Book launched with music, friends

Tara O’Grady performing with the Black Velvet Band. PHOTO BY DAN BROWN

Salon Diary / By Karen Daly

IAW&A joined charismatic singer Tara O’Grady to celebrate the release of her new book, “Migrating toward Happiness: The Soundtrack to My Spiritual Awakening,” at Tara’s Tuesday night gig at Winnie’s Jazz Bar in the stylish Refinery Hotel on West 38th Street.

Tara’s memoir recounts her road trip drove cross-country in a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, following the route of her Irish-born grandmother

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and the events that inspired it, the people who inspired and encouraged her along the way. The trip was also a path to Tara’s spiritual awakening. To purchase it, go to her website.

At Winnie’s, Tara and her band offered up a variety of music that included jazz, pop, rockabilly and swing plus an Irish tune or two, each with a connection to her book. Tara’s original composition, “Jumpsuit of Jewels,” is an homage to the 1957 Elvis and “I Love You with All My Blood,” based a quote from her young nephew. Recalling summer visits to Donegal, she sang “I’ll tell Me Ma” and from the American songbook, “Sentimental Journey” and “Stardust.”

The author with her father Thomas O’Grady at the mic. PHOTO BY DAN BROWN

Tara’s enthusiastic fans, friends and family members filled the house. She introduced friends who influenced her profoundly, a Tarot reader from Greenwich Village, and Dr. Christine, a psychologist/singer, who also duetted with Tara in “Dream A Little Dream.” Find Dr. Christine’s self-help book “Ignite the Genius Within” is available at Amazon.

Tara generously invited other performers and IAW&A friends to the mic, notably singers Minee Dee and French-Canadian Myriam Phiro, who gave us “Autumn Leaves” in two languages. Catch her upcoming Edith Piaf tribute at Birdland on May 19.

IAW&A’s John Kearns took the mic to explain the IAW&A's mission and activities, and read his poem, "Song of the Anthracite Coal Miner,” excerpted from his play, “Sons of Molly Maguire,” which has been produced in New York and Dublin.

Pictured front, from left, Daisy Kearns, Karen Daly and Jack DiMonte; back row, from left, Brendan Costello, Sarah Fearon and Tara O'Grady. PHOTO BY RICHARD J. VELASCO

Our own Jack Di Monte delivered a smooth rendition of the jazz standard “I’ll Remember April.” Our comic performer Sarah Fearon did a few minutes of standup geared to fit in with Tara’s spiritual exploration, and a plug for her own solo show 2B, to run April 25 through May 12 at the Players Theatre.

A terrific night, enjoyed by all who came out to support Tara!

Tara O’Grady will be performing book-launch concerts in Key West, Fla., on Friday, April 26, for the Studios of Key West, and in Washington DC May 22 for the Irish Network DC. The Ireland launch will take place in Donegal in the last weekend of June. And on Aug. 17, she will appear at a Chevrolet-hosted event at Factory One in Flint, Mich., where the first Chevy was built.