What’s the craic? Celtic Roots celebrates everything Irish

Matt Zaddy

“Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling, from glen to glen, and down the mountain side, the summer’s gone, and all the roses falling,
‘Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide. But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow…”

– Lyrics from Danny Boy, arguably the most famous Irish song ever written

It’s been said that there are just two kinds of people in the world: those who are Irish and those who wish they were.

So just how Irish are you, anyway? Here’s a quick pop quiz: what is a Bodhrán and what’s the difference between playing it Kerry Style or West Limerick?

In Irish dancing, which dances are done with hard shoes and which with soft, what the heck is a hornpipe and why do the dancers keep their arms firmly at their sides?

Find out the answers to all of these burning questions and get ready to clap and sing along at Celtic Roots, a celebration of Irish and Celtic Music, happening Saturday, March 14 at the Unitarian Church of Mississauga.

Now it its fourth year, Celtic Roots was created by award-winning husband-wife duo River North (Mississauga’s own Matt Zaddy and Heather Christine) as an alternative for families and seniors who love to celebrate Celtic music in time for St. Patrick’s Day, but may not want or be able to get into a traditional 19+ pub.

“In Ireland, the whole family goes to the pub to listen to music and dance and celebrate together,” Zaddy explains, “but not so much here in Canada. We wanted to open up and share the 
experience  with everyone, from kids to seniors. That’s why we chose a venue  that’s completely wheelchair accessible.”

Sponsored by Nurse Next Door Mississauga for the second year, this afternoon show (doors open at 1:30 pm) features an award-winning cast of musicians and dancers performing a mix of traditional and modern Celtic music, with guitar, vocal harmony, fiddle, percussion, and Irish dancing.

Enjoy soulful acoustic guitar and moving vocal harmonies from River North, Irish and Celtic tunes from phenom fiddler Brittany Iwan, and watch the magical fingers of award-winning Bodhrán player Jacob McCauley and the fast-moving footwork of the nationally ranked BFOC (Butler-Fearon-O’Conner) School of Irish Dance.

Be ready to sing along, Zaddy says.

“Irish culture is all about community and conversation,” he remarks. “We’re happy to share that feeling, not just on St. Patrick’s Day, but every day.”

So what is a Bodhran, anyway?

A major part of Irish culture, the Bodhrán is an Irish drum that can be played in different ways, most commonly with a ‘tipper’, a small double-ended drumstick. The entirety of the drum is used whilst playing the bodhrán; ‘playing the edge’ is used to add emphasis to the beat and to change up the sounds.



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