Mick Moloney is the dean of Irish-American music, having inspired, trained and toured the best musicians in the United States. For more than twenty years, renowned musician and folklorist Mick Moloney has led a stalwart group of Irish-American instrumentalists, singers and dancers in concerts from coast-to-coast.
An evening with Mick Moloney‘s Green Fields of America is an
unforgettable experience. They perform a brilliant repertoire of slow airs, jigs, reels, and hornpipes accompanied by exciting, virtuoso Irish dancing from World Champion step dancers, as well as a variety of traditional and contemporary songs in Gaelic and English. These include love songs, humorous songs, patriotic songs, songs of emigration and settlement, Irish American songs from variety theater and vaudeville, and the myriad other themes that have made the Irish oral literature and song tradition among the richest in the Western world. All this is linked by the urbane, informative witty commentary, which the group is renowned for. They have the rare capacity to appeal to folk and Irish music devotees and to general audiences of any age.
“Sparkling, innovative, exciting. The musicians and dancers were magnificient.” The Boston Globe.
Mick’s first formed “The Green Fields of America” in 1978. Since that time the personnel has changed, but the concept has remained constant over twenty years: to show in one major group some of Irish America’s finest musicians and dancers. Indeed the group was the first on either side of the Atlantic to bring together Irish vocal, instrumental and dance traditions on the concert and festival stage. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts a record five times, the group has toured the United States constantly since the late 1970’s. Venues where the Green Fields of America has performed include Carnegie Hall, Wolf Trap, The Smithsonian Institution, The Festival of American Folklife, Milwaukee Irish Fest and The National Folk Festival. The group was also featured on the sound track of the PBS movie “Out of Ireland.”
The group was formed in 1978 after the Smithsonian Institution Festival of American Folklife presented traditional Irish music and dance in the nation’s capital in a multi-cultural setting for the first time. Mick Moloney was hired by the Smithsonian Institution to carry out research in several major American cities to locate the best Irish musicians and dancers in the country. For one unforgettable week on the Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial, 26 of the best musicians, singers and dancers in the land performed alongside 26 Irish performers brought from Ireland. The response was overwhelming.
In 1977 a Washington-based community organization, The National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs, applied to the newly created folk arts division of the National endowment for the Arts for funds to do a national tour of Irish traditional music and dance. A group of seven musicians and dancers was selected and after intensive rehearsal in January, 1978 it began the first tour ever of traditional ethnic artists to tour under US government sponsorship. The group toured again in 1979, 80 and 82 and quickly established itself as the leading group of touring traditional artists in the United States. It introduced many brilliant traditional artists to the concert stage for the first time. The artists included Jack and Father Charlie Coen and Sean McGlynn from Galway; Bill Ochs, an uilleann piper of Eastern European Jewish ancestry, Mick Moloney and Chicago-born fiddler Liz Carroll. The step dancers for the first three tours were Michael Flatley from Chicago and Donny Golden from New York -- both making their performing arts debuts.
For the last thirty years, Mick Moloney’s Green Fields of America has performed all over the United States. Scores of the finest Irish artists and dancers in America have performed with the group and many have gone on to achieve international fame. Indeed it was Mick Moloney’s Green Fields of America which introduced Irish step dancing to general American concert audiences for the first time.
Mick's current group includes Robbie O'Connell, guitar and vocals; Athena Tergis, fiddle; Billy McComiskey, accordian; John Doyle, guitar, and Mick himself on tenor banjo, mandolin, guitar and vocals.
April 9 Pick-Staiger Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston IL
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