New World String Project
Thu, Aug 15th 2019, 7:30PM
Michael's On Main, Soquel place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $16 Door $18
Member discount $2

The New World String Project is John Weed (fiddle), Aryeh Frankfurter (nyckelharpa, harp), Lisa Lynn (cittern, harp), and Stuart Mason (guitar, bouzouki). The new quartet presents a lush blend of extraordinary instruments and heartwarming music in the Celtic, Nordic and American folk traditions.

Science tells us that cross pollination can result in hybrid vigor and transcend the sum of its parts. Likewise, the vibrant West Coast traditional music community has given birth to the New World String Project. These four highly skilled and well known multi-instrumentalists -- two veteran duo acts -- recently joined forces to create an exciting weave of traditional world music. Ancient and modern sounds mingle freely on Swedish nyckelharpa, Celtic harp, fiddle, guitar, cittern, bouzouki, and more. Singing is also a part of the show, with Stuart Mason sharing his unique arrangements of ballads as old as the hills where he was born.

Fiddler John Weed is a classically-trained violinist who has spent the last 25 years immersed in traditional Irish fiddle styles. John Weed and guitarist Stuart Mason also play together in the long-running Celtic band Molly’s Revenge. Celtic harp master Lisa Lynne, who gained international renown via recordings and tours with the label Windham Hill, often performs in a duo with NWSP-mate Aryeh Frankfurter. For years, Aryeh Frankfurter has been delighting audiences around the globe with his passionate, enduring and evocative music on Celtic harp, Swedish nyckelharpa (or keyed fiddle) and other stringed instruments. Stuart Mason is known for his authentic vocals and nimble skills on guitar, mandola, and banjo. Together, these intrepid string explorers take audiences on a thrilling, melodically exuberant musical ride.
Tannahill Weavers
50th Anniversary Tour!
Wed, Sep 18th 2019, 7:30PM
Michael's On Main, Soquel place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $18 Door $20
Member discount $2

The Tannahill Weavers are one of Scotland 's premier traditional bands. Their diverse repertoire spans the centuries with fire-driven instrumentals, topical songs, and original ballads and lullabies. Their music demonstrates to old and young alike the rich and varied musical heritage of the Celtic people. These versatile musicians have received worldwide accolades consistently over the years for their exuberant performances and outstanding recording efforts that seemingly can't get better...yet continue to do just that.

The Tannahills have turned their acoustic excitement loose on audiences with an electrifying effect. They have that unique combination of traditional melodies, driving rhythmic accompaniment, and rich vocals that make their performances unforgettable. As the Winnipeg Free Press noted, "The Tannahill Weavers - properly harnessed - could probably power and entire city for a year on the strength of last night's concert alone. The music may be old-time Celtic, but the drive and enthusiasm are akin to straight ahead rock and roll."

Born of a session in Paisley , Scotland and named for the town's historic weaving industry and local poet laureate Robert Tannahill, the group has made an international name for its special brand of Scottish music, blending the beauty of traditional melodies with the power of modern rhythms. Over the years the Tannies have been trailblazers for scottish music, and their tight harmonies and powerful, inventive arrangements have won them fans from beyond the folk and Celtic music scenes. Inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2011, they are firmly established as one of the premier groups on the concert stage. From reflective ballads to footstomping reels and jigs, the variety and range of the material they perform is matched only by their enthusiasm and lively Celtic spirits.

