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Sean Cleland and The Kilgubbin Project Album Launch Concert
Sean Cleland (Drovers, Bohola), a well known Chicago Irish musician and stalwart of the local Irish music scene, has spent decades becoming a master Irish fiddle player. The Kilgubbin Project is the culmination of his life’s work as an ambassador, cultivator, educator and preservationist of traditional Irish music in Chicago.
Sean is well known to fans of Chicago music, In 1988 Seán founded and lead the much loved Irish folk rock band ‘The Drovers’ through 10 years of 300+ blazing, incendiary live performances, 2 movies; Backdraft and Blink, and 4 independent recordings including 1992’s “the World of Monsters”. In 1999, he co-founded the traditional trio Bohola, where he once again spent the better part of 10 years touring across North America and Australia. Having enough of touring in 2008, Seán quit performing and focused all of his energy and love on teaching and growing the Irish Music school of Chicago.
It was a late night in 2017 spent listening to music, drinking and chatting with his old friend Ray Quinn, the genius behind Martyrs’, that prompted Seán to return to preforming, and to create a Chicago-based band that would bring out the new sounds that Seán heard in his head. Out of that fateful conversation he founded The Kilgubbin Project, a synthesis of the various explorations of his musical story, and a personal musical celebration of the American Irish experience in Chicago. While striving to be true to the melodies and rhythms of Ireland, Seán also embraced how the tradition has evolved here in Chicago.
The Kilgubbin Project is Jesse Langen (guitar), James Reilly (timber flute/whistle/vox/bodhrán), James Conway (harmonica, whistles, jaw harp), Liz Hanley (vox, fiddle), Steve Morrow (bodhrán) and Tim Britton (uileann pipes, whistle, mandolin, Höfner violin bass). The Kilgubbin Project takes its name and its sense of wildness from the actual Chicago Irish Shantytown ‘Patch’ called Kilgubbin (now known as Goose Island); a small natural island at the north side of the confluence of the North and South Branches of the Chicago River. It was home to seasonal flocks of geese and, in the late 1840s, was on the fringes of Chicago and is where many Irish immigrants were forced to stay.
On June 29, 2022, Seán Cleland and The Kilgubbin Project recorded a live concert at Martyrs’ where they played the music chosen by Seán to represent his love letter to the Irish experience in Chicago. This concert recording album, ‘Live at Martyrs’ will be released on Saturday, February 3, 2024, 7pm. Be a part of this historic evening of irrepressible, stubbornly upbeat traditional Irish music from Chicago.
General Admission: USD 20.00