"MAUI CELTIC BLOG" & MAUI CELTIC NEWS ARCHIVE
Thursday, December 31st - Happy Hogmanay to all our Scottish friends all over the world - and Happy New Year to everyone else ! All the best for 2010.
Hamish celebrated Hogmanay on Scottish time with a phone call just before midnight GMT to Celtic Music Radio in Glasgow where he exchanged greetings live with Liz Clark and Gordon Hotchkiss on their Hogmanay Party show. They all had a wee dram at the turning of the Scottish year ! The great station broadcasts Celtic and other Scottish music 24/7 on 1530 AM around central Scotland, and online www.celticmusicradio.net.
The modern New The modern New Year is known as Hogmanay in Scotland, and is as big a celebration as Christmas. Originally a gathering at standing stones to drink to the spirits, it evolved to a celebration around town and village market crosses known as 'Nollaig Beag' (Little Christmas). It moved from public places into the home when the Reformation of the Church in the 1500s tried to ban it.
One Hogmanay tradition that continues to this day in Scotland is that of 'First Footing'. The first person to cross your doorway after midnight, should be a dark haired man, carrying 'handsel' - offerings of food, drink (whiskey), a piece of coal (to signify the warmth of the hearth all year), and occasionally salt (to signify wealth). Another old custom was for men to kiss any female they met in the street, carried on today as a "New Year's Kiss". Fire festivals were common, with burning torches and barrels of tar carried around town on poles. The fire tradition continues today as fireworks in the Americas and the Hawaiian Islands.
The famous New Year song was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788 - "Auld Lang Syne" has become an anthem of the turning of the year at midnight.
Thursday, December 31st - Hamish finished a commissioned piece of art for the Irish Rovers. Founder George Millar gave the thumbs up to a new Celtic/folk art design for the cover of the latest Irish Rovers CD, due out in the New Year for the legendary band's 45th year on the road ! Keep an eye on our Gallery page for details of the release soon.
The Irish singer commissioned Hamish after seeing his Celtic artwork whilst on Maui earlier this year. The album cover is a piece of folk art entitled 'Gracehill Fair', that George thinks captured the spirit of the title track of the album. It features a traditional Celtic knotwork border and a fairground tent, with Irish musicians, dancers and spectators making merry, like you may see at an Irish country fair, any time in the last century or so.
'Gracehill Fair' by Hamish Douglas Burgess © 2009 - cover of the new Irish Rovers CD
Sunday, December 27th - Hamish's 'Maui Celtic Show' on 'Sunday Solstice' on Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, featured a Boxing Day/Wren Day/Hogmanay (New Year) Special, with music, songs and folklore of the holiday season, Celtic style ! The day after Christmas is called Boxing Day in Britain and Canada (see above), and St.Stephen's Day or Wren Day in Ireland (see below).
The weekly show goes live online at www.manaoradio.com. Local time will be 8-10 am (Hawaii), which for the winter will now be 10am-12pm US/Canada West coast, 11am-1pm Mountain time, 12-2pm central time, 1-3pm East Coast, and 6-8pm in Ireland and the UK.
Saturday, December 26th - Happy Boxing Day and Wren Day ! The day after Christmas is a national holiday in Britain and Canada called Boxing Day, originally coming from well-off people giving small gifts, or Christmas boxes, to their servants on the day after Christmas. In Hamish's youth in Britain, Boxing Day was for tipping the regular delivery men at the home during the past year, such as the coal-man, postman and milkman.
It was also St.Stephen's Day, and traditional to hunt foxes, squirrels and hares - and also the wren, making it known as Wren Day. The small bird was known as messenger to the underworld, nesting in dark places, including caves and tombs, and killing the bird was a way to ensure the return of the light days of spring. Wren Boys would go round the streets singing wren songs, with the dead bird on a pole ! In Cornwall, they would accept money for a lucky wren feather - in Ireland, the Wren Party wanted money or food, so as not to bury the Wren outside folk's homes.
