Pittsburgh Irish Festival Announces “An Irish Christmas Concert”


Pittsburgh, PA (December 7th, 2020) /PressRelease.news/ – The Association of Irish and Celtic Festivals (AICF) is proud to be hosting “An Irish Christmas Concert”, with generous support from the Embassy of Ireland, USA, as a way to virtually celebrate the holidays with our Irish friends across the pond.

The AICF is composed of over 170 Irish and Celtic festivals from across the United States and Canada, and is dedicated to bringing the Irish culture, via music, education, food and dance, to those not in Ireland in the hopes that those traditions are never lost. The Pittsburgh Irish Festival has been a proud member of the AICF for over 20 years and has hosted the annual AICF conference in Pittsburgh several times.

Taking place on Wednesday, December 16 at 8:00 p.m. EST, the AICF will be showcasing, via live stream, seven acts
from Ireland, highlighting some of the country’s best musicians, from established acts to up and coming groups, in the hopes of bringing some holiday cheer to those around the world.

Mairin Petrone, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Irish Festival and AICF Executive Board Member, said, “Nothing lifts your spirits quite like a classic Irish tune. We’re excited to host this inaugural event as a way to bring our organizations and communities together virtually, celebrate Irish Christmas traditions, and provide entertainment for those celebrating the holidays a bit differently this year.”

This event would not also be possible without the generous support of the Embassy, and H.E. Daniel Mulhall, the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, said, ‘‘The world’s largest annual Irish festivals aren’t in Mayo, Meath, Kilkenny or Dublin, Ireland, but in cities across the USA. These and other festivals across this continent perform an incredible service, celebrating our culture and connecting Americans with their heritage. This Christmas, as we stay apart to contain the pandemic, I’m delighted that so many of our friends have come together virtually to present this concert. As we say in Irish, ní neart go cur le chéile – we are strongest together.’’

Performers for the event include:

Aoife Scott, who has steadily risen to the top of the traditional and folk music scene, has long enjoyed success as an established artist in her own right. Fragile and ethereal one minute and strong and vibrant the next, her dynamic and profound vocals explore the emotional depths of her lyrics, leaving the audience entranced.

Dervish, a group that marries technical brilliance with a rare sensibility, born of an understanding of the music and many years of playing together. Dervish are long-established as one of the biggest names in Irish music internationally. They’re renowned for live performances, which match dazzling sets of tunes with stunning interpretations of traditional songs.

The High Kings, one of the most well-known Irish ballad groups in modern culture, bringing a new take on traditional Irish ballads to audiences of multiple generations. The High Kings continue to set the bar extremely high for Irish Folk bands across the world and are widely regarded to be at the forefront of the genre.

Screaming Orphans, (Pittsburgh Irish Festival favorite), a group of four sisters with the good fortune to have been raised in the magic of Bundoran in County Donegal, Ireland. The sisters, since they were young, have been singing and playing traditional Irish music, but knew they wanted to do more, and as they grew older, became a pop-rock group, growing into the group they are today.

Shane Hennessy, an Irish virtuoso guitarist who has established himself as one of the leading guitarists on the world stage, known widely for his fingerstyle, flatpicking, and percussive guitar-playing approaches. His energetic live performances and his cinematically-vivid compositions tie in influences from Bach to Beyoncé – and everything in between.

Shane Hennessy performing. Courtesy The Pittsburgh Irish Festival.

When asked for his thoughts on this upcoming performance Shane said, “The AICF and all its members have made me feel so welcome each time I’ve visited the United States. What started as a showcase appearance a few years ago has turned into a wide network of friends and supporters, and their nurturing of myself and my fellow Irish artists has introduced us to new audiences all over the USA. I am so thankful for their support now, at the most difficult time for musicians and artists in recent history. This stream will bring a lot of joy to fans of Irish culture all over the world, in particular those of us who desperately miss the festival scene!”

Socks in the Frying Pan, who are a multi-award-winning trio from County Clare on the West coast of Ireland, the universal hub of Irish traditional music. Their dynamic vocal harmonies, virtuosic musical ability and their onstage wit has captured and captivated audiences the world around.

We Banjo 3, who has since emerged as fast-rising touring darlings in the country that two of the members now call home. The Galway, Ireland, and Nashville-based quartet––comprised of two sets of brothers, Enda & Fergal Scahill and Martin & David Howley––continually push musical boundaries while maintaining an unwavering devotion to the essential audience experience.

For more information about this event, which will be live streamed on Facebook and YouTube, please visit https://irishcelticfestivals.org/an-irish-christmas-concert/

About the Pittsburgh Irish Festival

The Irish Partnership of Pittsburgh d.b.a Pittsburgh Irish Festival, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation created to contribute to the rich cultural awareness of Irish history and tradition that exists in Pittsburgh. In addition to our three-day Celtic Celebration, the Pittsburgh Irish Festival has expanded into a year-round resource for education and cultural programs through the creation of the Irish Education Outreach Program. Created in 1991, The Pittsburgh Irish Festival, Inc. has gained recognition as an important presenter of Celtic culture due, in large part, to our highly successful festival. This event has become one of the nation’s finest IrishAmerican festivals, and certainly the most comprehensive exhibit of Irish music, lore, food, and dance in the region. The festival is held the weekend after Labor Day in September at The Lots at Sandcastle. For more information, visit www.pghirishfest.org.

Media Contact

Mairin Petrone – mairin.petrone@gmail.com
Executive Director, Pittsburgh Irish Festival