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at Cumberland’s Blackstone River Theatre
If you want to hear world-class Irish music, Cumberland’s Blackstone River Theatre, 549 Broad St., has booked a March line-up for the ages featuring four of the top touring groups from Ireland and two regional acts that perform Celtic and Irish music as well as step dance. Advance tickets can be reserved by phone 725-9272 and purchased at the door.
Saturday, March 4, sees two acts performing together that have each sold out the Cumberland theater on their own in the past – Irish supergroup Lúnasa with acclaimed vocalist Karan Casey. Because of their combined popularity, Blackstone River Theatre has scheduled two shows, one at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. with $30.00 admission at the door.
Named for a Celtic harvest festival in honor of the Irish god Lugh, patron of the arts, Lúnasa boasts some of the top musical talents in Ireland. The band pairs flutes, fiddle, whistle and pipes in melodic arrangements. Joining them will be award-winning Irish vocalist Karan Casey. Karan has recorded six solo albums, has won Best Irish Female Vocalist twice, Best Irish Folk album, and also a Grammy for her collaboration with Paul Winter.
Continuing with another top name in Irish music, Blackstone River Theatre brings Sharon Shannon in the next night for a Sunday, March 5, show at 7 p.m. Shannon has achieved legendary status worldwide (and has been credited with making the accordion ‘cool.’) With a 20-year career playing traditional Irish music, her current musical exploration also incorporates country, French Canadian, reggae, hip-hop, dance and classical. Tickets for Sharon Shannon Band are $25.00 in advance/$30.00 the day of show.
One of Irish traditional music’s leading bands, Téada, appears on Saturday, March 11, at 8 p.m. An Irish band with a truly international reach, Téada has headlined major music festivals throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa and Australia. Past winners of ‘Best Young Irish Traditional Act’ at Ireland’s Music Awards, the five-piece band will be joined by vocalist and accordion player Méabh Begley from West County Kerry. Admission for Téada is $20.00 in advance/$24.00 at the door.
Pendragon will perform a St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Saturday, March 18, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 in advance/$18.00 the day of show. For 33 years, the Rhode Island-based ensemble Pendragon has embraced Celtic tradition and honing their timeless sound of roots music with a contemporary edge. Pendragon is award-winning step dancer and percussionist Kevin Doyle, Bob Drouin on fiddle, bouzouki and tenor banjo, Russell Gusetti on guitar and concertina, Josh Kane on flute and whistles, and vocalist Mary Lee Partington. They will be joined by special guests, All-Ireland uilleann piper Torrin Ryan and guest step dancer Erika Damiani. Pendragon’s music celebrates the lives and lore of generations of New Englanders who brought traditions from Ireland, Scotland, French Canada to the banks of the Blackstone River.
Closing out the month-long celebration will be Irish harpist and vocalist Áine Minogue Saturday, March 25, at 8 p.m. Áine Minogue (pronounced On-ya) has had phenomenal success both here and in Ireland with her combination of harping, singing and storytelling with a touch of poetry. According to the theatre, Áine Minogue’s concerts are known for their intimate “getting away from it all” feel. Admission is $15.00.
For information on this month’s programming and more, visit the Blackstone River Theatre online at www.riverfolk.org.