As they tour their 51st year, the Tannahill Weavers are joined by dynamic young fiddle player Malcolm Bushby, and inimitable piper Mike Katz of Battlefield Band fame. They are firmly established as one of the premier groups on the concert stage - from reflective ballads to footstomping reels and jigs, the variety and range of the material they perform is matched only by their enthusiasm and lively Celtic spirits.
Elias Alexander and The Bywater Band
A Production Of St Mary's Celtic Music Series
Wed, Sep 25th 2019, 7:00PM
St Mary's By The Sea Episcopal Church, Pacific Grove place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $20 Door $23
Child Advance $10 Child Door $12
Member discount $2

St. Mary’s-By-The-Sea is gearing up for a splendid line-up of music this fall, kicking off with Elias Alexander and the Bywater Band, a talented young group from Boston. The Bywater Band draws on their Scottish and Irish roots to create blazingly tight tune sets and emotional song renditions. Their music is infused with original compositions, improvisation, and tones of American roots , giving their music a fresh and unique feel. The band is led by singer/piper Elias Alexander, (Soulsha, MAC, Seven Nations, Fàrsan) who has performed at St. Mary's several times with MAC. It also features the talents of Scottish National Fiddle Champion and Glenfiddich champion Maura Shawn Scanlin on fiddle, Eamon Sefton on guitar, and Patrick Bowling on flute, whistle, bodhran, and step dance.

Here is what the critics say:

“A fiercely melodic and compelling sound…. Each number is something of a marvel.”
~Jerome Clark, Rambles

“Played with feeling and skill… top-notch music in the Scottish tradition with lots of contemporary influences.”
~Gary Whitehouse, The Green Man Review

Bywater Band “illustrates once again how much fantastic Celtic music is being produced in the United States these days.”
~Rick Anderson, CD Hot List

“Elias wields Highland and Border pipes with the ability to be both strictly traditional and seriously innovative.”

-Alex Monaghan, FolkWorld

Sat, Oct 26th 2019, 7:30PM
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz place
Video videocam Website link
Prices include 5% City Of Santa Cruz Admissions Tax
Advance $20 Door $22
Member discount $2

Daimh – Gaelic Supergroup and un-challenged champions of straight in the eye Highland music are based around West Lochaber and the Isle of Skye.

Formed around the turn of the century and taking the name from the Gaelic word for “kinship” Daimh (pronounced Dive) have taken their contemporary take of Highland and Gaelic music to over 20 countries, setting audiences alight from Moscow to San Francisco.

With a reputation as giants of the Bagpipes and Fiddle, Angus Mackenzie and Gabe McVarish lead the melodic powerhouse with fellow founder member Ross Martin underpinning the groove on the Guitar. The Band are joined by “new guy” Murdo “Yogi” Cameron on Mandola and Accordion to complete the instrumental line up.

Daimh have always had the renown and notoriety of working with some of the finest Gaelic singers in Scotland and the current line up only serves to cement that distinction with the addition of the Gaelic firmament’s most rapidly rising star, Ellen MacDonald on vocals.

Recent accolades include last year’s award for the “Best Folk Band in Europe” at the prestigious Folkherbst competition in Germany and most recently winner of “Folk Band of the Year” at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards.
Nuala Kennedy and Eamon O'Leary
Mon, Nov 4th 2019, 7:30PM
House Concert, Soquel
(Address supplied after ticket purchase)
Video videocam Website link
Suggested Donation $20

We're excited to present the first half of an almost-back-to-back couple of house concerts. Both excellent examples of Irish traditional music at its best, but each very different from the other, Nuala and Eamon's flute, guitar, and vocal contrasted with Kevin Burke's immaculate solo fiddle playing. We hope to see you at both concerts.

Long time friends and musical collaborators, Nuala Kennedy and Eamon O’ Leary have toured together widely, both in duo and as part of The Alt, alongside celebrated Irish guitarist John Doyle. Both are internationally recognized members of the traditional music community, noted for their instrumental skills and diverse repertoire of traditional and contemporary song. Both are songwriters, who love and research traditional Irish/Scottish songs. With an engaging stage presence and understated virtuosity, they present a timeless selection of songs and instrumentals. Nuala and Eamon offer a memorable concert experience, as their songs range from the ancient Irish tradition to reflections on the present day.
Kevin Burke
Sat, Nov 9th 2019, 7:30PM
House Concert, Soquel
(Address supplied after ticket purchase)
Video videocam Website link
Suggested Donation $22

Hailed in the New York Times, ‘Burke imparts a rhythmic intensity that is remarkably powerful… a superior instrumentalist in any idiom… impressively virtuosic… one of the great living Celtic fiddlers’ & in the Irish Times, ‘Burke’s fiddling is one of the high spots of the current Irish music scene.’

