Category: Archive

Concerts to aid ailing Tony Cuffe

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Concerts to aid ailing Tony Cuffe

By Earle Hitchener

Measured against the enormity of what happened on Sept. 11, one man’s struggle with aggressive cancer may seem of smaller or less urgent importance. But the instinct to help anyone in distress is always life-affirming.

In these troubled times, that’s reason enough to attend one of the two benefit concerts for Tony Cuffe, a former member of the bands Alba, Jock Tamson’s Bairns, and Ossian, and more recently a member of the Windbags group. He has also been a popular instructor and performer at the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Boston College’s Gaelic Roots, and the Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, N.C.

A resident of Massachusetts since 1988, Cuffe is now stricken with cancer. Proceeds of the two concerts, to be held Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Boston College will go directly to the Tony Cuffe and Family Benefit Fund, which has been set up to relieve the financial strain of Tony’s illness on his family.

The lineup of performers rallying to this cause over the coming weekend is impressive. They include the House Band’s flute and bombarde player John Skelton, button accordionist Joe Derrane, former Bothy Band uilleann piper Paddy Keenan, Clare-born fiddler STamus Connolly, keyboardist Felix Dolan, Connemara singer Bridget Fitzgerald, fiddler Brian Conway, Altan guitarist and singer D_ithf Sproule, guitarist and mandolinist John McGann, former Rare Air highland piper and flutist Pat O’Gorman, and Cape Breton fiddler Joe Cormier.

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Also on stage will be Irish stepdancers Deirdre Goulding and Michael Smith, percussionist Myron Bretholz, harper Kathleen Guilday, guitarist, fiddler, and songwriter (for Alison Krauss) Mark Simos, Scottish highland dancer Laura Scott, flute and tin whistle player Jimmy Noonan, fiddler Laurel Martin, Scottish fiddler Ed Pearlman, members of the Boston branch of Comhaltas Ceolt=irf +ireann, Scottish-style fiddler Bonnie Rideout, percussionist Paddy League, uilleann piper Patrick Hutchinson, fiddler Tina Lech, keyboardist Brendan Dolan, fiddler and guitarist Randal Bays, Tipperary-born singer Aoife Clancy, guitarist Zan McLeod, singer Grace Griffith, and fiddler Tony De Marco.

Hosted by Boston College’s Irish Studies Program, the Nov. 10 and 11 benefit concerts will take place in Gasson Hall on the campus of Boston College, in the Chestnut Hill section of Newton, Mass. For more information, call (617) 552-0490 or visit http://www.tcbenefit.org.

Donations by check can also be made out and mailed to the Tony Cuffe and Family Benefit Fund, P.O. Box 390915, Cambridge, MA 02139.

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