Catskills Irish Arts Week 2016

This year I was honored to join the faculty at one of my favorite weeklong festivals of music anywhere in the world, Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY. I have been at the festival many times as a performer, session leader, and carouser, but this was my first year teaching. I had a fabulous group of students for both my advanced and intermediate flute classes, and as always, found time to play loads of tunes and catch up with many of my best friends whom I rarely get to see outside of this one magical week every year. One of the highlights was playing double saxophones in a céilí band with Aaron Olwell, alongside Billy McComiskey, Laurence Nugent, Joanie Madden, Pauline Conneely, Brendan Dolan, and a host of other awesome players. Here are some photos, from which I'm sure you can imagine the fun that was had!

The Yanks @ Easter Rising Centenary NYC

 
 

Yesterday, along with my fellow bandmates of The Yanks, I had the privilege of performing at one of NYC's many official events commemorating the Easter Rising of 1916, at a beautiful outdoor stage just off Pier A on the Hudson River. Among the other acts on the bill were some of our favorite legends including Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Cherish the Ladies, Mick Moloney, and our friends from Hammerstep. Siobhán Butler was kind enough to dance a few steps for us, making for a very lively set.

St. Patrick's Day double header, from the mayor's house to Lincoln Center

It had been a few years since I had spent St. Patrick's Day playing gigs around Manhattan, but this year I was honored to be able to play two very nice concerts, the first being the Mayor's St. Patrick's Day Breakfast Reception at Gracie Mansion with my friends Caitlin Warbelow and Shane O'Sullivan, and the second being a packed-to-capacity evening concert at Lincoln Center's David Rubenstein Atrium with my boys, The Yanks. It was quite a different experience from the bar scene to which I had been accustomed to playing in many years ago! I must admit, the change was not unwelcome. Our audience at Lincoln Center was absolutely fantastic, and the house crew and management were superb. I couldn't have asked for a better St. Patrick's Day!

The Yanks to play Lincoln Center

The Yanks are honored and excited beyond belief to perform a free concert at Lincoln Center this year on St. Patrick's Day! On Thursday, March 17, 2016, join us at the David Rubenstein Atrium at 7:30pm for some great traditional Irish tunes. We will be delighted to be playing in a prestigious concert venue, and avoiding the green beer crowd... until we join them after the concert, of course! ;)

 

Photos from China

My three-month tour in China with Riverdance was a real eye-opener. It was full of challenges, laughs, learning experiences, new foods, and a deep yearning for my friends, family, and my own country. In years to come I’m sure I will remember it as a period of growth and learning. While I could write pages and pages about my time there and the highs and lows that accompanied me on the journey, for now I will simply post a collection of some of my photos I took while traveling there. I hope you enjoy the gander.