Acoustic Wednesdays, a new series featuring acoustic music and informal talk with master musicians in an intimate setting, begins on February 15th with the legendary Kevin Burke, one of the top names in Irish fiddling.
At the forefront of Celtic traditional music for over 30 years, Burke is well known to international audiences for his work with seminal Irish supergroups, from the Bothy Band to Patrick Street, and the Celtic Fiddle Festival. In this program, he performs solo. According to Burke, “With the great popularity of various groups over the last 25 years or so, many people have forgotten that this kind of music used to be played mainly solo. The bands, groups and accompanists are a relatively recent development… so I thought it would be interesting to let people hear the ‘naked’ fiddle once more.”
Kevin Burke is the quintessential Irish fiddler who specializes in the intricately ornamental Sligo style. His family hailed from Sligo and his first musical influences were famous musicians of that region, such as Michael Coleman and Paddy Killoran. He took up the fiddle when he was eight and by the time he was 13, he was playing in local pubs.
In addition to being a mainstay of some of folk music’s foremost groups, his extensive credits include recording and touring with Arlo Guthrie and Christy Moore in the 1970s, and former Bothy Band colleague Micheal O Domhnaill in the 1980s. He was a member of Tim O’Brien’s crossover band The Crossing, and in recent years has collaborated with Oregon guitarist Cal Scott. In 2007, his duet album with Scott, Across the Black River on Burke’s newly crafted Loftus Music label, was named one of the most notable world music CDs of the year in The New York Times.
Burke is the recipient of the NEA’s National Heritage fellowship, this country’s highest honor in the traditional arts. He has resided in Portland, Oregon since the late 1970s, and in 2010 was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.
The series continues at the Thalia with Lost Harp of the Silk Road with kugo (angular harp) player Tomoko Sugawara (Mar 28); Sound of a Hundred Colors with sarangi (ancient bowed lute) maestro Pandit Ramesh Misra (Apr 25); and Spiritual Sounds from the Land of Fire with the Azerbaijan kamancha (spike fiddle) player Imamyar Hasanov (May 16).
These programs are made possible in part with public support provided by the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 – 7:30 PM
Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space
Broadway at 95th Street, New York City
$30; students $20 – Box office (212) 864-5400
Info/tickets (212) 545-7536 worldmusicinstitute.org