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Tony McManus
With special guest Julia Toaspern
Wed, Dec 12th 2018, 7:30PM
Michael's On Main, Soquel place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $18 Door $20
Member discount $2

Tickets are also available in person at Michael's On Main.

Tony McManus is the leading celtic guitarist worldwide and has just been listed as one of the 50 transcendental guitarists of all time by Guitar Player Magazine. While Tony is known as a soloist his frequent collaborations with diverse musicians have always been a significant part of his work.

Julia Toaspern is a multi-talented musician from Berlin who combines classical training on violin and voice with a wide interest in genres such as jazz, baroque and traditional music. She has released two albums of original songs and has performed in both classical and singer/songwriter modes on both sides of the Atlantic. On top of all this her skills as a guitarist are prodigious and make and exciting fit with Tony’s work.

Their twin guitar treatment of traditional music is unique and each supports the other in exploring the harmonic possibilities of these old, and not so old, tunes. Each of the pair both flatpicks and fingerpicks at the highest level but always at the service of the tune rather than a display of technique. Her violin can effortlessly morph into a fiddle as she weaves from Italian madrigal to Scottish reel. Julia’s songs go to the heart of love and loss, hope and survival and are inflected with musical input from a wide and eclectic experience of musical life. Tony’s and Julia’s arrangements are rooted in deep musicality and heartfelt expression.

Having met over a conversation in Berlin about JS Bach, together they play and sing music that speaks to them and hopefully through them to a wider audience.
Tomáseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas
Wed, Dec 19th 2018, 7:30PM
UCSC Recital Hall, Santa Cruz place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $25 Door $30
Child Advance $13 Child Door $15
Student Advance $13 Student Door $15
Member discount $2

Every Christmas for the past 20 years, William Coulter (lecturer in guitar and UCSC alumnus) has performed with and acted as Music Director for Tomáseen Foley’s “A Celtic Christmas.” Featuring Irish music, dance, song, and storytelling, "A Celtic Christmas” has packed concert halls across the U.S., bringing an authentic remembrance of a way of life that is, alas, no longer with us. The show brings an unforgettable staging of a December night in a remote Irish farmhouse in the 1940s or 50s—in the days before the motor car, the television, and the telephone.

The spirit of Christmas dances to life when neighbors gather at each others' homes to grace the wintry night with traditional Irish Christmas carols. They raise the rafters with the joy of their music, knock sparks off the flagstone floor with traditional dances, and, most of all, fill the night with the laughter of their stories.

Tomáseen Foley’s "A Celtic Christmas" brings a wholesome, cultural, family feast direct from the rich table of communal life in the west of Ireland. Featuring William Coulter (guitar and music direction), Tomáseen Foley (native Irish storyteller), Brian Bigley (uilleann pipes, Irish flute, dance), Eimear Arkins (fiddle and Irish song), Bríd O’Donnell (accordion), Alyssa Reichert and Marcus Donnelley (Irish dance).
Molly's Revenge Winterdance
With The Turco Dancers and Amelia Hogan
A Production Of St Mary's Celtic Music Series
Fri, Dec 21st 2018, 7:30PM
St Mary's By The Sea Episcopal Church, Pacific Grove place
Website link
Advance $25 Door $28
Child Advance $12 Child Door $15
Member discount $2

This show will leave you feeling in the spirit! By popular demand, Molly's Revenge returns to St. Mary's beautiful Victorian sanctuary, which will be aglow in the light of the season. In this perfect setting, the lilting vocals of special guest Amelia Hogan will blend with the superb talent of Stuart Mason, John Weed and David Brewer, as they ring in the holiday with a decidedly Celtic "take" on old favorites. The angelic Turco Dancers, will take flight and will bring some dazzling Christmas magic to the evening, too. An annual event not to miss! Tickets make a great gift for family and friends.

