Sligo, Ireland (Oct. 1, 2019) - Celebrating its 15th season, “Irish Christmas in America” presents a sparkling performance of music, song, dance, and holiday stories. The show gathers on one stage some of the leading traditional performers in Ireland today. This year the tour comes to St. Joseph, Missouri for the first time, in a special Thanksgiving Eve performance on Wednesday, November 27th, 7:00pm at First Christian Church.
"Captivating for all ages!" says Irish Music Magazine of the family-friendly show. The Irish Echo raves "a standout show...exceptional music and dance. It conveys the spirit of the season with uncommon taste and integrity."
A new album, "Last Night in Chicago," accompanies this anniversary tour, recorded live over two magical nights at Chicago’s famed Old Town School of Folk Music. The CD will be available for sale in concert, or online at https://irishchristmasinamerica1.bandcamp.com/releases.
The show is produced by Sligo fiddle player Oisín Mac Diarmada. Called "one of the most gifted and creative traditional fiddlers playing today" by The Irish Echo, his band Téada has won fans at the Walnut Valley Music Festival in Winfield.
"Christmas is a massive holiday in Ireland!" says Mr. Mac Diarmada. "People travel home to see families and share great food, chat, and lots of music. The country shuts down, apart from the bars!"
For this year's 23-date tour, Niamh Farrell returns as special guest vocalist, a rising young singer from Sligo who first gained attention touring with UK star David Gray. Legendary musician Séamus Begley of West Kerry, named Ireland's "Traditional Singer of the Year," is renowned for his trove of traditional songs as well as his exciting accordion playing and famous wit.
From County Mayo in the west of Ireland, Gràinne Hambly is an internationally-recognized exponent of the Irish harp, and lively instrumental tunes are provided by Seán Gavin, an award-winning musician on the flute, whistle and uilleann pipes.
Champion stepdancer Samantha Harvey, a California native, has performed around the world with shows including Atlantic Steps, Cosa, "Ireland" - The Show, and Tomáseen Foley's Irish Times. Ms. Harvey and her husband, Mr. Mac Diarmada, who met on tour and now live in County Sligo, received an early Christmas gift this year with their first child, Finnán.
"Irish Christmas in America" touches a special chord in the States, says Mr. Mac Diarmada.
"One of the most heartfelt themes of Irish Christmas is emigration. Music was a way that people stayed close to home."
Tickets for the St Joseph performance of “Irish Christmas in America” are available now online at www.irishchristmasinamerica.com or by visiting the office of First Christian Church, 927 Faraon Street, St Joseph, MO 64501 or call 816-233-2556. General Admission $25 / Student $18. Ages 10 and under attend free. Doors open at 6:15 pm with the concert at 7:00 pm.
AFTER-EVENT: The Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic fraternal organization, will host a post-concert event at Room 108 in downtown St Joseph. Entry for this is $20 at the door, including a complimentary Irish cocktail and light hor d'oeuvres. Everyone is welcome to attend, with an opportunity to meet the band members and celebrate Irish culture. This is a fundraiser for the Hibernians' mission of supporting Catholic vocations, education, and providing food and needs for the less fortunate in the community.