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The University of Hartford

Notes from Celtic Airs
With your host Steve Dieterich January/February 2005

Our fall fundraiser at the end of October was a tremendous success! As we brought the event to a close on Halloween night, it was all treats and no tricks, compliments of our listeners. Our goal was $20,000; with your faithful and dedicated support, we raised almost $40,000! The long-sleeved black T-shirt with the WWUH logo “over the heart”, a first time premium offer, was a BIG success. So many of you wanted one, we had to place a second order! With a multitude of our T-shirts out and about, this will be great advertising for WWUH AND evidence to the world of your intelligent choice of radio stations for unique musical programs and informative public affairs shows. (A special thanks to three listeners who donated their time and skills to answer phones during my show: Tom Curtis, Joe King and Joe Ryan.)
The Celtic Airs concert series continues to be an enjoyable and successful way to supplement the money raised during the fundraisers to cover WWUH’s expenses.
The series reached its 10th anniversary milestone in August of ’04. We’ll be presenting our 90th concert on Friday January 28th, 2005, featuring Bohola. The concert takes place in the Wilde Auditorium at 7:30 PM.
You may recall that Bohola were scheduled to appear here in February ’04. Advance ticket sales had almost reached a sell out. Unfortunately, the forces of nature intervened and caused us to cancel the event. The death of Pat Broaders father in Ireland forced him to leave the U.S. two days before the concert and a major snow storm the day of the concert closed the University prompting cancellation of all on campus events. The very successful ticket sales convinced me that I had to re-sign Bohola for a concert as soon as possible. The wait has been almost a year, but it will be well worthwhile, I’m sure all in attendance that night will agree.
Bohola consists of long-time Chicago Irish traditional music heavyweights Jimmy Keane on accordion, Sean Cleland on fiddle and Pat Broaders on dordan (see * below), bouzouki and vocals. They take their name from a town in Co. Mayo. Like Chicago itself, their music is aggressive, comfortably approachable and bold. The Chicago Tribune says, “Bohola plays 300 year old jigs and reels as if they were trying to tear the house down.” They know their tradition, their music and most importantly their audience. Since it’s inception, the trio has been in high demand on the concert circuit.
Jimmy Keane, born of Irish parents in London, has lived on Chicago’s South Side since the age of 5. He was All Ireland accordion champion five consecutive years. Pat Broaders moved to Chicago from his native Dublin in 1990. Sean Cleland was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, or as many of Chicago’s Irish refer to it, “The North.” He began playing Irish music in Chicago during the 1970’s.
There’s been a long-standing North-South rivalry within Chicago’s city limits. Cleland lives on the North Side, Keane on the South Side. As might be expected, the one-liners evolving from this dichotomy abound during the shows and the stories the band tells about their songs and tunes are as entertaining as the music itself, providing good reasons to see the band live.
After crossing paths at informal seisuns for years, the trio got together in 2000 and released their first acclaimed album in Feb. 2002. The Irish Herald proclaimed them “The newest Irish super group.” The Irish Voice said, “Bohola is an acoustic power for the new century, a group whose instrumental virtuosity, strong vocals and stunning arrangements place them at the leading edge of today’s traditional music scene.”
This promises to be a wonderful concert, so make plans to be in attendance January 28th when Bohola comes to the University if Hartford.
[* I’m sure there are readers wondering what a dordan is and rightly so as there are only two in the world, one played by Pat Broaders, the other by Jimmy Crowley, folk singer from Cork. It’s a bass bouzouki, bigger and more deeply melodious than it’s much more common cousin the bouzouki.]
Dervish will return to the Millard auditorium on Saturday February 26th. I’ve written about this Sligo based septet numerous times in the past and will keep my comments brief in this issue of the Guide. Suffice it to say I still believe they are the best Irish traditional band in existence at present. Ten plus years of frequent touring and their innate musical talents are and unbeatable combination, producing an ensemble that is unrivaled.
Melody makers Liam Kelly (flute, whistle, backing vocals), Tom Morrow (fiddle, backing vocals) and Shane Mitchell (button accordion) are ably supported and driven along by the superb rhythm section of Brian McDonogh (mandola, mandolin, tiple), Michael Holmes (guitar, bouzouki) and Seamie O’Dowd (guitar, fiddle, harmonica, lead and backing vocals) I don’t believe you’ll see a more delightful and dynamic “mistress of ceremonies” than Cathy Jordan (lead vocals and percussion) She’s the irresistible spark that keeps this band at “the top o’ the heap”.
We’re very fortunate to be able to entice a band of such worldwide acclaim to our small venue. I believe it’s their tribute to an audience who have been wildly supportive since the band’s first U.S. tours as relative unknowns. You’ll rue the day if you miss the opportunity to see them here at the University of Hartford on Saturday February 26th, 2005.
Tickets for the Celtic Airs Concert Series are available only through the University of Hartford box office and go on sale two months before the concert date. You can reach them by phone (1-800-274-8587 or 1-860-768-4228) or via their website (www.hartford.edu/hartt)
Celtic Airs continues into it’s 12th year in the Tuesday 6:00-9:00 AM time slot at WWUH 91.3 FM. Hopefully, you’ve tuned in and liked what you heard. You’ll find the classic Celtic albums of past years and the latest releases by bands new and old, often before you can hear them ANYWHERE ELSE IN AMERICA!! The growing notoriety of the program, [thanks to happy/impressed performers returning to Ireland/ Scotland after concerts here and an increasing number of overseas listeners to our world wide web broadcasts] AND my dogged pursuit of new albums and new artists make this possible.
Thanks for your invaluable support of Celtic Airs and the concert series. I’ll continue to do my best to earn your approval

Copyright©WWUH: January/February Program Guide, 2005

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