July 19 to 21 in Belfast

Maine Celtic Celebration sets lineup

Apr 21, 2013

Belfast — The seventh annual Maine Celtic Celebration is set for Friday through Sunday, July 19 through 21, at the Belfast Common and Steamboat Landing.

The Maine Celtic Celebration is a family-oriented celebration of the rich Celtic heritage, culture and hospitality found along the coast of Maine. It features something for everyone to watch or participate in including music, dancing, athletic competitions and games, as well as food and craft vendors.

This year’s musical lineup continues the Celebration’s history of presenting local and international performers; and offering a mix of traditional and modern Celtic music and dancing. Returning trio Vishten from maritime Canada take inspiration from Scottish and Irish traditions, melding all the bounce and bravado of Quebecois music with the soulful melodies of the Acadian tradition. Vishten’s album “Mosaik” recently won Francophone Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards in Halifax.

Hans Araki and the Mighty Few from Portland, Ore., are back with music that harkens back to a time when the function of Celtic music was more than just a backdrop for the sale of Guinness and Jameson. Word is that the trio is adding a drummer for this summer’s visit, which is guaranteed to kick the already high energy of the group up a notch.

From Maine’s Portland comes The Press Gang, a trio of young musicians with much credibility in the world of traditional music. The group blends its members’ skill and fluency in traditional Irish music with their curiosity and aptitude for other styles.

Also returning is the duo Naia, comprised of harpist Danielle Langord and flutist Nicole Rabata, playing traditional Celtic music from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Quebec, along with their own traditionally-inspired compositions. Michael Black will be another favorite back from the 2012 Celebration with his fusion of contemporary and traditional material ranging from beautiful ballads to boisterous chanteys. He may again invite his daughters to join him on stage for some classic Irish step-dancing.

Two Maine groups that have not appeared in recent years will be back in 2013. Castlebay has been musically weaving together the heritage of New England and the Celtic lands since 1987. Members Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee blend history, legend and experience into their personable performance style. The Ladies of the Lake are top-notch instrumentalists with an extensive repertoire of traditional dance tunes from Ireland, New England and Canada. They also are accomplished singers whose vocal arrangements feature distinctive three-part harmonies.

Other confirmed performers include Ryan McGiver and Cillian Vallely, Stanley and Grimm, The High Ground, Alison Lakin, Bob McCormick, The Galley Rats, Chuck Donnelly and Emma Walsh, Matt Smith and Chris Brinn plus Heather Morris' Celtic Dance Company. In addition to performing, several of the musicians will offer workshops for Celebration attendees. Jam sessions will open and close each day of workshops.

For complete schedule information as it becomes available, visit mainecelticcelebration.com. The entire weekend of music, games, food and fun is brought to the Midcoast by the all-volunteer work of the Maine Celtic Celebration Committee. It takes all year and about $40,000 to present the Celebration, and it could not be done without the support of sponsors and donors. For information on becoming a sponsor, call 338-2692 or send email to info@mainecelticcelebration.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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