July 12-13, 2013
Millpond Park, Saline MI
Music and Dance at the Celtic Festival
Friday Entertainment at the Festival
Music Workshops, Friday, July 12 @ 6:30 pm
Dance Workshops, Friday, July 12 @ 8:00 pm
Admission to all workshops is FREE, with admission to Friday's pub night. No registration required and beginners are welcome!
Saturday Entertainment at the Festival
About the Entertainers
“Irish America's most influential band.” - NPR
Solas is the quintessential Irish-American band recording and touring in the US today. Fifteen years ago, in a manner befitting their name (Gaelic for "light”), Solas burst onto the Irish music scene and instantly became a beacon – an incandescent ensemble that found contemporary relevance in timeless traditions without ever stooping to clichés.
Anchored by founding members Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (violins, vocals), Solas is rounded out by Mick McAuley (accordians, low whistle, concertina, vocals), Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals), and newest member and lead singer, Niamh Varian-Barry.
Through fresh and unexpected arrangements of age-old tunes, compelling and topical originals and covers, and unparalleled musicianship, Solas continues to define the path for the Celtic music world and drive the genre forward.
Chances are you’ve seen BROTHER on NBC’s ‘ER’, maybe heard their music on the classic ‘Baraka’ soundtrack or UPN’s ‘Twilight Zone.’ The band has shared stages with Joe Walsh, John Entwhistle, Linkin Park, and Alicia Keys and are the only independent band to have played the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Fusing signature vocals and guitar with the deep pulse of the didgeridoo, the soaring highs of the bagpipes, and tribal percussion, BROTHER is wholly original. The band’s powerhouse live performances are an energetic celebration, captivating and engaging the audience from the first song to the last.
Angus, founding member of BROTHER, arrived in Los Angeles from Australia with his brothers a decade ago as little more than fresh-faced farm boys. In LA, they found themselves busking at Venice Beach, the Hollywood Bowl and Universal Studios to survive. Since those days, BROTHER evolved its trademark sound while touring extensively in the United States and in Canada, Japan, France, Egypt and Australia.
They did it all free from standard industry trends and pigeon-holes. BROTHER has self-released 12 albums, sold more CDs in the USA than any other independent Australian act and has regularly been cited as a role model within the independent scene.
BROTHER live today is a powerhouse celtic tribal trio. The band's legendary live shows have reached a whole new level, with soul brothers Angus, Dalbo and Drew filling the stage with their energy and sound.
“a band that you must hear!... with influences from every culture you can imagine… wonderful music.” ~ River Rhythms Festival, Wisconsin, USA
“…the most popular act in the six-year history of the Michigan Irish Festival…” ~ Muskegon Chronicle, Michigan, USA
Taking the Celtic scene by storm, the Tartan Terrors, North America's premiere Celtic Event, features the best in music, comedy and dance. Bolstered by the blistering piping of a Two Time World Champion Bagpiper, the driving tones of drums from around the world, and a guitar played unlike any you've ever heard, standing room only audiences understand why "Dig This Magazine" declares "(The Terrors) one act to keep an eye on!"
Combine this musical prowess with championship calibre Highland Dancers and intentionally recognized comedic performers and this Celtic Group goes beyond the ordinary. Members of the Tartan Terrors have performed on 4 different continents, in some of the most prestigious Festivals, Highland Games and Theatres of North America. They've also performed for President Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II, and Good Morning America.
“This energetic and multi-talented group of musicians and dancers mix traditional Scottish music with rock and a typically Celtic sense of mischief and fun to produce one of the most dynamic live shows on the Celtic music scene…” ~ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A Blackthorn show is a musical journey across Ireland. Traditional songs of emigration, sea shanties, lively jigs and reels, and ancient airs combine with some of Ireland’s best contemporary songs for a musical experience that captures the history and legend of Ireland and its people.
Blackthorn shows offer a unique variety of tunes, tempos and textures. Each member of the band plays multiple instruments, including wooden flute, accordion, tin whistle, five string banjo, cittern, bones and more. These instruments complement the lead vocal of Belfast native Richard McMullan and the band’s tight blend of four part harmony, with Fred Klein, Gary McMullen, and Dennis Green.
