To become an All-Ireland music champion is no easy feat. Ireland may be a small country, but it takes its traditional music very seriously. Throw a rock, or better yet an empty pint of Guiness, and surely you will hit a musician, and not just a part-time dabbler, but a real pro. Now gather this large assortment of musicians in your head, filter out the merely good and great to pit the outstanding against the outstanding, and finally, crown the best of the best.
Then send the winner to Martha’s Vineyard to perform as part of the KCT concerts. Better yet, send two winners here.
This Saturday, Sept. 15, both Laurence Nugent and Seamus Connolly, past All-Ireland champions, will perform at the First Baptist Church on Spring street in Vineyard Haven, next to the Katharine Cornell Theatre, the usual venue for these concerts, but which is under construction. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Nugent plays the flute and whistle and was nurtured under the musical tradition of his father, Sean Nugent. Laurence won his championships in 1994 and 1995 and now lives in Chicago. Over the years, he has recorded three albums, adding traces of jazz, classical and world music to the melodies of his homeland.
Mr. Connolly is a native of Killaloe, County Clare and won the Irish National Fiddle Championship 10 times. No one else has come close to notching this many wins. He was also the winner of the Fiddler of Dooney Competition, which although it sounds like the name of a make-believe miscreant culled from some fairy tail court report, is an internationally acclaimed competition and another testament to Mr. Connolly’s worldwide celebrity.
Mr. Connolly now lives in Maine and holds an endowed chair at Boston College.
That both musicians will be appearing on stage here on the Island at the same time is thanks to KCT concerts which for years has been bringing traditional music, Irish and otherwise, to these shores. And because instilling the love of music is paramount, children, as always, are invited to see the show free of charge. Adults pay $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Tickets are available at Alley’s Store, Island Entertainment, Scottish Bakehouse, Above Ground Records and the Oak Bluffs General Store.
For information or reservations, call 508-693-6237 or 508-560-2109 or visit kctconcerts.com.