Ronan Tynan to set ‘tenor’ for Irish Fest

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No showcase of Celtic music would be complete without an Irish tenor crooning the crowd. Raising the bar on entertainment to recognize the 25th Anniversary of Irish Fest, Ronan Tynan, one of the famous Irish Tenors himself, will perform this year at Chicago Gaelic Park during the fest on Memorial Day weekend.

Tynan is truly a modern day “renaissance man” who has persevered with enormous passion and determination over numerous challenges throughout his well-documented life. Introduced to international audiences as a member of the Irish Tenors, Ronan quickly became known for his unique voice and irresistible appeal. His solo career brought international fame and recognition.

Tynan performed at President Ronald Reagan’s funeral, sang an unforgettable rendition of “God Bless America” at Yankee Stadium and performed in New York during the 10th anniversary memorial services of the 9-11 tragedy.

Some of the others performing traditional Celtic music at the 2011 Irish Fest, include:

Leahy is an explosion of talent and energy in the form of a popular traditional group of eight Canadian brothers and sisters who have created intense musical passion most of their lives. On their recent American tour, new audiences learned that this family of instrumentalists, singers, and dancers brings a rare level of originality and musicianship to the stage. The band’s three acclaimed CDs — Leahy, Lakefield, and In All Things — have worldwide sales of over half a million copies.

De Danann was one of the most influential traditional Irish music bands before separating in 2003. They recorded 14 albums with many reaching gold and platinum sales. They are back together with a new studio album “Wonderwaltz,” released in November.

Declan Nerney & His Band hits the stage from County Longford. Nerney has a unique falsetto singing voice that combines with a great musical ability to create the unique Declan Nerney sound. He has a great twanging guitar sound in genres running from Irish and Scottish traditional, to music from the 70’s, 80’s and today. Thin Lizzy is a favorite.

Paddy Homan returns to Irish Fest this year with The Four Courts, a tight-knit, four-man band that includes well-known and talented musicians, Maurice Lennon, Jimmy Keane and Dennis Cahill.

Kathleen Keane, an exceptional American artist with tremendous talent and versatility, also returns to Irish Fest! She can ignite an audience with her potent combination of extraordinary music and classic beauty. A multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and composer, her virtuoso tin whistle playing earned her appearances in films, including “The Road to Perdition” and “Backdraft.” She is also a phenomenal Celtic fiddler and has graced stages around the world with Gaelic Storm.

Girsa makes their debut at Irish Fest this year. These talented young women have all known each other since they were very young, growing up participating in Irish music and dance in the community of Pearl River, New York. Most of the band comes from musical families where they learned traditional Irish music from such greats as Martin Mulvihill, Maureen Glynn Connelly and Pete Kelly.

Sean Wilson began his musical career at the age of 10 when his father bought him his first accordion. Wilson is very busy all year round playing concerts, festivals and dances.

Irish Fest is pleased to welcome many more talented traditional artists including Chicago Reel, the popular Larkin & Moran Brothers, Tommy Goodwin & Sharon and Liz Carroll & Friends, who entertained President Barack Obama and the Prime Minister of Ireland, Brian Cowen, on St. Patrick’s Day 2009 in Washington.

The special four-day $25 anniversary discount pass, performance schedules and other online ticket specials are available online at Standard daily gate admission to all six musical stages, full carnival midway and on-site parking is $15. Adults over 65 years and kids under 12 are only $12, and youngsters under 3 years are free. There is an early admission discount during the first hour of each day.

Chicago Gaelic Park, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Irish culture, is located at 6119 W. 147th St. in Oak Forest. For more information on membership, benefits and facility bookings visit online at or call (708) 687-9323.

Provided by Chicago Gaelic Park