From Tralee to Times Square Bringing Irish folk theatre to Broadway

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Dr Daithí Kearney


America has been a significant (market)place for Irish traditional music throughout the twentieth century to the present. From the early recordings of Michael Coleman and his contemporaries in the 1920s through the emergence of the Clancy Brothers in the 1960s to the leading roles of Michael Flatley and Jean Butler in the 1994 production Riverdance, musical developments on both sides of the Atlantic have been interlinked and two-directional.1 The Irish American audience continues to be an important market for touring Irish performers with significant Irish music festivals in America presenting many leading Irish music groups each year.

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How to Cite
Kearney, D. (2020). From Tralee to Times Square: Bringing Irish folk theatre to Broadway. Imaginaires, (22), 60-92.
Author Biography

Dr Daithí Kearney, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland

Ethnomusicologist, geographer and performer, Dr Daithí Kearney is co-director of the Creative Arts Research Centre at DkIT. His research is primarily focused on Irish traditional music but extends to include performance studies, community music and music education. He has performed with a number of groups including Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland and is a director of the Oriel Traditional Orchestra. Daithí tours regularly internationally as a musician, singer and dancer. He has contributed articles to publications in the areas of ethnomusicology, folklore and music education. He has also released a number of recordings including Midleton Rare (2012) and A Louth Lil (2016).