Save the Dates!

CelticFest Mississippi 2019 will be March 29-30th  at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum.  We’ll continue to introduce you to some great musicians and bring back your favorites.

If you just can’t wait we’ve got you covered there as well!

August 31, 2018  Eimear Arkins & Eileen Gannon -The Fairview Inn

Eimear Arkins Music

October 7, 2018  Storyteller Helena Byrne -The Fairview Inn   www.HelenaByrne.com

We will be scheduling some additional Fairview Inn concerts as well as a House Concert or two.  Please sign up for our Email List for updates delivered to your inbox!

Make sure you add–     celticfestms@gmail.com  —     to your address book- we hate being stuck in your spam folder.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter- @celticfestms  is our handle.

-Sláinte!

Thank You 2018!

It was by all accounts a pretty amazing Fest! The music, dancing, games & vendors were fantastic and we had pretty decent weather.  A little breezy.  Okay, there was some crazy wind at times but no rain and that is a blessing for any festival.   On behalf of the CHS Board we would like to offer our sincere appreciation to everyone who made this year happen.  The attempt to name everyone would make this a very, very long post. Know that we are indebted to you all!

We will shout out to our Sponsors as well as partners Fenian’s Pub, Great Southern Events & Capital Cities Beverages.  Much thanks!  The staff of the MS Ag Museum who mentioned many times that they really love CelticFest and proved it by their hard work as well as the crack Security Team who made sure the shenanigans were kept to the family friendly level.  

Our much appreciated friends & sponsors, Perry Launius & Nick Lord from Wine & Spirits in the Quarter and all their staff and Reps for another fantastic Kindred Spirits Whisky Tasting.

The ladies most people didn’t see but without whom there would have been some hangry performers- the catering duo of Julie Tipton & Beverly Johnston and their tireless helpers (who also happen to be their respective kids).

To the stellar crew from Griffin Media lead by James Griffin who provided not only the wonderful & professional sound management but also a live feed on their facebook page of performances on the main stage as well as recorded video and the beautiful stage set up.

To ALL the incredible Musicians, Dancers & Athletes who came from near and far to share their talent with we mere mortals.  We all know it’s not a festival without you and we’re grateful!

To the volunteers beginning with the Board of the Celtic Heritage Society: Terry Baldridge, James Griffin, Keegan Burt, Tammy Vaughan, Tammy Arthur, Mac Buntin, David Keary, Clark Lowery,  Harvey Kimble and CHS members, Maggie Cupples, Catherine Sherer Bishop & Bob Mamrak and of course Dianne Stefanick & Don Butts who all  worked diligently to pull it off.  To all those who missed the music when they were pouring beer, selling t-shirts (they sold out by the way!) and working the armband table. Can’t happen without any of you but I really want to say thank you especially to the few brave & amazing people who even without the heat of September were still sweaty blobs setting everything up, working the fest (some even performing in between)  and then tearing it all down. YOU ROCK!

Lastly,  I would like to personally express my gratitude to Don Penzien, Jil Chambless, Máirtín de Cógáin, Steve Payne, Rob Millette, Steve Whitlow, Chuck Bishop, Catherine Koehler, Greg Johnson, Shaundi Wall, Debbie Kreiser, Bill Rogers, Clark Lowery, Tom McCandlish and Elizabeth Doss who know what organizing this thing entails and in addition to every member of the Board were all very encouraging to me throughout.

We think we like the Spring so look for us again next year and tell a friend please!

We also think there are some things we can do better and we’re going to chat about that at our AfterFest meeting. You’re invited to come and offer your two cents which is most likely worth a pound of gold!   It’s Sunday April 8th- 6pm at Fenian’s Pub after the Jackson Irish Dancers’ Mostly Monthly Céilí with live music from awesome fest performers, Emerald Accent.  The céilí starts at 4pm, it’s free and all ages are welcome!

Sláinte!

