Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Paddy O'Brien's Chulrua features Irish traditional music | wausaudailyherald.com | Wausau Daily Herald

"Chulrua, featuring button accordion icon Paddy O'Brien, brings Irish traditional music to Chestnut Avenue Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20.

Joining O'Brien in performance are Dale Russ on fiddle and Brian Miller on guitar, flute and vocals.

Chulrua (pronounced cool-ROO-ah) plays the old instrumental dance music of Ireland -- jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas and slides -- along with marches, songs, slow airs and set dances. Chulrua presents its tunes and songs in keeping with the old tradition, handed down from generation to generation in Ireland. Their concerts pay great respect to the heart of Irish music, the session. In the session, tunes are played and traded, and conversation about music is the central theme."

County Offaly native O'Brien is regarded by serious players and collectors of Irish traditional music as one of the tradition's most important repositories. In a musical career that spans nearly 40 years, he has collected more than 3,000 compositions. His mastery of the two-row button accordion has been acknowledged with highly prestigious awards. In Ireland, he played and recorded with the famed Castle Ceili Band and Ceoltoiri Laighean. Since1978, O'Brien has played regularly in cities and towns across the United States. His National Endowment for the Arts grant to record and annotate 500 reels and jigs resulted in "The Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection," receiving accolades from players of Irish music around the world.

Russ' fiddling is known for its balance of power and elegance. Although self-taught -- and 100 percent Slovak -- he was invited in 1990 to perform at the Boston College Irish Music Festival "My Love is in America," featuring 16 of the finest Irish fiddle players living in the United States. He is a founding member of the Seattle Irish band No Comhaile and also played with The Suffering Gaels.

Miller has become a favorite with Chestnut Center audiences. He appeared there in 2004 with Laura MacKenzie, in 2009 with Norah Rendell and also as part of the duo Five Mile Chase, and again in 2010 with Two Tap Trio in its Rotary-sponsored St. Paddy's Benefit concert. Miller is an accomplished guitarist, singer and flute player. He has been highly visible in the Twin Cities Irish music scene since 1998, while often sneaking away to his

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