Dervish to honor Irish music, culture at Lied on March 11

· 3 min read

Dervish to honor Irish music, culture at Lied on March 11

Dervish: Cathy Jordan foreground; rear, from left, Tom Morrow, Liam Kelly, Brian McDonagh, Michael Holmes, Shane Mitchell (publicity photo)

Dervish, one of Ireland’s most exciting musical ensembles, brings its high-energy Celtic music to Nebraska for a 7:30 p.m. performance March 11 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

“We are thrilled to present Dervish, one of the premier traditional Irish musical groups,” said Bill Stephan, executive director of the Lied Center. “The performing arts have the power to transport audiences all over the world. Dervish will take Lied Center patrons back to Sligo in northwest Ireland where the incredible artists of Dervish first began their musical careers.”

Built upon two sturdy pillars – the hauntingly charismatic vocals of Cathy Jordan and the dazzling virtuosity of award-winning instrumentalists like Tom Morrow on fiddle, Liam Kelly on flute and Shane Mitchell on accordion, Dervish is a solid structure of a band, its foundation in legendary pub sessions, its shape the result of years of international touring. In the most recent of its many honors, Dervish was chosen to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2005, just after the group toured China in the company of the prime minister, Ireland’s premier music magazine, Hot Press, voted the band Best Traditional/Folk Group.

The solid rhythm playing of Brian McDonagh and Michael Holmes drives the band, whose concert performances are a myriad of tones and moods ranging from high-energy tunes, played with fluidity and intuitiveness, to beautifully measured songs, from charming lyrics of life and love, to inspiring melodies that lift audiences from their seats. All the elements are drawn together by Jordan’s masterful stage presence. Her stories to the songs and her interaction with the audience draws people into the music in a way very few performers can achieve. All this can be found in their fourth album, “Live in Palma,” recorded before a captivated audience at Palma de Mallorca’s Teatre Principal.

Other recordings include “A Healing Heart” (2005), “Spirit” (2003), the retrospective “Decade” (2001), “Midsummer’s Night” (1999), “At the End of the Day” (1996), “Playing with Fire” (1995) and “Harmony Hill” (1993).

More than 20 years since first coming together and with four of the original members still at the helm, Dervish is more in demand than ever. The band’s colorful career has taken it to every corner of the globe and has seen it share center stage with such names as James Brown, The Buena Vista Social Club, Oasis, Sting, R.E.M., Beck and many more. Dervish is a band that both celebrates Irish music and has been instrumental in bringing it to a worldwide audience.

This presentation is made possible in part with support from Duncan Aviation. Residency activities are funded in part by the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and the Hixson-Lied endowment.

Tickets, starting at $26 for adults and $13 for students, are available at, at the Lied Center Box Office, 301 N. 12th St., or by phone at 402-472-4747.

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