Molly's Revenge is a dynamic, acoustic Celtic band known for its unique and infectious enthusiasm. The classic combination of bagpipes, whistle, and fiddle, with a backdrop of guitar, mandola, and bodhran guarantees an enjoyable experience for all fans of Scottish and Irish music. Molly's Revenge has performed at many of the top folk festivals and performing arts events in the USA, and prestigious events in Scotland, Australia and China. Their arrangements of traditional Celtic jigs and reels bring these dance tunes up to date with a driving, hard-edged accent that always leaves audiences shouting for more.

"Revered in California as one of its most energetic, exciting and innovative bands." --Shay Black, of the legendary Black family.

"They bring to the music a vital and joyous creativity that excites even the hardest of hearts." --John Doyle, founding member of Solas.

"The instruments are traditional... but the wild passion they exhibit is thoroughly modern." --Metro Santa Cruz (CA).

"There is an engaging freshness and yet an impressive maturity in their playing." --Mick Moloney, National Heritage Award recipient.

Kevin Crawford and Cillian Vallely
Mon, Jan 14th 2019, 7:30PM
House Concert, Soquel
(Address supplied after ticket purchase)
Video videocam
Suggested Donation $20

Email the concert host to reserve seats and pay at the door

Don't miss the opportunity to hear these two members of world class Irish band Lunasa in an intimate house concert setting.

Cillian Vallely is the uilleann piper and low whistle player with the traditional Irish ensemble Lunasa, described as the “hottest Celtic band on the planet” (Irish Voice). In recent years he has played and toured with Natalie Merchant, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Riverdance, and Tim O’Brien’s Crossing, in addition to recording as a guest on over 40 albums. He appeared on Bruce Springsteen’s 2014 recording High Hopes. Most recently, he released his second solo recording, The Raven’s Rock. Cillian also tours Ireland frequently with brothers, Niall and Caoimhim, including performances in Cork City on Ireland’s national “Culture Night.” With Lunasa he has played at the Hollywood Bowl, the Glastonbury and Cambridge Festivals, Womad Adelaide, and the Edmonton Folk Festival, in addition to multiple tours of Asia, Australia, the U.S. and Europe. Lunasa has also performed and recorded with the RTE Concert Orchestra in Dublin.

Kevin Crawford was born in Birmingham, England, and lived for many years in Ennis, County Clare. He is an exceptional flute and whistle player. Kevin was awarded the title of Irish Echo Musician of the year in 2000, following the release of his two highly-successful solo albums, “In Good Company” and “D Flute.” In 2012, his third solo CD came out, “Carrying the Tune.” Now a member of Lunasa for over 15 years, Kevin previously made two albums with the acclaimed instrumental band Moving Cloud, 1995’s self-titled album, followed by “Foxglove” in 1998. Other notable album credits from this period include Grianan, Raise the Rafters, Joe Derrane, Sean Tyrrell, and The Sanctuary Sessions. Kevin also tours with Martin Hayes and John Doyle, as the Teetotalers. In September 2014, he produced a new CD for the 100-year old Kilfenora Ceili band.
Jim Malcolm
Tue, Jan 29th 2019, 7:30PM
House Concert, Soquel
(Address supplied after ticket purchase)
Video videocam Website link
Suggested Donation $20

Email the concert host to reserve seats and pay at the door

A review of Jim's album "Live In Perth" in Folkworlds

Scotland’s first and foremost singer/songwriter Jim Malcolm is presented on this album at his very best – in a solo concert in front of a home audience.

Jim’s songs come best to life when performed to an audience, so this is a wonderful follow on from his previous live album “Live in Glenfarg” – I can’t quite believe that this was released already 12 years ago.

The new album features many of his greatest songs, including his version of Brian McNeill’s “Lads of the Fair”, the traditional songs “Jolly Beggar” and “Lochaber no more”, and his very own songs “The train from Perth to Lochearn”, “First Cold Day” and “Corrievrechan”. There is also the usual fair dose of good humour, and I enjoyed listening to his storytelling of the amusing story “The Pickpockets” or a somewhat political comedy song about a member of the gentry cleaning out his moat – featuring many frogs.

