Lúnasa performs traditional Irish music on Friday evening
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 8:27 a.m.
Celtic music fans won’t have to cross the ocean to hear traditional Irish songs on Friday. The five-piece Irish acoustic band Lúnasa will perform its variations of traditional and modern Celtic music at University Auditorium in a concert starting at 7:30 p.m.
What: Instrumental Irish group performs Celtic music on traditional instruments
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: University Auditorium, 333 Newell Drive
Info: 392-2787, Ticketmaster.com
The group, which is named after the ancient Celtic harvest festival honoring Lugh, the Irish god of the arts, will perform both newly composed works and traditional Irish folk and dance songs, but with a twist. Flautist Kevin Crawford says his band’s arrangement is unique in that there are no vocals. Instead of singing melodies, Lunasa plays them on traditional Celtic instruments including the fiddle, Uilleann bagpipes and the low whistle, which is similar to a pennywhistle, but produces lower tones.
“The thing that sets us apart is the arrangement and use of accompaniment,” Crawford says. “The bump and grind of the band is provided by the double bass and guitar. When we started out, we were the only group to use those instruments as a rhythm section.”
The band, which has performed across the United States and in Europe, Japan and Australia, is composed of Crawford on the flute, Sean Smyth on fiddle and low whistles, Trevor Hutchinson on double bass, Cillian Vallely on Uilleann pipes and low whistles, and Ed Boyd on guitar. The group formed in 1996 and has since given more than 1,500 performances. The band recently released its ninth album, “Lúnasa with the RTE Concert Orchestra.”
In addition to music from Ireland, Lúnasa samples melodies from other Celtic regions including Brittany in France and Galicia in Spain, as well as music from Quebec and Eastern Europe, Crawford says.
“We’ve taken melodies from lots of corners of the globe. We take the audience on a journey though lots of Celtic regions,” he says.
Though the band members are serious about their musical craft, they take themselves a lot less seriously, Crawford says. “We like to give audiences a glimpse of Irish music but also a glimpse into the humor of Ireland as well.”
He says Lúnasa encourages audience participation and hopes audience members leave in high spirits.
“I hope everyone comes away a lot happier than they came in,” he says. “It doesn’t get much better than the live rush. Every night is different because there are different audiences. It’s all about the interaction between us and them.”
Lúnasa performs at University Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $20-$30, $15 for balcony seats, and $10 for UF students. For more information, call at 392-2787.