New York Irish Center Kicks Off Christmas Holidays With Concert Next Week

The performance is on Friday December 8 at 7pm. 

By: Nov. 28, 2023
New York Irish Center Kicks Off Christmas Holidays With Concert Next Week

The New York Irish Center, a hub for culture and community enrichment serving diverse constituencies in Long Island City, presents its annual holiday concert, “New York Croons for Christmas,” on Friday December 8 at 7pm.  Tickets, which are $60 (includes complimentary holiday refreshments starting at 6pm), can be purchased at

The event -- a fundraiser to support all the cultural and social programs of the Center – is staged immersively in the storefront theater Reilly Room.  The New York Irish Center (NYIC) is located at 1040 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City.

Hosted by Colm Reilly and featuring a rollicking line-up of notable local singers and musicians, “New York Croons for Christmas” is NYIC's warm-hearted holiday concert tradition.  This year's featured performers include singers Carolyn Montgomery, Wendy Lane Bailey and Kathy Kaefer; singer-songwriter Jeanne MacDonald; and the acclaimed guitarist Sean Harkness leading The Life of Reilly Band.  Bandmembers include Jennifer Vincent (bass), Rob Mitzner (percussion), Sara Caswell (violin/fiddle), and Sean Harkness (guitar).

Mixing traditional Christmas songs from a range of international repertoires as well as a naughty and nice selection of pop and Broadway chestnuts, with a dash of fun originals, the show is staged NYIC's street-level storefront theater, the Reilly Room, named after NYIC's beloved co-founder Paddy Reilly, Colm's father.

A two-time MAC Award-winner, Colm Reilly is a frequent performer and host at the Center, who has also appeared and headlined at The Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Iridium Jazz Club, Birdland, Feinstein's/54 Below and at Carnegie Hall.  He has also toured with the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland, and in theatre productions across the US, including “Forever Plaid, “Brigadoon, and “Hello Dolly!”  One of his two MAC Awards was for Best Male Vocalist.

Carolyn Montgomery is the co-founder and executive director of the American Songbook Association, which promotes and preserves classic American musical legacies, as well as a multi-MAC, Nightlife and Bistro award-winning performer. • A much-admired cabaret vocalist in New York City, Jeanne McDonald has earned several MAC Awards, a NY Nightlife Award, a Backstage Bistro Award, and the coveted Julie Wilson Award for Excellence in Cabaret. • A former Associate Director of the Cabaret Conference at Yale University, Wendy Lane Bailey is currently Assistant Artistic Director for United Solo Theatre.  She is a frequent collaborator with composer Michelle Brourman and singer-songwriter Amanda McBroom, and is currently developing a solo theatre project, “She Has Wings,” featuring music of Michele Brourman.

The Bistro Award-winning actress and singer Kathy Kaefer has appeared at Birdland, and Feinstein‘s at the Regency in the hit off Broadway show Our Sinatra. She has performed with the Tom Postilio Big Band at the famed Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center and debuted her award winning show “I'll Be Seeing You, Stories From the Homefront” at the Metropolitan Room in New York. • Sean Harkness composes and arranges music for solo guitar and for small ensembles, and accompanies many singers, musicians, and theatrical productions. Awards include a Bistro Award, a Broadwayworld Cabaret Award for Best CD Release, and six MAC Awards: for ensemble instrumentalist, his solo shows, a CD with duo partner, Canadian trumpeter Mike Herriot, and Major Duo/Group with Lina Koutrakos & Marcus Simeone. Sean represents Walden Guitars.