For over 30 years Kevin Burke has been enthralling people around the planet with his performances & recordings, at the same time as influencing an entire generation of fiddlers with his unique, sly spin on the silken-smooth Co. Sligo style of Irish fiddling. Kevin has been a member of such illustrious ensembles as the Bothy Band, Open House, Patrick Street & the Celtic Fiddle Festival & formed notable musical partnerships with Micheal O’Domhnaill & Cal Scott.

This special solo concert in an intimate house concert setting will give full flavor to the force & frolicsomeness of Burke’s fabled fiddling & his wicked sense of humor in tune introductions & stories.
Kevin Burke
Cozy Afternoon With Kevin Burke
A Production Of St Mary's Celtic Music Series
Sun, Nov 10th 2019, 3:00PM
St Mary's By The Sea Episcopal Church, Pacific Grove place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $22 Door $25
Child Advance $12 Child Door $10
Member discount $2

Come join us for a cozy afternoon in St. Mary's gorgeous Victorian sanctuary with sublime fiddler, Kevin Burke. Kevin's fiddle playing has been at the forefront of traditional music since the 1970s. His far-reaching solo album, “If the Cap Fits” and his work with such distinguished performers as Arlo Guthrie, Kate Bush, Christy Moore and the Bothy Band established him as a first class musician. Never one to be restricted by geography or genre, his decades long career has seen several innovative collaborations with notable musicians of differing styles - Classical, Old Time, Bluegrass, Pop and Rock as well as the Irish Traditional music for which he is so well known. Some of the eminent players he has worked with are: Grammy winner, singer and instrumentalist Tim O’Brien; Liam O Maonlai, lead singer of the Hothouse Flowers; classical violinists Gilles Apap and Greg Ewer; Old Time favourites, The Foghorn String Band; renowned Irish bands Dervish, Solas and Lunasa and his most recent recording is a collaboration with veteran Rock guitarist John Brennan (Poco, Chris Hillman Band and others).

Kevin has earned international acclaim in both Europe and America as a solo performer, a teacher and as a member of some of folk music’s foremost groups including the exciting Celtic Fiddle Festival and Ireland’s long admired and respected Patrick Street. In 2007 he also set up his own record label, “Loftus Music”, which soon developed a reputation for excellence in both its musical output and its unique eco-friendly packaging.

His contribution to music has received formal acknowledgement on both sides of the Atlantic where he has been the recipient of several awards including Ireland’s “Gradam Ceoil” (Traditional Musician of the Year, 2016), and a National Heritage Fellowship, the USA's highest honor for excellence in the folk and traditional arts. (Previous National Heritage Fellows include B.B. King, Doc Watson, and Bill Monroe.) Kevin has also been honoured by his adopted home state with his induction to the Oregon Music Hall of Fame .

In 1980 Kevin settled in the USA and was performing with Bothy Band colleague Micheal O Domhnaill. Their 2 albums, “Promenade” and “Portland”, became, and still are, very influential resources for many traditional musicians.

Although Kevin has spent much of his life playing in a group context, he has never lost his love for solo fiddle music – the “naked fiddle” as he himself sometimes puts it. This is very evident in his new live solo release, “An Evening with Kevin Burke”, a collection of performances and stories before audiences in Ireland and US, including his home town of Portland, Oregon.
The New York Times describes Kevin as “a superior instrumentalist in any idiom......impressively virtuosic”, The Washington Post writes of his “lyrical style that is always emotionally electric”, and the Irish Times says that “Burke’s fiddling is one of the high spots of the current Irish musical scene”.