“Flawless playing accompanied harmonies tight and clean…” ~ The Kalamazoo Gazette
Finvarra’s Wren hosts the Red Dragon Stage on Saturday, performing interlude sets from 1 to 9pm. This powerful Michigan based band plays invigorating Irish, Scottish and Celtic-American folk music. Traditional and contemporary songs are punctuated with wonderfully inventive arrangements of jigs, reels and hornpipes, hotly fueled by Alison Brown on fiddle and whistles and Asher Perkins on buttoned accordion and concertina.
The unique vocal blend of Jim Perkins and Cheryl Burns is irresistible, with rich musical arrangements that include Appalachian dulcimer, bodhran and guitar as well as the more traditional fiddle, whistles and box.
“Michigan's premier trad band.” ~ Detroit News 2011
“Irish folk band Finvarra's Wren ... making the kind of music you'd only hear on the west coast of Ireland, plays traditional Celtic music so heartachingly well that even Finn McCool would be impressed.” ~ Detroit Metro Times, March 2007
A real tradition at the Saline Celtic Festival, the Community Ed sponsored Fiddlers ReStrung consists of students at Saline High School, all of whom share in producing a unique ensemble truly their own. Featured at over 80 performances annually, Under the direction of James Whitman, Fiddlers ReStrung proudly displays a diverse arrangement of styles. Bluegrass, Celtic, and folk music are all part of their show, embellished with traditional step-dancing. They engage the audience with energy and charm, advocating a message of spontaneous enthusiasm born of a genuine love for the music.
Working alongside leadership, students craft their own arrangements and help make organizational decisions. This collaborative ownership grants ReStrung an authentic creative edge that is clearly visible from the striking energy they portray on stage. Students balance a demanding performance schedule while maintaining high standards in other school activities, sports, and academics.
The Shannon Irish Dance Company is Michigan's premier Irish Dance performing group. Directed by Sophia Schoch-Wyzgowski and Alison West, the company is bringing innovative traditional and contemporary Irish Dance choreography to audiences across the state.
Dancers from The Shannon Irish Dance Company have performed at large corporate and theater events, as well as festivals and private events. Each dancer is hand picked by the Artistic Directors to receive one of the coveted spots within the company. Once in the company dancers rehearse regularly to keep their dance standards up and choreography fresh in their minds.
With The Shannon Irish Dance Company you'll experience a highly energetic and entertaining performance that will leave you asking for more!
The Commonwealth Dance Collective (CDC) is an ensemble of stepdancers based in lower Michigan. Founded by Sheila Graziano in 2004, the CDC presents a review of many styles of percussive dance including Irish, Appalachian, English, Canadian, American tap, historic routines and original choreography. The members of the group delight in capturing the spirits of the past and the present with equal enthusiasm and sharing the collective joy of many cultures through dance. Music by CDC favorites Brad Battey and Myron Grant!
“If men could only know each other they would neither idolize or hate.” ~ Elbert Hubbard
Since 1992, The Irish Dance Company of Lansing has promoted Irish music and dance for children in the Mid Michigan area. As a troupe for children only, dancers from age 5 to 18 learn traditional steps and dances, such as Haste to the Wedding and Walls of Limerick. In addition, dancers are empowered to help select music and create choreography to a variety of Celtic music from traditional to contemporary. The older dancers help the younger ones improve their ability and confidence, and lead by example.
Directed by Meghan McCartney Scott, Betsy McCartney Banghart, and Molly Lewis, all former IDCL dancers, the future of the company is solid. With support from their parents, the Irish Dance Company of Lansing has proudly performed all over Michigan, and has seen over 80 children grow up with a strong sense of self, and a deep sense of love for their culture and heritage.
The Ann Arbor Celtic Harpers are local musicians who enjoy sharing Celtic music using the folk harp, also known as the Celtic or Lever Harp. We are a non-profit organization to promote the performance and study of the Celtic or lever harp for music lovers of all ages and all skill levels. We meet periodically to share our music and to play for pleasure. We also perform occasionally in the Ann Arbor area. We sponsor concerts by outstanding harpers whom we bring to the area to perform and to teach workshops. We spend time together sharing our knowledge and our love of harps and harping. Anyone interested in learning to play or in joining us to play is welcome. Meetings are sporadic and announced to the members by e-mail. We are your source for harp music and events throughout the Midwest.
