Organizers of the Kansas City Irish Fest have revealed its music acts for 2016, and the list includes a couple of bands that made some new fans at the 2015 festival. Here’s a look some of the performers at this year’s festival, which runs Sept. 2-4 at Crown Center.
We Banjo 3: This quartet from Galway, Ireland, received glowing reviews for its Kansas City debut at last year’s festival. It returned to Kansas City in February to perform at the 2016 Folk Alliance International Conference at the Westin Crown Center hotel. On Tuesday, We Banjo 3 performed for President Barack Obama and other dignitaries at the Friends of Ireland Luncheon on Capitol Hill.
Tupelo: Another young Irish band that made waves at the 2015 festival. Here’s what Star critic Robert Trussell had to say about that performance: “Tupelo shows its Irish roots often and proudly, but it draws heavily from American influences and occasionally exhibits the improvisational instincts of jazz players. The band members aim to be a crowd-pleasing band, and they are, thanks to their visceral, unpredictable music and an infectious sense of humor exhibited by charismatic lead singer James Cramer. He worked overtime to involve the initially listless crowd but by the end of a 90-minute set he had most of us on our feet and singing along.”
The Elders: Kansas City’s biggest and best-known Celtic rock band has been a closing-night tradition at the Irish Fest for years.
Derek Warfield: Singer, songwriter, mandolin player and founding member of the Wolfe Tones will sing some of his political songs this year, the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
The High Kings: A folk quartet from Dublin led by Finbarr Clancy, nephew of Paddy and Liam Clancy of the legendary Clancy Brothers.
The Young Folk: A five-piece folk band from Ireland, the Young Folk have drawn comparisons to Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes, all imbued with traditional accents.
Larry Kirwan: A native of Ireland, Kirwan is a founding member of Black 47, a Celtic rock band from New York.
Here are the rest of the music acts that have been confirmed:
Gaelic Storm, Solas, Runa, Byrne and Kelly, Driscoll School of Dance, Flannigan’s Right Hook, St. Andrew Pipe & Drum, Eddie Delahunt, Ceili at the Cross Roads, O’Raida Manning, Bob Reeder.
For information on hotels and tickets, visit kcirishfest.com.