New England Celtic Arts will present Chicago’s popular Irish band Bua at The Franco American Heritage Center on Tuesday, June 30th ; at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center On Wednesday, July 1st in South Carthage, Maine; and at Lakeside Theater in Rangeley on Thursday, July 2. A 7 p.m. start time is slated for each theater. There will be a pre-show jam at 6:15 p.m. at FAHC and at Skye. Audience members are encouraged to bring their instruments and jam for a few minutes with the artists. The event at Skye theatre is it’s annual “Strawberry Shortcake Night.”
A quintet comprised of some of America’s most talented, young musicians, Bua has been described by Irish Music Magazine as “the essence of a superb band.” Tipping their hats to such greats as The Bothy Band and Planxty, their sound is “a throwback to the playing of the 1960s and 1970s, keeping the music down the path of tradition.”
Their 2006 release, Live at Martyrs’ is “a work without gimmicks, where the musicianship is of the highest quality.” It is no surprise that Bua, taking their name from the Irish Gaelic word for victory, have quickly risen to be one of America’s premier traditional Irish music ensembles. At Bua’s instrumental heart is Chicago-born fiddler Chris Bain. He picked up his uncle’s fiddle at a young age, in a musical household that often played host to touring bands from Ireland and the UK. In 1997, he left for a year at the University of North Wales.
Highly influenced by fiddlers of the Sligo and Donegal styles, Chris’ personal approach is also a reflection of the colorful mix of traditions and musicians that surround him in Chicago’s bustling scene. Paired to Bain’s fiddling, Seán Gavin’s ornate, driving style on flute and uilleann pipes clearly reflects his immersion in Irish music from a young age. Born in Detroit to Co. Clare fiddler Mick Gavin (an inductee to the Irish Traditional Music Hall of Fame), Seán received tutelage from Scariff flautist Leo MacNamara and the late piper Al Purcell— a student of Leo Rowsome.
Jackie Moran, born in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, immigrated to Chicago with his family when he was ten. He grew up to be a stalwart of the Chicago Irish music scene as a highly sought-after bodhrán player. Jackie has toured with such renowned names as Riverdance, the Trinitiy Irish Dance Company, the Drovers and Ensemble Galilei and he has recorded with many of today’s greatest traditional Irish musicians. Guitarist Brian Miller comes from Minneapolis, Minnesota where transplanted Irish music luminaries Paddy O’Brien and Dáithí Sproule have loomed large in his musical life. His tune backing and song accompaniments have earned him a strong reputation as one of the best guitarists on the scene today. As Irish music critic Earle Hitchner put it: “the backing of Miller on guitar flexes not just muscle but a fully complementary style.”
Brían Ó hAirt’s evocative voice stands as another hallmark of Bua’s unique sound. His ability as a traditional singer has afforded him great acclaim at his age—the youngest and only American to become a champion All-Ireland singer. A voice Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh of Danú hails as “beautiful…sweet and full of sensitivity,” his singing has been featured on radio programs in Ireland and the U.S. Brían’s dedication to Irish Gaelic song and the sean-nós style has bonded him to the close-knit singing communities of
Conamara and has led him to become an adept singer of Scots Gaelic song as well.
Bill Margeson of the Irish American News captures their essence concisely: “Clearly, this group is no locally-based collection of musicians trying to break out of Chicago. This is a group that has established itself [both] individually and as a group in the eyes and ears of the traditional community…As other bands change, disband or simply fade away, the tradition is blessed by what seems to be an inexhaustible pool of talent that comes to the front of the stage. It is Bua’s time. Here they come.”
The Franco American Heritage Center is located on 46 Cedar Street in Lewiston. 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 at the door.* For reservations at the theater you wish to attend call: FAHC at (207)-689-2000, or Skye Theatre at (207) 562-4445 or Lakeside Theater at 864-5000.
*(Lakeside Theater is $10 in advance and $12.50 at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased at the theater or on the Web site rangeleymovies.com
More information is available at: www.necelticarts.com