Local singer opens for Ireland's folk-singing legends
- BY PAULA DOYLE
Dublin born Ken O'Malley, renowned local Irish folk singer/songwriter, is well-pleased to be opening for Ireland's folk-singing legends, The Fureys and Davey Arthur, at their upcoming first ever appearance in California.
The musicians will perform at the seventh annual Celtic Concert Sept. 12, 7 p.m., at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood. The yearly event is a fundraiser for An Claidheamh Soluis/The Celtic Arts Center of Southern California, a nonprofit center promoting Celtic culture through workshops and classes in dance, theatre and the Gaelic language.
"The first music cassette I ever received as a young teenager was music from The Fureys. I'm still singing songs from that album," said O'Malley, a parishioner at St. Augustine Church, Culver City, who counts the Irish band as among his musical influences. The group's string of hits include, "Steal Away," "Sweet Sixteen," and "Red Rose Café," among others. Their rendition of "The Green Fields of France" has touched audiences around the world.
"They were part of the musical tapestry that did inspire me to become a folksinger at age 20," said O'Malley, who immigrated to the U.S. and became a full-time musician and a professional folksinger in the late 1970s. Other O'Malley musical influences include The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers, Planxty and Bob Dylan.
As a solo artist and with his Twilight Lords band, O'Malley has performed alongside household names in Celtic music such as The Chieftains, Makem and Clancy, and Mary Black. He has also acted in films, television and theatrical productions, including in Ray Bradbury's "Falling Upward" and Paramount Pictures "Patriot Games."
O'Malley says his Dublin kinsmen, The Fureys and Davey Arthur, are not-to-be-missed ambassadors of Ireland's musical heritage. "People attending the Celtic Concert will get a wonderful example of Irish traditional culture," he declared. "These musicians have the deep roots of Irish traditional vocal and instrumental music that you're ever likely to hear."
O'Malley, who plays guitar and mandolin, will perform folk and traditional tunes as well as a few of his own compositions, such as "Heaven Knows" in his 45-minute opening act. He will be accompanied by Dillon O'Brian on keyboards and Juliette Primrose on violin, who has performed with Michael Flatley's "Lord of the Dance" company.
Tickets are $29, $34 and $39 for adults, and $12 for full-time students with ID and children 12 and under (discounts if purchased before Sept. 5). Tickets and information: www.celticconcert.com, www.FordTheatres.org or (323) 461-3673.
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