Tradition has two tales as to why the wren was hunted. First, a wren is said to have alerted a guard to St. Stephen's escape - another is that twice in Irish history the wren alerted invaders to an Irish ambush - the Vikings, and centuries later, Cromwell's army. An ancient druidic belief is that the wren is the most knowledgeable of all birds, and won its title 'The King of All Birds' in Gaelic tales, by perching on an eagle's back to fly higher than all the other birds.
Saturday, December 25th - Happy Christmas !
Hawaiian - Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauoli Makahiki Hou !
Scots Gaelic - Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur
Irish - Nollaig Shona agus Bliain Nua Mhaith
Manx - Nollick Ghennal as Blein Vie Noa
Welsh - Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Cornish - Nadelik Looan ha Blydhen Nowydh Da
Breton - Nedeleg Laouen na Bloav Ezh Mat
Galician - Bon Nadal e Bo Ani Novo
Asturian - Feliz Nadal y pr�speru A�u Nuevu
Monday December 21st - Winter Solstice greetings ! The winter months of November, December and January are divided by the Winter Solstice - ancient Gaulish Druids called their month of November-December "Dumanios", or 'The Darkest Depths'. The Winter Solstice was a celebration of the rising of the sun from it's lowest point in the sky, back to longer days and the lighter part of the year. The sleeping earth was heading toward re-awakening. Evergreen trees were seen as a reminder that spring would bring re-birth. Druids ceremoniously cut mistletoe, and offerings were made to the Gods for the return of the Sun. Mistletoe was sacred, and (as well as an antidote for poisons) had a fertility connection, carried on to this day as the tradition of "kissing under the mistletoe".
Hamish Burgess and Jennifer Fahrni at Mana'o Radio - Winter Solstice Show
Sunday December 20th - Hamish's morning Celtic radio program on Mana'o Radio 91.5 fm Wailuku, Maui, featured a Solstice/Christmas/Yuletide Special. Hamish and guest Jennifer Fahrni shared music, songs and folklore of the holiday season, Celtic style ! They talked about ancient Winter Solstice traditions, Yuletide, and Christmas in the old Celtic lands.
The Winter Solstice was celebrated by the ancient Celts (see above) and many early cultures.
In early Christian times, Christmas was celebrated on various dates as ranging from January 1st, and 6th, March 29th, and even September 29th ! By the end of the 4th century, Pope Julius 1st set the date as December 25th, where it remained to modern times. Pope Gregory sent Augustine the monk, a future saint, into the Celtic islands, instructing him to build his new churches on sites of the Old Religion, holding Christian celebrations on Pagan Festivals. This was how Christmas melded with older celebrations.
The Vikings of Northern Europe celebrated Yuletide with festivals of Fire and Lights, bringing the evergreen conifers, and holly and ivy, into the home to symbolise the eternity of life. In folklore, holly represents the male, and ivy the female - the entwining of both in decorations and wreaths, symbolised harmony and balance in the home.
Saturday, December 19th - the 4th annual Celtic Waves' Winter Solstice Concert was at KHPR’s ATHERTON CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS in Honolulu.
"Long before the Christian religious holiday of Christmas, and VERY long before the commercial blitz of America's vacation season, the Celts celebrated the Winter Solstice. The longest night and the shortest day of the year was a time of renewal of spirit and faith, even in the face of cold and darkness." Folks enjoyed harp, fiddle, flute, percussion, piano and voices as Celtic Waves shared their favorite seasonal music. They were joined by guest performer soprano Katherine Fryer.
Friday December 18th - the Finn McCoul band played a surprise gig at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina. Maui's newest Celtic music group joined whistle player Kevin O'Kennedy for an Irish night on the West side, joined by a visiting bagpiper on holiday.
Sunday, December 13th - the 'Maui Celtic Show' on Mana'o Radio was a Liam Clancy Tribute show from Hamish dedicated to his extraordinarily talented friend. Irish music legend Liam Clancy passed away on Friday December 4th in Cork, Ireland. A great man and a beautiful singer - a great loss to Ireland and the traditional music world, he will be missed by many. Aloha 'Oe, dear Liam.
