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24
Wed, Jan

Concerts
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Three Irish Performers will captivate you in the beautiful and acoustically perfect Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center with Music and Song from the Emerald Isle.  These are three of the highest caliber Irish performing artists period.  The Irish Marching Society (IMS) is producing the event to benefit their Endowment for preserving and promoting the Irish and Celtic culture in the Greater Rockford Area.  The IMS is 40 years old and has been keeping the Irish American tradition alive of observing St. Patrick’s Day with a Parade and now PaddyFest annually in Rockford.  The IMS is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization and totally volunteer run.  Get Tickets Here!

Here is a rundown on the performers:

Jimmy Keane’s accomplishments are far reaching. He has achieved astonishing and unprecedented success in competitive playing, having won five consecutive All-Ireland titles on the piano accordion. He has always been an avid collector and arranger of old tunes and is becoming increasingly known for his original compositions, many of which have become part of the mainstream of traditional Irish music around the world. He also has recorded and produced numerous albums.
 
Many regard Keane as the premier exponent of traditional Irish music on the piano accordion. Noted University of Limerick Professor, composer, and musician Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin praised Keane as the "savior of the piano accordion." eMusic described him as "one of the true giants of Irish traditional music of the past fifty years," and the voice of Ireland, singer-songwriter Christy Moore, described Jimmy's playing as "wild and beautiful."
 
Dennis Cahill is considered one of the world's finest guitarists in traditional Irish music. His unique playing, accompaniment, and arranging are acknowledged as a major breakthrough for guitar in the Irish tradition. He has played for presidents and prime ministers. “Brilliant” (NPR) and “crucial” (Folk Roots UK) are some of the descriptions of his spare, essential playing.
 
Dennis is perhaps best known in his long musical partnership with Irish fiddler Martin Hayes. Of the acclaimed duo, The Irish Times wrote, “Starting out as players with considerable talent, they've metamorphosed into musicians of unconscionable virtuosity. They play with a concord and an affinity that most musicians lust after, but few ever acquire.” (Siobhan Long)  Dennis is also a founding member of The Gloaming, a new Irish supergroup who has astounded critics and audiences alike, winning the 2014 Meteor Choice Prize (Ireland's “Grammy”) for their debut album.
 
Paddy Homan is one of the 'Boys of Fairhill', from Cork City, Ireland but now living in Chicago, Illinois. Fondly known as 'The Show-Man- Homan', Homan brings his quick witted Cork humor and spontaneity onto stage. He comes from a large family in Cork city and was taught by the Christian Brothers at The North Monastery School on the Northside. Homan says, "I've been singing longer than I can remember talking. It's just always been in me. I always had a song in my head and remember  staying awake at night just thinking about songs and going over their melody over and over again. In fact I'd  sing them in my head even before I sang them. Some songs have a way of just grabbing hold of you and your job is to make the story come alive to the listener..... the singer is but the medium of story being told."
 
His musical influences are  Sean O Riada, Luke Kelly, Nicolas Toibin, John McCormack and his mother, Lizzie.  " I learned most of my songs out on the banks of the River Lee while trying to catch a trout or salmon." "It's all about connecting with people on stage in the songs I sing. You just have to give it your all."
 
The trio of Keane, Cahill, and Homan is certain to make an enjoyable and memorable evening presenting the music and song of Ireland for you!

jimmykeane.com

denniscahill.com

paddyhoman.com

www.irishmarchingsociety.com
815-222-1394

January 2018

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