Famed musicians to perform at Skye Theatre on April 15

5 mins read

New England Celtic Arts will host Irish born fiddler Maeve Donnelly and Scottish guitar legend Tony MacManus at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in South Carthage, Maine on Wednesday April 15th, and at the Lakeside Theater in Rangeley on Thursday April 16th with the concerts starting at 7:00 PM at both theaters. A pre-show jam will start at 6:15 at Skye Theatre please bring your instruments and join in. Reservations are strongly suggested at both venues.


Irish-born fiddler Maeve Donnelly

Maeve comes from the village of Kylemore, Abbey near Loughrea in East Galway, an area steeped in traditional music. In the past, many notable musicians and bands hailed from here including the “Aughrim Slopes.” She now lives in the picturesque village of Quin, Co. Clare, a short walk from a lovely old Abbey.

Maeve has been playing the fiddle since the age of five and won her first All-Ireland Fiddle Competition at the age of nine. She subsequently won two more All-Ireland fiddle titles as well as the National Slogadh Competition for Solo Fiddle and The Stone Fiddle Competition in County Fermanagh (1981). When she moved to County Clare, she entertained guests at the Medieval Castles in Bunratty and Knappogue.

Maeve was always impressed by older musicians such as Joe Cooley (accordion), Paddy Fahy (fiddle), Tommy Potts (fiddle) and Willie Clancy (pipes). She regards her friends, Paddy Fahy and Peadar O’Loughlin, as having a great influence on her music. In 1976 she was the youngest of 25 musicians invited from Ireland to perform at the Bicentennial Festival of American Folklife in Washington D.C. During this tour, Maeve and her friends, Maighread Ni Dhomhnaill, Sean Corcoran, and Eddie Clarke recorded the album “Sailing into Walpoles Marsh.”


Scottish-guitar legend Tony MacManus

As founder member of the group Moving Cloud (1989-2000) she has recorded and toured in North America playing at such prestigious venues as the Milwaukee Irish Fest (three years): The Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, New York, the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, the Washington Irish Festival and the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

Maeve Donnelly’s solo debut fiddle album simply titled “Maeve Donnelly” captures not only the unique East Galway and Clare sound, but also the spirited and rhythmic music from Nova Scotia and Quebec.

For the last few years Maeve has been touring with Celtic guitarist, Tony McManus, in Ontario, Northern California, the East Coast of the US, and Ireland. Their collaboration resulted in a new recording “Flame on the Banks,” released early in 2008 and received with rave reviews.

Self taught from childhood, initially through listening to the family record collection, McManus abandoned academia in his twenties to pursue music full time. The session scene in Glasgow and Edinburgh provided the springboard for gigs around Scotland and a studio set for BBC Radio, frequently rebroadcast, began to spread the word.

With the loyal support of Greentrax Recordings in Scotland Tony’s first self titled recording in 1996, followed by Pourquoi Quebec in 1999 led to worldwide recognition. However, it was with the release of Ceol More in 2002 that Tony’s stature as a first class musician reached a new level. Having heard his session work on several albums Nashville based Compass Records released “Ceol More” in North America to universally ecstatic reviews. Critics hailed the focussed, spell-binding nature of the music, from the plaintive Jewish hymn “Shalom Aleichem” to the ingenious arrangement of the Charles Mingus tune “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”

. Having been nominated as Musician of the Year by both the BBC Folk Awards and The Scottish Traditonal Music awards, in 2002 “Ceol More” hit the Critic’s Album of the year list in Acoustic Guitar magazine and named “Live Ireland Awards” Album of the Year.

Skye Theater is located 3 miles West of East Dixfield village at 2 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Rd and US RT. 2 in South Carthage. Lakeside Theater is on Main Street in Rangeley. Ticket price is $10.00 at the door. Call Skye Theatre at (207) 562-4445 or Lakeside Theater at 864-5000 for reservations and directions.
More information is available at: http://www.necelticarts.com.

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