Hamish Burgess interviewing Liam Clancy at his recording studio - Ring, Co.Waterford Sept. 2007
The show, with guest Jennifer Fahrni, featured thier personal memories of Liam on Maui and in Ireland, as well as music, songs and many interview clips. Some from February 2007 with Liam in the Mana'o Radio studio, and some previously unbroadcast interview with Liam at his own recording studio in Ring, Co.Waterford, Ireland, cut in September 2007. As well as the classic poetry of 'Mary Hynes', the music ranged from Liam's first recordings on the Tradition Record label, through the heyday of the Clacy Brothers and Tommy Makem, the duo Makem and Clancy, and Liam's solo career, to more unusual recordings of Liam singing with Danú, Cherish The Ladies, and Bóthar Na Sop. Liam talked about Hawaii, his early days, Tradition Records, Appalachian music, the Ed Sullivan Show, his home in Ring, and even belted out a few impressions ! Hamish managed well until the end became a wee bit emotional......a tough goodbye to an amazing friend.
Hamish Burgess and Liam Clancy at Mana'o Radio Studio, Wailuku, Maui - Feb. 2007
Mahalo, Liam for the great songs and stories. More below, and at www.liamclancy.com
Saturday December 5th - the Finn McCoul band played at the Haleakala Waldorf School Holiday Faire in Kula. Maui's newest Celtic music group livened up the day Celtic style at 2pm. More on the new group at www.finnmccoul.com.
Sunday, December 6th - Maui's newest Celtic music group, the Finn McCoul band played at the Holiday Lighting of the Banyan Tree & Snow Festival in Lahaina. More on the new group at www.finnmccoul.com.
Friday December 4th - terrible news from Ireland that my friend Liam Clancy passed away today. A great man and a beautiful singer - a great loss to Ireland and the traditional music world, he will be missed by many. Hamish and all the Maui fans of Irish music send our deepest sympathy to the Clancy family and friends. Aloha 'Oe, dear Liam.
Hamish Burgess and the great Liam Clancy
Liam came to America in the 1950s as an actor, and leapt to international fame performing on the Ed Sullivan Show with the The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. Armed with his guitar and beautiful voice, and masterful stagecraft, he spread Irish culture around the world with his songs and stories. Bob Dylan described Liam as the 'best ballad singer in the world'. He left The Clancy Brothers to pursue a solo career but joined old friend Tommy Makem to perform as the famous duo Makem and Clancy until 1988. Another great collaboration was Clancy, O'Connell and Clancy, with son Dónal Clancy and nephew Robbie O'Connell. Since then Liam has performed solo and played to packed concert halls backed by Kevin Evans and Paul Grant or Brian Doherty, and had a compilation album high in the Irish charts in 2009. His last album is the brilliant "Wheels of Life", available at www.liamclancy.com
Liam visited Maui in February 2007, staying for several weeks after the Irish Music Cruise of the Hawaiian Islands, and played a surprise and legendary concert at Charley's in Paia, a triple act featuring Evans and Doherty (sporting new Maui Celtic shirts), Aoife Clancy and Robbie O'Connell, and a very special guest apperance from the legendary LIAM CLANCY - a special one-off concert promoted by Hamish and Jennifer of Maui Celtic on behalf of Debbie Casey of Irish Music Cruises. This was a remarkable intimate night in Maui from the king of Irish folk music, who in recent years normally played big concert halls. Another surprise was when Liam was Hamish's guest at a Michael Black dinner show at Mulligan's on the Blue in Wailea (a Maui Celtic promotion), and after a nice introduction from Michael, he joined him on stage for a few songs, and even dragged pipers Hamish and John Grant up for a chorus of "Wild Mountain Thyme" !! A legendary night still talked about ! Details on our News Archive 2007 page. (above) Kevin Evans, Liam Clancy, Brian Doherty - Charley's
Hamish Burgess, John Grant, Liam Clancy & Michael Black - Mulligan's on the Blue, Feb '07
Mahalo, Liam for the great songs and stories. More on the great man at www.liamclancy.com
December 12th - The Friends of St.Patrick held their Christmas Party, at Ferguson's in Honololu. First Drink was on the Friends, with a pot luck dinner, and gift collection for Kapiolani Children's Hospital patients. www.irishclubhawaii.com
December 12th - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held their Formal Investiture/Saint Andrew’s Day Dinner & 20th Anniversary celebration. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - email@example.com
Monday November 30th - HAPPY ST.ANDREW'S DAY TO ALL OUR SCOTTISH FRIENDS !
