings, they achieve a close blend on fiddle, flute and uilleann pipes. They have released 2 albums thus far, playing all over the world in various venues and festivals and have appeared on stage and toured with acts such as Altan, The Chieftains, Lúnasa, Sharon Shannon and Cherish the Ladies. The girls have won many prestigious titles and competitions over the years, including Trophée Loïc Raison at Festival Interceltique de Lorient and most recently Clare receiving the huge honour of TG4 Young Musician of the Year/Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana.
The Friel Sisters will be joined by Marty Barry, guitar player and singer from Banbridge, Co Down and Cathal Ó Curráin, bouzouki player and singer from Gaoth Dobhair, near the girls family home in Donegal who was recently awarded Best Emerging Artist for 2022 at the RTÉ Folk Awards in Dublin.
“Exquisite, beautiful and intuitive. An impressive young bunch with fabulous taste and impeccable chops” – Irish Echo, New York
“Fresh and invigorating” – Boston Irish Reporter
Fiddles flutes guitars percussion and rich harmonies define the soulful Celtic rock that is The Gleasons. Their energetic performance will take you on a musical journey that will leave you singing smiling and stomping your feet! Since 2002 they have been making music together and loved very minute of it! Most of the songs The Gleasons perform are their own compositions. Many different influences have blended together to create the Gleason Sound. They cite Clannad, Tom Petty, U2, The Pogues, and Johnny Cash as among the many artists that have made their inspirational mark on them. The Gleasons believe that music brings people together, and they bring that belief, along with the pure joy of playing, to every single performance. They hope you enjoy the show!
Donegal sisters The Henry Girls, whose exquisite three-part vocals interweave their native traditions with bluegrass, jazz and country, are one of Ireland's top emerging folk acts.
With the harp as their main accompaniment, their shimmering harmonies weave a continuous spell throughout their music.
The O'Bradys are a contemporary Irish Folk band from the Lake Country region of southeast Wisconsin, performing a diverse selection of Irish and Scottish folk tunes, pub favorites and ballads, that feature tight harmony, acoustic instrumentation -- and a dash of Americana. Like their idols, Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem, the O'Bradys strive to create a blend of rollicking Irish tunes, humorous banter and tender ballads
The O'Bradys are anchored by brothers Mark and Stephen “O'Brady” Hollister. The core duo is enhanced by the fiddle playing of Jan McDonald.
The Oireachtas na Gaeilge started in 1897 and is Ireland’s premier Irish cultural festival. It’s famous for competitions in traditional sean-nos singing, sean-nos dance, humorous songs, storytelling and music and the contestants range from young children to seniors. There are also awards for books and broadcasting, panel discussions, book launches, a vendor fair – all happening in the Irish language. You’ll get a taste of that in our Gaeltacht.
Fear an Ti Ray Mac Manais (please link to https://portraidi.ie/en/ray-mac-manais/) is a teacher, writer and musician; he frequently performs with Joe O Donaill. Together they have won countless competitions in the Luibin - the traditional Gaelic satirical two-hander which is sung in verse – and the Agallamh Beirte - a poetic battle of wits in which the fluency of the language and the rhythm and rhyming structures are paramount. Ray is a past president of the Oireachtas na Gaeilge. Joe can be seen on TG4 each year emceeing the Oireachtas dance competitions. Don’t miss their bilingual Irish/English luibin together with Gearoid O MOrdha (flute).
Sean-nos singer Mairin Ui Cheide is a champion of sean-nós singing, having won the Corn Ui Riada competition at the Oireachtas na Samhna.
Sean-nos dancer Alicia Guinn hails from Seattle and is an acclaimed dance instructor.
Fiddler Ed Paloucek has been a part of southeastern Wisconsin's vibrant music scene since the early 1990s. Classically trained, Ed credits his affinity to Irish music to the influence of accomplished musicians both here and abroad as well as legendary greats of the early recording era. He anchors a weekly session at The Pub, in Oconomowoc and plays with Atlantic Wave.
