Boxing Banjo is the most exciting new act on the Irish traditional music scene. Comprising four of the most accomplished Irish musicians, brothers Dara (29) and Mick Healy (26) along with Joseph McNulty (22) and Seán O’Meara (26) have amassed in excess of 20 All Ireland titles on various instruments and in singing along with 4 world bodhrán titles. Having all been immersed in music from a very early age, they became equally at home playing a range of musical genres such as classical, Irish traditional and rock music. Between them, they have toured extensively and performed in countries including Russia, Belgium, China, Chile and the United States. They have now joined forces and combined their considerable individual experience and talents to create a unique blend of traditional Irish music and song, old time and bluegrass music. Combining a myriad of instruments including button accordion, banjo, guitar, mandolin and fiddle, their high-octane performances encapsulate their raw passion for their music, influenced heavily by the rugged coastline of their native west of Ireland.
Quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music’s new “super-groups,” RUNA has been en- chanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music into the Americana and roots music formats since their formation in 2008. Interweaving the haunting melodies and exuber- ant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of jazz, bluegrass, flamenco and blues, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music.
The group has been honored internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and four Independent Music Awards including Best Live Album, Best World/Traditional Song and Best Bluegrass Song.
Pappy with a Hatchet
Pappy with a Hatchet is an acoustic Irish-American band based out of St. Louis, MO. Featuring four regular house musicians from world-renowned Irish music bar John D. McGurk’s in St. Louis, Pappy presents a creative approach to playing traditional Irish music that incorporates a variety of influences from jazz, bluegrass, and other American musical traditions. Members are Kevin Buckley on fiddle, guitar and vocals; Ian Walsh on fiddle, mandolin and vocals; Alan Murray on guitar, bouzouki and vocals; and Dan Lowery on flute, guitar, and vocals.
For over twenty five years, The Fenians have delivered their potent mix of traditional Irish folk and good old rock n roll all across the USA and Ireland. With an ever expanding set of original creations, as well as contemporary and traditional tunes plucked from the panoply of the genre, these five lads put on a live show that is second to none. Their foundation is decidedly Celtic, but there is no mistaking the complimentary influences of Rock, Folk, Bluegrass, Jazz, and World music.
Through their music and voices, Terry Casey , Rob Williams, Tardu Yegin , Chris Pierce, and David Weeks-Wynne represent Everyman – sweet and sorrowful; brave and beautiful; angry and amused.
Since 1990, The Fenians have garnered an impressive list of accomplishments and honors, headlining theaters and festivals across the U. S. and Ireland, including: The House of Blues, The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas, The Milwaukee Irish Fest, Chicago Gaelic Park Irish Fest, the Dublin OH Irish Festival, Cleveland Irish Fest, as well as The Quays and Whelans, two of Ireland’s premiere live music venues, to name but a few. They are two time winners of the “Best World Music” category at the Orange County Music Awards, and were listed as one of the top 50 bands of the decade by the OC Register. In 1999, The Fenians were inducted into the Guinness Wall of Fame.
The High Kings
The High Kings are Finbarr Clancy, Darren Holden, and Brian Dunphy. Back in June 2007, they were all invited to join a brand new Irish band as three of the four founder members of the High Kings, with Martin Furey.
It had been years since the likes of The Clancy Brothers and the Dubliners had their heyday, and they all felt the time was right for a new band to come along and re-energise the traditional Irish songs for a new generation of Irish music lovers. As they took to the rehearsal studio for the first time, it didn’t take long for them to realise that the way their four unique voices blended together was the start of something special.
Initially, they were predominantly a vocal group backed by traditional musicians for the American market, where their self-titled debut album unexpectedly reached number two on Billboard Magazine’s World Music chart. But it was when the Irish people quickly took them to their hearts, with 2 sell out Irish tours, it became clear that as multi-instrumentalists, they should drop the band and play the instruments for themselves. They launched the new ‘stripped bare’ show in March 2009 with five consecutive sold out nights at Dublin’s Olympia theatre. The High Kings were reborn, playing 13 instruments between them, it was the best decision they ever made!
The High Kings will perform a special concert on Sunday ONLY from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. There are no passes out/re-entry options for Sunday. Once in the park, if you leave the site, you will need to pay the entrance fee to return.
Brand new Irish band Billow Wood (formerly known as Flat Out) are a male/female four-piece who fuse their unique brand of instrumentation with multi-vocals and harmonies. Billow Wood are influenced by Irish traditional music and folk music and are now moving in a new direction often accompanied by a bass and drums. They are creating their own unique sound! A blend of Irish music and folk music.
These four members are often outnumbered with instruments on stage with Mark O’Donnell on fiddle and guitar, Harry Lawlor on Harp and guitar, Ciara O’Donnell on Bodhrán, flute and whistles and Bríd O’Donnell on accordion. Nevertheless their blend of Irish instrumentation and vocal harmonies is a sound not to miss!
Irish Music All Stars
The United States has been at the forefront and the home-away-from-home of Irish Traditional music for nearly two hundred years with its standing fortified by the music and song of newly arrived musicians from Ireland and beyond throughout those years. The Irish Music All Stars collaboration brings together several immigrant Irish musicians who are are proud to be part of that great legacy and to represent the music: Pat Broaders, Pauline Conneely, Jimmy Keane, and Laurence Nugent.
