November 8 & 9, 2019

IrishFest Atlanta


IrishFest Atlanta 2018 Entertainment 

Friday Night Concert:

The Green Fields of America

Four decades ago, renowned musician and folklorist Mick Moloney gathered some of the finest Irish American musicians and dancers to perform at the Bicentennial Festival of American Folklife. Overwhelming interest in that program led Moloney and friends to form The Green Fields of America, the first group on either side of the Atlantic to bring together Irish vocal, instrumental, and dance traditions on the concert stage, sparking a renaissance that continues to this day. The group’s ever-changing lineup draws on the legacy of immigrant musicians who created a rich new repertoire in America out of diverse traditions from across the Emerald Isle. As Moloney says, “The personnel has changed but the concept has remained constant over the past 30 years: to show in one major ensemble some of Irish America's finest musicians and dancers.” 

Their lineup at the IrishFest Atlanta includes:   

Mick Moloney - tenor banjo, octave mandolin and vocals; Athena Tergis - fiddle, Liz Hanley - fiddle, vocals; Billy McComiskey - button accordion; Robbie O'Connell - guitar, vocals; Niall O'Leary - step dance and Brenda Castles - concertina, vocals


Saturday Night Concert: 

An Irish traditional band with a truly worldwide reach, Téada has appeared as a frequent headliner at major music festivals throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Russia, The Middle East and Australia. Highlights include a 30,000-capacity stadium concert in Brittany, along with performances at Penang World Music Festival in Malaysia, Edmonton Folk Festival in Canada, Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe, and an extensive 7-week tour of Japan / Taiwan in 2014 playing to audiences of 40,000 people. Continuing to grow in vision, the band has recently received a Yeats 2015 WDC Funding Award for a show production celebrating the Sligo-inspired poetry of W.B. Yeats. Téada’s latest addition to the line-up is legendary West Kerry singer and accordionist Séamus Begley, winner of 2013 TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year. Founded by Sligo fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada, Téada first came together in 2001 to make an appearance on the innovative TG4 television series ‘Flosc’. One of Irish traditional music’s leading exponents, Téada is driven by a fascination for the timeless, expressive force of music inherited from previous generations of musicians. Irish Music Magazine describes the band as “at the cutting edge of the next generation of Irish musicians…with a fierce familiarity with the old ways.”

Saturday Afternoon Céilí:

Pride of Moyvane

Manhattan native, John Reynolds is most often heard playing the fiddle with his wife; Bronx born flute and whistle player Margie Mulvihill – in the “Pride of Moyvane Ceili Band”. For many years, they both had successful musical careers, but recently they have been performing for festivals and are a very popular ceili band in the New York Tri-state area known for their lively and rhythmic percussive style, perfect for dancing.


Arís, Atlanta’s Stage for Celtic Culture, is delighted to be returning to IrishFest in 2018 for a 6th consecutive year!  Coming up in November, Arís is proud to participate in the worldwide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day - the day that marked the end of World War I - with a number of special events.  This special commemoration centers around the main stage production of Not About Heroes by Stephen MacDonald. This moving play is based on the real-life friendship between noted World War I poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen.  At IrishFest, Arís will offer a “sneak peak” of a scene from this powerful show.  Be sure to visit the Arís table to find out more about this and all of the events they will be offering in their World War 1 Centenary Commemoration, Arís Remembers.

The Burke Connolly Academy offers both recreational and competitive Irish dance classes for children and adults. Classes are taught by Emma Burke, TCRG, and Erin Connolly, TCRG, both champion Irish dancers. More…


Delft Way

Delft Way is returning to IrishFest Atlanta after their debut last year.  Madeleine and Sarah Ling are combining their talents in Irish fiddle, piano accompaniment, and Irish song to bring audiences a joyful performance that is a reflection of the close relationship of these two sisters.  Madeleine has qualified to compete in the All-Ireland multiple years in Irish song and is a self-taught piano accompaniment. She is currently studying Irish singing with Mai Hernon and is taking guidance from Samantha Harvey on piano. Sarah Ling is a 6-time Midwest Champion of Irish Fiddle.  She won her first regional championship at the age at 11 and competed in her first All-Ireland competition in 2013. Sarah is a student of Brian Conway from New York.

Drake Irish Dance, was founded in 1990 in Atlanta by Dublin Ireland native, Karl Drake. The school’s record of competitive achievements include Regional and National Champions as well as World Medal holders.

Father O'Reilly Céilí Band

Father O’Reilly Céi Band is based in Atlanta, GA and was founded in 2005 by a group of Irish musicians who met at the weekly Irish music session at Fado’s Irish pub in downtown Atlanta.  We are proud to take the name of Atlanta’s own Father Thomas O’Reilly from Co. Cavan, Ireland – who single-handedly saved 7 churches and historic buildings from being destroyed during Sherman’s burning of Atlanta in 1861.