Glasses will be raised to toast Scotland and St Andrew on every continent around the world. The Patron Saint of Scotland, his day is dedicated to celebrating Scottish traditions and culture. St Andrew's Day festivities in Scotland and abroad often feature Scottish traditional food, music, songs, poetry and dance. Popular with Scots who live abroad - there are 40 million people of Scottish heritage around the world. More info on St.Andrew on our SCOTLAND page.
November 30th - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held their annual Kirkin’ of the Tartans at St. Andrews Cathedral - a blessing of the tartans. For more details contact The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday November 29th - Hamish was back on Mana'o Radio with the Maui Celtic show on Sunday Solstice, with great Scottish music for a St.Andrew's Day special, as Scotland's national holiday was the following day!
He had a live link-up with Celtic Music Radio, a community radio station in Glasgow Scotland whichfocuses on Celtic and Scottish-influenced music, both traditional and contemporary (they broadcast 24/7 on 1530 AM around central Scotland, and on www.celticmusicradio.net).
Hamish had a chat with presenter Mary Kathleen Burke about the Glasgow station and their festivities for St.Andrews Day, as well as her own music as a singer/songwriter, and played some tracks from her CD 'A Song in her Heart'. More on Mary, originally from N.Ireland, at www.celticmusicradio.net/marykathleenburke or at www.myspace.com/maryk1
The show is Sunday 8-10am on Mana'o Radio 91.5 fm Maui - live online at www.manaoradio.com ! 10am-12pm US/Canada West coast, 11am-1pm Mountain time, 12-2pm central time, 1-3pm East Coast, and 6-8pm in Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Wales and England.
Friday November 27th - the Finn McCoul band played at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina. Maui's newest Celtic music group joined ace local whistle player Kevin O'Kennedy for a rockin Irish night on the West side. More on the new group at www.finnmccoul.com. Mulligans at the Wharf is in the Wharf Cinema Center opposite the Banyan Tree, Lahaina. 661-8881
Sunday November 22nd - Hamish had a World Exclusive on Mana'o Radio's Sunday Solstice, with a special guest on the Maui Celtic show, George Millar, founder of the Irish Rovers, who visited the studio for a live interview, and brought in an advance copy of the unfinished album, tentatively entitiled 'Gracehill Fair', due for release in January. With lovely guest Jennifer Fahrni, they talked about George's long career, band history, stories on the road, and of course Unicorns ! More on the legendary Irish Rovers at www.irishrovers.info
Hamish, Jennifer Fahrni and Irish Rover George Millar at Mana'o Radio studios
Friday November 20th - the Irish session at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina, was going off again with members of the Finn McCoul band. Maui's newest Celtic music group fielded a small version of their line-up led by Peter Della Croce on ukulele, with Bud Clark on bodhran and whistles, Mark John on the fiddle, Cary Ritt on guitar, and Andre Deslauriers on bass. Mulligans at the Wharf is in the Wharf Cinema Center opposite the Banyan Tree, Lahaina. 661-8881
Saturday November 14th - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented The Soup, the Captain & the Ceilidh at St. Clement's Parish Hall (1515 Wilder Avenue, Honolulu). Caledonian Society member and author Eleanor Nordyke gave a visual presentation of Pacific Images: Captain Cook's Life and Voyages. Folks enjoyed Scottish soups, as well as potluck pupus, prepared by some of your friends in the Society.
