Above video from Connolly’s in NYC 11/12/17 (hence the wobbles and a bit of talking..)
RECAP – Moya Brennan and her Band
The 27th Moya Brennan and her Band Salon Concert featured returning headliners Moya Brennan – First Lady of Celtic Music and her band, who presented a stunning program of traditional harp music and songs, both from her CLANNAD days and her solo recordings. The listeners sat enthralled for two sets of the band’s enchanting, otherworldly sounds.
Moya, who hails from Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal and now resides in Dublin, came from a large family of traditional singers and musicians and is a founding member of the legendary Irish folk group Clannad. She has also had a successful solo career, releasing numerous studio recordings over the years while participating in many successful collaborations, including artists such as the Chieftains, Bono, and Paul Brady. She also has significant film and television sound recording projects among her accomplishments. The most successful of the latter was Clannad’s Emmy-winning title cut for the 1980s British television show “Harry’s Game,” which she sang to an absolutely hushed crowd at one point in our evening.
The band lineup featured the tremendous harper, Cormac de Barra. Like Moya, Cormac also hails from a large musical family, but from Dublin with Cork roots in his case. Cormac is a highly accomplished harpist with a long list of plaudits, including competition victories, a personal performance for the Emperor of Japan, residencies with major theatrical productions, and eight studio albums, including several with Moya Brennan. Cormac’s performance on the night included a note-perfect rendition of Mr. O’Connor, an intricate and expressive harp piece from the early 1700s. He also provided accompanying vocals on many numbers, adding a choral touch to the shimmering sound of the harps.
Joining Moya and Cormac were Moya’s daughter and son, Aisling (guitar and vocals) and Paul Jarvis (keyboards and percussion), along with Lia Wright (violin, vocals). Aisling Jarvis is an accomplished singer/songwriter in her own right and brought a deal of depth and warmth to the group sound with her guitar and backing vocals. Paul’s keyboards rounded out the low end and he added percussion with the bodhran and cajon for rhythmic punch. Lia’s silky fiddle and backing vocals added and extra layer of sound to the whole and helped to recreate the Clannad sound on many numbers. Their rendition of the Clannad classic, “Mhorag`s Na Horo Gheallaidh” with Moya was stunningly beautiful.
The group gave an encore and stayed late afterward to talk with fans and autograph CDs, a gesture everyone much appreciated.
The quintet were preceded by a performing group from the Academy of Irish Music, who displayed their recent musical growth with aplomb.
The next Salon Concert will feature a young, exciting fiddle and guitar duo, Finn Magill and David Curley Salon Concert, on Friday, December 1st, at 8PM, tickets $20, kids 18 and under free and are available now at the Irish American Heritage Center website.
Thank you to Moya, her husband and tour manager Tim Jarvis, Cormac de Barra, Aisling and Paul Jarvis, Lia Wright, the Academy of Irish Music, and Dave Unger, our sound engineer, for an evening of beautiful music.
Thanks also to our Salon Concerts Team: Noel Rice, Karen Cook and Patrick Cannady, Mary Alice McCarthy, Mary Moore, and Linda for helping make it all happen.
Thank you to Blarney on the Air with Jack Baker and Gayle Tallackson Baker for dedicating a show to talk to us about Moya Brennan and Her Band Salon Concert and play her music, Ireland Tonight with Maryann McTeague Keifer, The Hegarty Irish Radio Hour, The O’Connor Irish Radio Show and the Good Morning Ireland Radio Show for their promotional assistance, we appreciate it greatly.
Special thanks to Siobhainn O’Connor and Sean Ginnelly for taking time to interview Moya on their radio shows as well.
We would also wish to say Thank you to the IAHC Board, especially President Geno Cooney, and also to the IAHC staff: Meg Buchanan, Barb Malone, Maeve Burke, Kathy O’Neill Becky Tatz and Ellen Folan Moosa for all their help. Big Thanks to Laura Coyle for the outstanding artwork on our flyer.