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; and, 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.”
Over her 40-year career Natalie Merchant has earned a place among America’s most respected recording artists and earned a reputation for being a songwriter of quality through her nine albums as a solo artist and six albums as the lead singer of the group 10,000 Maniacs with Elektra and Nonesuch Records. Merchant has toured extensively and collaborated with a diverse array of artists on stage and in the studio including: Billy Bragg, Philip Glass, David Byrne, The Chieftains, Tracy Chapman, Mavis Staples and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Though-out her entire career Merchant has been dedicated to supporting a variety of non-profit organizations by lending both financial support and raising public awareness. Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper, Association to Benefit Children, The Fresh Air Fund, The Center for Constitutional Rights, Doctors Without Borders, Tibet House, Greenpeace, and Planned Parenthood are among the social justice groups to which she has been devoted. In 2007 Merchant served a five-year term on New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). In 2013 she spearheaded an effort to stop the advance of hydraulic fracturing in New York State with a concert-protest film, Dear Governor Cuomo. Merchant used the same format to address the domestic violence crisis in the Hudson Valley with Shelter (2014). She is currently artist-in-residence with Head Start, developing a music and movement curriculum for pre-school aged children in The Hudson Valley.
Concert Hall @ NY Society For Ethical Culture
2 W 64th Street
New York, NY, 10023