Wednesday November 8-15th - Hamish and Jennifer of Maui Celtic were at beautiful Hanalei Bay on Kauai for a week-long birthday party for Chuck Wall's 70th - Celtic music fan, well-known Oahu Irishman, and all-round great guy ! The 70th gang were staying at the fabulous historic Kauikeolani Estate, the Palaka Cottage and Koloko Cottage, all part of the old Wilcox Plantation. What a brilliant week of exploring Kauai, surfing Hanalei Bay, and enjoying great new company - with spectacular dinners, good conversation and fine Irish and Scotch whiskey ! Chuck was a pioneering big wave surfer in the early days of surfing Waimea Bay on Oahu.
Chuck Wall, Hamish Burgess and Charlie Bass heading out to surf Hanalei Bay, Kauai
The night of Chuck's birthday opened with toasts to Himself, and son Kelly, who just completed an Ironman marathon, followed by bagpiping from Hamish Burgess on the Scottish smallpipes. After a delicious potluck buffet, there was contemporary and Hawaiian music from talented duo Haku Asing and Garrett Santos, on keyboards and guitar, finally joined by Hamish on the smallpipes for an impromptu session with the local boys playing Scottish and Irish music for the first time !
Hamish, Haku and Garrett - Scottish Hawaiian music for Chuck's 70th
They did brilliantly accompanying Hamish on the tunes, then it all came together with his first public piping of 'Aloha 'Oe', with the boys singing in Hawaiian - a magical moment.
The next night was the double birthday celebration of our own Jennifer, and also Liam Cooney, Kauai resident and long-time friend of Maui Celtic. More great company, food and drink, a bit of bagpiping, and of course a wee dram of the 'water of life'.
Friday night a magnificent lightning storm signalled the start of some extreme weather, with the house-shaking clap of thunder around 3am getting us all up. The heaviest rain in memory saw major flooding on Saturday, with the Hanalei Bridge closing long before the water level reached 12 feet (normally shuts at 6 feet). The river found its original course through the lake on the property, and surrounded the house on 3 sides. The Koloko Cottage had 4 feet of water below it, and trapped 2 couples for the night - a barracuda was caught in the front drive !!
Jan, Chuck, Leon, Arn and Hamish - Hanalei Flood Day, November 14th
With Hanalei Bay brown and stormy, surfing and swimming were out, leaving us housebound for another party - our biggest dilemma was that the whiskey had run out !! It was touch and go, but the floods subsided, and bridges opened, in time for Chuck's 70th gang to get to the airport and home to the far corners of the world. An epic week.
Sunday, November 8th - The Ka'iulani Project presented a Celebration of Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn - An Event To Benefit The Storybook Theater of Hawaii in Hanapepe, Kauai. The theater enables Hawaii's school children to experience and participate in the performing and media arts, and also perpetuates the cultural values and heritage of the peoples of Hawaii and the Pacific.
The afternoon of history, theatre and music started with Cindy Combs on beautiful Hawaiian slack key guitar and singing, followed by Hamish Burgess of Maui Celtic on the Scottish smallpipes and speaking about 'Scots in Hawaii'.
Jennifer Fahrni, Cindy Combs, Kawena'ulaonalani Tyger Warren, and Kaleiu'i onstage at the Storybook Theater, Hanapepe, Kauai.
The presentation continued with Jennifer Fahrni narrating a history of Princess Ka'iulani Cleghorn, with a backdrop of fabulous historic photographs from the princess's life, and short scenes from the original script "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose", written by Jennifer Fahrni and Carol Harvie-Yamaguchi, showing the Princess' untold heroism. Cindy Combs played amazing slack key guitar throughout the entire presentation creating the score for the story of Ka'iulani's life. The Princess was brought to life by local girl Kawena'ulaonalani Tyger Warren, with Mark Jeffers portraying King David Kalakaua and Robert Louis Stevenson, Hamish Burgess as Archibald Scott Cleghorn, and Jennifer Fahrni in various roles. Also onstage as the princess' friend was Kawena's friend Kaleiu'i. For the past five years, Mark and Storybook Theatre have honored Princess Ka'ulani by portraying her in their Kauai Keiki Story Festival. Last year, Kaleiu'i as the Princess, rode into the event on horseback, and led a children's parade through town. Storybook has chosen Kawena as their Ka'iulani for this year's activities.