Having been on the road for 30 years, Jim’s new album sees him in superb voice, backed by his guitar and characterful harmonica playing. This is wonderful and classy entertainment of the old style – a singer presenting great songs with good stories to a live audience.

© Michael Moll
The Outside Track
Wed, Feb 6th 2019, 7:30PM
Michael's On Main, Soquel place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $20 Door $23
Member discount $2

Tickets are also available in person at Michael's On Main.

Winner of 'Best Group' in both the Live Ireland awards and the Tradition In Review awards, The Outside Track are one of the top Celtic acts in the world. They were 'Best Live Act' nominees in the MG Alba Scots Traditional Music Awards, and won the German Radio Critics Prize, for their album Flash Company. Live Ireland called them, 'Among the top bands in the world - stunning on every cut!'.

The Outside Track’s marriage of Celtic music, song and dance has been rapturously received around the world. Hailing from Scotland, Ireland, and Cape Breton, its five members are united by a love of traditional music and a commitment to creating new music on this as a foundation. They blend fiddle, accordion, harp, guitar, flute, whistle, step-dance and vocals with breathtaking vitality. Their blend of boundless energy and unmistakable joie de vivre has won them a large following around the globe.
Sun, Feb 24th 2019, 7:30PM
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $27 Door $30
Child Advance $13 Child Door $15
Student Advance $13 Student Door $15
Member discount $2

Tickets are also available in person at More Music, Front Street, Santa Cruz (from Feb 1st, 2019).

Named for an ancient Celtic harvest festival in honor of the Irish god Lugh, patron of the arts, Lúnasa is indeed a gathering of some of the top musical talents in Ireland. Its members have helped form the backbone of some of the greatest Irish groups of the decade.

Bassist Trevor Hutchinson was a key member of The Waterboys, and later he, with guitarist Donogh Hennessy, would form the dynamic rhythm section of The Sharon Shannon Band.

Ed Boyd (Flook, Michael McGoldrick Band) has recently replaced Hennessy.

Fiddler Sean Smyth is an All-Ireland champion who has played with Donal Lunny’s Coolfin.

Kevin Crawford, considered to be among the finest flutists in Ireland played with the acclaimed traditional group Moving Cloud.

Piper Cillian Vallely of the famous Vallely artistic clan has performed with Riverdance and recently recorded with Bruce Springsteen.

Folk Roots magazine has rightly termed them an “Irish music dream team.”
Sun, Mar 3rd 2019, 7:30PM
Michael's On Main, Soquel place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $27 Door $30
Member discount $2

Tickets are also available in person at Michael's On Main.

Described by Irish Music Magazine as “a full bodied pipe and whistle extravaganza”, Réalta carry on the Bothy Band tradition of taking tunes by the scruff of the neck and firing excitement through them like hot flames!

Hailing from the Ulster city of Belfast, this award winning multi-instrumentalist group present an enchanting programme of dance music interspersed with the occasional story, air and song. While Conor Lamb and Aaron O’Hagan pursue the melody on uilleann pipes and whistles, guitarist and vocalist Deirdre Galway explores the harmony and rhythms within the tunes. All-Ireland champions Dermot Mulholland and Dermot Moynagh complete the line-up with dynamic accompaniments on double bass, bouzouki, banjo, voice and bodhrán, making this one of the most exciting acts on the Irish music scene today.

The release of their second album, Clear Skies, has brought Réalta widespread critical acclaim, with the Irish Music Magazine summing things up by writing "Réalta have grown bigger, bolder and braver and this is one of the best CDs to have come out of Ireland this year". A performance by Réalta is joyous, energetic, foot-stomping, unforgettable and unmissable.
Thu, Mar 14th 2019, 7:30PM
Michael's On Main, Soquel place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $20 Door $23
Member discount $2

Tickets are also available in person at Michael's On Main.

There are many reasons to be excited about new Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar – not least a line-up featuring current and former members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk, Barrule, Cara, Mabon and The Lowground, whose collectively crammed trophy-cabinet includes a BBC Young Folk Award and several All-Britain/All-Ireland titles. By far the best and biggest reason, however, is how excited the band are themselves.

