Monday, November 22, 2010

Eileen Ivers: Christmas tour & album



Eileen Ivers has long been interested in places where music and culture intersect, how the beats and rhythms of the world’s many musics connect and combine and relate to the Irish traditional music that is the center of her work. When it comes to Christmas time, it is to that center she returns. “My parents grew up in Mayo, in the west of Ireland,” she says, “ and we used to go back there , and just hang out with the grandparents . We were so blessed to have that sort of childhood, that connection.”

Ivers grew up in the Bronx, in New York, where she started playing the fiddle at age eight, and has followed that interest across the world. She was a founding member of the internationally renown band Cherish the Ladies and a star of Riverdance, as well as performing with rock stars and symphony orchestras. Those experiences of other musics have both deepened and broadened her interests and abilities in Irish music. That’s a line of thought she brings to her Christmas shows, and to her holiday recording, An Nollaig.


"There is so much joy in the season. I wanted to bring that out to welcome listeners in," Ivers says. "Just like ornaments on a Christmas tree, some of the tunes in An Nollaig have been lovingly passed down through the generations, and some are new."

That’s a combination which engages both musicians and listeners during the holiday shows. “I love it when they begin to sing along, or to clap and stamp in the fast pieces,” she says. “ There’s just such a great cycle going between us on the stage and the audience when that happens.”

That’s sure to happen at the gigs as Ivers and her musical compatriots make their way across the country this holiday season. Whether or not you’ll be able to see the show (and it is an evening not to be missed), you can share in the good cheer and the music through the recording An Nollaig. On it you will find reels and jigs from the tradition, Susan McKeown singing Don Oiche Ud i MBeithill/ One Night in Bethlehem, a song from Denmark, the carol Do You hear What I Hear? and Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, Bach with an Irish twist. It is an album that will quickly become part of your holiday celebration as well, and all the more reason to catch the musicians on tour this holiday season. The tour dates run from Alabama to California to Colorado to Vermont through the month of December.

Check for the one nearest you at Eileen Ivers' tour schedule page.

you may also wish to see

Music Road: Cherish The Ladies: A Star in the East
Eileen Ivers: Wild Blue
Music Road: autumn & Thanksgiving listening, continued

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posted by Kerry Dexter at

6 Comments:

Blogger Susan Gedutis Lindsay said...

Love this album!

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Alexandra said...

We had some B&B guests this summer who brought their fiddles. I am forwarding this post to them. Sounds like great joyous music!

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Christine said...

I love holiday music, and this sounds so special and thoughtful. I love the analogy to Christmas ornaments!

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi said...

Wow, I knew she was part of Cherish the Ladies, but hadn't made the Riverdance connection. Neat!

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Sheryl said...

What a nice alternative to traditional American holiday music.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Stephanie - Wasabimon.com said...

I'm such a closet holiday music fan, but ssh, don't tell anyone, ok?

3:00 AM  

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