L-R: performers Cindy Combs, Hamish Burgess, Jennifer Fahrni, Mark Jeffers and (sitting) Kawena'ulaonalani Tyger Warren and Kaleiu'i, at the Storybook Theater, Hanapepe, Kauai.
Mark Jeffers, Executive Director of Storybook Theatre said, "I am happy that the Ka'iulani Project has undertaken this mission of communicating the story of PK throughout your travels. She was so well loved and admired in her lifetime and yes, her story has not been told very much. Few children in Hawaii schools know about her."
Ka‘iulani's story of determination and courage is a story for our time. Through her struggle to embrace her dual heritage, she found the inner strength to speak for her nation in its darkest hour. The play challenges us to examine the prejudices and misunderstandings that tear us apart, and her story compels us to embrace diversity as the foundation upon which we build our greatness. Jennifer said "It's very appropriate to be helping a member of our Hawaiian community with The Ka'iulani Project. I hope to see any event that bears her name do the same, as Ka'iulani herself was committed to raising funds for those in need, especially organizations who do such great work for children." To help Storybook Theatre of Hawaii continue educating and inspiring young people of Hawaii, you may send donations to 3814 Hanapepe Rd. Hanapepe, Kauai, or please call them at (808) 335-0712. More info at The Ka'iulani Project website www.TheKaiulaniProject.com.
November 7th - family pipeband based on the Big Island of Hawaii The Dogwatch played in the Hawaii Veteran's Day Parade in Downtown Hilo.
Sunday November 1st - Hamish was back on Mana'o Radio with Sunday Solstice - the Maui Celtic show featured some more Samhain/Celtic New Year/Halloween tracks, with great Celtic music on that theme, and some new releases from ARC Music, a world music label who have a fine Celtic selection of CDs. He featured music from all the ancient Celtic lands of Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Galicia, across the ocean to Nova Scotia for Cape Breton Island, and even back to Europe for new Celtic music from Russia !
Saturday October 31st - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held their annual Samhain/Halloween Party. Sponsored by Outback Steakhouse- Hawaii Kai.
The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii - (808) 381-7216 or email - email@example.com
Friday October 30th - local Oahu traditional band CELTIC WAVES played at Wards Rafters to celebrate the Celtic New Years Eve ! "Samhain" (pronounce sah-win), the day that parallels "Hallowed Eve" and "The Day of the Dead," is when the veil between the dead and the living is said to be thinnest. Folks selected their most "haunting" instrumentals and most "curious" lyrics, in honor of this celebration. Guest artist was singer Katherine Fryer from the London folk club scene who has recently returned home to Hawaii.
Sunday October 25th - Hamish was back on Mana'o Radio with Sunday Solstice - the Maui Celtic show featured a Samhain/Celtic New Year/Halloween special, with great Celtic music on that theme, and folklore and traditions of the ancient Celtic festival, and the more recent Halloween. Special guest historian John Crowe shared some Scottish traditions from his youth in the last half hour.
Friday October 23rd - saw the talented Irish supergroup DERVISH playing on Maui at the Castle Theater in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kahului.
A spectacular performance from the group exceeded Hamish's already high expectations from playing their music on his Celtic show on Mana'o Radio ! The band members' masterful command of the various traditional intruments while playing ripping jigs and reels would have been enough, but combined with the beautiful vocals of Cathy Jordan on epic ballads, and great songs in Irish and English, this was a concert that will be hard to beat. Not to mention Cathy's great stories, endearing manner, and involvement with the audience, makes her the ultimate frontwoman. A guaranteed standing ovation got Dervish back on for a Hana Hou set, starting with Cathy onstage alone with a beautiful unaccompanied song, and ending with the whole theater on their feet for a final wild instrumental - traditional Irish music at it's best ! The Irish concert of the year, to be sure.
