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Scottish Band Tannahill Weavers at ICHC Saturday, Apil 14

April 10, 2012

The Tannahill Weavers, one of Scotland’s premier bands, returns to the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 14.

Pre-concert music in Quinlan’s Pub will be provided by the traditional Irish band Ceoi Cairde. Based in Milwaukee, the group, whose name means Music of Friends, has been performing since 1989 and includes two founding members from the North Shore. Flute player Kristina Paris is a resident of Whitefish Bay and fiddle, banjo and octave mandolin player Harry Seaman lives in Mequon.

Known for exuberant performances that blend the beauty of traditional melodies with the power of modern rhythms, the Tannahills were inducted into the Scottish Hall of Fame in December 2011.

Emerging from a music session in Paisley, Scotland, more than 40 years ago, they took their name from the town’s historic weaving industry as well as local poet laureate Robert Tannahill, a contemporary of Robert Burns. One of the first popular bands to use the Great Highland Bagpipe, their diverse repertoire spans the centuries with beautiful ballads sung in tight, three-part harmonies as well as fiery, foot-stomping reels and jigs.

The Winnipeg Free Press (Manitoba) wrote that they “could probably power an entire city for a year on the strength of (one) concert alone.”

The current line-up includes original members Roy Guillane and Phil Smillie. Guillane is the lead vocalist, storyteller and guitarist. Smillie, who was 16-years-old when the band started, plays flute and the hand-held Celtic drum, the bodhran, as well as providing vocals. Long-time member John Martin is the fiddle player and adds his bass voice to the harmonies. One of Scotland’s most exciting pipers, Colin Melville, plays the Highland bagpipes as well as the Scottish small pipes and whistles.

“… world class musicians with passion and a healthy sense of fun, keeping alive and making accessible the very heart of the tradition itself.” – Mojo Magazine.

Tickets are $19 in advance and $23 on concert day. Students with an ID are $15. Call (414) 345-8800 or go to for more information.

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