From the Bridge: a view of Irish traditional music in New York

Time: 11:00 GMT Date: Wednesday 29 June 2022 Venue: Irish Traditional Music Archive Event Over

ITMA will launch a major digital exhibition of Irish traditional music relating to New York on Wednesday 29 June 2022, with support from the Irish Foreign Ministry Government of Ireland - Emigrant Support Programme.

NYC Kerrigans

The online exhibition showcases rare recordings, stories and photographs relating to New York's remarkably rich Irish traditional music heritage.

The 'at-risk' multimedia materials have now been preserved by ITMA and will be freely accessible online to a global audience thanks to the generosity of collectors, performers, their families, and our funders. Irish traditional music recorded in New York forms part of an invaluable cultural treasure of national and international significance.

The story of how the tradition migrated from rural Ireland to the USA is central to our cultural history, and ITMA is delighted to play its part in shining a light on the people and stories that bind us together as a global traditional music community.

The exhibition will be freely available on the ITMA website from Wednesday 29 June 2022.

In the meantime, listen to some of the recordings which will be included in the site, watch our exhibition promo videos, and read New York journalist Paul Keating's Irish Central article on views stateside on the upcoming exhibition.

#FromtheBridge 1 Fiddlers Andy McGann (1928–2004) & Paddy Reynolds (1920–2005) accompanied by Paul Brady playing a set of hornpipes, 'Flaherty's' and 'Off to California'.

#FromtheBridge 2 Amid a scarcity of recordings of women musicians, this 78 rpm disc of the jig 'The frost is all over' was recorded in New York in 1933 by Leitrim mother and daughter, Margaret McNiff-Locke, accordion, and Mary McNiff-Locke on banjo.

#FromtheBridge 3 Michael Gallagher (1886–1971), another Leitrim native is our number 3 #FromtheBridge featured artist. The uilleann piper was an active performer and radio artist but only made a handful of recordings. Here he plays Collier's and the Salamanca reel, recorded in New York in the 1920s under the Shamrock label.

#FromtheBridge 4 The Flanagan Brothers, one of the most popular groups of the 1920s in New York. Emigrants from Waterford, in the southeast of Ireland, the brothers Joe, melodeon, Mike, tenor banjo and Louis, harp guitar, plied their musical trade with music and songs in dance halls, on the vaudeville stage and numerous 78 rpm recordings played on gramophones in homes in the United States and Ireland. Recorded in 1927, it's banter and song with 'The Night Pat Murphy Died'

#FromtheBridge 5 This rare recording of virtuoso Belfast fiddle player Seán McGuire also highlights one of the most important and exciting aspects of 'From the Bridge' - previously unheard recordings generously donated by New York families and digitised by ITMA to share with the global traditional music community. This recording of 'Roaring Mary' was made in New York in the 1960s by Charlie Mulvihill.

#FromtheBridge 6 takes us to the world of contemporary traditional music in New York with a set of reels from Hudson Valley musicians Dan Gurney, accordion, and Dylan Foley, fiddle. Enjoy 'Miss Thornton's', 'The Bag of Spuds', and 'The Limestone Reel.'

#FromtheBridge 7 features a 1933 commercial 78 rpm recording of two fiddling stalwarts: Armagh born fiddler, Louis Quinn and Sligo native James 'Lad' O'Beirne. Both men were part of a rich fusion of musicians playing socially in homes and Irish music clubs in New York in the post war period. Both men also owned recording equipment, documenting the sound of their generation on acetate disc and reel-to-reel players.

Paul Keating "Ireland's trad music archive brings 150 years of Irish music in America online" Irish Central, June 2022

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