Irish Music Cruises
Irish Music Concerts at Sea: 2014 Cruise
Join us as we explore the tropical beauty of the Caribbean by day, and gather together in the evening for great music sessions. The sessions with the musicians are for our private enjoyment only. There will also be private concerts, workshops, dance lessons and cocktail parties !
By the time Jez Lowe recorded his first solo album in 1980, he'd already spent almost a decade playing and absorbing the traditional music of his native North East England, an area rich in working-class values, with a wealth of songs and music unique to that windswept corner of the British Isles. This was to be the substance from which he would create a body of work that would make him one of the hardest-working, most popular and enduring of the many singer-songwriters to emerge from Britain in the last twenty years. Born in 1955 into an Irish family, in the coal-mining community of Easington in County Durham, Jez's early interest in pop music steered him into a fascination with blues and folk, especially Bob Dylan, John Mayall, Big Bill Broonzy and Woody Guthrie. A chance visit to a local folk club in 1973 to hear Martin Carthy led him down another path, and by the mid-70's Jez had begun to play a mixture of Dylan, traditional, contemporary and original material, in partnership with school friend Ged Foley, later of Patrick Street and The House Band.
Together they formed the group Hendon Banks in 1974, which found some local success before reverting to a duo in the late '70's, until Lowe went solo as the decade ended. He was to record four albums of his own songs in the 1980's on the Fellside label, and it was these songs about working class North Eastern life that would spread his reputation around the world's folk stages over the next few years.
In partnership with hurdy-gurdy pioneer Jake Walton he toured Europe and North America numerous times in the mid-80's. The duo's 1986 album "Two A Roue" was one of that year's biggest sellers. Suddenly everyone on the British folk scene was singing the songs of Jez Lowe. A songbook of 30 of his songs quickly sold out in 1988. Among those who were to record their own versions of Lowe's songs over the succeeding decade were Fairport Convention, The Dubliners, The Tannahill Weavers, Cherish The Ladies, Gordon Bok, The McCalmans, and literally hundreds more. Songs like "Back In Durham Gaol", "The Bergen", "Black Diamonds" and "These Coal Town Days" have generated scores of cover-versions, and are now classics of their kind.
In 1990, Jez was joined by the first line-up of a backing group that was to accompany him, off and on, to the present day. The Bad Pennies appear half of the year in concert with Jez, while the remaining time he tours solo. Constantly traveling, to Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and regularly to the USA in the past four years, Jez Lowe thrives on the live performance, while his albums regularly feature in the lists of best sellers around the folk scene. His last two albums, "Tenterhooks "(1995) and "The Parish Notices" (1998) have been on the Green Linnet label, and his entire back-catalogue is now available on CD from Fellside Records in the UK and Musica Pangaea in America.
In 1997, the BBC commissioned Jez to write and present a 7-part radio series on the music of North East England, entitled "A Song for Geordie", further establishing him as an ambassador for his native region. The success of these programs has resulted in a follow-up series next year. Meanwhile Jez returns to Australia in September '98, and the US in November '98, before The Bad Pennies regroup for a European tour taking them into Spring 1999.
In 2000 Jez released his latest live recording, "Live at the Davy Lamp".
- One of the best song writers to come out of England
- Nominee for BBC Folksinger of the Year 2008
- SONY Radio Academy Award Winner 2007 with the Radio Ballads
- Winner of the IAP USA "Album of the Year 2009"
Listen to a
music sample of Jez Lowe.
Here is another
music sample of Jez Lowe.
With 20 wins at open piping competitions under his belt, his first at the age of 13, Andy is a record-breaking and holding, nine-time winner of the Northumbrian Pipers Society Annual Open Competition! In addition to his adeptness at playing the pipes, Andy also makes them.
Having studied the pipes at the University of York, Andy has been influenced by Roland Lofthouse, Adrian Schofield, Billy Pigg and Tom Clough.
In 2003 Andy released his first solo album 'Yellow Haired Laddie' with guests: Simon Haworth, Kathryn Tickell, and Simon James.
Listen to a music sample of Andy May.
Listen to another music sample of Andy.
Cahal Dunne, "Ireland's Happy Man", possesses that certain magical quality known in show business as "it." "It" transcends talent. "It" comes from deep within a great entertainer and washes over an audience, captivating them. This native of County Cork has a following of loyal admirers and friends that is unique in the rich history of Pittsburgh entertainment, and continues to make new friends with each appearance.
Born and raised on the south side of Dublin, Finbar grew up in a house filled with music. The second youngest of a family of seven, he says“ Me mother used to play the kettle on me head if I didn’t do me homework” and my father used to tie a bone around my neck to get the dog to play with me”
In reality, the house was heated by two turf fires and these became the classroom where we learned to sing and play but most important of all, to listen.
“After staying sober for a good three years, my brothers brought me down to the pub for my fourth birthday, and that’s when it really began”
Like thousands before him, Finbar left for England in his teens and has travelled extensively since. He has appeared on stage in such diverse places as The Faeroe Islands off Iceland, to the Canary Islands of Africa, and from Dublin to Dusseldorf, bringing with him his own blend of ballads, drinking songs and humor.
Having settled in Milwaukee in 1992 where he opened MacCarthys Irish Pub, Finbar is now based in Sth Carolina and will be joined on this trip by Franco (The Doc) Rupcich on keyboard and accordion and Dave Clark on guitar and banjo.
On Friday June 20th 2008, Tom was honoured by the Tommy Makem International Songfest for his lifelong contribution to the Irish folksong and ballad tradition.
The Songfest is a highly prestigious event in the world of folk music and included among it’s patrons are Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Seamus Heaney and Liam Neeson.
Tom has been steeped in the folksong tradition since childhood and as he says himself, “When these songs are being sung all around you for most of your life it’s only natural that you end up with an extensive repertoire of old ballads handed for many generations in this family.”
On countless tours Tom has brought these songs to many stages across the world. “I first went to play in the United States at the age of sixteen for a two month stint with my brother, Jimmy, and have toured the US and Canada on a very regular basis ever since. In fact I have performed these songs in every state and province across the US and Canada with the exception of Hawaii – must go there soon!”
Tom was highly honoured by being invited to perform at the White House for President Clinton on St Patrick’s night in 1998.
a music sample of Tom Sweeney.
another music sample of Tom Sweeney.
Growing up in Ontario’s Ottawa Valley, the Fitzgerald siblings’ musical journey of dance and fiddle began early in life as they studied and mastered the unique and rhythmic musical traditions that evolved with the Irish, Scottish, and French immigrants. Developing their art from these deep and lasting roots, while allowing the influences of contemporary music to help shape their career, Everything Fitz has received glowing accolades from promoters, theatre presenters, and fans across Canada and the United States.
" The Fitzgerald Family are standout musicians in our Canadian music industry, but more importantly in the long standing Ontario fiddle and [step] dance traditions. The calibre of musicianship is very high- the best according to many experts in the fiddle/dance competition world. I think together they are a beautiful blend of gorgeous fiddle music, and top rate, absolutely exhilarating dance routines." -Natalie MacMaster
Don't miss this opportunity to share some tunes with some of the top fiddlers and dancers in Canada. Featuring the 2009, 2010 and 2012 Canadian Grandmasters Fiddle Champions, an Everything Fitz concert features an evening of toe-tapping, old-time fiddle tunes, soulful three-part fiddle harmonies, high-energy Ottawa Valley stepdancing, driving Celtic arrangements and entertaining novelty routines. Repertoire includes tunes such as: The Orange Blossom Special, St. Anne's Reel, Danny Boy, Alabama Jubilee, plus an array of waltzes, stratspeys, jigs and reels. Workshops in fiddle, mandolin and step dance will be offered as well as opportunities for jam sessions. (www.everythingfitz.ca)
Fiona Walsh is an actress, comic, writer, producer and activist and President of Westwood Entertainment. She trained at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin under the tutelage of Joe Dowling (AD at the Guthrie Theater). InLondon she appeared in television on shows for BBC, LWT and Carlton television. Her credits on screen include The Commitments and The Education of Max Bickford (working with one of her favorite actors, Richard Dreyfuss) along with many indie films and foreign TV shows. Favorite stage roles include Nellie Nora in Eclipsed at the Irish Repertory Theatre, Moya in The Shaughraun (also at the Rep) Sister Impartial in Celtic Tiger (me arse!) at the Irish Arts Center and The Yellow Peril in Da at the Guthrie, directed by Doug Hughes. Most recently she appeared in Mind the Gap's production of Britbits 5 at Manhattan Theater Source and also in a A Celebration of Brian Friel at the Irish Arts Center. She was also in Origin Theatre Company's Mondays in May Reading Series of the acclaimed "Pump Girl"