Friday, 4 December 2009

Liam Clancy dies at age 74

This breaking story at the BBC is here.  Liam's website is here.

The family of Liam Clancy regret to announce the sad death of Liam who passed away at 12 noon today in Bon Secours Hospital , Cork , Ireland, 4/12/2009, Liam, the last surviving member of the Clancy Brothers, is survived by his wife Kim and their four children, Eban, Siobhan, Donal and Fiona. his 8 grandchildren and his sisters Joan and Peg. He will be sadly missed by family, friends and his many fans throughout the world.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Muhammad Ali - Irish. Who knew? (Hint: I didn't)

Who knew that Muhammad Ali is Irish? I certainly didn't. It's not a daily topic of conversation, you know: "Who do you figure is Irish that we don't *think* is Irish?"  Anyway, there is a nice BBC News website story on Muhammad Ali in Ireland, his Irish roots, and some videos. Go check it out - it's KNOCKOUT!!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Matt Pepin - Irish Fiddle - Fall Registration

It’s that time of year again folks, time to wipe the dust off the strings, rosin the bow and get down to it! Fall registration will begin Sept. 1 for those interested in starting the Fiddle, honing some skills or looking to bolster repertoire. Lessons are offered at O.V.S.T.M located in the Almonte Old Town Hall, 14 Bridge Street Almonte. Lessons are recommended to be 1 hour, but can be 30 minutes for those whose schedules can’t accommodate the full hour. Please contact Matt Pepin by phone at 613-265-7336. Keep your bow on the strings and we’ll see you in the Fall!

Ottawa Celtic Choir

The Ottawa Celtic Choir is beginning its new season this September, and is looking for singers. We are a non-auditioned community choir, whose mandate it is to sing the songs of the Celtic nations and the Celtic diaspora. We sing in English and in the six Celtic languages. If you are interested in singing with an enthusiastic and talented group of singers, please contact Ellen MacIsaac at ellen at laughingbrook dot ca for more information.

Our upcoming concerts:
December 4th, with the Kanata Symphony Orchestra, location TBD;
December 11th, with Dominic Darcy, Robin Cargill and Mary Comerton, at the Library and Archives of Canada; and
March 12, at the Library and Archives of Canada.

Also, some more news you might be interested in knowing about:
St. Bridgid's is having a Fall Celtic Festival on September 20th in the church parking lot. There'll be music and dancing, from what I hear.

Also (and this might be a bit of a scoop), word is that Ottawa U. is set to launch a minor in Celtic Studies this year, the first degree of its kind at Ottawa U. There's to be an official launch on October 1st, with musicians and cultural representatives from the various Celtic communities in the Ottawa area. Should be good!

Thanks a million,
Ellen MacIsaac (Ottawa Celtic Choir Director)
Call 613-552-3964

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Irish Set Dancing Classes

Sheila Scott recently sent this call out for students. These dance classes will prepare you for dancing at an Irish ceili with a large group of people. These are not dance lessons for solo Irish dancing.
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Some of you have been in touch with me wondering when classes will start up this fall. Here is the info:
DATES: Sept. 16 to Dec 16 7:00 - 9:00PM
7:00 - 7:30: introduction to steps for beginners
7:30 - 9:00 dance class (all levels)
LOCATION: Marconi Center, 1026 Baseline Rd, Ottawa.
FEES MEMBERS: session rate $84.00 ; weekly rate: $7.00/night.
FEES NON-MEMBERS: session rate $112.00; weekly rate $9.00/night.
For those of you who are not members of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann (the organization which sponsors these classes) and are interested in becoming members, please contact Sean at 613-824-0284.
If you want to know what Comhaltas is, click here for a link to the local chapter. Feel free to bring a friend along. No dance experience required, no partner required. Registration will take place on the first night of classes, Wednesday September 16th. If you have any questions, please contact me at 613-562-5800 ext. 3884.

Saturday, 18 July 2009


Hi all (however many there are of you). It has been a very long time since I posted anything on this blog. The last posting was for the Pierre Shryrer concert, Feb 1. That concert was FANTASTIC as can be expected from such a masterful musician as Pierre Shryer (and Andy Hillhouse, whose guitar playing and vocal abilities are literally, likewise, award winning). While everybody got paid, unfortunately, the concert lost money due to very poor turnout, despite some very direct marketing to the fiddle community, along with the usual amount of effort. Perhaps a combination of Superbowl (who knew folkies liked football so much), a long bus strike, and maybe a lack of ticket outlets (last time, the Folklore Centre by far outsold every other vendor), and maybe Sunday nights are just bad for concerts, even folk concerts. The losses incurred on my side have severely damped my enthusiasm to host more traditional music concerts. I was never in it for the money, but I wasn't in it to lose my shirt, either. I would help somebody bring in groups, but not financially, hereafter.
With respect to the main IMO webpage, I am using Google Analytics to give me more detailed information with regards to the user statistics of the site (don't worry, all anonymous, not that it would matter). There seems to be enough of a baseline usage to continue the site, and for those of you who give me feedback, thanks very much! I very recently switched from the PC world to the Mac world, and I have to migrate my webpage editor to Mac. Just a little learning curve, and it will probably delay some updates. Suffice it to say, there's a lot going on in the music community during the summer months.
Please send me an email if you read this blog. I am not sure yet how to set up a counter on this blog. And remember, I would ENCOURAGE people to send me their announcements for this blog, or cd reviews, or concert reviews, or big gig news, etc. I never wanted to be the sole author of this blog when I created it. It's your blog!
Cheers, enjoy the rest of your summer (if it ever stops raining)!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Pierre Schryer and Andy Hillhouse in Concert - Feb 1

Irish Music Ottawa is proud to present Pierre Schryer and Andy Hillhouse in Concert - Feb 1, 2009, at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa. The church is located at 30 Cleary Avenue, about 1 kilometre west of Westboro. There is free parking on site. Both Pierre and Andy are familiar names in folk music circles, and I am absolutely delighted to bring them to Ottawa for a show. I last heard Pierre play a concert in Almonte with Ian Clarke and Gearóid O hAllmhuráin. I was totally 'blown away' by Pierre's energy, precision, virtuosity, and emotion he brings to the stage while doing all that (the other two guys were no slouches either!) ! If that's not enough to convince you, then I'll remind you he's won the following: Canadian Open Fiddle Champion, North American Irish Fiddle Champion, Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion, Violoneux Championnat, 2004 Juno award nominee for best Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group.), 2008 Canadian Folk Music Award nominee for best instrumental solo artist of the year, for his cd mélange! And what luck, this concert is the official release of mélange for Ottawa! Andy has not been idle by any stretch. Andy has won both CFMA awards and a Juno award! This is pair you want to see live. You'd be mad to miss it! Tickets at $16 Advance are available at the Ottawa Folklore Centre, 1111 Bank St, near the Mayfair Theatre, (613) 730-2887. Seniors and children under 12 years for $12. All tickets, add $4 for Door sales. CDs by the artists will be available at the concert for sale. For more information, see the main Irish Music Ottawa webpage. See you at 6:30 PM, February 1st!