Irish Network New Orleans (IN-NOLA) is hosting a Famine Commemoration Gala at New Orleans’ historic Gallier Hall on November 8, 2014. This black tie Gala is one of the highlights of the International Irish Famine Commemoration that New Orleans has the honor of hosting this year.
The International Irish Famine Commemoration is an annual event that aims to keep the memory of the Irish Famine alive and also pays tribute to the outstanding accomplishments of those Irish men, women and children who left their beloved homeland to escape certain death by starvation and illness. Past cities that have hosted the commemoration include New York, Boston, Toronto, Liverpool, and Sydney, Australia. New Orleans has been honored with hosting the Commemoration because of the thousands of fleeing Irish immigrants that made New Orleans their home in the 19th century and because of the influence these immigrants (and their descendants) had in shaping New Orleans.
The Commemoration and the celebration of Irish New Orleans runs from November 6 through November 9. A wide variety of events, from a symposium at Tulane University, an Irish Feis, to the groundbreaking of a new park created as a special tribute to the Irish have been organized. These events will highlight the extraordinary contributions Irish immigrants made to New Orleans and also call attention to the remarkable Irish presence still in existence today.
IN-NOLA’s Famine Commemoration Gala will both honor the victims of the Irish Famine and celebrate Irish and Irish American achievements in New Orleans. Dignitaries representing Ireland including Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, former Irish Ambassador, Hugh Swift, and Irish Consul General, Paul Gleeson, will speak at Gallier Hall along with other local dignitaries on these issues.
For this great event the great Brennan family of restaurateurs is coming together to feature their great cuisine at the Gala. Commander’s Palace, The Bourbon House, Red Fish Grill, Tableau are just some of the Brennan family restaurants that will be featured at the Gala. In addition, other great New Orleans restaurants, including “Chopped” winner, local Irish Chef Matt Murphy’s Irish House, will be featured. Guests, of course, will be able to enjoy fine wine and good libations along with the great food.
For entertainment, IN-NOLA has secured the great (and aptly named) Celtic rock band, Black 47. Led by Irish author, and playwright, Larry Kirwan, Black 47 play a uniquely Irish form of rock 'n' roll that touches on many social and political issues, and yet is never less than entertaining and riveting. The band derived its name from a traditional term for the summer of 1847, the worst year of the Great Irish Famine. At the end of this year, after 25 years of cultivating a large and loyal fan base, Black 47 will disband. As such, IN-NOLA’s Famine Commemoration Gala is the very last opportunity for southerners to enjoy the band that has entertained and raised Irish cultural and political awareness in the United States for the last 25 years.
In addition, Tara O’ Grady and will entertain Gala attendees earlier in the evening. Tara O’Grady combines Celtic, folk, blues, and especially jazz in her own unique style. Featured on BBC Radio 2 in the UK and WFUV 90.7 in New York, Tara’s soulful and lilting vocals have been compared to Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin and Patsy Cline. Tara’s third album, A Celt in the Cotton Club, made the Irish Voice Newspaper’s Best Albums of 2013 list. Joining Tara at Gallier Hall will be acclaimed local New Orleans musicians, Evan Christopher (Clarinet), Brian Seeger (Jazz Guitar), and James Singleton (Bassist).
Finally, IN-NOLA’s Gala also features traditional Irish Music from New Orleans’ “Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Session Band,” a loose-knit group of musicians from all walks of life, led by 80-year-old bodhrán player Noel Reid, and committed to ensuring that the upbeat rhythms of Irish music doesn’t fade away in the Crescent City. Along the same lines, the Gala will also feature Irish Traditional Dance from the Muggivan School of Irish Dance. Joining the Muggivan dancers on stage will be River Dance and Lord of the Dance alum, Areleen Ni Bhaoill.
The entire evening will be a dignified way to both commemorate the Irish Famine and celebrate how the Irish and their culture shaped both New Orleans and North America.
For information on the Gala and to purchase tickets, click here: http://www.innolagala.org/
For IN-USA members to avail of the discount use the Code “IFCGALA” when registering.
For even further information please contact Irish Network New Orleans President, Adrian D’Arcy, at email@example.com or 504-701-8466.