Traditional Irish music masters to play the East End

02/24/2012 11:30 AM |

COURTESY PHOTO | Traditional Irish musician Gabriel Donohue.

Fancy a jig, but can’t wait for St. Patrick’s Day? No worries, two traditional Irish music concerts will take place in Southold next month.

Three Irish musicians will perform during a fundraiser for St. Patrick’s R.C. Church in Southold in the church hall from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 3.

And on Tuesday, March 13, Peconic Landing in Greenport will once again offer an evening of Irish songs and tunes in honor of the late Richard Noncarrow, a former Suffolk County National Bank vice president and an avid fan of traditional Irish music.

“Out on the North Fork, we don’t get the quality of musicians because of where we’re located,” said former Eastern Long Island Hospital president Tom Doolan, who is coordinating both shows. “This is just a wonderful opportunity to get world-class musicians bringing pure, traditional Irish music to the East End.”

Button accordion player John Whelan will perform with Gabriel Donohue, who adds vocals and is adept at many instruments, and fiddler, mandolin player and guitarist Eamonn O’Rourke at the St. Patrick’s concert.

Mr. Whelan is a seven-time All-Ireland button accordion champion. Raised in North London, he moved to the United States over 30 years ago and appeared in the original Broadway production of “Riverdance.”

Born in Athenry in County Galway, Ireland, Mr. Donohue plays guitar, mandolin, bass, bouziki, whistles and percussion, including bodhran, darbuka and cajon. He has appeared on CNN, CBS and NBC morning shows as well as evening television spots with Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno.

Mr. O’Rourke, who plays the guitar, fiddle and mandolin, has collaborated with The Irish Descendants, a Canadian folk group, and has toured with American country music and bluegrass performer Kathy Mattea, a five-time Grammy Award winner.

Concert tickets are $20 and are available at the door or in advance at Southold Pharmacy, Rothman’s Dept. Store, Mullen Motors, Roberts Jewelers, Tom McCarthy Real Estate and in Greenport at Front Street Station.

A bit closer to St. Paddy’s Day, The Peconic Landing show will take place in historic Brecknock Hall from 8 to 10 p.m. The concert will feature Mr. Whelan, Mr. O’Rourke and his wife, Aileen O’Rourke-O’Conner, a ballad singer and principal at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in East Islip.

Tickets are $15, but there’s no charge for Peconic Landing residents.

gvolpe@timesreview.com