A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan + Open The Door For Three, Keith Murphy, Maeve Gilchrist & Brenda Castles$28.50 - $48.50 Buy Tickets
WGBH presents the eleventh annual A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan for the second time in Beverly at The Cabot Theatre on Thursday, March 15. This year’s event is sponsored by Ulen & Hogue Financial.
For the past 11 years, the A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn concerts have introduced a wide range of new and familiar musicians alike to audiences eager to celebrate the holiday in true Irish style.
Open the Door for Three is a trio that plays its Irish music powerfully. They mine tune books, collections, and recordings for old and new tunes and songs. They add to those discoveries fiddler Liz Knowles’s compositions, harmonies, and arrangements, Kieran O’Hare’s encyclopedic knowledge of tunes and the uilleann piping traditio, and the rhythmic bedrock bouzouki and world-class singing of Dublin-born Pat Broaders.
The trio’s members are veterans and mainstays of the Irish music scene around the world, having played with Riverdance, Cherish the Ladies, Secret Garden, Anúna, Liz Carroll, and The New York Pops, as well as with artists like Don Henley, Paula Cole, Bonnie Raitt and Josh Groban. They have performed around the world: on Broadway, at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, at L’Olympia and the Palais des Congrès in Paris, in Malaysian rainforest festivals, in theatres from Shanghai to São Paulo and even a bullring in Mallorca.
Their debut release Open the Door for Three followed by The Penny Wager and now their brand new third CD The Joyful Hour are the culmination of years on the road, comprised of unearthed tunes, new arrangements of great songs, homages to the musicians and bands they grew up listening to and the signature sound of a trio of good friends playing great music together.
A native of Newfoundland, Keith Murphy’s traditional song repertoire is based in Eastern Canada and Quebec as well as his current home, Vermont. His direct and intimate style of traditional singing in English and French infuses old ballads and songs with a powerful immediacy while his rhythmic and percussive finger style of guitar playing brings new shape and color to his songs. His 2005 album, Bound for Canaan showcased his refined sense of balance between innovation and tradition while his most recent CD, Suffer No Loss (2014) is a beautifully spare recording in the style of early classic recordings of the traditional English and Celtic music revival.
Keith was a founding member of Nightingale, a trio which broke new ground in its sophisticated approach to traditional music. He is a mainstay of the Boston fiddle extravaganza, Childsplay and has also worked extensively with Tony Barrand on the song repertoire from the early twentieth century of the Atwood family from Dover, Vermont. He also appears frequently with his wife, fiddler Becky Tracy as well as part of the Hanneke Cassel Trio.
Keith is an accomplished composer and arranger in the realm of traditional music and has also composed for theater and film. He is a featured performer on well over a dozen recordings and a guest musician on numerous others. His versions of traditional songs have inspired recordings by other groups including Solas, Uncle Earl and Great Big Sea. Several of his compositions have been featured on the recent Ken Burns’ documentary on the Roosevelts.
Described by one critic as “a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity”, Maeve Gilchrist has taken the Celtic harp to new levels of performance.
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Maeve‘s innovative approach to her instrument stretches its harmonic limits and improvisational possibilities. She is as at home as a soloist with an internationally renowned orchestra as she is playing with a traditional Irish folk group or using electronic augmentation in a more contemporary, improvisatory setting.
She tours internationally as a band leader as well as maintaining a number of collaborations including a duo project with percussive dancer Nic Gareiss, a more electronics based project with Viktor Krauss and as a member of the Irish network commissioned ‘Edges of Light’ quartet: a multidisciplinary group featuring the piper David Power, dancer Colin Dunne and the fiddler Tola Custy. She has appeared at such major music events as Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Tanglewood Jazz festival, the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam and the opening of the Scottish Parliament. She has played with such luminaries asEsperanza Spalding, Tony Trishka, Ambrose Akinmusire, Solas and Darol Anger.
Maeve has released five albums to date, including her most recent recording Vignette, on Adventure Records, with Nashville legend Viktor Krauss while on her own label her solo Ostinato Project is a beguiling exploration of the possibilities of her instrument.
Maeve was the first lever harpist to join the faculty of the iconic Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she taught for five years before switching to a visiting roots department artist this spring. She has written several instructional books published by Hal Leonard Music. Also an in-demand composer and arranger; this year, Maeve premiered her first concerto for lever harp and symphony orchestra and is currently working on a number of commissions including a string quartet for Irish harp and string quartet to be premiered in Scotlandin the spring of 2018.
“St. Patrick’s Day – indeed the whole month of March – is a time for many in the Irish diaspora to celebrate their own roots,” says Brian O’Donovan, producer and host for the concert series. “For many others with no ethnic connection to the country, it is a time to explore a music and dance culture that is at once sophisticated and accessible, while tracing its origins back centuries. Come join in the fun – everyone is welcome at our St. Patrick’s Day party!”
Brenda comes from a rich tradition of music in Ireland’s County Meath, having learned concertina from Rena Traynor and concertina maestro Mícheál Ó’Raghallaigh. She has several All Ireland Fleadh titles to her name both in solo and group competitions. Music has brought her around the world to far-flung destinations including Hong Kong, Mongolia and Iceland. Brenda is currently based in Dublin, where she regularly performs and teaches music.