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2023 AUSTIN CELTIC FESTIVAL PERFORMERS
Schedules will be posted October 1

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FRANKIE GAVIN &
CATHERINE MCHUGH

Frankie Gavin at the age of seventeen, won All-Ireland competitions for both fiddle and flute. Originally influenced by some of the great Irish and American-Irish fiddle players such as James Morrison and Michael Coleman, he later found himself playing with stars such as The Rolling Stones, Stephane Grappelli, Elvis Costello, and Yehudi Menhuin. All have left their mark on his eclectic approach to music and his globally renowned band De Dannan. There is no more exciting fiddle player or moving flute player in the world of Irish music today. For this performance, Frankie will be joined by Catherine McHugh, one of the most outstanding young accompanists in Irish traditional music today.

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RORY MAKEM

A seasoned performer with over 34 years on the road, Rory has toured extensively with The Makem Brothers, and the Makem and Spain Brothers and for 17 years played guitar with his father, Tommy Makem. At his best on stage, Rory captivates his audiences with charisma, passion for the songs, poetry, history, humor, and skilled musicianship. The love of song runs deep in the family. Continuing a legacy handed down from his Grandmother, the legendary source singer Sarah Makem, Rory pulls the songs of the worker, the sailor, the lovers, the fighters, and the land from the pages of history and breathes life into them.  Of course, there were many years at his father’s side absorbing the master at his craft. Through more than 34 years of plying his craft, Rory has established himself as one of the leading forces in the song tradition of Irish music.

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MARI BLACK TRIO

World champion fiddler Mari Black and her trio on a dynamic journey through the roots and branches of Celtic music: tunes from Ireland, Scotland, Shetland, Canada, and more! You’ll be tapping your toes and jumping up to dance in the aisles as Mari spins together a musical adventure full of driving reels, lilting jigs, stately marches, haunting slow airs, mighty strathspeys, cheeky hornpipes, and the magical stories behind them — all celebrating tradition and exploring possibility in these beloved Celtic music styles.

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KINFOLK

 One the newest and freshest pure drop Irish trad bands in the North Texas area.

Peggy and Ken are 40-year veterans of Irish music.  They are now joined by their children, Kevin and Katie. Kevin on flute, tin whistle, and low whistle, and Katie on tenor banjo and mandolin.  Peggy, whose mainstay remains the fiddle, recently added the concertina to her wheelhouse, and Ken, having handed his banjo duties to his daughter, now holds forth on button accordion, bouzouki, and guitar. They recently added a guitar player, Sam Hatch. KinFolk’s repertoire is a lively blend of jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas, and marches with waltzes, airs, and songs added for good measure.

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The Prodigals

Austin's favorite NYC band leader is returning with accordion-led madness and rousing songs.

Gregory combines original lyrics and melody with a genuine passion for the traditional music of Ireland and a funky energy that is pure New York. The roots of the music are unmistakably traditional Irish; the branches that shoot off delve into rock, worldbeat, jazz, and punk, and the result has been called “the best Irish trad-rock band.” 

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THE FITZGERALDS

From just outside of Canada’s renowned Ottawa Valley, have come a long way from their small-town roots. Featuring 3-time Canadian Grandmaster Fiddle Champions and Ontario Open Step Dance Champions, this unique act features high-energy fiddling and mind-blowing step dancing. It is the rare combination of exceptional musicianship, incomparable step dancing, audience interaction, evident love of performing, and genuine sibling connection that resonates with audiences of all ages and sets this group apart. 

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Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums

For the past 40 years Silver Thistle has been a competitive bagpipe band and 501c3 non-profit organization, serving the greater Austin area by performing and teaching a mix of modern and traditional music. 

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INISHFREE IRISH DANCE

The Inishfree School of Irish Dancing has been one of the most prominent Irish Dance classes in the state of Texas for over 15 years. In this time, children and adults have gained more than just the ability to dance. Inishfree School of Irish Dancing Texas offers Irish dance lessons to children and adults in Austin, San Antonio, Round Rock/Georgetown, and Kyle/BudaClasses focus on developing a strong work ethic, focus, achievement, and good sportsmanship, and making lifelong friends.

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Scottish Country Dance Alliance

The SCDA hosts an all-ages Scottish Country Dance workshop at the Austin Celtic Festival and also operates a popular bakery of Celtic goodies.  Look on the schedule for the time and place of their workshop!

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