Irish musicians are melting the membrane that once separated the flute, fiddle and pipes from the driving baselines and hip-swiveling rhythms of modern music — and three free-wheeling members of the band Lunasa will show how it’s done at a concert Saturday, Sept. 6, at 8 p.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven.
The Irish trio of Kevin Crawford, Cillian Vallely and Paul Meehan, all members of Lunasa (called Ireland’s most impressive instrumental traditional group), will bring their acclaimed musicianship and relaxed rapport to the Island as part of the KCT Concert series.
Born in Birmingham and living in Ennis, County Clare, Kevin Crawford is an exceptional flute, whistle, and bodhran player and was awarded the title of Irish Echo Musician of the Year in 2000 following the release of his two successful solo albums. A member of Lunasa for almost 10 years, Crawford previously made two albums with the instrumental band Moving Cloud.
Cillian Vallely has played on the Vineyard many times, first with Billy Kelly at the Wintertide Coffeehouse in the early 90s and twice with his brother Niall at the Katharine Cornell Theatre. He is a gifted uilleann pipes and low whistle player and has become one of the most prominent figures in Irish music. The musically talented Vallely family is well known and respected among traditional players. Cillian and his siblings learned music from their parents Brian and Eithne, who founded the Armagh Pipers’ Club, a group that for over three decades has fostered the revival of traditional music in Ireland’s north. He was also featured as the uilleann pipe soloist in the Broadway production of Riverdance and toured with Nashville singer Tim O’Brien in The Crossing.
Paul Meehan will be on guitar; it is quite a task providing the rhythmic drive for Lunasa and he has brought to the band a fresh approach. The 1996 all-Ireland banjo champion from Middletown, Co. Armagh, he spent several years as a guitarist with the Karan Casey Band and band Dorsa. He has been a member of the bands North Cregg and Buille, which mixed traditional Irish music with jazz and classical.
Children are admitted free at the door. Tickets are $20 in advance at Aboveground Records, Island Entertainment and Alley’s General Store; tickets are $25 at the door.
For more information, call 508-693-6996 or see online kctconcerts.com. Compact discs from the concerts are available for sale and sample on iTunes and CDBaby, to raise money for the concert series.