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Notes from Celtic Airs
September / October 2006
by Steve Dieterich

  The 100th Celtic Airs Concert took place July 28th, 2006 featuring The Old Blind Dogs. All in attendance had a wonderful time on this landmark occasion. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of this fundraising series, especially Chris Larsen (sound engineer), Kevin Lynch (sound, lights), Tom Curtis and Joe King (concessions), Tina Dieterich (numerous tasks), the many fine musicians who have graced the stages of Wilde and Millard Auditoriums, and of course, our faithful and supportive audience who have made the continuing success of this series possible. Over the course of 12 years and one hundred concerts, we've all worked together to raise well over $100,000 for WWUH radio!

  As I begin the second century in the concert series and my fourteenth year as producer/host of Celtic Airs (Tuesdays 6:00-9:00 am), my enthusiasm for this music and these artists remains undiminished. Though some may call my involvement in radio broadcasting and concert production a "labor of love," I continue to enjoy the opportunity to share my appreciation and understanding of this music with you on the air each week and to give these talented musicians an opportunity to entertain you in person each month.

  Matt and Shannon Heaton will make their Celtic Airs concert series debut on September 16th. With passionate vocals and stunning instrumentals, Matt and Shannon produce fresh, modern, Irish music with great respect for the tradition. The Boston Globe wrote, "their playing is masterful and inventive, their arrangements city-smart and spacious. They bring a savvy modernity and American rootsiness to the music of the auld sod without losing any of its folksy Irish essence.

  The Heatons are a Boston based, husband and wife duo, who have been performing together for over a decade. Shannon has been playing flute and whistle since age seven and first became involved with Irish traditional music while living in Chicago. She spent many nights in sessions in the city and in Ireland each summer. She is an active composer and arranger of traditional tunes whose compositions have been recorded by Siucra and The Battlefield Band. Matt began his education on guitar at age twelve and was studying classical guitar at Northwestern University when he met Shannon and was introduced to Irish traditional music for the first time.

  The couple moved to Colorado for a time, performing and recording in a trio called Siucra (Irish, for sugar), before relocating to Boston to become involved in its rich Irish traditional music community. Their second CD as a duo, "Blue Skies Above," was released in March 2006. Celtic Radio's Paul MacArthur said the new album offers "some of the best jigs and reels I've heard in a long time and inspiring vocals performed in perfect harmony."

  The Heatons concert performances feature stunning musicianship that honors the Irish tradition, an easy rapport with their audience and a selection of music you won't hear anywhere else. Please come to enjoy this talented duo when they make their debut performance in the Celtic Airs concert series September 16th in the University of Hartford's Wilde Auditorium.

  On October 19th, Lunasa will perform in Millard Auditorium.
Seeds for this Irish quintet were planted in 1996 and over ten years they have evolved into one of the finest, most acclaimed ensembles in Irish traditional music. Typical accolades include quotes like "Hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet." (The Irish Voice.) "The Irish music dream team." (Folk Roots.) and "The new Celtic royalty." (Boston Herald.)

  Sean Smyth and Trevor Hutchinson remain from the original band, and have been joined by Kevin Crawford and Cillian Vallely over the years. Paul Meehan, the group's most recent addition, replaced Donagh Hennessy in 2005. The band's name is taken from the ancient Celtic harvest festival honoring the Irish god Lugh, patron of the arts.

  Over a decade, they have redefined Irish traditional music, going to the heart of its rhythms, letting the music find its primitive pulse. The flute, fiddle, pipes and whistles soar over the rhythm section of upright bass and guitar, producing an evocative irresistible music that has awed audiences worldwide.

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  Tickets for the Celtic Airs Concert Series are available only from the University of Hartford box office. Call them at 1-800-274-8587 or 1-860-768-4228, or contact them online at hartford.edu/hartt. Tickets for each concert go on sale two months before the concert date.

  Please tune in to Celtic Airs every Tuesday morning from 6:00am - 9:00am on WWUH, 91.3 FM for traditional Celtic music.
  Tell a friend or relative who has never enjoyed Celtic traditional music to give it a try too! You'll hear the newest releases, and plenty of your old favorites. Selections from our upcoming concert performers will also be featured prominently. Thanks for listening. Hope to see you at one of our concerts soon!

WWUH: Program Guide 2006 ©

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