Category: Archive

The Celts Play Connecticut

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

It is one of about 130 or so Irish traditional music concerts that STIMS, an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization based in Fairfield, Conn., has sponsored for the past decade under the visionary leadership of Gregg Burnett and others. STIMS is the premier organization of its kind on the East Coast, and if you have never attended a concert sponsored by it, you’ll have a golden opportunity on Tues., May 12, with Martin Hayes and on Sat., May 16, with “The Celts Play Connecticut.”
Expect a lot of music at the latter. Between 2 and 10 p.m. on Sat., May 16, at the Pequot Library in Southport, Conn., you’ll be able to see and hear for no admission charge these performers: the Pearl River, N.Y.-based octet Girsa (see my review of their debut album in last week’s “Ceol”), fiddler Brian Conway and keyboardist Felix Dolan, button accordionist John Whelan and guitarist John Brennan, fiddler Rose Flanagan and flute and whistle player Linda Hickman, button accordionist James Keane, harper Deirdre Danaher and accordionist Loretta Murphy, button accordionist Damien Connolly, the Shamrogues (a fluid ensemble of more than a dozen members, including Gregg Burnett and Tim Quinn of STIMS), and several others.
The Pequot Library is a 19th-century building with acoustics requiring no amplification, and the surrounding grounds are ideal for picnicking, which is encouraged that day. Some light refreshments will also be available.
To celebrate further the 10th anniversary of STIMS, the organization has issued a new, double-CD, limited-edition recording with the same title, “The Celts Play Connecticut,” culled from concerts given over the past five years. (STIMS’ first limited-edition CD, “Our Music to You,” draws on music recorded previously.) “The Celts Play Connecticut” comprises 34 tracks of live music from Altan, Cherish the Ladies, Patrick Street, Sliabh Notes, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Liz Carroll and John Doyle, Micheal O Raghallaigh and Ivan Goff, Liz and Yvonne Kane, Brian McNamara and Tim Collins, James Kelly, Paddy Keenan and John Walsh, Kevin Burke, John Whelan, and John Brennan, Mike Rafferty, Claire Keville and Pat O’Connor, Brian Conway and Brendan Dolan, Emer Mayock, and others.
From its first concert ever (fiddler Kevin Burke playing solo in 1999), STIMS has made a steadfast commitment to presenting top-quality Irish traditional music. “The Celts Play Connecticut” festivity is the organization’s way of saying thank-you to its own volunteers and especially to the public who have supported its ambitious schedule of concerts for 10 years.
The Pequot Library is at 720 Pequot Ave., Southport, CT 06890. “The Celts Play Connecticut” will run from 2 to 10 o’clock on Sat., May 16. For directions and other information, visit www.shamrockirishmusic.org.
For more information about the solo acoustic house concert in southern Connecticut by fiddler Martin Hayes at 7:30 p.m. on Tues., May 12, which I expect will sell out fast with its limited capacity, phone STIMS member Tim Quinn directly at 203-256-8453 or e-mail him at tmquinn@optonline.net.
In a future “Ceol” column, I will review “The Celts Play Connecticut” double-CD release, now available for purchase at the STIMS website.

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