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Irish Arts Center presents Winter Solstice at Symphony Space, December 16-17
(Published: November 16, 2016)

Irish Arts Center brings its annual holiday celebration of Irish, American, and world music, dance and storytelling with Mick Moloney, Athena Tergis, and a cast of America's top Irish and world musicians to Symphony Space, December 16-17. Huffington Post called Winter Solstice, which honors mid-winter traditions from around the world, "one of the best Irish contributions to a New York Christmas." Bill Whelan, Grammy Award-winning composer of Riverdance added that the event is exactly "what Christmas should be about - celebration, craic, good music and song, the closeness of friends and family, and the thought spared for our sisters and brothers on the margins of life." This year, Winter Solstice welcomes MacDara Vallely to direct a ritual performance inspired by the old Celtic quarter festivals of the winter solstice, combining mumming, poetry, music, drama, song and dance from Ireland, England and the Caribbean islands.

Mick Moloney (musical director and performer, tenor banjo, octave mandolin), is originally from County Limerick, Ireland, and was a member of the Johnstons folk group in Ireland before coming to the US in 1973. In America, he teamed up with the much-loved fiddler Eugene O'Donnell whom he played with for over twenty years. He also performed during this time and recorded extensively with Robbie O'Connell and Jimmy Keane. Now a professor of Music and Irish Studies at New York University, Moloney is also a producer and performer in over sixty recordings and several documentary films, author of Far from the Shamrock Shore: The Story of Irish American History Through Song and editor of Close to the Floor: The Story of Irish Dance in America and the recipient of the National Heritage Award.

Athena Tergis (fiddle) hails from a musical family in San Francisco where she released her first album at age 16. She followed her passion for traditional music to Ireland and joined the Sharon Shannon Band. Athena was also the featured violinist in the production of Riverdance on Broadway. She spent over a year on tour with Bruce Springsteen's sax player, Clarence Clemmons. In 2001 she joined Mick Moloney and Billy McComiskey in The Green Fields of America releasing their self-titled album on Compass Records along with her solo album A Letter Home and a PBS documentary Absolutely Irish! Athena is also a regular principal soloist and composer with the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Artists joining Mick Moloney and Athena Tergis include Brendan Dolan (pianist), Liz Hanley (fiddler and singer), Tamar Korn (jazz vocalist), Billy McComiskey (button accordionist), Niall O'Leary (Irish step dancer), John Roberts (guitarist and singer), Leni Sloan (dancer), MacDara Vallely (mumming performance director and performer) as well as more special guests.

More Information: http://irishartscenter.org/

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