Carol Kappus is a Celtic harper and singer specializing in the music of Scotland. She plays and sings traditional songs, songs of Robert Burns and songs in Scots Gaelic. She has won several Scottish Harp Society of America and Scottish Mòd competitions and shares her love of harping through her teaching and as leader of the Ann Arbor Celtic Harpers.
Ann Arbor Morris originally formed in 1976. Morris dancing is a ritual folkdance that originated in England and goes back to at least the 15th century. (Shakespeare mentions Morris dancing in Henry V and All's Well That Ends Well.) As a ritual dance, Morris has other purposes besides just plain fun. Fertility, death, and rebirth are common themes in Morris. Morris dancers everywhere celebrate May Day to welcome in the spring.
Morris dancers traditionally dress in all white, wear bells tied to their shins, and carry sticks or hankies. They dance to live music played on instruments such as the accordion, penny whistle, fiddle, and tabor. While many dances have been passed down over the years, new dances and traditions are being developed by teams everywhere. Fortunately, Morris dancing is no longer considered a misdemeanor!
Bryan Kelso Crow will be hosting the Brecon Stage at this year’s Saline Celtic Festival. Mr. Crow is well known across the country as the host / producer ost of NPR’s Celtic Connections radio show - an hour featuring music from the Celtic nations. He launched the show in 1991 as a local program, and it moved to national syndication in July 1996.
Bryan is an Associate Professor of Speech Communication at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is a native of Tennessee, with Scotch-Irish roots. He has been playing the tin whistle since the 1970s, and added the traditional wood flute in the mid 80s. He performs in Illinois and Missouri with The Dorians, a three-member Celtic band based in Carbondale, IL. He is also a guest lecturer in the Irish Studies program at Southern Illinois University, and a member of the Coordinating Committee for the Southern Illinois Festival of Irish Music and Dance.
Mike Shanahan (guitar, banjo, vocals) and Bryan Kelso Crow (whistle, flute, vocals) are members of The Dorians, from Carbondale, Illinois. Bryan is host of Celtic Connections, heard on public radio stations across the country. As a duo, they offer songs and tunes from Irish and American traditions. They perform as a duo each year at the St. Louis Tionol. Their set at 12:30 Saturday will get the music started on the Brecon Stage, where Bryan will be emcee throughout the rest of the day.
The Detroit Irish Music Association (DIMA) is a non-profit organization, offering classes to adults and children at all skill levels for tin whistle, Irish flute, fiddle, concertina, harp, accordion, banjo, guitar, singing, bodhran, and set dancing.
DIMA is a Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Comhaltas is the largest cultural organization in Ireland with hundreds of Branches worldwide. Founded in 1951 with the purpose of preserving our cultural heritage, Comhaltas embraces people irrespective of status, creed or politics. The bonding of youth and age is one of the highlights of our branch. DIMA strives to preserve and promote traditional Irish music, song, dance, and language in Michigan through classes, workshops, concerts, and sessions.
Tartan and Thistle Scottish Country Dancers meet weekly in the Ann Arbor area to dance traditional-style jigs, reels, and strathspeys -- the social dances of Scotland -- while listening to live music, and enjoying each others' company. Dancers of all ages and skill levels are always welcome.
Damhsa Uisce Bán Mór is an Irish language phrase that means “Dance Grand Rapids.” It is a group of enthusiastic dancers who have danced all over North America and have taught or led Irish social dancing - ceili and set dancing - for several years at the Saline Celtic Festival and at the Milwaukee Irish Fest. The group does Irish dancing every week in Grand Rapids and uses a low-key and user-friendly teaching style to involve both new and experienced dancers in dancing. We’re not performers; we’re involvers.
Celtic Jam is made up of local musicians from the SE Michigan area who play Irish and Scottish traditional music on acoustic instruments. Instruments include fiddle, banjo, harp, uilleann pipes, concertina, bodhran, guitar, string bass, and penny whistle. They lead the Irish Jam session Saturday at 6pm.
Ann Arbor Community of Traditional Music and Dance (AACTMAD) is a non-profit volunteer organization sponsoring over 200 traditional music, dance, and related events each year. These are lively public gatherings where you can enjoy dancing, playing instruments, or listening to traditional music. If you can walk, you can dance. Join us and find the fun of moving to music, preserving living musical traditions, and being welcomed by a great community of people from all walks of life. It's fun, it's friendly, it's good for you!
Check back often as more great acts are added to the line-up!