SCOTTSDALE — Ireland’s honorary musical ambassadors, The Chieftains, will bring the Emerald Isle sound to Scottsdale a few weeks ahead of St. Patrick’s Day with a performance at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 27, in the Virginia G. Piper Theater at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
Six-time Grammy® Award winners, The Chieftains are recognized for calling the world’s attention to traditional Irish music, blending classic cultural sounds with a modern approach. For more than 55 years, they have uncovered the wealth of traditional Irish tunes that have accumulated over the centuries, while making the music their own.
The online music guide AllMusic writes: “Music this beautifully articulated allows cultures to talk to one another across time, space, language, and other divides.”
Formed in 1962 by Paddy Moloney, The Chieftains drew from the ranks of the top folk musicians in Ireland. Although their early following was purely a folk audience, the range and variety of their music quickly captured a broader fan base.
In 2012, The Boston Globe described a 50th anniversary performance by The Chieftains as “electrifying” and said the band members and their music “seem ageless.”
Never afraid to shock purists and push boundaries, The Chieftains have amassed a wide-ranging résumé in the past half-century. They were the first Western group to perform on the Great Wall of China and they joined Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters for a 1990 performance of “The Wall” in Berlin. The band also has played inside the U.S. Capitol and before Queen Elizabeth and Pope John Paul II. They’ve even collaborated with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station who recorded a flute part for the group’s 2012 album, “Voice of Ages.”
Now the most popular traditional Irish folk group in the world, The Chieftains are known for their collaborations with other musicians, from fellow Irish performers (Sinead O’Connor, The Corrs) to legendary acts (The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson) to contemporary indie bands (Bon Iver, The Decemberists).
Moloney, who plays the uilleann pipes and tin whistle, is joined by fiddler Seán Keane, vocalist and bodhrán (Irish drum) player Kevin Conneff and flautist Matt Molloy as they continue to push traditional Irish folk music past its limits, while still honoring their roots.
$79 (M $71) / $59 / $49
Supporting Sponsor: Piper Jaffray
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale