Carnegie Hall's Migrations Festival Kicks off with LIVE FROM HERE with Chris Thile
Carnegie Hall's citywide festival, Migrations: The Making of America kicks off with Live from Here with Chris Thile on Saturday, March 9 at 5:45 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. Debs Composer's Chair Chris Thile is joined by Grammy Award-winning banjo player Béla Fleck, renowned bassist Edgar Meyer, multi-award winning Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, and Irish-American singer and songwriter Aoife O'Donovan for an evening of traditional Scots, Irish, and American folk music.
The concert will be broadcast nationwide on Live from Here, a variety show that features a mix of well-known and up-and-coming talent resulting in a unique blend of musical performances, comedy and audience interaction. The radio program-hosted by Thile-is produced and distributed nationwide by American Public Media, and is heard by 2.6 million listeners each week on nearly 600 public radio stations. For listening information please visit: https://www.livefromhere.org/listen.
This opening performance of the Migrations festival at Carnegie Hall will explore the ways in which Scots and Irish traditions helped shape and continue to influence American folk music today. Speaking to the theme, Thile commented on the blending of musical influences-the result of cultures bumping into one another and transforming into something new-that is at the heart of so much contemporary music today:
"Is there anything more American than hearing someone play a fiddle tune? And is there anything more Irish than hearing someone play a fiddle tune? I love those sorts of connections-we're so used to them that they've become every day. But, increasingly in the world, those connections are being formed between ostensibly more disparate cultures and the music that is resulting is increasingly mind blowing."
Programming exploring the Scots-Irish migration continues at Carnegie Hall with a double bill by Scottish songwriter and spoken-word performer Karine Polwart and banjo player and songwriter Kaia Kater on Saturday, March 23 at 9 p.m. in Zankel Hall. With Rosanne Cash as its creative partner, this special double bill looks back to Scottish and Canadian roots, pairing Polwart's traditional Scottish influences with Kater's original songs inspired by Canadian folk music to create a progressive and thrilling new brand of music.
Contemporary Irish/American super group The Gloamingrounds out Carnegie Hall's Scots-Irish programming on Saturday, April 6 at 8:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall, performing their unique blend of music that incorporates jazz and contemporary music while remaining true to lasting Irish/Celtic music traditions.
"What you notice first in the work of 'The Gloaming'," said Irish writer Colm Tóibín, "is the energy that comes from the clash and then the connection between tradition and innovation, between following contours that have been inherited and then creating a new tonal realm for that very inheritance. The music is nourished by diversity and range, it is open to the world, but it is also rooted in Ireland; it comes from a close study and deep knowledge of a tradition strong enough to be played with and enriched."
In partnership with prestigious Irish and Scottish institutions across New York City and beyond, programming exploring Scots-Irish traditions as part of the Migrations festival continues for five weeks in March and April, offering music, dance, and theater events, as well as radio broadcasts, talks, and family-friendly activities. Highlights include the Irish Arts Center's Seventh Annual Celtic Appalachian Celebration at Symphony Space; NYC Tartan Week events-including workshops, cèilidhs, talks and panel discussions, musical performances, and the annual NYC Tartan Day Paradewith Sir Billy Connolly as Grand Marshal-presented by The New York Caledonian Club, American Scottish Foundation, Ulster Historical Foundation, and Saint Andrew's Society of the State of New York; This Irish American Life WNYE 91.5 FM broadcasts and The Mission Girls and The Paxton Boys of Pennsylvania talks presented by Glucksman Ireland House / The Center for Irish Studies at New York University; and dedicated broadcasts of NPR's The Thistle & Shamrock with host Fiona Ritchie; and more. A full listing of Scots-Irish events is below.
In addition, beginning March 9, Carnegie Hall will present for the very first time an exhibit about its founder, Andrew Carnegie, in the Rose Museum. In the free exhibit, entitled Andrew Carnegie: His Life and Legacy, Carnegie Hall Archives and Rose Museum Director Gino Francesconi charts the Carnegie family's passage from Scotland and Andrew's ever-present influence in America. With archival documents, photos, and artifacts on loan from the Carnegie family, the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and its archives at Columbia University, the National Archives and Records Administration, and more, the exhibit shows Andrew's journey from humble beginnings toward becoming the most prominent philanthropist of his time. The exhibit will be on display through the end of October 2019 in celebration of the Andrew Carnegie centennial.
About Migrations: The Making of America
Carnegie Hall's citywide festival Migrations: The Making of America traces how large-scale movements of people-both to and within our country-have helped shape American arts, culture, and society. The festival features more than 100 events, with musical programming at Carnegie Hall and public programming, performances, exhibitions, and other events at more than 75 leading cultural and academic institutions across New York City and beyond.
At Carnegie Hall, festival concerts will examine the musical legacies of three migrations: the crossings from Scotland and Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries, the immigration of Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe between 1881 and the National Origins Act of 1924, and the Great Migration-the exodus of African Americans from the South to the industrialized cities of the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1917 into the 1970s. Events at festival partner organizations, ranging from music and dance to exhibitions, talks, and films, will further amplify the themes celebrated by Carnegie Hall as well as explore many other migrations from around the world-from elsewhere in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia as well as the internal migration of Native Americans-all of which have contributed to American culture today. Programming throughout the festival also focuses on New York City's history and identity as a city welcoming to immigrants, highlighting traditions and cross-cultural collaborations among the city's many diverse communities.