Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Mid-Atlantic Region


Free Irish Music workshop & concert by midatlanticcce
September 21, 2015, 12:03 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Free Irish Music workshop & concert

Sunday Oct. 11th, 2015 at 2.30pm

Berkeley Heights Public Library, 290 Plainfield Ave, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
Tunes of Old East Galway
Brian Killackey, fiddle – Lesl Harker, Irish flute – Bill Harker, fiddle and bodhran

Workshop before concert with instructor Lesl Harker
Learn a melody on your instrument or lilt it with your voice
Bring your instrument – Listeners encouraged

general information at 908.464.9333directions at http://www.bhplnj.org/directions/
Workshop attendees: go to the repertoire class workshop page
-Download flyer here-
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featuring tunes of National Heritage Fellow

Mike Rafferty

Mighty Mike Rafferty, 1926-2011

This program is made possible by
The Berkeley Heights Public Library and by
a 2015 HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) Grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Meet the artists:

PictureLesl Harker teaches Irish flute in Union County, NJ. She is a Master for the NJ State Arts Council’s Folk Arts Apprenticeship program, was twice a State Arts Council apprentice to Mike Rafferty, and has published 2 books of his music. In 2012 Lesl presented the Tribute to Mike Rafferty Workshop at the New Jersey Folk Festival.  Earlier, Lesl featured at Flute Tunes and Tales at the Philadelphia Irish Center, with Michael Tubridy, Msgr. Fr. Charlie Coen and Paddy O’Neil. Lesl teaches East Galway Irish flute music, holds workshops for her students, weekly Irish music sessions in her home, and volunteers monthly at the Molly Maguire’s Pub Irish music session in Clark, Union County. She is a three time Union County HEART  Grant awardee.  Lesl is looking forward to sharing tunes with you!


PictureBill Harker, Irish fiddle and bodhrán (Irish hand drum) (Bill Harker will not be appearing due to illness.)  Bill started out as a drummer at a young age, so took to the Irish bodhrán with ease.   He studied fiddle under both Tony DeMarco and National Heritage Fellow Kevin Burke, both renowned Irish recording artists.  Bill also taught himself much music from attending Irish music sessions, concerts, and listening to recordings. His old-style fiddle playing is reminiscent of an earlier generation, and his choices of tunes from ages past have become popular again in sessions.

Bill has played in Irish sessions from upper New York State to Washington DC, including the Philadelphia Irish Center, the Irish American Assoc. of  Northern NJ., the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Somerville, NJ, and others.  A ‘regular’ at the Molly Maguire session in Clark, he also established the Harker House session over 14 years ago, which still runs weekly, and was immortalized in the dance tune penned by Irish musician Dr. L.E. McCullough entitled “Harker House of Happiness”.  A former professional photographer, he shot the photos for Veronica McNamara’s album Petticoat Loose.

PictureBrian Killackey, Irish fiddler

Brian has been an accomplished Irish fiddler and dancer since an early age. As a student of master Willie Kelly, who has produced numerous internationally acclaimed recordings, Brian developed a strong love for the traditional Irish music style of Clare and Galway. He draws heavily from the rich tradition of the music legends of these areas, playing with a lilting, melodic, and textured style.

He has competed and won awards in numerous national and international venues in New Jersey, New York, and Ireland, including first place in the American Northeast Regional Irish music competition, the international Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (‘music festival of Ireland’, the Irish finals for worldwide competitors), and statewide fair competitions.

Part of a large musical family, he has often performed either solo or with his sister and two brothers.  His music has been featured on Clare FM Irish radio, as well as on numerous recordings, such as “Petticoat Loose” and session recordings at the Irish American Association of North Jersey.  He has also opened for and played in concert with internationally renowned players, such as Mary Bergin and Mike Rafferty, and led sessions in the local area. Besides this, he has been a regular performer at innumerable St. Patrick’s Day, coffee house, and Irish dancing events.

His happiest fiddle memories involve late nights at the bars of NJ, NY, and Ireland, playing music with masters of Irish music while watching the sun rise. He is happy for the opportunity to share some of this tradition with you at the Library.


see you on
Sunday Oct. 11th, 2015 at 2.30pm
Berkeley Heights Public Library, 290 Plainfield Ave, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
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