10-day "Festival on the Erie" Will Highlight the Songs and Spirit of the Irish Press Release:
NYS Canal Corporation, March 14, 2006 (Unofficially abridged by George Ward) Carmella R. Mantello, Director of the New York State Canal Corporation, today announced plans for a 10-day traveling music festival along the New York State Canal System this summer. The “Boys of Wexford” – an ensemble musical cast from around the northeastern United States – will travel from Waterford in Saratoga County to Syracuse on the Erie Canal from June 2-11, bringing the sounds of Ireland to upstate New York. “For 10 days this summer [Mantello said], this storied waterway will come alive with the haunting sounds and rich traditions of the Irish people.”
Pre Festival kick off at Jose Malone's Mexican Irish Restaurant in Troy (518-273-2196) June 1st at 7:00 PM. Jose Malone's is right on the Hudson River with the Troy Marina in its backyard.
The Festival kicks off on Friday, June 2nd in Waterford and will travel on the canal to Amsterdam on June 3rd, St. Johnsville on June 4th, Little Falls on June 5th, Utica on June 6th, Rome on June 7th, Brewerton on June 8th, Sylvan Beach June 9th & 10th, concluding at Coleman’s Pub in Syracuse on June 11th. A full schedule of performance locations and times will be posted on the Canal Corporation website when available. Headlining the festival will be famed Irish fiddler P.V. O’Donnell, The Morgans, and Canal Balladeer George Ward. These renowned performers will be joined by local and regional musicians at sessions throughout the 10day celebration. Master fiddler P.V. O'Donnell hails from Inishowen in County Donegal. He performed his first recital on stage at a local concert in Buncrana at the tender age of four.Years later,he was instrumental in the forming of the first branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann in Buncrana, and learned from the legendary Inishowen fiddler Pat Mulhern of Fallask. Subsequently, he formed "Barley Bree" and was their main fiddle player for many years. The Morgans were founded as a duo in 1971. Over the years they’ve grown to include as many as six players. They perform at a variety of entertainment and educational venues, and are a staple at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT. They have been opening act for The Irish Rovers, the Clancy Brothers, and Robbie O'Connell, have appeared with legendary folksinger Pete Seeger on the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and have been featured at a variety of music festivals. George Ward, a lifelong collector and performer of traditional songs, draws on the rural singing tradition of the American Northeast for his main inspiration. Ward’s writing includes contemporary songs in traditional style, dance tunes, and soundtracks for a number of film and television productions. His research into songs of New York’s waterways, together with his own songs steeped in past and present canal lore earned him the title “Canal Balladeer”, frpm by the Erie Canal Recreationway Commission. “These amazing artists, along with dozens of other performers along the way, will bring history to life for 10 magical days and nights along the Erie Canal,” Mantello said. “I can think of no better way to celebrate this historic waterway and the history of the Irish in New York State.” For additional information on this event, please call Mike McGarry at (860) 296-6128. On the Web: http://www.nycanal.com/pressrelease/news.php