Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Chieftains at Carnegie Hall

Elizabeth Zelvin

Last Saturday, my St. Patrick’s Day ended appropriately with the 50th anniversary concert of the Chieftains, Ireland’s Music Ambassadors, at Carnegie Hall in New York.
The sold-out concert provided more than ninety minutes of nonstop world-class music in Carnegie Hall’s splendid acoustics and ended with the audience dancing in the aisles and up onto the stage.
Founder Paddy Moloney (shown here with Matt Molloy, flute, and Kevin Connell, bodhran and vocals) is still going strong at 74, making musical magic on uilleann pipes and penny whistle and connecting with the audience with plenty of Irish charm.

Traditional Irish music, superbly played, is just the jump-off point for the amazing collaborations the group is known for (including Sting and the Rolling Stones), and this concert was no exception, with musicians, singers, and step dancers from places as various as Dublin, Nashville, Canada, Long Island, and the Isle of Lewis along with bagpipe bands, Breton dancers in full costume, and folk rock group Low Anthem, who hail from Providence, RI.

From my dizzying perch in the front row side of the dress circle, I snuck a few pix on my iPhone.

Chieftains with pipers

Breton Dancers

Dancing in the aisles


Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

Makes me homesick! I attended high school in Manhattan, and Carnegie Hall was the location for my graduation! It's the only way I'd ever get on stage, since I'm not all that musical.


Sandra Parshall said...

Sounds like a great evening. I love the idea of the audience dancing in the aisles and onto the stage.

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Sometimes living in New York is really worth it. :)

lil Gluckstern said...

Funny, I was going to say that living in New York is unique and pretty wonderful. Even if it takes a lot of resilience.

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

I agree, Lil. I was thinking less of the stuff that people who aren't used to New York are scared of, and more about the idea that you don't need to live in New York to pursue, say, a writing career or any other endeavor for which you need to be in contact with the world. It's no longer essential, but is delightful when you can find so much brilliance and excitement right outside your door.

Anonymous said...

what fun! You are one enterprising lady... er, sorry.... OOW!!! tjstraw

Anonymous said...

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Gloria Alden said...

I love the Chieftans and their music. I was lucky enough to see them live years ago, but not in so grand an area. Celtic music is some of my favorite musice.

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