“As soon as we all sat down to play together properly, it just worked,” says bodhrán player Adam Brown (RURA), originally from Suffolk. “We were a bit stunned, to be honest; all looking round at everyone else, thinking, ‘Is it just me, or was that really good?’”

“It’s definitely more of a pure-drop trad sound than most of the other bands we’re involved in,” adds Cork-born uilleann piper, flautist and whistle player Ryan Murphy (Mànran), “but I think that’s partly why it feels so natural. We’re going back to the music we started out playing – which is ultimately the reason why we’re all here as musicians.”

Ímar’s formation also embodies a more personal reconnection with its members’ formative years, dating back long before their recent camaraderie around Glasgow’s justly celebrated session scene. All five of them – also including fiddler Tomás Callister and bouzouki ace Adam Rhodes (Barrule/Mabon), both from the Isle of Man, plus Glasgow native Mohsen Amini (Talisk) on concertina – originally met as teenagers through Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the Irish traditional music network that tutors budding players throughout the British Isles and beyond, and stages the annual schedule of Fleadh competitions.
Tue, Apr 9th 2019, 7:30PM
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $22 Door $25
Child Advance $10 Child Door $13
Student Advance $10 Student Door $13
Member discount $2

Tickets are also available in person at More Music, Front Street, Santa Cruz (From Mar 15th 2019).

While they do occasionally break into a jig or a reel, Väsen's music is rooted in the centuries old traditional folklore of Sweden. Be sure to listen to their music and watch their videos at www.vasen.se/video and you will see what an enjoyable evening you will have in store.

Three musicians with a singular sound, a playful yet accomplished interplay that seems to defy the laws of physics, an intensity with a great sense of humor, and modernity rooted in tradition. Väsen, a Swedish acoustic trio, now in its 27th year of touring together.

The parts: a five-string viola of sophisticated symphonic taste, an adventurous 12-string guitar, and a nyckelharpa (a “keyed fiddle”) deeply rooted in the traditions of Swedish folk music. All three are instrumental virtuosos in their own right, and together they form a unique supernatural being. To experience Väsen is to witness ensemble playing at its finest.

The band's origins are deeply rooted in the forests and rich earth of the Swedish countryside, in the centuries-old tradition of the folk music of Uppland. It's a tradition spiced with consummate playing skills. But this is more than just a traditional sound.

There's a playfulness to their music, a joyousness, and a delight in making exciting new arrangements of centuries-old tunes, and new originals inspired by the tradition. Rock, jazz, traditional, and classical influences weave together, making a music that's beautiful but never cloying. You always hear the inspiration and improvisation of the moment. And we can promise that you’ll never know what will happen next.
Andrew Finn Magill
Accompanied by Cary Novotny on guitar
Fri, Apr 19th 2019, 7:30PM
House Concert, Aptos
(Address supplied after ticket purchase)
Video videocam Website link
Suggested Donation $20

Email the concert host to reserve seats and pay at the door

Raised in an Irish musical household in Asheville, North Carolina Andrew “Finn the Fiddler” Magill grew up studying with many of the world’s best traditional American and Irish fiddlers at The Swannanoa Gathering music workshops. At age 18, his debut album Drive & Lift was featured multiple times on NPR and his 2016 two-disc project Roots and Branches debuted at #46 on the Folk DJ charts. Says grammy-winner Americana artist Tim O’Brien:

“He has learned from and now plays with the best in the genre. On Branches you can hear a new musical voice emerging. I’m gonna keep listening for Finn Magill.”

Finn has built his career on Irish music having performed with John Doyle, Liz Carroll, the Paul McKenna Band, and Martin Hayes among many other Irish luminaries. He currently has a duo with Irish multi-instrumentalist Dave Curley which performs the festival circuit and concerts all over the U.S. Between this project and more he has performed at Milwaukee Irish Fest, Celtic Connections, the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival, the Austin Celtic Festival and hundreds of venues.
Old Blind Dogs
Sun, Jul 7th 2019, 7:30PM
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz place
Video videocam Website link
Advance $22 Door $25
Member discount $2

Tickets are also available in person at More Music, Santa Cruz starting June 7.

