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 Castle - concertina, vocals
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 2017. At IrishFest’s inaugural year in 2013, Arís presented An Irish Faerie Garden, featuring two of Oscar Wilde’s beloved Faery Tales — “The Nightingale & The Rose” and “The Selfish Giant.” This year, Arís revisits that Fairy Garden, bringing to life another famous story — “The Happy Prince.” You won’t want to miss their magical interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s much loved story!
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 is making their debut at IrishFest Atlanta this 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.