March may be over…but we’re still celebrating!
Join us for a ceili at the Buffalo Irish Center on Saturday, April 11, from 8-11pm. Lively traditional Irish music provided by talented local musicians.
Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for Comhaltas members, $5 for students with ID, and accompanied children under the age of 16 are admitted free. Complimentary refreshments will be served at intermission and the BIC kitchen and pub will be open
Ongoing set and Céilí dance classes are held by the Innisfree Ceili Dance Group Tuesday evenings from 7:45 to 10:00pm. The first class is free, a donation of $1.00 is requested for following classes.
“In Two Minds” house concert Monday, April 13th 7pm
On Monday, April 13th, join us for a special concert with sean-nós singers and dancers Len Graham and Brian Ó hAirt. Cost is $20 per person, $45 for families. Seating is limited, please email MartinWynne@Comhaltas.net to reserve your seat for this wonderful duo. Buffalo address will be given upon reservation.
“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 Connemara’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 visit to Western New York and its surrounding communities in April 2015 as they perform selections from their newest album to be formally launched on this upcoming tour.”
Sean-nós dance workshops offered Tuesday, April 14th. $20/person, Free for Martin Wynne Branch members
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.
Sean-nós dancing: beginner/intermediate/advanced with Brian Ó hAirt:
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.
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.
Video playlist of past performances:
Samples tracks of album: