Tickets for Dan? are $28, with a discount for seniors, faculty and staff. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Rockwell Hall box office, 1300 Elmwood Ave. or by calling 716-878-3005 or online at www.buffalostate.edu/pac. Box Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The beating heart of Irish music is, as it has been for centuries, the seisiun. These informal music gatherings, where any and all can gather to play traditional tunes, have kept Irish music a social format at a time when most other folk styles exist almost exclusively on the professional concert stage, or in the privacy of people's homes.
More successfully than any band working today, Dan?, seven shining traditional musicians, hailing from counties Waterford, Dublin, Kerry and Donegal, have transferred the unique social energy and convivial passion of the seisiun to the concert stage. Their wild spontaneity and breathtaking musical power have made them arguably the most in-demand touring band to emerge from Ireland in the past decade. The band was named "Best Group" at the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2004, a title they also won in 2001. Dan? also scored in the "Original Song" category for the Tommy Sands composition "County Down," highlighted on their last CD The Road Less Traveled. At the Irish Music Awards they were named “Best Overall Traditional Irish Band.”
In 2005, Shanachie Entertainment released Dan?'s two newest projects, a CD titled When All is Said and Done and the band''s first DVD One Night Stand, recorded in May of 2004 at Dublin''s renowned Vicar Street. This young and acclaimed band features button accordionist Brendan McCarthy and bodhran player-piper Donnchadh Gough, both from Waterford, founding member, former Solas guitarist and son of the world-famous Clancy Brother Liam, Donal Clancy, vocalist and newest member, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, from the Irish-speaking Corca Dhuibhne in West Kerry, flutist Tom Doorley and his bouzouki-fiddle playing brother Eamon Doorley of Dublin and Donegal fiddler Oisin MacAuley.
"The essence of that spontaneity you get jamming away at a really good seisiun," says Tom Doorley, "that is where the heart of Dan? comes from. We want to just consolidate that more, anchor down the sound into enough of an arrangement for a concert, and yet still have that energy of it being a little bit loose, so you can create more of a spark on stage, and each night becomes a different concert from the one before."
Founding band member Donal Clancy is among the most in-demand guitarists anywhere in Celtic music. He has been a member of two of the most sophisticated and tightly arranged ensembles in Irish music history, the Eileen Ivers Band and Solas. While the Irish Echo describes the bold, bracing sound of Brendan McCarthy's accordion and Oisin McAuley's fiddle as "one of the most potent one-two punches in Irish traditional music today."
Vocalist Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, the newest member of Dan?, who made her debut on the band's last CD The Road Less Traveled, replaced singer Ciaran O Gealbhain, and is every bit as promising a find. Her whisper-pretty mezzo may remind some of a young Dolores Keane, though her high sustains shimmer with the soprano purity of Mary Black or Cathie Ryan. The first woman to perform with Dan?, she grew up on the Aran Islands and the west coast of Kerry, both regions where Irish is still spoken.
Dan? has a strong ethos of loyalty to the tradition from which their music comes and yet still bring a fresh, inspiring approach to their performances. A wonderfully lively group on stage, a Dan? concert is a unique experience, never to be forgotten.
The Great Performers Series is sponsored by M&T Bank and WBFO.