Dervish Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Dervish, one of the biggest names in Irish music renowned for live performances that match dazzling sets of tunes with stunning interpretations of traditional songs, will perform at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Founded in 1989 on Ireland’s windswept Atlantic coast during County Sligo pub sessions, Dervish’s exceptional musicianship, groundbreaking songs, and carefully crafted arrangements explore the endless rhythm and complexities that go into making great Irish music. Respected for their treatment of tradition, Dervish is also known for a fresh, vibrant approach. The Guardian newspaper called Dervish, “simply brilliant… they carry Irish history with them.”
The group is fronted by Cathy Jordan’s hauntingly charismatic vocals, bodhran playing and engaging stage presence along with a core built around the tight interplay between Michael Holmes on bouzouki, Liam Kelly on flute and whistle, Brian McDonagh on mandola and mandolin, Shane Mitchell on accordion and Tom Morrow on fiddle.
At the end of 2019, the six-member band celebrated 30 years of recording and performing by receiving a prestigious lifetime achievement award from the BBC, which called them “an icon of Irish music.” They also released their newest recording, The Great Irish Songbook, which features performances by guest vocalists from Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States including Steve Earle, Rhiannon Giddens, Vince Gill and Abigail Washburn.
SOCKS in THE FRYING PAN MARCH 10
One of the most sought after groups in Irish music, Socks in the Frying Pan will kick off the Irish season with a concert at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, on Thursday, March 10th.
The multi-award winning trio from Ennis, County Clare, the universal hub of Irish traditional music, have captivated audiences around the world with high energy performances, breathtaking musical ability, three part vocal harmonies and a love for live shows. They have performed numerous times at Milwaukee Irish Fest and celebrated their 10th anniversary as a band during the fest in 2018. Their most recent show at the ICHC was in March, 2020.
According to FolkWorld, “They wrap traditional Irish tunes in modern garments and spice them up with driving groves.” Irish Music Magazine said that “Their sound flows in magnetic, energetic waves, as does their banter onstage.”
The Hayes brothers - Fiachra on fiddle, banjo and bodhran and Shane on button accordion, along with guitarist and lead vocalist Aod n Coyne, came together during Ennis pub sessions. Fiachra started playing fiddle at age three and then added multiple instruments although his passion remains with the fiddle. He has won many competitions including the prestigious Ceol an Gheimhridh. He has a degree in music teaching from Limerick’s Mary Immaculate Collage. Shane was experimenting with the piano as soon as he could walk, taking whistle lessons at age six and playing the accordion two years later. He was awarded best accordion player 2015 by the Irish Music Association and has a master’s degree in Irish traditional music from the University of Limerick.
Aodan grew up in a musically rich family, began playing guitar as a teenager and winning acoustic competitions. He has a B.A. in Applied Music at the Dundalk Institute of Technology and studied arts administration in Cork and biochemistry in Limerick. Aod n has performed in prestigious venues around the world in bands as well as solo.
FolkWorld said he is “capable… of joining the ranks of the great Irish vocalists.”
The High Kings at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center March 9
Known for tight harmonies and high energy musicianship, one of Irish music’s top bands serves up classic ballads, rousing pub tunes, original songs and audience sing-alongs that appeal to multiple generations.
Formed in 2007, each of the band members grew up in households steeped in the Irish musical tradition and each brings an impressive lineage to the group. Guitar and banjo player Finbarr Clancy toured the United States and Ireland in the 1990s with the Clancy Brothers. Guitarist and bodhran player Brian Dunphy was with Riverdance for two years and then was a member of The Three Irish Tenors. Darren Holden plays the accordion, mandolin, guitar and keyboard and starred in Riverdance on Broadway for 18 months and then played Billy Joel in the musical Movin’ Out on Broadway and in international tours.
A self-taught musician, Paul O’Brien plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, whistles, harmonica and bodhr n. He spent two years living and playing in Puerto Rico as a oneman band and then joined The High Kings in 2019.
Throughout their history, The High Kings have played to sell-out crowds in the United States, Ireland and Europe. They performed for President Obama during his visit to Ireland in 2012 and that same year performed at the White House St. Patrick’s Day celebration. In 2015 they played alongside the US Marine Corps Band at the Pentagon as guests of General Martin Demsey, then Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The High Kings self-titled debut album in 2008 reached number two on the Billboard World Music chart. Since then they have released four studio albums, two live albums, two live DVDs and a greatest hits collection. In early 2021 they released “Home from Home” recorded live in Dublin. With classic folk songs that have inspired them along the way, the 11 track album brings listeners on a journey to some of the places they call home when on tour.