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

ITMA with support from the Government of Ireland - Emigrant Support Programme presents a major digital exhibition celebrating New York's unique and enduring relationship with Irish traditional music.

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Kitty O'Neil, dancer

Enjoy a short video of the launch in ITMA, 29 June 2022

'From the Bridge: a view of Irish traditional music in New York' was launched by renowned Clare concertina player, Noel Hill, Gradam Ceoil TG4 2011 Musician of the Year, in the premises of the Irish Traditional Music Archive, 73 Merrion Square, Dublin on 29 June 2022.

Also present to speak at the music filled occasion were: Nigel Hutson, Deputy Director, Irish Abroad Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Liam O' Connor, Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Jesse Smith and Libby McCrohan, as well as Noel Hill provided the live music for the event, with the audience also enjoying recordings from the new digital exhibition, and a remarkable opportunity to listen to a 78 rpm disc recording of iconic fiddle player Michael Coleman played on a gramophone.


Irish Echo:

Irish Central:


For centuries waves of Irish emigrants have carried their local song, music and dance heritage across the Atlantic from rural homes all over the island of Ireland. Disembarking at Castle Garden, Ellis Island, and JFK airport they dispersed to establish new lives throughout the United States, but also settling in New York city and its environs. ‘From the Bridge’ opens a window to traditional music, from the 1870s to the present day, played socially in the homes and bars of New York, as well as commercially, on stage and in recording studios.

The microsite features over 370 specially selected sound and video recordings, 190 images, as well as engaging and informative biographies of the musicians, and contextual introductions. The user can focus on a particular musician, browse through galleries and playlists, or follow a musical timeline to discover new sounds and stories. While drawing on material from the existing ITMA collection, this project has been generously and richly enhanced by the donation of previously unheard recordings and unseen images from private collections held by New York families. Through digitisation and digital preservation, these at-risk materials have been preserved by ITMA and are now freely accessible to a global audience.

Liam O'Connor, Director of ITMA said:

This launch is the first milestone in an ambitious three-year plan to expand the scope of the exhibition, to curate concerts on both sides of the Atlantic, and to produce a documentary film inspired by artists engaging with New York's archival musical heritage.”

From the Bridge was curated by New York musician and historian Don Meade who joined the launch by zoom from New York, and folklorist Rónán Galvin.

It was supported by the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Scheme.


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