2018-03-08 / Entertainment

Irish Harps Will Celebrate St. Patricks

RANDOLPH – Two of the world’s leading masters of the traditional Celtic harp - Graínne Hambly & William “Billy” Jackson – will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an evening concert in the Upper Gallery at the Chandler Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 17 at 7:30 pm.
The duo will kick off their 2018 U.S. tour in Randolph, appearing as part of Chandler’s “Live & Upstairs!” series of intimate musical showcases in the historic Esther Mesh Room. Hambly and Jackson perform traditional and contemporary music from Ireland and Scotland, playing both contrasting and complimentary styles of Celtic harps, as well as concertina, whistle, and bouzouki.
Billed as “Masters of the Celtic Harp,” Hambly and Jackson have drawn acclaim at folk and world music venues around the globe for many years. Irish Music Magazine has championed the duo’s “soaring airs and more down-to-earth dance music, both genres beautifully handled.”  Sorrel Devine of the Rhode Island Irish Ceilidhe Club, one of the leading presenters of Celtic music concerts in New England, says Hambly and Jackson serve up “an unbeatable night of music . . . with outstanding tune selections and exquisite arrangements.”
Graínne Hambly is credited by Celtic music aficionados with casting aside the gentle parlor image of the harp, elevating the stature of the instrument right up there with the fiddles and pipes in the dance music pantheon. County Mayo-born and bred, Hambly has not rested on the laurels of winning All-Ireland titles on both the harp and concertina in the 1990s. She’s gone on to win the prestigious Keadue and Granard harp competitions in recent years. Respected Celtic music scholar Dr. Míchael Ó Súilleabháin of the Irish World Music Centre says Hambly is “in the front line of performers in her genre worldwide.”
William “Billy” Jackson has been a major figure in Scottish traditional music since being a founding member of the influential folk group, Ossian, in 1976. Forty-plus years later, Ossian’s recordings remain hallmarks of the Scottish folk revival. In 1999, Jackson’s song “Land of Light” was chosen as the winner of the year-long “Song for Scotland” competition, coinciding with the restoration of the Scottish Parliament. As part of his work combining traditional and classical music, Jackson has composed and performed with The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Cape Cod Symphony, and Asheville Symphony Orchestra. Jackson recently released a four-CD set of his traditional and classical recordings, entitled Composition.
Graínne Hambly & William “Billy” Jackson – the “Masters of the Celtic Harp” – will liven up St. Patrick’s Day evening with a concert in the cozy Upper Gallery at Chandler on Saturday, March 17, beginning at 7:30 pm. For tickets and more information, call the Chandler Box Office at (802) 728-6464, visit chandler-arts.org, or stop by Chandler any weekday between 12 and 4 pm.

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