This Irish Music All Stars collaborative draws from a deep well. The sons and daughter of traditional musicians and singers with years of experience of solo performances and with various bands including The Green Fields of America, bohola, Moloney O’Connell & Keane, Chicago Reel, Aengus, Open the Door for Three — combine to share their passion and love for the music and the tradition they represent.
The Fighting Jamesons
The Fighting Jamesons deliver a traditional style of music with an aggressive and energetic modern-day approach. Forming in 2010, The Fighting Jamesons quickly gained a strong presence on the East Coast. They’ve shared the stage with legendary Irish rock acts such as Dropkick Murphys, The Saw Doctors, and Young Dubliners.
Alair was formed in the summer of 2005 and is a 3-piece celtic group consisting of fiddle, flute, harp, percussion, and vocals.They play a blend of Irish and Scottish tunes, incorporated with a touch of jazz, rock, and world music. They put a fresh, modern, and highly energetic feel to their arrangements of traditional tunes, as well as creatively adapting music from groups such as Solas, Natalie MacMaster, and Loreena McKennitt.Alair has performed in such venues as the Indianapolis Arts Garden, the Music Mill, Indy’s Irish Fest, the Broad Ripple Art Fair, and Fionn MacCool’s Irish pub. In addition, they have performed at many weddings, house concerts, and private corporate events. This past St. Patrick’s Day 2007 they had the honor of performing as guest soloists with the Anderson Symphony Orchestra.
Indianapolis Ceili Band
The Indianapolis Ceili Band is an ensemble dedicated to the preservation of the traditional Irish ceili band style. A Ceili (pronounced Kay-lee) is a social gathering with traditional music, dancing, singing and storytelling.
This talented ensemble seeks to involve audiences in the Irish culture by inviting them to learn simple ceili dances and strives to develop camaraderie, a sense of family and create an enjoyable atmosphere at every performance. The band was formed in 2009 and features some of the finest traditional Irish musicians from the Indianapolis area. The band is a member of the international organization Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and competes in the Midwest Fleadh Ceili Band Competition every year.
The Irish Airs
The Irish Airs have been a staple in the Irish music scene in Indianapolis for more than 25 years. Lead by Irishman Brian Cunningham on guitar and vocals, The Irish Airs are the only band to have performed at every Indianapolis Irish Festival since the tradition began in 1995. The band’s lineup is rounded out by Wyatt Watkins on fiddle, T.H. Gillespie on keyboards, and Brian’s son Chris Cunningham on bodhran, mandolin, and percussion. Along with performing at the Indianapolis Irish Festival every year, the Irish Airs have performed at some very notable venues around Indianapolis including the Indiana Roof Ballroom, the Rathskeller’s Biergarden, and the Hilbert Circle Theater. They’ve even made their way across the Atlantic for a tour across Ireland with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir that included a stop at Dublin’s National Concert Hall. This is one of Indianapolis’ can’t miss Irish music acts!
Katherine Nagy is a local singer & songwriter who grew up in Kinsale, Ireland. She moved to the US as a child, but travelled to Ireland every summer to visit family in Galway and Dublin. Her memories of Ireland and influences from Irish musicians are reflected in her lyrics and melodies. She has also lived in Puerto Rico and Spain which also influences her songwriting style.
She released her first EP “Gypsy Lady” in March 2017, a single “Dark Night” in June 2017 and her EP “Fly High” in October 2017. She released her first full length album in November 2018. She has a new EP coming out in 2019.
This is her 3 rd year performing at Indy Irishfest. She performs around town for St. Patrick’s Day
on IndyStyle morning TV show and for the mayor’s downtown Greening of the Canal. You can also catch her preforming with her band at The Jazz Kitchen, Union 50 & other local festivals. Her songs have been featured on the award winning “Irish & Celtic Music Podcast” and on Chicago Irish Radio.
She graduated from Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN with a business degree and worked at a consulting firm in Chicago prior to becoming a musician. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and three children and still travels to Ireland each summer with her family in hopes that her children will treasure the memories of Ireland as much as she does.
Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance
The Richens/Timm Academy is one of the most recognizable and respected names in the world of Irish dance. It is the most established and accomplished school in both central Ohio, central Indiana and now Wyoming. The Academy’s rich history began over 35 years ago when Ann Richens ADCRG, a native of Dublin, Ireland, began traveling to Columbus from Dayton, Ohio to share her passion for Irish dance. After her prized pupil, John Timm, captured the 1993 Senior Men’s World Championship title, they partnered and the school became the Richens/Timm Academy. Following Ann’s passing in 2011, Richens/Timm is now directed by John and his wife, Heather Timm. The Richens/Timm Academy currently serves locations in Dublin, Columbus and Dayton, OH, Indianapolis and Tipton, IN, and a sister school in Casper, Wyoming.
St. Pat’s Day Rogues Pipes and Drums
Dressed in their saffron kilts, emerald green hose and Irish caubeen caps that pay homage to the uniforms of Irish military bagpipe bands, the St. Patrick’s Day Rogues Pipes & Drums pride themselves in presenting an extensive repertoire of traditional Irish tunes and Irish – American favorites.
The Rogues were founded in 2009 by a group of musicians who shared a passion for the Great Highland Bagpipes and wanted to promote music grounded in the Irish heritage of many of the members.
Musical experience among the members ranges from decades of performing in both marching and competitive bagpipe bands, college bands, military bands and drum & bugle corps as well as members who may be newer to their instruments but share in the passion for Irish music.
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