The Celtic Society has been privileged to promote concerts by many of the finest performers of Scottish and Irish music over the years and perhaps none better than Old Blind Dogs.

The band has had to tour the USA without their founding member and fiddle player Jonny Hardie for the last few years due to visa issues (perhaps one of the dogs ate it?). We're happy to report that visa issues have been resolved and Jonny is foaming at the mouth at the prospect of marking his territory again in the USA.

One of the most highly touted Celtic groups of our time, OBD is the only multiple winner of the prestigious Scots Trad Music Award as 'Folk Band of the Year'. With 12 CDs already in the bag, you'll have a chance to collar their13th and brand new offering titled "Room With A View",

OBD continues to distinguish themselves as vital, innovative ambassadors of Scots music by subtly and ingeniously expanding upon the very tradition they celebrate in harnessing the rich resonance and timeless themes of the songs and tunes of their homeland and weld them to new rhythmic frameworks, dynamic arcs and textural expanses, This produces a uniquely identifiable sound that reflects the rich heritage of their forefathers, yet comes across as resoundingly fresh and immediate.

OBD's incandescent instrumental arsenal of pipes, fiddle, whistles, bouzouki, guitar and percussion and their vibrant, virile vocals have left concertgoers raving for more and led to rave reviews, such as from The Scotsman, 'Old Blind Dogs play with a compelling energy and intoxicating rhythm as players and audience seem to share a wild ecstasy of emotion.'
Join The Society

Benfits include monthly newsletter, concert ticket discounts, 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.

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 (https://www.facebook.com/OFlahertys.Irish.Seisiun).

Contact Julie Horner (831-325-1974, leap2three@gmail.com) 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 mking@cruzio.com. For even more information, visit our website at http://www.englishcountrydancing.net

Molly's Revenge songs from Amelia Hogan &
Dance from The Rosemary Turco Irish Dancers
Click Here NOW! for your online TICKETS
With the holiday season just around the corner, the annual, fabulously popular Winterdance Christmas Show is on once more!

Molly's Revenge, starring David Brewer, John Weed and Stu Mason with guest vocalists Christa Burch and Amelia Hogan, and the award winning Rosemary Turco Irish Dancerswill present an evening of music, song and dance associated with the festive season. The performance will include Christmas songs both old and new, all played with a Celtic twist, and something new for our regulars.

'A seriously joyous, masterly musical experience.' — Tom Clancy, Irish Music Magazine

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 (mtn_kahuna@yahoo.com) for more information

Join the Santa Cruz Traditional Irish Seisiun every Third 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 www.facebook.com/SantaCruzTradIrishSeisiun.

Weekends through December 23, 2018; 10:00 am - 7:00 pm The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a one-of-a-kind holiday adventure into Victorian London - an elaborate party with hundreds of costumed players. Music halls, pubs, dance floors, and Christmas shops. It's a twilight evening in Charles Dickens' London Town. Tickets: https://dickensfair.com

Moderate temp session form 3PM to 5PM on the 4th Sunday of every month. Contact Jamie Wylde <jwylde@gmail.com> for more information

A slow-play session from 2PM to 4PM on the second Sunday of every month for those learning the intricacies of Irish traditional music.

Contact Tane Tachyon (tachyon@tachyonlabs.com) for more information.

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 9 PM - 11 PM

91.5 FM

Friday Folk-Off

Dave Stafford

Friday 3 PM - 6 PM

The Lark In The Morning

Greg Winslow

Wednesday 6 AM - 8 AM

New Wood

Peter Schwartz

Thursday 7 AM - 10 AM

107.5 FM

Please Stand By

John Sandidge

Sunday 10 AM - 12 PM

88.1 FM


Chris Jong

Sunday Noon - 2 PM

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