Recap – @cathieryan The Winter’s Heart – at the @iahcchicago December 8th #irishmusic


The 23rd Salon Concert featured Cathie Ryan and her band performing her new Christmas show, The Winter’s Heart: An Irish American Christmas.

Cathie is well known as a longtime member of Cherish the Ladies, the all-female traditional music group founded in New York by the effervescent, high-energy Joanie Madden. Cathie split with the group and has enjoyed a successful solo career, releasing 6 solo recordings of her own, her most recent effort, Through the Wind and Rain released in 2012.

Joining her were Patsy O’Brien, the highly accomplished guitarist who seems to be everywhere when it comes to recordings and tours, Patrick Mangan, a fine fiddler who first came to prominence as a Riverdance musician, and Kieran O’Hare, the gifted piper, flautist, and whistler and one time Chicago denizen now living in Portland, Maine.

Cathie’s show combined traditional carols in Irish and English along with some of her own originals and other recently composed material. Cathie interspersed the songs with stories of her childhood, Irish Christmas traditions, and Pre-Christian Irish Winter Solstice celebrations as well. Some of the songs were recastings of old carols with new lyrics, such as a version of English Wassailing Song, along with some more religious pieces such as the Wexford Carol. She told a particularly moving story about the Winter Solstice sunrise at Newgrange and how it formed part of the inspiration for an Irish Gaelic song by Altan frontwoman Mairead Ni Mhaoinaigh, which she then sang to a spellbound audience.

The band expertly accompanied her arrangements and was given ample opportunity to show their considerable skills on instrumentals, both as soloists and as an ensemble.

Our audience appeared to enjoy every minute of it, applauding enthusiastically between the numbers and lining up afterward to purchase CDs, obtain autographs, and chat with the performers. Cathie was especially gracious, taking time to talk with her many devoted fans even though the hour was late.

Thank you to our headliners and to John Halliburton, our sound engineer, for an evening of beautiful music.

Thanks also to our volunteers: Noel Rice, Karen Cook, Theresa Choske, Maryalice McCarthy, and Mary Moore for helping us make it all happen.

Also thanks to IAHC staff, especially Meg Buchanan and Kathy O’Neill, for their support and assistance.

Thank you to Ireland Tonight host Maryann McTeague Keifer, Windy City Irish Radio hosts Tim Taylor and Mike Shevlin, The Hegarty Irish Radio Show, Blarney on the Air host Shay Clarke, and The O’Connor Radio Show for their promotional assistance. Special thanks to Sean Ginnelly of the Good Morning Ireland Radio Show for making time to interview Cathie on air in the weeks prior to the show, we really appreciated that!

Cathie Ryan’s The Winter’s Heart December 8th photos! #irishmusic #Christmasmusic

We wanted to share some photos with you from the great night we had on December 8, 2016 with Cathie Ryan’s The Winters Heart! Apologies for the blurry nature of the photos..

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Highly Anticipated Show: @cathieryan ‘s The Winter’s Heart! Thursday #IAHC #ChicagoIrish

“A lovely singer, with a great band, in a beautifully restored theater space at the Irish American Heritage Center. You better do your vocal exercises, I suspect some sing-along participation is likely. ;>)” – John Halliburton
“Really looking forward to this. Even the angels will have been stilled by the birth of new beginnings. That’s the power that a great singer brings. It is most blessed also in that it is interwoven into brilliant guitar piping ensemble. Ever- brightened then, the star of Christmas will guide the creative spirit on new never-ending journeys. New art vibes are cradled in resonance of silence in its aftermath .sweet solitudes of listeners will always make the great new stories that we tell. ” – Tim O’Sullivan
Tickets available here if you would like to see Cathie Ryan, this great singer presenting Cathie Ryan’s The Winter’s Heart: An Irish American Christmas at the Irish American Heritage Center this Thursday night!
Tickets available here:




Listen to an interview with Cathie Ryan​ – The Dear Green Place – @WYSO​ @Celtoid (Cindy Funk)​ about Irish and American holiday traditions! #


Have a listen to an interview that Cathie Ryan did with The Dear Green Place – WYSO’s Cindy Funk about Irish and American holiday traditions, songs of the season and more. She will be appearing this Thursday in Chicago presenting Cathie Ryan’s The Winter’s Heart: An Irish American Christmas!


There is still time to get Cathie Ryan’s The Winter’s Heart tickets for Chicago! #irishmusic #Christmas


There is still time to get the tickets for Cathie Ryan’s The Winter’s Heart!

You can get them online now at the link below until Wednesday at 12pm, then you can get them at the door!

Here is more about the show, it should be a wonderful Christmas celebration!

