Did you experience the Natalie MacMaster concert at Eisenhower Auditorium two years ago? The Cape Breton fiddler wowed the audience with her charm, energy and incredible musicianship. This year MacMaster's equally talented husband, fiddler Donnell Leahy, and seven of his siblings perform more celebratory Celtic-Canadian music at Eisenhower. A Leahy Family Christmas comes to the Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Leahy performs fiddle-driven music, dance and vocals—augmented by keyboards, guitar, bass, and percussion—inspired by the family's Irish and Scottish heritage.
Tickets are still available for the concert.
Leahy (pronounced LAY-he) musicians are renowned for their intensity on stage.
"Their live performance makes Riverdance look like Lawrence Welk re-runs," jokes a Time Out New York reviewer. The band's "ferocious and extremely energetic works gain momentum through plenty of acoustic instruments," adds a Chicago Sun-Times critic.
The Nov. 29 Christmas concert highlights holiday favorites, original seasonal pieces and the folk/pop/rock repertoire that's made Leahy one of Canada's most appealing exports.
The Leahys grew up on a farm in Ontario. Their father educated each in the ways of the fiddle, while their mother, a champion step dancer from Cape Breton (an island of Nova Scotia), taught them to sing, dance and play the piano.
Watch a YouTube video of the Leahys performing "The Call to Dance."
Pianist/singer/dancer Erin Leahy and fiddler Angus Leahy are scheduled to speak at Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion offered in Eisenhower one hour before the concert. Artistic Viewpoints is free for ticket holders, but seating is available on a first-arrival basis.