SNNW & PCS Join this February!

Portland Ceili Society and Sean-nos NorthWest join together for a weekend of Irish culture. 

5th Annual Sean-nós Northwest Festival February 17th, 18th  and 19th 2012
PPAA & Multnomah Village, Portland, OR 

The 5th annual Sean-nós Northwest festival returns to Portland, Oregon for the third weekend of February 2012.  SNNW aims to promote and educate the community at large on the sean-nós or “old-style” of interpretive percussive dance and unaccompanied song.  These art forms, both emanating from the Irish Gaelic speaking adistricts of Ireland, are rather apart from the stage craft of the many ubiquitous Irish dance shows touring the globe today.  You are invited to come and witness the remarriage of music, song and dance during this weekend-long celebration featuring workshops, performances, and sessions open to the public!

The festival opens Friday night with a dance at the PPAA, 618 SE Alder Street and continues Saturday and Sundazy with events held at the Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy and the Lucky Labrador Public House, 7675 SW Capitol Hwy. The festival will conclude with a concert on Sunday, 7pm at the Lucky Labrador.  

The Friday night ceili is sponsored by the Portland Ceili Society. The band for then evening will be Sean McComiskey, Bob Soper, Elizabeth Nicholson and Chaning Dodson. Also joining them for performance will be all the SNNW festival artists. It's a ceili not to be missed. 

Heading the weekend of festivities will be singer Micheál Ó Cuaig and dancer Ronan Regan, both natives of County Galway located in the culturally rich west of Ireland.  Micheál, from Cill Chiaráin in Connemara, is a singer, poet and retired educator who currently organizes the annual Féile Joe Einniú—a festival celebrating the life of Joe Heaney, a highly respected sean-nós singer who spent a considerable amount of time in the Pacific Northwest before his death in 1984.  Micheál has also served as Sean-Nós Singer in Residence at the Centre for Irish Studies at the National University of Ireland in Galway, where he helped promote the traditions of his upbringing.  Ronan, from the thriving art center of Galway City, is a dancer, fiddler and educator who has toured extensively, promoting the tradition of sean-nós dancing throughout Europe and North America.  He has also produced two instructional sean-nós dancing DVDs and in 2012 won the All-Ireland Sean-nós Dance competition at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann hosted in Co. Cavan.       

 Also headlining the festival will be Traolach Ó Riordáin and Seán McComiskey.  Traolach, a native of County Cork in the south of Ireland, will be featured as this year’s premiere Irish language instructor.  Holding a PhD in Irish Literature from the National University of Ireland, he has taught at the University of Notre Dame as well as the University of Montana where he helped establish a program of Irish Studies.  He has lived in Missoula, Montana for over a decade now promoting the Irish language at the community and university level.  Seán McComiskey, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, is the son of famed button accordionist Billy McComiskey.  Having learned under the tutelage of his father, Seán’s personal musical style has afforded him many great accolades as a performer and teacher at some North America’s most prominent music festivals and concert halls.  He currently performs with fiddler Cleek Schrey and sean-nós dancers Kieran Jordan and Shannon Dunne as The Kitchen Quartet.

Seán Williams, lecturer of Ethnomusicology and Irish Studies at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and Bob Burke, lecturer of Irish language at Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon will be joined by a host of local professionals including sean-nós dancer and instructor Maldon Meehan, singer and recent president of the Portland Folk Music Society David Ingerson and public speaker Kimberly Goetz to round out the weekend festivities, which joyously celebrate the cultural richness of Ireland.  

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