Saturday, March 17, 2012, at 8 pm
Danú, a leading traditional Irish ensemble, will “stir the blood and lift the heart,” as Irish Music Magazine says, this St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, at 8 p.m., at Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on the UConn campus in Storrs.
Named for a Celtic goddess, Danú has performed on more than 1,000 stages in Ireland, the United States, India and throughout Europe. The Los Angeles Times calls Danú “compellingly original,” and The Irish Times has labeled them “a spirit-raising concoction.”
Its members, from the counties of Waterford, Dublin, Kerry and Donegal, are loyal delegates of the traditional Irish sound and song, delivered in rousing and heartfelt fashion. And yet they are fresh and lively on stage, occasionally treating the audience to an enhancing dance move or two.
Danú was first formed in 1995 after its founders – Benny McCarthy (button accordion), Donal Clancy (guitar) and Donnchadh Gough (Bodhran and Uillean pipes), all of County Waterford, and Dubliner Daire Bracken – met at a nearby music festival. They soon performed at the renowned Lorient Inter-Celtic Festival in France and were immediately invited back in 1996. That year they won “La Boulee Des Korrigan,” an award given to the best new band of the festival, won in the past by the likes of Clannad and The Bothy Band.
McCarthy, Clancy and Gough continue with the group, which over the years underwent changes and added its first woman member, singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, who also plays whistle and flute. Oisin McAuley plays fiddle, and brothers Eamonn and Tom Doorley play Bouzouiki, and flute and whistles, respectively.
Danú has performed as part of some high-level official appearances. Amhlaoibh and McCarthy were selected to join a group of Irish musicians and dancers to perform in Bulgaria on a recent Irish state visit by President Mary McAleese. In 2004 Danú performed at the launch of Ireland’s European Union presidency ceremony in Brussels. The band also played in India on a trade delegation in 2005.
This spring the group is poised to release its seventh album, called “Seanchas,” its first new recording in five years, according to its website, www.danu.net. Other albums include “Think Before You Think,” “All Things Considered,” “The Road Less Traveled,” “Up in the Air” and “When All Is Said and Done.” Danú recorded a live performance at the popular Vicar Street in Dublin. The 1996 release on DVD was titled “One Night Stand.”
Danú will be welcomed to Jorgensen on March 17 to celebrate America’s favorite Irish holiday in its purest form.
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2132 Hillside Road on the UConn campus in Storrs. Tickets are $30, $27 and $25, with some discounts. For tickets and information, call the Box Office 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon–Fri at 860.486.4226, or order online at: jorgensen.uconn.edu. Free, convenient parking is available across the street in the North Garage.