Fri, Mar 14, at 8:00 pm
Danú, a leading traditional Irish ensemble, will “stir the blood and lift the heart,” as Irish Music Magazine says, the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day – March 14 – 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.
Now touring the U.S. in the St. Patrick’s season, Danú most recently delighted American audiences with a Christmas in Ireland tour in December.
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 and Clancy 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 Eamonn Doorley plays Bouzouiki. Martin O’Neill plays the Bodhran, or Irish drum.
Winners of numerous awards from the BBC and Irish Music Magazine, Danú has performed at high-level state official appearances. Amhlaoibh and McCarthy were selected to join a group of Irish musicians and dancers to perform in Bulgaria on an 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.
In 2009 the band released its seventh album, called Seanchas. 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 in 1996. The 2006 release on DVD was titled One Night Stand.
Danú will be welcomed to Jorgensen on March 14 to celebrate America’s favorite upcoming Irish holiday in its purest form.
Jorgensen was named Best College/University Performing Arts Center in the Hartford Advocate Best of Hartford Readers’ Poll for both 2012 and 2013.
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2132 Hillside Road on the UConn campus in Storrs. Tickets are $30 and $26, with some discounts. For tickets and information, call the Box Office 10 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.