Finley & Friends

IrishFest Atlanta is pleased to welcome this wonderful group of 5 traditional Irish musicians who are coming together from across the country to take part in this year's festival. They represent some of this country's top young Irish musicians and collectively have earned many All-Ireland and National champion titles. The 5 friends are:  Patrick Finley (Fiddle), Brenda Dowling (Flute) Kieran Flanagan (piano), John Paul Reynolds (Fiddle & Banjo), and Adrienne O'Shea (Flute and Irish Song).  

Teresa Sheppard, is a harp player studying under Kelly Stewart.  Awarded the 2014 & 2015 Scottish Harp Society of America’s National Championship, she has traveled to  Scotland and Ireland to study with renowned harp players, including Ailie Robertson, Corrina Hewat and Janet Harbison.  Teresa has performed as part of the Celtic duo Sonas Ort and the Atlanta Junior Ceili Band and is currently pursuing a Music Education degree at Kennesaw State University.  Olivia Bradley is an Irish dancer, as a member of the Drake School of Irish Dance and vocal soloist and Bodhrán player. She placed 1st Soloist in Sean-Nos singing at the 2015 Midwest Fleadh Cheoil. Her many perfomances include sharing the stage  Emmet Cahill (of Celtic Thunder), Seamus Brett, John Maschinot, Cormac DeBarra. She is currently studying at Clayton State University in vocal performance. Teresa and Olivia met in Atlanta Junior Ceili Band, and found harp accompaniment complimented Olivia's voice. "Gliondar" is an Irish Gaelic word that has been translated as "an upward soaring of the spirit with happiness", reflecting the joy that music brings.

The Irish Brothers

The Irish Brothers are Sandy “Sandyman” Flynn and “Captain” George Hergen. This is a unique team - Sandyman comes from the mountains Western North Carolina with the Captain hailing from the canyons of New York City. The two started performing together twenty-five years ago when they worked ‘suit’ jobs at IBM. Both draw from their Irish heritage for material - their music practically maps the Irish cultural integration into the ‘new country’ - from traditional Irish ballads, to original songs of love, drinking, revolution and redemption.

Jim Flanagan is a native of Ballyvourney, a small village in the heart of the Muskerry Gaeltacht (an Irish speaking area) in County Cork, now living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. An anthropologist recently retired from the University of Southern Mississippi, Jim sings old songs and contemporary traditionalist songs in English and in Irish.
Kathleen Donohoe is a native Irish singer, now residing in Atlanta, Georgia. Kathleen has performed at venues including the High Museum, Fadó Irish Pub, Eddie’s Attic (Decatur), Kevin Barry’s (Savannah), Murphy’s Restaurant in Atlanta’s Virginia Highlands, Rí Rá Atlanta, and in surrounding states.

Debra Peterson, a native of Olney, Illinois, began formal music training at age 7. A graduate of University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she earned a B.S. in Music Education and played extensively in concert bands. After moving to Georgia in 1993, Debra pursued graduate studies in Music Education at the University of Georgia in Athens, studying flute with Julie Stone and James Zellers. In answer to a developing interest in traditional Celtic music, she taught herself to play the Celtic harp, simple-system flute, whistle, bombarde & bones. Debra has released three solo CDs and is available for local performances.

Atlanta's own Michael Robbins will provide guitar accompaniment. Michael is a founding member of the popular Celtic band BorderCollies, based in Suwanee, GA

Kelly Stewart is a harpist who loves to teach and perform all types of music. She has extensive backgrounds in classical, historical, and traditional music alike. Her teaching and performing encompasses all aspects of harps, harp playing and instruction. Kelly holds a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Performance from the University of Georgia and a Master’s Diploma in Traditional Musicology and Triple Harp Performance from the University of North Wales. Kelly is also a US National Scottish Harp Champion, winning the competition in 2011. Her playing has been heard from the southern states to the radio programs of Wales and England.
King O’Sullivan School of Irish Dance, run by Jessie O’Sullivan, originally from Galway, offers a variety of classes ranging from novice to prizewinner. Ms O'Sullivan a former national and world stepdancer and a featured performer at various concerts and cultural festivals, is a fully accredited teacher of Irish dancing, qualified by the An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha in Ireland, and is a member of the IDTANA (Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America)

Na Cailíní

Na Cailíní is a trio made up of Irish-Americans Asha Noorullah (fiddle), Katy Callaghan (fiddle, box accordion) and Ciara Fleming (concertina, fiddle). This August, the trio traveled to the All-Ireland Fleadh in Ennis to compete in the trios competition. They are looking forward to performing at Irish Fest Atlanta.