Suezen Brown                                                                                                                                    Celtic Heritage Society, President

Highland Games Demonstrations at CelticFest 2018

We’re excited to announce that the Highland Games Demonstrations will offer the opportunity for Festival Goers to give it a go! This is not necessarily meant for experienced athletes although we won’t turn you away.  It’s more geared for anyone who ever thought that it would be fun to try.
A waiver MUST be signed and if you drop a caber on your foot you need to know we won’t be held responsible. You should have health insurance to cover you or we would suggest you just stay a spectator.

The Waiver is here.

Athletic Waiver

You can download and sign it or pick one up at the CHS (Celtic Heritage Society Booth). Identification will be required to sign a waiver.

Kilt not required but if you have one- we DON”T go full regimental at CelticFest.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day- We’re one week away!

It’s been a fast and furious several months getting this baby off the ground. We hope that everything we’ve kept, changed or tweaked will make for an enjoyable couple of days for everyone!
We know there were people who didn’t understand why we moved it from September or why we dropped Sunday from the schedule. We assure you these were necessary for this year and hope that you will have such a great time that you’ll forgive us for the changes. .
I’m personally grateful for the encouragement and support from so many people,  especially from all those who know what it’s like to organize this shindig!

On behalf of the Celtic Heritage Society Board,  Thank you and see you next week!

Oh yeah- and the schedule is up!

-Suezen

What’s “New” for 2018?

When a festival has been an annual event since 1992 (we know-2017 became a planning year) everything under the Celtic Sun has probably been done already.  The new team has been working diligently for several months and we’re excited to revisit old favorites and maybe offer a twist or two.

On Friday night, March 23rd,  our long time location on the grounds of MS Ag Museum will offer you a “Taste of CelticFest” with a ticket price of just $5!  There will be performances on the Forestry Main Stage sponsored by Wine & Spirits in the Quarter, the Jerry Baldridge Tent Stage as well as some informal session space on the Fenian’s Pub Stage.

The dancers among us are especially excited to offer the Céilí Beag this year in the Sparkman Auditorium sponsored by Jackson Irish Dancers.  What’s a Céilí Beag?  Small Dance of course! With Caller Jackie O’Riley this céilí is geared toward more experienced dancers with traditional set dancing as well as céilí dances but of course everyone is welcome!  The famous and unique CelticFest Céilí Mór (Big Dance) is still Saturday night from 8-Midnight in the Forestry Building.  If you have no idea what a “céilí (kay-lee) is then you MUST come out and see for yourself! Spectators are also very welcome!

A limited, but fine selection of our Vendors will be set up on Friday night with the full complement on Saturday.  We’re excited for you to greet old favorites and meet the first timers who are sure to become favorites!  Of course the Captial Cities Beverages Beer Truck will be there Friday and Saturday.

Schedules will be posted here on the website the week prior to the Festival and a printed version will be available at the Celtic Heritage Society Tent where you will purchase your beer tickets, browse and pick up CD’s and Merchandise for sale by the many artists as well as the CelticFest MS 2018 T-shirt!  We’ll also be offering previous CelticFest Banners  for sale as well as “Vintage” CelticFest T-shirts.  Limited supply so get em’ while you can!

Saturday March 24th – ALL the Bands, Dancers, Workshops, Clans, Shire of Iron Ox chapter of the SCA,  Marilyn the Highland Coo & animals to delight, Blacksmiths from the MS Forge Council, Highland Games Demonstrations and Bagpipers and of course The Kindred Spirits Whisky Tasting!  Sponsored kindly by our great friends at Wine & Spirits in the Quarter ( 1855 Lakeland Drive) Kindred Spirits will be Saturday from 4 -8 pm in the Ethnic Heritage Building. Two price points and even better value! Check out the details Here.

Get Social with us!  We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @celticfestms . The links are to your right on this page.

Sláinte!

 

If you’ve read this far, YOU are a saint and a scholar and deserve a bonus!

