Music City Irish Fest Sets the Stage for Nashville Musicians to Join Irish Artists

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Event Highlights Deep Roots of Irish and Country/Bluegrass Music

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“We can't wait to share our unique mix of traditional Irish and Americana roots music with the Music City Irish Festival audience," said Enda Scahill of We Banjo 3.

Music City Irish Fest (MCIF) is bringing together some of Nashville’s top musicians and the world’s best Irish musicians to collaborate, create and commemorate. MCIF is set to showcase Irish music March 12, 2016 from 11:00 am until 11:00 pm. The free family friendly festival will take over Demonbreun Hill.

Irish music has long been recognized as the deep roots of classic bluegrass and country music. Each year, visitors from around the world now come to Nashville to hear that sound.

The chemistry and magic of the live collaborations take center stage with something for everyone. Headlining the festivities is We Banjo 3. The Galway-based quartet comprised of is two sets of brothers known for its rip-roaring fusion of old-time, bluegrass, and traditional Irish music and song. We Banjo 3 is collaborating with Ross Holmes of Mumford and Sons and Cory Piatt of Mountain Faith Band. Piatt was a finalist in the most recent season of America’s Got Talent.

“We can't wait to share our unique mix of traditional Irish and Americana roots music with the Music City Irish Festival audience," said Enda Scahill of We Banjo 3. “Nashville is the heartbeat of American roots music, something for which we have a deep love and respect.”

The lineup continues with Runa, winner of two 2013 Irish Music Awards, a dynamic group who will be joined by three Grammy winners. Nashville banjo player Ron Block of Alison Krauss and Union Station, harmonica player Buddy Greene, who toured with Bill Gaither and Jeff Taylor, member of the Time Jumpers and has recorded with the likes of Elvis Costello, Paul Simon and Harry Connick Jr.

Altan, a Donegal-based band, has shaped how people engage with Irish music for three decades. They bring a number of collaborations to MCIF including duo Rob Ikes, 15-time IBMA Dobro Player of the Year, and guitar player Trey Hensely, along with Grammy winning Banjo player Alison Brown and her husband, bass-player Garry West.

Nashville and Sister City Belfast, Ireland will unite on an even larger scale at the festival. The Capital of Northern Ireland, exchanged artists and songwriters during their annual Belfast Nashville Songwriter’s Festival. MCIF 2016 is participating in this initiative by sending Jessica and Jeremiah Willis, the lead songwriters of The Willis Clan, to perform during the Belfast festivities March 2nd, 2016. In return, MCIF is inviting six featured participants to play in Nashville.

“There is a magical aspect to the Irish music, dance and culture,” said Music City Irish Fest Executive Director Brenda Willis. “All these people are passionate about passing this tradition down from one generation to another."

The Music City Irish Fest is held every March in Nashville. Last year, more than 10,000 people attended the inaugural event. This year, more than 20,000 people are expected to take part in the daylong festival. Other highlights include traditional Irish dance, food, drink, crafts and instruments.

MCIF 2016 is sponsored by Tourism Ireland, Dark Horse Institute, WSM Radio, Lightning 100, CIE Tours, Harp and Fiddle, Guinness, Yazoo, Lyft, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, McNamara’s Irish Pub, Prime Tours, Sister Cities of Nashville, Yazoo, Barnes and Noble, The Keenan Group, Fireball Designs and CapStar Bank.

See the full line up at: http://www.musiccityirishfest.com    

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Go Green. Go Nashville. Go Ireland.

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Brenda Willis
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