Photo by Eric Thompson

Seabright Stringfest Apr 24th-26th

The 4th Annual Seabright Stringfest (Santa Cruz, CA) kicks off with a square dance Friday evening, April 24th, called by Erik Hoffman with music by the Earl White Stringband and The Percolators at the Market St. Theatre. Free concerts that feature 12 bands playing Appalachian string band, bluegrass, blues, Celtic and other traditional string music from around the world continues on Saturday, Apr 25th from 11am-10:30pm at the Seabright Brewery patio, with concurrent directed indoor jamming in the adjacent Java Junction Coffee House from 9:30am-6pm. The fourth Sunday of the month bluegrass and old-time jam session at Ocean View Park follows on April 26th starting at 1pm and continuing until people are worn out. Schedule and details are at Tune in to KZSC for “Backroads” on Sundays 12-2pm and “Ramblin’ Round” on Wednesdays 2-4pm to hear more acoustic string music.


“Irish Christmas in America” guests on ShamRock, Wed Dec 3rd

Oisin Mac Diarmada, All-Ireland Fiddle Champion and one of the producers of the “Irish Christmas in America” traveling show, now in its 10th season, will be joining DJ Sophaloaf in a live interview on KZSC’s “ShamRock” show this Wednesday, December 3, 2014 between 1:00-2:00pm. Oisin (member of the band Teada), along with the well-regarded button accordionists and singers Seamus Begley and Seamus’s daughter Meabh, plus virtuoso uillean piper and flute player Sean Gavin (from the band Bua), and Champion Irish step dancer Samantha Harvey, will all be appearing later that evening in a Santa Cruz show at the Kuumbwa that features traditional tunes, Irish ballads and carols, recitations, and some energetic dancing, all presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay. Tune in every week to “ShamRock” for a mix of Irish rock and folk music.


Celtic Fiddle Festival Sun April 13th

Masters of traditional Celtic fiddling converge for a performance at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA  on Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 7:00pm. The Celtic Fiddle Festival band features Irish fiddler Kevin Burke (Bothy Band, Patrick Street), Breton fiddler Christian Lemaitre (Kornog) and Quebecois fiddler André Brunet (De Temps Antan, La Bottine Souriante) backed by acclaimed Breton guitarist Nicholas Quemener. They’re celebrating the release of their 6th album, “Live in Brittany.” Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay.


Solas in wheelhouse

Solas, Sun April 6th, 2pm

Acclaimed Irish-American band Solas will be presenting traditional and original Irish tunes and songs at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 2pm. This matinee show will feature the story of “Shamrock City,” about a mining town in Butte, Montana through the eyes of an Irish immigrant (Michael Conway, the great-great uncle of Seamus Egan, one of the founders of Solas) at the turn of the 20th century in a multimedia presentation. Solas has been performing together for some 18 years, releasing 11 albums and winning the award for Best Celtic Recording from the Association for Independent Music three times. They’re known for their fresh arrangements of old traditional tunes plus compelling topical original songs. Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (fiddle, vocals) anchor the band and are joined by Mick McAuley (accordions, low whistle, concertina, vocals), Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals), and newest member and lead singer, Niamh Varian-Barry. Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay.


Lúnasa, Mon Feb 24th

Lúnasa, one of the outstanding traditional bands from Ireland,  will be performing at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:30pm. Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay, the band includes Seán Smyth (fiddle and low whistles), Kevin Crawford (flute, low whistles and tin whistles), Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes and low whistles), Trevor Hutchinson (double bass) and the group’s newest member Ed Boyd (guitar). As an all-instrumental band, they play a diverse array of their own compositions, as well as traditional melodies from Ireland and other Celtic regions including Brittany, Galicia, Asturias, and Scotland, often weaving tunes in medleys that build in rhythmic excitement with intricate harmonies. Nominees and winners of numerous awards including Best Traditional Album of the Year in Ireland, and Folk Album of the Year in the BBC Radio 2 Awards, they have also performed for President Obama in the White House and collaborated with Billy Bragg, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Roseanne Cash in concert to much acclaim.


Carlos Núñez Band Feb. 20th

Master of the gaita (Spanish bagpipe), flute, and recorder, Galician multi-instrumentalist Carlos Núñez will be appearing with his band on Thursday, February 20, 2014, 7:30pm at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA. Carlos blends the music of his native Galicia (the Celtic Northwest region of Spain) with the traditional music of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and other areas of the world including Cuba, Brazil and Argentina. His most recent double-album features numerous guest artists including Jackson Browne, Los Lobos, Sinéad O’Connor, Laurie Anderson, the Chieftains, the Buena Vista Social Club and many more, as examples of the diversity in his interests. Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay.