Nuala Kennedy Band to play in concert at NEYT

BRATTLEBORO — Headlining the Nuala Kennedy Band is an Irish singer and flute/whistle player whose music springs from the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland.

Nuala Kennedy, a consummate performer and buoyant personality, will be singing and playing with her two cohorts, fiddler Dana Lyn and guitarist Kyle Sanna, on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the New England Youth Theatre on Flat Street.

Kennedy, who grew up in Dundalk, County Louth on the east coast of Ireland, discovered traditional music at an early age when her father introduced her to her first whistle teacher. A quick study, she fell in love with the traditional Irish tunes. At 12, she picked up the wooden flute, joined a local céilidh band and began winning awards by age 13.

By 18, she moved to Scotland to study at Edinburgh College of Art, and her musical horizons widened as her instrumental prowess deepened and her repertoire expanded to include both Scottish and Irish tunes. Irish expatriate flutist and whistle player Cathal McConnel, in particular, had a major influence on her playing as a musical mentor. Eventually, she began touring widely in Europe, Canada, and Australia with her first band, Fine Friday.

A year spent in Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland studying intensively the Scots Gaelic musical traditions expanded her repertoire and knowledge and shaped her instrumental playing and vocals to a high degree. During this time, she produced her first solo CD, The New Shoes.

The Irish Times wrote: “Unhurried yet freewheeling, loose-limbed yet disciplined, [Kennedy's] voice is a natural, earthy instrument entirely in concert with her woody flute exceptional interpreter of the tradition.”

Kennedy then launched a series of projects, artistic residencies, new compositions and collaborations, tours, and new CDs which have brought her to the attention of audiences throughout Europe, the U.K., Canada, and the United States. This concert in Brattleboro is part of a tour intended to promote her third CD called Noble Stranger.

The band presents traditional and original compositions of reels, jigs, and other Irish and Scottish-inspired material.

Kennedy's songs often have settings with surprising harmonic changes, unusual effects including electronic ones, and a wide range of textures that enhance the song's mood.

Tickets are $18 in advance and for seniors and $21 at the door. They are available on line at and in person at Everyone's Books, 23 Elliot St. Call 802-257-1571 for more information.

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