Carrboro (North Carolina), USA – The ArtsCenter in Carrboro (located in the Durham-Chapel Hill area) unveiled its 2nd annual Celtic Concert Series, which will take place February 24-March 28, 2008. Unlike last year’s series, which featured Irish performers exclusively, this year the music of Scotland is also being brought into the mix. Scotland’s Boys of the Lough, performing Sunday, February 24, is the first of five phenomenal Celtic concerts within the five-week span.
With over thirty years experience in the world of traditional Scottish and Irish music and two Grammy nominations, Boys of the Lough has reached legendary status. This group, according to The ArtsCenter’s founder Jacques Menache, was the very first concert presented by The ArtsCenter back in 1979, when The ArtsCenter was based in Carr Mill.
The group features Cathal McConnell on flute, whistles and vocals; Dave Richardson on concertina, mandolin, button accordion and cittern; Brendan Begley on button accordion/vocals; Malcolm Stitt on guitar, bouzouki and Highland pipe; and Kevin Henderson on fiddle. They are known for their technical brilliance and ready wit.
Two bands who played the Series debut last year are returning – Dervish, from Sligo, Ireland (Tuesday, March 11) and Solas (Wednesday, March 19.) The Dublin and Galway-based band, Gráda (“illustrious” in Irish) play March 21. This young band features multiple vocalists, flute, fiddle, upright bass, whistle, bouzouki, guitar and bodhrán (the Irish frame drum.)
The Series wraps March 28 with another dose of Scottish culture from the Battlefield Band. They blend old songs with a new repertoire, all played on ancient and modern instruments – bagpipes, fiddle, synthesizer, guitar, flutes, bodhrán and accordion.
The ArtsCenter’s Concerts & Facility Director, Tess Mangum Ocaña noticed many people bought tickets to not one or two but all Celtic Concert Series performances last year. “Celtic music is a grandmother to some of North Carolina’s traditional music, Bluegrass and Old-Time, so the love for Celtic music is especially strong in the Triangle. Fans of the individual bands, of Celtic music or of great acoustic music in general should bring their families to attend all five shows this year,” she says. The series is made possible in part by Friends of World Music, AT&T Real Yellow Pages and Chapel Hill Magazine.
Interestingly enough, pianist George Winston, though not a Celtic performer, will play The ArtsCenter St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. Tickets for the Celtic Concert Series, ranging from $14-$25, are available at www.artscenterlive.org or by calling The ArtsCenter’s box office: (919) 929-2787 x 201.