The Chieftains to Play Marin Center, 2/20
Over the course of 53 years and 58 albums, seminal Irish exports THE CHIEFTAINS have uncompromisingly popularized their country's rich musical heritage, collaborating with some of modern music's biggest names, and ultimately earning the group six Grammys and 18 Grammy nominations. THE CHIEFTAINS are not only the world's most famous traditional Irish musicians, they are some of the most beloved. As comfortable playing spontaneous Irish sessions as they are headlining Carnegie Hall, they make the music their own with a style that is as exhilarating as it is definitive. Thursday, February 20 at 8:00 pm at Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags at Civic Center Drive in San Rafael, CA 94903. Tickets are $50, $40, $25, Premium Seats $75, Students 20 and under $20, Bargain seats (rows 25-34) $20; and can be ordered through the Marin Center Box Office at 415-473-6800 or visit www.marincenter.org
Joining The Chieftains for their Marin Center concert, and for the rest of their US Spring Tour, are special guests Jon Pilatzke (fiddle /dance), Triona Marshall (harp/keys), Tim Edey (guitar/accordion), Alyth McCormack (vocals/percussion), Cara Butler (dance), Nathan Pilatzke (dance) and Tara Breen (fiddle).
The Chieftains have journeyed from rehearsing in Paddy Maloney's home to symphony performances, and worked with landmark artists such as the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello, and Pavarotti, among many others. On top of their six Grammy awards, they have been honoured in their own country by being officially named Ireland's Musical Ambassadors, performed during the Pope's visit to Ireland in 1979 in front of a 135,000,000 strong audience, and were the subject of a Late Late Show tribute in 1987, their 25th anniversary. In 2010, Paddy's whistle and Matt's flute travelled to the International Space Station in outer space with a NASA astronaut, Catherine Coleman.
The Chieftains were formed in 1962 by Paddy Moloney, from the ranks of the top folk musicians in Ireland. Paddy brought together musicians such as fiddler Martin Fay, flautist Michael Tubridy, tin whistle virtuoso Seán Potts, and bodhrán player David Fallon. They recorded a supposedly one-off instrumental album but five years later were reunited with some additions - fiddler Seán Keane, and Peader Mercier replacing Fallon. Harpist Derek Bell came on board in 1973. It wasn't until 1975 that The Chieftains began playing together full time and they marked the event with a historic performance at Royal Albert Hall in London. The following few years saw the departure of Mercier, and the addition of bodhrán player and vocalist Kevin Conneff. Another lineup change in '78/79 would see the departure of Potts and Tubridy and the addition of a new flautist, Matt Molloy.
Although their early following was purely a folk audience, the range and variation of their music very quickly captured a much broader public, making them the best known Irish band in the world today.
Photo by Kevin Kelly