Kevin Burke.

Astoria's Trad Week is special

Folks, if it’s February, it means it’s time for Trad Week at the Wolfhound!  Since 2017, the Wolfhound bar in Astoria, Queens, has put on one of the great highlights of the traditional calendar, and this year they’ve really outdone themselves.  Trad Week is happening now and as usual, they have an astounding lineup of local artists, including Joanie Madden, Mirella Murray, Mary Coogan, Tony DeMarco, Cillian Vallely, Ivan Goff, Vonnie Quinn, Alan Murray, Pat Mangan, and many many more. This is an amazing group of artists that’ll make Astoria feel like Ennis.  It’s going to be a special week.

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 Here’s the skinny: open sessions this week, Monday through Thursday, from 7 p.m., with a session for especially for uilleann pipers on Thursday starting at 4 p.m.  Then, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there will be twice-nightly concerts that start at 7 p.m. & 10 p.m. and feature the week’s musical guests.

 Again, Trad Week is happening now and it will run through Sunday.  For complete details and a full accounting of the week’s activities, visit


In other live music news, Lunasa will tour the United States Feb. 22-March 27.  They’ll make stops in New York, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michegan, Ohio, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, California, and Massachusetts.  They’re covering a lot of ground so be sure to catch them when they come your way!  See for their full tour schedule.

 In addition, legendary fiddle player Kevin Burke will tour the midwest and western U.S. with top-shelf musicians Nuala Kennedy and Eamon O’Leary March 6-17.  A member of groups like the Bothy Band, Patrick Street and Celtic Fiddle Festival, Burke is a National Heritage Fellow, and a Gradam Ceoil awardee.  I recently wrote about his brilliant web series “Music From an Irish Cottage,” which I suggested everyone should check out.  Kennedy (who was a featured guest on Burke’s webshow) is a brilliant artist who has toured extensively with the equally brilliant O’Leary (of Murphy Beds and Green Fields of America fame), both together and as members of the band The Alt (   The Burke/Kennedy/O’Leary tour will make stops in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, California, and Oregon, for complete details visit Burke’s website

 By the way, before Kennedy and O’Leary go on the road with Burke, they will perform as a duo at the New York Irish Center on March 1st as part of Don Meade’s Blarney Star concert series – it should be a great evening of tunes in Long Island City!  

 Speaking of Blarney Star concerts, Meade has a spectacular slate lined up for this spring.  After Kennedy & O’Leary’s gig in March, Cillian Vallely and David Doocey will appear at the New York Irish Center on April 26.  If you’ve not yet heard their recently released album “The Yew & The Orchard,” it’s fabulous.  Don’t have it?  Get it at the concert, or from Vallely’s website

 Then, there’s the even bigger Blarney Star news: on May 17, Meade will present the great Frankie Gavin together with pianist Catherine McHugh.  This should be a very special evening, indeed.  Gavin has proven himself one of best and most influential fiddlers in traditional music history time and again and it will be great to see him here in New York City.  

Frankie Gavin.

I know that May is a bit of a ways away from now, but because his visits here are incredibly infrequent I’d suggest booking early to make ensure you’re able to get a seat!  You can book your tickets through the New York Irish Center’s event calendar at