Arts & Leisure

Traditional Music / By Daniel Neely In my very first column for the Irish Echo, I made allusion to John Whelan’s cameo (alongside Joanie Madden and Anna Colliton) on the TV show “Gossip Girl.”  I was impressed, because it’s not often you see good trad music on bubblegum teenage dramas. But network TV is not such a...

Salon Diary / By Charles Hale “Artists Without Walls,” a new initiative created by Charles R. Hale, co-founder of the Irish American Writers & Artists salon, was held at Lehman College in the Bronx last week. Hale came up with the idea when thinking of his own Irish roots, “It’s important we honor our own culture and...

Each time I discover a talented Irish artist who is bringing their music to America it’s like unwrapping a Christmas present. I admire the packaging, hope that there’s something good inside, tear open the CD track by track and revel in the wonderful feeling of hearing something for the first time. This week, the...

Traditional Music / By Daniel Neely For the past several years, New York City’s Irish Arts Center has presented “An Irish Christmas,” Mick Moloney’s wildly satisfying multi-cultural musical celebration of the winter solstice. Now a New York holiday season institution, Moloney will once again bring his musical cohort to...

Silver Screen / By Karen Butler Double Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis has admitted that playing America’s 16th president in “Lincoln” was initially a daunting prospect, but he insisted he found the courage to do so after he discovered through the man’s own words how accessible he was. Directed by Steven Spielberg and...

Between the LInes / By Peter McDermott In a 1998 Newsday article about a Queens neighborhood, a local said: “We’re not Utopia, but we’re the closest thing to it.” He and several others talked up its finer points: “95 percent graduate high school and go on to college, and some of them the best schools in the country,”...

Traditional Music / By Daniel Neely   Jesse Smith has been a part of a lot of great albums.  There’s “Think Before You Think” with Danú (2000), his solo album “Jigs and Reels” (2002), the one with the Tap Room Trio (2003), and “Ewe With the Crooked Horn” with Colm Gannon (2010).  Each one of these is a cracker and...

Traditional Music / By Daniel Neely   I came across an album in my apartment last week that I really should have gotten to months ago, Gráinne Holland’s “Teanga na nGael” (which translates to the “Language of the Gael”).  I was going through a few things on a bookshelf and BOOM, there it was, so, I had a listen and...

Page Turner / Edited by Peter McDermott In 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed David Gray, a member both of the WASP elite and his own family circle, to be ambassador to Ireland. Officially the U.S. envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, Gray’s relationship with the host country and Taoiseach Eamon...

By Charles Hale One of the outgrowths and benefits of the Irish American Writers & Artists’ salons has been the increasing number of collaborations among its members.  There were many wonderful presentations before a standing-room-only crowd at the Thalia Cafe, but two fine performances highlighted the collaborative...