Friday: is the early-in free promotion. From 5 – 6 pm only, sponsored by Family Financial Credit Union.
Festival Hours: Thursday 5pm -10pm. Friday 5 pm – 11pm. Saturday 11am – 11pm. Sunday 9 am – 6pm.
Writing, recording, and performing for the past 16 years, the Irish Times calls Slide “traditional musicians with attitude,” and credits them with “bringing drawing room grandeur and high spirits together” with diverse songs that range from soulful and sorrowful to contagiously energetic.
Moya Brennan, the voice of Clannad and elder sister to Enya, is known as the “First Lady of Irish Music.” She’ll be performing with Crannua Collective, a group of top Irish artists rooted in tradition but injected with fresh and contemporary ideas.
Previously of the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet, Jeremy Kittel has been a composer-arranger-collaborator for such diverse artists as My Morning Jacket, Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble, and Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn. He blazes through a Bach violin partita as easily as a Scottish reel, bringing the same intense focus and precision to both. For the last few years the Michigan native, now based in Brooklyn, has been diligently building his own repertoire of music for a wholly original new group.
With a captivating balance between their traditional Canadian Celtic roots, authentic instrumental tunes, and catchy radio-ready songs, The East Pointers reach out with open arms to a wide range of listeners, inviting them to discover a new love of folk music.
Chicago has been the premier center of Irish music in the United States for two hundred years, fortified by new Irish musicians over the years. Irish traditional musicians Pat Broaders, Pauline Conneely, Jimmy Keane, and Laurence Nugent are proud to be part of that great Chicago legacy.
A fan favorite of the Michigan Irish Music Festival, Seamus’ trademark is his ongoing interaction with the audiences. From the moment he steps on the stage, he starts talking with the audience – and encourages them to talk back! He is quick with a quip and likes nothing better than to discover someone in the audience is similarly inclined. Fast-paced humor is very much a part of what Seamus does, whether he’s telling a series of rapid-fire jokes or launching into a lyrical parody.
Unusual, honest, and heartfelt, Switchback is the award-winning duo of Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack. Playing an exciting mix of mandolin, guitar, and bass, Switchback draws on traditional Celtic music and original Americana songs that reflect their Irish heritage and Midwestern roots.
The Moxie Strings is the electrifying combination of fiddler Diana Ladio and electric cellist Alison Lynn. Their ear-catching originals and dance-worthy traditional tunes have made The Moxie Strings one of Michigan’s most promising and well-loved instrumental acts.
Stone Clover’s original approach to songwriting is a melding of pub-style tunes mixed with aspects of rock, punk, gypsy, folk, and Americana. They affectionately call this style of their own “Paddy Slag,” as it clearly comes from Irish tradition but has so many other influences as well.
Ian, an immigrant from Belfast, Ireland, began his musical career as a kid playing in bands throughout Ireland, the UK & Europe. Ian is a singer/songwriter and a solo performing artist with a “one-man-band” approach. He has been performing internationally for more than 25 years. Through his music and travels Ian has had the privilege of attending the first “Rock School”, studying in Perth, Scotland. He has honed his musical skills while living and performing in some other fine European cities such as London, Brussels, and Amsterdam. Although he is still obsessed with travel, Ian now resides in the United States.
Hailing from Detroit, Brother Crowe has hammered through over 100 shows in a year, sometimes playing three gigs in a day. The band, led by brothers Derek (vocals/harmonica/bodhran) and Paul (guitars/banjo/vocals), hones in on country/indie-folk roots that still possess a traditional Celtic sound.
Kennedy’s Kitchen has been making Irish music together since 1998, playing everything from backyard parties and weddings to pubs, concert halls, and national festivals. Their music is rooted in traditional Irish jigs, reels, hornpipes, stories, and songs – adding their own compositions along the way.
Washington DC-based Scythian (sith-ee-yin) began over 12 years ago as a bunch of college buddies playing Celtic music in the streets and has grown to be a headliner on the US Celtic Festival Circuit as well as a name in the Bluegrass/Americana Festival Circuit. For over 12 years they have found success as an independent band and have played over 1,300 shows all over the United States, Europe, Canada and as far aways as Australia.
The Elders were founded in 1998 by six individuals with a passion for music rooted in Americana and Celtic folk rock. From the beginning, their ability to bring together the art of storytelling, with elements both musically progressive and rooted in tradition, has won them a broad international fan base.
This Irish five piece band, with members from Armagh and Tyrone, are tearing up the rule book with their bold approach to their native musical tradition. Following the release of their critically acclaimed debut album, ‘New Landscapes’, Cúig were awarded “Best New Irish Band 2016” by the Irish American News.
POGEY’s unique take on traditional music at Irish Festivals across the US leaves audiences jumping from their seats, dancing, and singing to their original and instrumental arrangements. Their show combines guitars, fiddle, mandolin, bodhran, and four-part vocal harmonies to produce a trademark sound.
Fragile and ethereal one minute and strong and vibrant the next, Dublin Folk singer-songwriter Aoife Scott has become a force to be reckoned with on the Irish folk and traditional scene. Aoife is steadily rising to the top of the traditional and folk music scene, performing across the US and overseas.
Traditional songs of emigration, lively jigs and reels, and ancient airs combine with Ireland’s best contemporary songs for a musical experience that captures the history and legend of Ireland. Each member of the band plays multiple instruments, including the wooden flute, accordion, tin whistle, five string banjo, cittern, bones, and more. These instruments complement the lead vocal of Belfast native Richard McMullan and the band’s tight blend of five-part harmony. Based in Detroit, Blackthorn has played throughout the Great Lakes region since 1984.
One for the Foxes is a new and exciting collaboration between Joanna Hyde, Tadhg Ó Meachair, and Dave Curley. This trio delivers a pulsating reimagining of the Celtic and Folk genres. One for the Foxes weaves their newly composed songs and instrumentals with traditional Irish and American music.
The Founding is a Progressive Celtic band from Kalamazoo, Michigan. With their timeless and energetic approach to songwriting – and powerful live performances – they strive to constantly push the boundaries of the Irish and Scottish music traditions.
This year’s MIMI winner is The Conifers, a five-piece band hailing from the University of Limerick. The Michigan Irish Music Initiative (MIMI) brings together aspiring musicians associated with colleges or organizations who focus on Irish traditional music. The musical acts perform in a high level competition in Ireland. This year, the competition took place at the Spirit Store in Dundalk Co. Louth, Ireland. Ten bands performed, and the top three were awarded prizes. The Conifers will receive all expenses paid trip to the US and will play at MIMF this fall.
This West Michigan-native band can be heard at Irish and Scottish music festivals across the Midwest. Apparent from the moment they hit the stage, these high-energy musicians naturally feed off of one another, creating a dynamic, wholly unique performance that shouldn’t be missed.
Formed in 1997 after a weekend of jamming, chatting, and laughing, the Conklin Ceili Band has established itself as one of West Michigan’s most beloved purveyors of Celtic and Irish-American music with two studio albums under its belt.
Peat in the Creel draws from Irish traditional music roots, at times nourished by the heritage of Scotland and broader world influences, to bring forth a range of energetic dance tunes, spirited folk songs, and peaceful melodies.