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Celtic Band Lúnasa to Perform at Macey Center

SOCORRO, N.M. February 24, 2015 – Following successful summer performances at three of the biggest music festivals in the world is the highly acclaimed Celtic band Lúnasa, scheduled to appear at New Mexico Tech’s Macey Center at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, in a Performing Arts Series event.

The performance marks Lúnasa’s only appearance in New Mexico as part of their current tour, according to the group’s website. The 2015 tour opened with three concerts in Canada. Seattle will be their first U.S. stop, followed by Socorro.

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Lúnasa is (clockwise from back left) Kevin Crawford, Trevor Hutchinson, Ed Boyd, Seán Smyth and Cillian Vallely.

 

Lúnasa, internationally acknowledged as being the finest traditional Irish instrumental outfit of recent times, played the three summer festivals over a 10-day period last August – Cambridge Folk Festival in the England; Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France and Edmont Folk Festival in Canada.

“Obviously, it’s impossible to duplicate the lush countryside of Ireland, but we can bring to Socorro the sounds and instruments traditional to Ireland,” Series Director Ronna Kalish said. “This concert marks the second time Lúnasa has appeared on the stage at Macey Center,” she added.

Lúnasa is composed of Kevin Crawford (flutes, low whistles and tin whistles), Trevor Hutchinson (double bass), Ed Boyd (guitar), Seán Smyth (fiddle and low whistle) and Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes and low whistles).

Lúnasa have sold more than a quarter of a million albums in the course of their career, and have racked up an impressive back catalogue of seven highly-acclaimed and award-winning studio albums.

“They’re a touring band in the truest sense of the word,” Kalish said. “Lúnasa has performed over 1,500 shows across 36 countries since 1997.”

Among the venues they’ve appeared are The Hollywood Bowl, the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Sydney Opera House and Moscow International House of Music.

“They’ve even been invited to appear at the White House,” Kalish said.

Lúnasa are renowned for their stunning shows and superb musicianship. Their inventive arrangements and bass-driven grooves have steered Irish acoustic music into new territory, while attracting fans of all ages.

Their recordings have been hailed as among the finest world-music albums anywhere, while their blend of intelligence, innovation, virtuosity and passion has brought them to the forefront of traditional Celtic music.

Legendary Irish fiddler Kevin Burke had this to say: “Maintaining the unique, intimate qualities of a musical tradition while at the same time meeting and fulfilling the demands of the contemporary music world is a difficult juxtaposition to achieve, yet Lúnasa have managed to accomplish exactly that.”

Band member Crawford said, “Thankfully, the huge melting pot of music that exists within the Irish tradition allows us to seek out exciting and unexplored melodies that work for a band like ourselves. This, combined with the newer self-composed pieces and strong belief in what we do, help to keep both the band and the tradition very much alive and kicking.”

With the release of “Lúnasa with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra” in 2013, the band continued to explore new directions in the world of Irish traditional music.

Individual members also are in increasing demand for worldwide touring and recording work – Hutchinson went out on a European tour with his old band mates, The Waterboys; Vallely collaborated with Bruce Springsteen on his 2014 release, “High Hopes;” Crawford toured with Martin Hayes and John Doyle as The Teetotalers; Boyd has toured with Flook and Cara Dillon; while Sean transforms back to “Dr. Smyth” and his medical profession between Lúnasa tours.

Sponsors for Lúnasa are Socorro Springs, KUNM, Dr. Robert and Kathy Markwell, Nusenda Credit Union and Best Western.

Tickets for Lúnasa are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens 65 and over, and $10 for youths 17 and under, and are available at the Cashier’s Office (second floor of Fidel Center), Brownbilt Shoes and Western Wear, Burrito Tyme Drive-up or at the door.

– NMT –

By Valerie Kimble/New Mexico Tech