The Chieftains, having served as the benchmark for Irish traditional music for the past four decades, will return to the U.S. this February through March for their annual winter tour. February 2008 marks 34 years of touring in North America for the group, having made their U.S. debut in 1972 and their first tour in 1974. The 2008 tour begins on February 18 in Albuquerque, NM and ends with a St. Patrick’s Day performance on March 17 at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. The Chieftains original members include founder and frontman Paddy Moloney (Uilleann pipes, tin whistle), Matt Molloy (flute), Sean Keane (fiddle) and Kevin Conneff (bodhran, vocals).
Other performers include the notable Irish harpist Triona Marshall, and the young Canadian acrobatic dancing team of brothers’ Jon and Nathan Pilatzke, along with traditional Irish dancer Cara Butler. Known for her one-of-a-kind technique, Triona left the RTE Orchestra to tour with The Chieftains and is now working on her first solo album. The dancing Pilatzkes have been a part of The Chieftains show for just over five years now, with Jon continuing to dazzle audiences with his ability to combine his talents on stage as a correspondingly brilliant fiddle player. Also on board is Maureen Fahy (fiddle and vocals), and Irish vocalist Carmel Conway, who will be joining the group in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
For the CELTIC-SCOTTISH CONNECTION 2008 TOUR, The Chieftains will incorporate a trio of renowned musicians from Scotland as special guests. Fronting the trio is Alyth McCormack, a singer/actress who has performed worldwide to rave reviews, having also recorded with various artists and appearing on a number of film soundtracks. McCormack found critical acclaim for her first solo album An Iomall (The Edge) released by Vertical Records, and will be accompanied throughout the tour by pianist and singer Brian Mcalpine, and Jonny Hardie (guitar and fiddle). Says Chieftain Paddy Moloney: “The connection between Irish and Scottish music is undeniable, and I’m excited to finally be celebrating this with these great talents.”
Adds Moloney with a laugh, “It’s about time we join up with some Scots, considering we gave them the bagpipes and all.”
This year, The Chieftains can also be heard on the soundtrack for “The Water Horse: Legend of The Deep,” by composer James Newton Howard. The family film is playing in movie theaters worldwide, with the original music mutually finding international praise.
For the 2008 tour, The Chieftains will perform selections that span their latest and greatest hits, many of which are found on their 2006 release The Essential Chieftains. As usual with The Chieftain’s shows look for other surprise guests to appear at select shows.
The Chieftains and guests will perform in the following cities:
Feb. 18 Albuquerque, NM Popejoy Hall
Feb. 19 Ft. Worth, TX Bass Hall
Feb. 21 Los Angeles, CA Walt Disney Hall
Feb. 22 Marin, CA/ San Rafael Marin Center
Feb. 23 Modesto, CA Gallo Center for the Arts
Feb. 26 Detroit, MI Orchestra Hall
Feb. 27 Notre Dame, IN De Bartolo Center
Feb. 29 Marion, OH Palace Theatre
Mar. 01 Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square
Mar. 02 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall
Mar. 04 Nashville, TN Schermerhorn Symphony Hall
Mar. 07 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theater
Mar. 08 Inglewood, NJ Bergen Performing Arts Center
Mar. 09 New Brunswick, NJ State Theatre
Mar. 11 Charlottetown, NC Belk Theater/Blumenthal Center
Mar. 12 Norfolk, VA Sandler PAC/ Virginia Beach
Mar. 14 Boston, MA Symphony Hall
Mar. 15 Philadelphia, PA Kimmel Center
Mar. 17 New York, NY Carnegie Hall
With a career that spans forty-three years and forty-three albums, The Chieftains are not only Ireland’s premier musical ambassadors but also the most enduring and influential creative force in establishing the international appeal of Celtic music and have also collaborated with many musical legends including Van Morrison and Sting. Six-time Grammy winners and nineteen-time Grammy nominees, The Chieftains continue to maintain an international touring schedule that has brought them before literally millions of fans on every continent.