Band Wagon to take in Belfast, Dublin, Donegal

Tara O'Grady will be both tour guide and entertainer on the 2017 Band Wagon Tour of Ireland.

Celtic jazz songstress Tara O'Grady is taking her friends and fans to Ireland again on her 2017 Band Wagon Tour from July 27- August 4. This time, she heads to her home county of Donegal, where her mother was born. The group invites you to stay with them in the luxurious Harvey's Point hotel/spa on Lough Eske.

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Harvey's Point and Donegal are getting lots of accolades this year, being voted No. 1 hotel in Ireland by Trip Advisor, and Coolest Place to Visit for 2017 by National Geographic.

O’Grady’s New York City based jazz/blues band will then go on to Belfast to stay at the Merchant Hotel. Tara and the gang will be joined there by Van Morrison's trumpet player and BBC radio host Linley Hamilton on August 2. There will also time to explore the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim.

Tara will also be performing at the 50th anniversary of the Mary from Dungloe International Festival July 31 in Donegal, where she represented her city when she competed as Miss New York at age 21. The all-inclusive tour begins and ends in Dublin where her band returns to perform at Marcel's on August 3, a venue Ms. O’Grady says Mundy hooked up for her. The holiday package includes cliffs, castles and countryside in addition to the city craic, with Tara as tour guide.

If you wish to join Tara O'Grady & her Black Velvet Band on tour this summer, contact Niall at Caddie Tours to reserve your seat on their band wagon. 1-866-387-6759 or More details here.

Ireland’s jazz journey

Meantime, “Tobin’s Run on 51” is a new series of jazz nights curated by Irish singer-songwriter Christine Tobin and guitarist Phil Robson, who will be joined each night by special guests. Tobin and Robson invite some of New York’s best Irish and international musicians to play sets and share stories about music’s greatest artists and treasures.

This inaugural show, entitled “From Raglan Road to Green Dolphin Street,” on Feb. 23 at 8 p.m., will explore Ireland’s own jazz journey with tales about topics spanning from the anti-jazz campaign of the 1930s to producing one of the world’s greatest jazz guitarists—Louis Stewart—a couple of decades later. Ireland now has a burgeoning jazz scene, and this concert will feature some of today’s finest musicians, including the Justin Carroll & Simon Jermyn Trio and David O’Rourke Trio, in salute to Louis.

More at IAC

And other Irish Arts Center events in coming weeks include, at 7 p.m. on March 1 at the Center for Fiction, Belinda McKeon and Lisa Carey discuss how their latest novels delve into obsessive desire, the relationship between sexuality and community, and writing unlikeable characters; the St. Pats for All Benefit, on March 3 at 6 p.m., at the Irish Arts Center ahead of the parade on Sunday, March 5, in Sunnyside/ and Woodside on Sunday, March 5. Performers include Brian Fleming, Niall O' Leary School of Dance, Honor Molloy, Malachy McCourt and Tony Demarco; and also on March 5, at 5 p.m., television’s Ryan Tubridy and Children’s Book Ireland Laureate illustrator P.J. Lynch will discuss their collaboration on “Patrick and the President.”