Diana Wortham Theatre is pleased to host a returning favorite of Celtic music, internationally renowned Irish band Dervish, Friday, March 25, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. Currently comprised of Liam Kelly, Shane Mitchell, Brian McDonagh, Michael Holmes, and Cathy Jordan, the band will also be joined by Tom Morrow playing the fiddle.
Dervish performances range from high energy tunes to beautifully measured songs with all the elements drawn together by traditional Irish instruments and Roscommon-born singer Cathy Jordan’s incredible vocals and powerful stage presence.
The band first formed in 1989 when musicians Liam Kelly, Shane Mitchell, Martin McGinley, Brian McDonagh and Michael Holmes, first came together to record an album of local Irish music, released under the name The Boys of Sligo. The success of that project quickly brought their informal weekly practice sessions in local pubs to recording sessions and performances at larger venues. The small neighborhood group became a full-fledged band, named Dervish for a group of spiritual people who become enraptured by music.
Jordan and all-Ireland champion fiddler Shane McAleer joined the band in 1991, just in time to record and produce Dervish’s album Harmony Hill. Following its release, Dervish became, and has remained, one of the most sought-after traditional Irish bands on the live music circuit.
The group has also been a frequent collaborator over the years with other musicians working with traditional Irish music, participating in special tours with other forerunners in the genre, and was even recruited by the Irish government to accompany its trade officials on a mission to China. In 2001, exactly a decade after the release of its first album, Dervish was awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Sligo by the Sligo City Council in recognition of its international artistic achievements and dedication to promoting local heritage through its many tours and collaborations.
Some of Dervish’s more recent work has been part of the newly developed James Grant/EMI Play music library in London writing compositions for TV and film projects. The musicians were also honored to provide music for a hit Irish movie, Calvary, released in late 2012. Dervish’s most recent album, The Thrush in The Storm, was released in April 2013.
Dervish is presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, and is made possible by Mainstage Celtic Series Sponsors Don and Nancy Ackermann Cole, Dr. Alan and Suzanne Escovitz, and Arby’s; with additional support from Media Sponsor WNCW 88.7 FM.
The entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre is marked by the location of the theatre’s marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway between Marble Slab Creamery and White Duck Taco, and into a large interior courtyard with multiple glass doors to the theatre’s main lobby and box office. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2015/2016 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Scene, Blue Moon Water, Creative Energy, 67 Biltmore Downtown Eatery and Catering, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.