The Irish music group The Chieftains have been recording and performing their brand of instrumental Irish music for over 40 years. On Wednesday, March 17th, they will perform at 8 p.m. at Boston’s Symphony Hall in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The Chieftains will perform with a variety of guest musicians, such as Irish harpist Triona Marshall, country music guitarist and vocalist Jeff White, Canadian step dancers Jon and Nathan Pilatzke, and Irish step dancers Donny Golden and Cara Butler. In addition to the performance, The Chieftains will hold a “wearin’ of the green” event for special ticket holders; for $150 participants will receive orchestra seating and an after-party with The Chieftains that includes refreshments and more music.
The St. Patrick’s Day performance follows in the tradition of previous Chieftains performances on albums and in live venues. The group formed in Dublin in 1962 as an authentic alternative to the commercial Irish music of the time, choosing to perform as others did decades and even centuries ago. The Chieftains have worked on albums, soundtracks, and collaborations with other performers and musicians, such as Elvis Costello, Roger Daltry, James Galway, Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor, Joni Mitchell, Mick Jagger, Bonnie Raitt, Sting, The Boston Pops, and Washington D.C.’s National Symphony. They are winners of multiple Grammy Awards, having received one of their first in the early ’90s for the album Another Country, which featured guest country artists, and have since cut additional albums on which they perform with other country and bluegrass musicians.
The Chieftains’ performance appears at Symphony Hall as part of the FleetBoston Celebrity Series, which brings instrumental and vocal soloists, symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, modern dance and ballet companies, jazz and popular music performers, and folk and ethnic performance groups to the Boston area. In addition to scheduling these performances, the organization encourages arts education through its partnerships with Boston-area schools and community organizations.