Independent Music Awards Artist Spotlight: Kevin Locke
Kevin Locke is featured as the Spotlight artist for the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards. Kevin was one of five World Traditional Album Nominees for his current release, Earth Gift. Read the spotlight interview (click here)
The USA's largest and most widely read Irish American paper, The Irish Echo, announced Darrah Carr as one of its top 40 Irish under 40 in March. Professors, attorneys, songwriters and more were part of the lauded list of awardees. As the Creative Director of Darrah Carr Dance and professor of Dance at Hofstra University, Darrah represents one of a handful of honored “new Irish stars” spotlighted by the paper.
Darrah is no stranger to distinction. She was also named one of the “Top 100 Irish Americans of the Year” by Irish America Magazine. Active for over a decade in both the Irish and modern dance communities as a choreographer, dancer, educator, and writer, Darrah still wants more. In June, she begins doctoral coursework that will lead to a PhD in dance.
You can read Darrah’s impressive listing of achievements and projects as the leader of Darrah Carr Dance in the Irish Echo’s ‘40’ issue here.
And they didn’t stop when the concert ended. Crowded around the huge fireplace, acoustic laments and jigs filled the castle home well into the witching hour. It wasn't until 4am that the Castle was silenced.
Rick and Shanan Jackson, with the help of Ixtlan Artists created the Concerts at the Castle series. First was Boys of the Lough, six days later was the raucous concert event with Tommy Sands and his Irish Band. As if the intrigue of seeing a unicorn wasn't enough, the concert raised money for a local charity: Operation Safety Net. The Boys of the Lough concert also contributed donations to the charity. Ixtlan Artists will continue to be a partner in the upcoming Castle events.
A Home Away From Home: Reno, Nevada
“The performance was wonderful; he never misses a beat,” Brady says. “Everyone was very impressed.”
The Irish consulate in Reno is one of only five Honorary Consulate Generals in the US. Since the 19th century the Irish have made a significant contribution in all walks of life in Nevada and today Irish-Americans are well represented at the highest levels in Nevada's business, political, legal, academic and cultural life.
Not only is Tommy connected to Reno through his Irish heritage, but also in songwriting. Tommy uses his music to build bridges of all sorts, and Reno is no exception. In 2002 under the guidance and prodding of Jill Berryman and the Sierra Arts Foundation, Tommy debuted an outreach program for underprivileged prisoners in Reno. He worked with over 70 youths, helping them to write their life stories in the form of songs. Later, a local judge would accept the songs as a plea during their trials. Moya sings the piece by one participant, a 17 year-old named Danielle, and it is often a crowd favorite at concerts. Listen to the story behind the song and Moya's performance of "Danielle" here.
For this program and for his "outstanding work as musician and ambassador for peace and understanding" the University of Nevada, Reno awarded Tommy his Honorary Doctorate in 2002. By request, Tommy even gave the Inaugural speech to a crowd of 10,000 for the university’s graduating class. (The only other Irish recipient of the Honorary Doctorate is the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume.) For Tommy and his Irish Band, Reno will always be a home away from home. Read more about Tommy and his programs.
New Online Brochures: Babatunde Lea
Using a click-interface through photos and text, the online brochures enable readers to quickly get a feel for artists and their programs. Ixtlan’s online brochures are also Web based, so there is no need to download the files to view them (although that is an option). The online brochures are easily shareable to committees and colleagues.
Each artist Ixtlan represents is a premiere talent in their idiom, and they take audiences beyond daily experience into the arena of performance virtuosity rich in cultural traditions. Ixtlan artists speak directly, not only to performance, but to making an impact, on and off the stage.
Through both stage performance and educational outreach, Ixtlan endeavors to provide a venue where performance is used as a bridge to cultural understanding, artistic awareness, educational involvement, and peaceful coexistence of shared ideas.
Ixtlan periodically publishes a digest of the latest news about the artists on its roster.