What an utter delight to have the opportunity to see Paddy Maloney and the Chieftains at Strathmore. This group, known for bringing traditional Irish music to the world’s attention, is celebrating their 56th Anniversary.
I thought the evening was great fun for everybody, whether they were Irish or not…
This performance featured Tara Breen, Jon Pilatzke, Will McMorm, Triona Marcia, Kevin Coneff, Matt Malloy, and of course Paddy Maloney. These remarkable musicians create a fluid and supportive ensemble. Each member was given the opportunity to share a solo piece or two which made for a beautifully diverse evening. Cara Butler, Nathan Pilatzke, Alyth McCormack, and the Strathmore Children’s Chorus joined the group on stage.
They did not simply celebrate traditional Irish music, but also Scottish, Canadian, and even American, reminding us how our cultures are entwined and the many similarities between us.
Tara Breen and Jon Pilatzke are remarkable fiddle players with great dexterity and physical talent. Breen is also a talented step dancer and saxophone player, which was a delightful surprise to the audience. Pilatzke and his brother Nathan make up the Pilatzke brothers, a strong dancing duo with abounding energy and stamina. Jon played a couple of solo pieces on his fiddle that was truly astounding.
Triona Marcia was a lovely harp and piano player, who brought a beautiful gentility to the group and her harp solos were angelic.
Kevin Coneff, an original Chieftain, is a steady percussionist and has a gentle voice that carries the weight of Ireland in it. Matt Malloy, another original Chieftain, played the flute with joy and enthusiasm and his solo pieces soared.
Cara Butler is a gorgeous dancer with strong poise. The way she moves across the stage with agility and in such defined angles was impressive. Alyth McCormack has a lovely voice that dances with the music. She sang a traditional style of Scottish music that was complex and wordy. Her performance was masterful and fun.
I thought the evening was great fun for everybody, whether they were Irish or not, and everyone could identify with the music and enjoy the lovely storytelling.
The Chieftains performed at Music Center at Strathmore. For tickets and more information click here