Join us Thursday March 22nd at the fabulous Fairview Inn for a free CelticFest MS Kickoff Party!  CelticFest Artists,  dancer Jackie O’Riley,  Finvarra’s Wren and Spirits of the House with Joey Abarta will perform starting at 7pm.  It’s your first chance to hear some selections from the new CD from Spirits, featuring Joey Abarta on uilleann pipes,  entitled,  The Empty Chair.

All musicians are welcome to sit in on a session afterward so please bring your instruments. The craic is sure to be mighty !

CHS Concert Series at The Fairview Inn Presents Dave Curley

Tuesday,  Feb. 20, 2018

7PM

$20 general Admission   $15 for CHS Members.

Available here on the website or at the door.

Admission price goes to the Artist so please come out and support amazing Irish musicians stopping off in Jackson!

Dave Curley is one of Ireland’s leading multi-instrumentalists, vocalists and a champion step dancer. Hailing from Co. Galway on the west coast of Ireland, Curley has brought his wealth of talents to the largest of stages in North America and Western Europe. He has performed at the prestigious Ryman auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, recorded with Grammy award winners Ron Block, Jeff Taylor and Buddy Greene, and toured with Grammy award winners Moya Brennan of Clannad and Ross Holmes of Mumford and Sons. For 10 years, Curley has worked with the award winning traditional super group, SLIDE and also spent 5 successful years with award winning American Roots band RUNA. More recently, Curley has become an integral member to the new CRANNUA project featuring Moya Brennan, John Doyle, Ashley Davis, Mick McCauley plus Eamonn and Cormac DeBarra.

 

Happy New Year!

We’re pleased to announce more of our Lineup for CelticFest MS 2018!

Joining our Headliner ranks is Finvarra’s Wren from Michigan. Returning for the first time since 2012, we’re thrilled they’re making their way south again and bringing uilleann player Nick Brown. Their performances have been described as “a swirl of musical tradition and performance energy” (Matt Watroba, host of “Folks Like Us” on WDET).

We are so fortunate to have the wonderful Chambless & Muse from Alabama joining us this year! Described by Ed Miller- Scottish Recording Artist, Folklorist & Radio Host as having, “Exquisite vocals, oh-so-tasteful guitar and a lilting flute – a deceptively simple, beautiful and gentle combination!” We agree wholeheartedly and couldn’t be happier to have them!

We’re so pleased to announce that Jim Flanagan will be back with us! Jim has been part of the festival from the very beginning and honestly it would not be CelticFest without him! He provides a mix of both Irish language and English language songs; songs based in the old style (sean nós) tradition as well as contemporary ballads..

Spirits of the House The hometown group who keeps the Trad scene alive in Jackson! We’re excited to get to be the first to hear new music from Spirits from their upcoming cd entitled The Empty Chair featuring tracks with Joey Abarta on uilleann pipes. We’re in for a treat!

Our friends Celtic Crossroads with members spread around Mississippi are coming together once again to share the craic! Celtic Crossroads brings you songs from the silly to the serious with a good number of lively dance tunes thrown into the mix.

We’re excited to have the New Orleans Strathspey & Reel Society joining us this year! The New Orleans Strathspey & Reel Society was formed in 2001 to promote, preserve, and perform the Traditional music of Scotland and the surrounding Celtic regions. We’re so pleased they’re hopping on the train from the Crescent City to be with us!

The Old Ways from Oxford, Mississippi. Bringing together the multi-instrumentalist talents of Greg Johnson and vocalist/percussionist Shaundi Wall, this husband and wife duo blend their passion for Celtic music through tunes and songs both ancient and modern. This year, the Old Ways are proud to add vocalist Kate Lechler to the lineup.

More announcements coming soon!

Headliner Announcements!

The first of many performer announcements!

We are happy to announce that festival favorite Máirtín de Cógáin will be back this year with the Máirtín de Cógáin Project featuring our great friends Jil Chambless on flute and vocals along with the founder (and happily retired) former director of CelticFest MS, Don Penzien on guitar with fiddler phenom Haley Richardson.