“Sublime fiddle playing from Burke …. each moment, just right” Folk Roots

Irish Christmas In America
Thu, Dec 19th 2019, 7:30PM
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz place
Video videocam Website link
Prices include 5% City Of Santa Cruz Admissions Tax
Advance $25 Door $30
Child Advance $13 Child Door $15
Member discount $2

The hugely popular Irish Christmas in America show, now in its 14th season, features top Irish music, song and dance in an engaging performance rich in history, humour and boundless energy. Produced by Oisín Mac Diarmada of award-winning lrish group Téada, the 2018 tour brings back the amazing Séamus Begley, (TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year) along with the immense vocal talents of Sligo’s Niamh Farrell.

This family-friendly performance features evocatively-sung Irish ballads, lively instrumental tunes and thrilling Irish dancing, while evocative photographic images provide a backdrop to some of the rich historical traditions. Take a memorable glimpse into the enchanting spirit of Christmas, as the finest traditional artists from Ireland bring you on a fun-filled start to the holiday season of 2018.

The holiday show was first conceived in 2005 with past tours featuring such stellar guest vocalists as Séamus Begley, Teresa Horgan, Méabh Begley, Lumiere, Karan Casey, Cara Dillon, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Cathie Ryan and Michael Londra. Mac Diarmada enthuses about the program as a way to bring traditional and often unknown Irish customs to the States. “One of the most heartfelt themes of Irish Christmas is emigration,” says Mac Diarmada. “Music was a way that people stayed close to home.”

A sparkling tradition among holiday events, Irish Christmas in America is a special show to see this season.
Join The Society

Benfits include monthly newsletter, concert ticket discounts, no credit card fees on ticket purchases, free CDs, and exclusive member only events

Help us to continue bringing world class Celtic musicians to the area by becoming a member. Individual and family memberships are available, starting at $20 per year

You can also join our mailing list for free

Community Events

These events are not sponsored by the Celtic Society. If you have any questions, please direct them to the contact information in the event listing. Check out the Americeltic and Irish Culture Bay Area events calendars for more local events.

Join the Santa Cruz Traditional Irish Seisiun every Thursday for lively Irish tunes and songs in the spirit of the tradition. Hosted by Julie Horner, David Chadwick, and Mark McCornack. All ages welcome, bring the family for dinner and stay for the taste o' the pure drop. For more information, visit, or

This moderate-to-fast tempo session happens every Saturday from 1pm - 4PM. We play outdoors on the East Side of Main Street -- approx address would be 425 Main St -- between the Half Moon Bay Electric store and the Half Moon Bay Wine and Cheese Company. Celtic/Old-Time. All players welcome.

Contact Raymond ( for more information

A traditional Irish seisiún for experienced Irish style musicians every Tuesday evening. The South Bay's longest running and only up-tempo seisiún! Please visit us on Facebook (

Contact Julie Horner (831-325-1974, for more information

If you can count and skip and tell your right hand from your left, you can begin doing the easy dances immediately. This form of dance does not require fancy footwork or a high level of coordination. This is an excellent place to learn, even if you’ve never done any folk dancing. Beginners are very welcome.

Come and join in the fun on the second Thursday of every month.

For more information call  Michael at (831) 426-8621, or e-mail him at For even more information, visit our website at

Celtic Music On The Radio

Get your Celtic music fix and support our local radio stations by listening to the following programs.

90.1 FM

The Mountain Road

Julie Horner

Monday 8 PM - 10 PM

91.5 FM

New Wood

Peter Schwarz

Thursday 7 AM - 10 AM

Friday Folk-Off

Dave Stafford

Friday 3 PM - 6 PM

The Lark In The Morning

Greg Winslow

Wednesday 6 AM - 8 AM

107.5 FM

Please Stand By

John Sandidge

Sunday 10 AM - 12 PM

90.7 FM

Celtic Cauldron

Cindy Odom

Friday 11 AM - 1 PM

88.1 FM


Chris Jong

Sunday Noon - 2 PM

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