Music for the heart of winter: Cathie Ryan

Christmas, and season of Advent which comes before it, are times that invite both celebration and reflection. These cold days of winter when dark comes early invite quiet solitude and well as gathering and sharing in community. Winter and its holidays and holy days have inspired musicians to explore all these things in many ways: through classic songs of the season which have been handed down, through their own ways of interpreting familiar songs, and through creation of their own seasonal stories.

Cathie Ryan is one such musician. The award winning Irish American singer and songwriter tours internationally through the year and has been a guest on winter season programs of other top artists. This is the first year, though, that she will be offering a series of holiday concerts of her own design. It is to be called The Winter’s Heart.

“I love Christmas! The sharing of meals, of gifts, of song, of together time is a blessing,” Ryan says. “We all slow down to be with our family, our community. No matter how stressed we are, Christmas seems to take the edge off, people are more patient and kind. I wanted to bring the band together to make some beautiful Christmas music that we could all share. And to sing to those who may not have anyone to celebrate the holiday with – to ameliorate the loneliness. Music does that. One of my most favorite things about Christmas,” she adds, “is that we celebrate the holiday with song.”

That recognition of connection and community goes deep for Ryan. She grew up in Michigan, the child of parents who had emigrated from Ireland. They’d spend time in summer with family back in Kerry and in Tipperary. In Detroit, her parents loved not only Irish music but country singers such as Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn, and Ryan also heard music of Motown and of Appalachia. As an adult Ryan has spent time living in both the US and in Ireland. All of this has had influence on how she understands music. She’s chosen the subtitle of the Winter’s Heart series to be An Irish American Christmas.

That duality was one of the things which guided Ryan’s choices of music for the shows. “I love Christmas songs and the impulse was to do lots of songs we all know already, but I’d like to highlight our Irish American traditions through song so that will mean new songs!” she says. “There are some beloved songs that are musts, like Silent Night, and we will be singing those. My guitarist, Patsy O’Brien, and I have written a song called The Winter’s Heart that we’ll do. There are also some lovely Christmas songs sung in Ireland in Irish and in English that aren’t so well known in America, and I look forward to sharing those.”

The spiritual aspects of the season also go deep for Ryan. “The way we open our hearts at Christmas inspired the show’s title. The Winter’s Heart seems to encapsulate everything I believe Christmas is about, including Christ being born at Christmas and all of the heart centered teachings of Christianity. It is beautiful that in this time of cold and barrenness, a time when most of us go inside, we open our hearts, our homes, to new hope, new life and to each other. It raises us up.

“We have a big, beautiful shared songbook, we all join in the music,” Cathie Ryan says. “It is a reminder that we are all connected at the core. I love that.”

Tour dates for The Winter’s Heart: An Irish American Christmas

On this tour, Ryan will be accompanied by Patsy O’Brien from Cork on guitar and vocals, Patrick Mangan from New York on fiddle, and Kieran O’Hare from Maine on uilleann pipes, Irish flute, and tin whistle. Among them the three men have appeared with a roster of top artists including Eileen Ivers, Don Henley, and the Milwaukee Symphony, and have appeared on stages with shows from from Riverdance to Broadway theater.

Article by Kerry Dexter. Tour graphic courtesy of Cathie Ryan; photos of Ireland in winter and Cathie Ryan with bodhran by Kerry Dexter. Thank you for respecting copyright.



Thanks Hagerty Irish Hour! Cathie Ryan’s The Winter’s Heart December 8th #IAHC #irishmusic


Thanks to the Hagerty Irish Hour for support! We are excited to be presenting Cathie Ryan’s A Winter’s Heart! Tickets available now at the link!


Next Thursday, December 8th! Cathie Ryan’s The Winter’s Heart @iahcchicago #irishmusic


Coming up next Thursday, December 8th! Salon Concerts Chicago presents Cathie Ryan’s The Winter’s Heart: An Irish American Christmas at the Irish American Heritage Center.

Acclaimed Irish singer Cathie Ryan and her award-winning band celebrate a traditional Irish American Christmas through music, featuring Ryan’s heart-stirring vocals and the virtuoso musicianship of Patsy O’Brien on guitar and vocals, Pat Mangan Music on fiddle and vocals and Kieran O’Hare on uilleann pipes, flute and whistles.

From ethereal hymns to exuberant jigs and reels, the concert honors Irish Christmas traditions including placing candles in windows, hunting for the wren on St. Stephen’s Day, Nollaig na mBan; (Women’s Christmas), and the rituals of the Winter Solstice.

The Performing Group from the Academy of Irish Music will open the concert.

The concert is Thursday, December 8 at 8pm in the Center’s Auditorium. Tickets are $25 for adults and children 18 and under are $10.

To purchase tickets, click below, call 773-282-7035, ext. 10 or purchase at the door.

The Winter’s Heart: An Irish American Christmas