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Pride of New York (Joanie Madden, Brian Conway, Billy McComiskey & Brendan Dolan) with opener Tony DeMarco and dancers Kathleen Sulva and Tatiana O’Hanlon

16 January 2015
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
All Souls Interfaith Gathering

Pride of New York

Pride of New York

best western plus windjammer

presented by Young Tradition Vermont, the Heather Morris School of Dance, All Souls Interfaith Gathering and others with generous support from Best Western Plus Windjammer Inn & Conference Center

tickets available now at the Flynn Regional Box Office….. charge by phone at 802-86FLYNN

concert is part of Celtic Winter Gathering

more info from mark.sustic@gmail.com

Pride of New York in the Catskills

Pride of New York in the Catskills

The Pride Of New York is an Irish-American supergroup comprised of some of the best known players on the US side of the Atlantic – Brian Conway (fiddle), Billy McComiskey (button accordion), Joanie Madden (flute, whistle) and Brendan Dolan (keyboards).

Between them, they have won four All-Ireland championship awards, recorded multiple solo albums and logged countless miles touring across the US and abroad. But at its essence, this quartet of singular talents is defined in spirit by the city of New York which gives the group its name.

Many of their tunes are written or associated with other past or present stalwarts of the New York Irish scene including Martin Mulhaire, Sean McGlynn, Jack Coen, Joe Burke, Paddy O’Brien, Larry Redican, Tom Doherty, and Charlie Mulvihill.

Daughter of button accordionist Joe Madden, Joanie was the first US-born competitor to win the All-Ireland Senior Tin Whistle title in 1984, and is also an All-Ireland champion on flute. She has recorded a dozen albums with Cherish The Ladies, a group she co-founded in 1985.

Son of pianist Felix Dolan, Brendan is one of the most respected and inventive keyboardists in Irish music today. He appears on Brian Conway’s Consider The Source and Billy McComiskey’s Outside the Box albums, as well as Live At Mona’s with Patrick Ourceau and Eamon O’Leary. He has also been part of the Irish-American music projects of Mick Moloney.

The 1986 All-Ireland Senior Button Accordion champion Billy McComiskey has recorded three albums with The Irish Tradition (a trio featuring Brendan Mulvihill and Andy O’Brien) and two with Trian (a trio featuring Liz Carroll and Dáithí Sproule), as well as two solo CDs for Green Linnet / Compass.

Brian Conway was the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle champion in 1986, and has several recordings to his credit. They include two solo releases – First Through The Gate and Consider The Source – and two trio albums – The Apple In Winter (with Tony DeMarco and Caesar Pacifici) and A Tribute To Andy McGann (with Joe Burke and Felix Dolan).

“Musical lions of the Big Apple’s Irish music scene and their solid, straight Irish tunes are well played… a style more at home in the Bronx than the Burren.” (The Scotsman)

“We are all quintessential New York musicians… The musical camaraderie we share is rare.” (Brian Conway)

video of the group playing at the All Ireland Fleadh in 2011 here.  recordings available here.

Tony DeMarco

Tony DeMarco

Tony DeMarco: Irish fiddler. If that sounds slightly off, you have only to listen to him to be cured of any preconceptions about the importance of ethnic purity in traditional music. There may have been a time when Irish music in New York City was played exclusively by Irish immigrants and their offspring, while their Italian neighbors strummed mandolins and sang opera. But the Big Apple really is a melting pot, at least for some of its disparate immigrant elements. Before World War II it really wasn’t very common for Italian and Irish Americans to marry each other. By the 1950s, however, this kind of ethnic mixing was fairly normal in Tony’s native Brooklyn, where the Italians and Irish lived side by side and attended the same parish churches.

Tony definitely found his way to Irish traditional music via a different path than the one trod by musicians raised in Irish immigrant households.  More typical young Irish traditional musicians in New York in the 1970s had at least one parent born in Ireland. They may well have attended step dancing classes with one of the many dance schools in the region, and most likely went to group music classes conducted in the Bronx, Brooklyn, New Jersey, or Long Island by Pete Kelly, Martin Mulvihill, and Maureen Glynn. They would have joined a branch of the international Irish traditional music organization Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and competed each year at the regional fleadh cheoil at Manhattan College in the Bronx. If they placed high enough, they would go on to the big show, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann—the All-Ireland Fleadh—from which not a few returned home with the coveted title of “All-Ireland champion” on the fiddle, button accordion, tin whistle, or other instrument.

Tony had a different background altogether. As he puts it: “I never grew up with the competitive Comhaltas scene—I came through the hippie scene, the folkie scene.” He tells the story of how he took up the fiddle and discovered Irish music in his own contribution to these notes, but it is worth repeating here that his first exposure to Irish traditional music was through a Folkways recording of the County Sligo fiddler Michael Gorman. Tony had many other musical influences before this, and would have many more afterward, but for him the appeal of the Sligo fiddle style would never fade.

more info about Tony Demarco here

all souls