Haley Richardson with Don Penzien will be taking the stage as well. Among Haley’s many accomplishments the most recent is as the 2017 All Ireland under 15 slow air champion. We are so fortunate to have her making her CelticFest debut!

Mississippi’s own Emerald Accent- Clark Lowery, Tom McCandlish and Gail Fox  will be debuting their new lineup this year featuring fiddler & singer Alexis Frenette.  We can’t wait for you to hear them!

We’re very pleased to be able to have the fantastic Beyond the Pale from Dallas, Texas back after many a long year! Longtime festival goers can tell you what a great time you’re in for!  

The Coyne Family from Boston.  If that name sounds familiar you’ll be recalling that John Coyne has been a long time CelticFest friend performing with Larre Reeves who will also be back!  We’re so pleased to have  persuaded the whole, incredibly talented family to make the journey this year!  Lisa Coyne on flute,  Josie Coyne on fiddle & Rory Coyne on accordion.  

Also making their CelticFest debut, we’re pleased to introduce you to  Pappy With A Hatchet from St. Louis.  Members Dan Lowery, Alan Murray, Kevin Buckley and Ian Walsh are well known in the Trad scene not only for their first class talent but also excellent band naming skills!          

We’re thrilled to have our great friend, uilleann piper Joey Abarta from Boston back with us this year.  Joey will be performing in a few different lineups as well as teaching workshops.  

We excited to have incredible sean-nós dancer, set and céilí teacher Jackie O’Riley from Boston with us. Jackie will be performing and teaching workshops.

Catherine Bishop, TCRG, TMRF.  Catherine received her certification to teach céilí & set dancing (TMRF)  as well as step dance (TCRG)  through An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG).  She has been the director and teacher for the Jackson Irish Dancers for many years so if you’re a longtime festival goer you know what a fantastic dancer she is! She will be performing as well as calling the Saturday night Céilí!

More announcements to come! Stay Tuned! 

Concert Series

The Concert Series at the Fairview Inn has been incredible so far and we are so excited to celebrate the New Year with you by presenting

Andrew Finn Magill with Alan  Murray

Sunday, January 14 at 7pm.

Finn first started playing fiddle at age 10 and by 16 was a two-time finalist at the All-Ireland championships. Joined by Glaswegian Alan  Murray on guitar and bouzouki this is going to be another great evening of Trad music at the gorgeous Fairview Inn.


Tickets are just $20 or $15 for CHS Members

Available here on our website or at the door. 
The menu from the Library Lounge will be available so your dinner is sorted!

This Concert Series is for the love of Celtic Music and bringing it to Jackson! All proceeds go to the Musicians so won’t you please come out and support them?  It also lets the CHS know you want us to continue bringing these world class musicians to town all year long. 

Here’s some clips to get you excited! 

www.andrewfinnmagill.com

Finn is a two-time finalist at the All-Ireland Championships. He has toured the U.S, Europe, Africa, and Brazil and performed with many Irish and Scottish luminaries from John Doyle to the Paul McKenna Band. In 2016, he released two discs, Roots, and Branches as part of a project that features many of the artists with whom he has collaborated with over the last ten years. Finn has served as an instructor in Irish fiddle at the Swannanoa Gathering for eight years and taught at a dozen other fiddle camps around the U.S.

Alan Murray hails from Glasgow in Scotland, where he was introduced to the tinwhistle at an early age. He eventually turned to the guitar as his primary instrument, and later expanded his arsenal to include the bouzouki. After studying instrument-building and repair in Glasgow, he moved to the US to further pursue his musical career. He was soon playing and recording with some of the best musicians on the New York Irish scene and was featured on 2012’s IMA nominated Manhattan Island Sessions recording. He has taught at the Catskills Irish Arts Week and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and appeared at such well-known events as Denmark’s Tønder Festival, Milwaukee Irish Fest and Celtic Connections. He has shared the stage with such artists as Karan Casey, Niall and Cillian Vallely, Eileen Ivers and Scotland’s Battlefield Band, and has toured extensively across Ireland, Britain, Europe, Australia and the United States.