Guitarist Sue Spencer hails from Duluth and comes by her Irish roots through Newfoundland. Her driving guitar style and signature smile will lift your spirits. She also performs in Eira, Willowgreen and McInnis' Kitchen.
tis - A four member group of music enthusiasts that play all the favorite songs, jigs, and reels of Ireland. While distinctively traditional and always entertaining, Irish/Celtic music is mostly played, but it's not ALL that you'll experience when listening to 'tis. Our goal is to entertain our audience with high energy, hand clapping, foot stomping music that will certainly leave you with a smile! The guys love to celebrate Ireland's musical heritage (and just a wee bit of their own) with just about anyone who will sit down and share a pint at any Irish pub, festival, gathering, wedding or ANYWHERE else Irish music is enjoyed and Roappreciated!
Since 1982, Trinity has taught over 10,000 students around Milwaukee, Madison and Chicagoland to Irish dance. You may have watched their dancers perform on Conan, The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, local news broadcasts, on stage at local festivals and parades. They live and breathe their mission of elevating children, the community and the world through the power and grace of Irish dance. Come watch them perform on Friday and Sunday!
Join the Trinity Family and register your little ones for Irish Dance Classes at a location near you!
Tyler Farrell is Associate Professor of English at Marquette University where he teaches, Creative Writing, Poetry and Irish Literature and also leads two study abroad programs to Ireland in the summer and London in January every year. He has published three books of poetry with Salmon and helped edit and write an essay for James Liddy's Selected Poems (Arlen House, 2011). Current projects include a new book of poetry coming out in autumn titled Milwaukee Liddy Hagiography and forthcoming projects involving the selected letters and ephemera of James Liddy.
Úlla came together organically via shared connections in the Austin music scene. All full-time musicians, Úlla is comprised of a bunch of Irish expats joined by several trad-Irish music fans to form a collective that share and celebrate a mutual love of Irish musical heritage.
Pat Byrne (vocals and guitar), from Borris, County Carlow moved to Austin to work on writing and form a band to play his original music.
Andrea Magee, of Austin staple Beat Root Revival (vocals, bodhran, whistle), from Belfast, County Antrim, grew up singing in a family band, learning traditional songs from her father and sisters as a teen.
Rich Brotherton (vocals, guitar, cittern), grew up playing music in Augusta, Georgia. After college he spent two summers in Doolin, County Clare, soaking up traditional reels, jigs and songs. He later moved to Texas and toured for years with the Robert Earl Keen band. Rich now works as the proprietor of Ace Recording, a cosy, well-appointed studio in south Austin.
Kris Wade (bass, vocals), from Houston, Texas, has played every style of music the Austin scene offers — from swing (Emily Gimble/Marshall Ford Swing Band) to blues (Guy Forsyth) to pop (Pat Byrne) to funky-tonk(Doug Strahan and the Good Neighbors), and now Irish folk with Úlla, Kris has the bottom end covered with style and taste.
The front cover of Irish born, Berlin based WALLIS BIRD’s new album features a black and white photograph of a hand. A cursory look might not reveal anything unusual, but it only takes a moment to recognise it’s no ordinary hand. In the shadows there’s a stump where the little finger should be, and something seems off about the other digits too. Some will understand its significance: they’ll have seen it strumming an upside-down, right-handed guitar, picking in unorthodox style, forming unconventional chords. The hand, you see, is WALLIS BIRD’s, and it’s there because, having spent much of her life trying to exist despite its restrictions, she’s reached a point where she recognises that, in many ways, it’s always been vital to her lived reality. With this has come a realisation of “who I am, what I am, and what I don’t want.” HANDS documents her subsequent process of change, and its consequences, with typically distinctive style, making it – hands down, naturally – one of the most honest albums you’ll hear at a time when honesty is at a premium.
Take to the skies as comedy ventriloquist Wayne Francis and Wingnut barnstorm their way into your hearts! As the fun unfolds, you will experience lots of hilarious puppet characters, cartoon voices, original jokes and music. This one of a kind comedy troupe performs at festivals, colleges, comedy clubs, cruise ships and special events all over the country. But be careful, you might end up with voices coming out of your mouth!
Wayne & Wingnut is more fun than a room full of rhinos!
Get your tickets in advance to save some green and avoid lines at the gate!
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