The award-winning traditional Irish music group Dervish started in local pubs in Ireland 20 years ago. Formed in 1989 by a group of five musicians, including current players Liam Kelly (flute and whistles), Shane Mitchell (accordion), Brian Mc Donagh (mandola) and Michael Holmes (bouzouki), they also feature Tom Morrow (fiddle), and lead singer Cathy Jordan (vocals, bodhrán and bones). They chose the unusual name Dervish referring to a group of spiritual people who become enraptured by music. Their career has taken them to every part of the world, and in 2006 The Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Mr Bertie Ahern, invited Dervish to accompany the Irish Government on the country's biggest ever trade mission to China, where Dervish performed to a gathering from the Chinese government - further confirming the band as a national jewel of Ireland. Their musical genius and innovative approach will keep them as a leading force in Irish music. Check out their music, including the brilliant last CD "Travelling Show" at www.dervish.ie
Hamish Burgess and Kevin O'Kennedy were having a wee after-concert dram at Mulligans in Wailea with Mike O'Dwyer and Finn, when some of the Dervish gang stopped in for a nightcap !
Sunday October 18th - Hamish's Maui Celtic music radio show on Mana'o Radio, featured some new Celtic releases, and an interview with singer Cathy Jordan of Dervish, on the phone from Honolulu. They chatted about Dervish's carrer and latest CD "Traveling Show", and the great Irish band's current visit to the Hawaiian Islands. More on the band at www.dervish.ie
Saturday October 17th - saw the talented Irish supergroup DERVISH playing on Oahu at the Leeward Community College Theatre.
Saturday October 17th - the Isle of Maui Pipe Band presented their 2nd annual Princess Ka`iulani Festival at the Haleakala Waldorf School in Kula, Upcountry Maui. The event celebrated the Princess' Hawaiian and Scottish heritage and featured music and events from both cultures.
The Isle of Maui Pipeband
The day opened with a blessing and 'Oli (chant) from Kahu Charles Maxwell and a performance from The Isle of Maui Pipe Band, followed by Kula Kaiapuni ‘o Kekaulike. MCs for the day were Kathy Collins & Hamish Douglas Burgess both of MANA‘O Radio introducing the entertainment and activities. Celtic music took to the stage with new band Finn McCoul, and long-time Upcountry group Tropical Harps. Back to fine Hawaiian music and hula specific to the Princess and the Royal Family from Halau Hula Wehiwehi O Leilehua with ukulele band Keaolani, and special guest Manu Boyd with great stories about the Princess he remembered from his older relatives. After announcements of the results of contests for Best Lau Lau, Best Scottish Shortbread, and Lei making there were classic Scottish events including men's 'Bonniest Knees' contest and ladies rolling pin and Wellie (boot) toss competitions. Visitors from Oahu, Calvin Hoe and the students of the Hakipu‘u Learning Center, performed Hula Ki‘i (Hawaiian puppetry), followed by Princess Ka‘iulani Fashions with the History of the Holoku‘u. Next came top Hawaiian music with the Richard Ho‘opi‘i Ohana, and the brilliant duo HAPA. Closing a great day of music and hula were event presenters The Isle of Maui Pipe Band.
HAPA - Nathan Kawai Aweau and Barry Flanagan
All day there were ongoing exhibits, demonstrations by Hawaiian craft artisans, presentations by local groups and historians, Hawaiian games, children's contests and activities, Talk Story, vendors and food, all representing the two cultures. Special events included an exhibition Hukihuki (tug-of-war) between the Maui Fire Department and the Isle of Maui Pipeband, and an Exhibition Cricket Match by the Maui Cricket Club (the Honolulu Cricket Club joined the Maui Cricket Club to teach kids to play Cricket).
Maui Celtic booth of Celtic imports and art ..... Hamish and Kathy Collins of Mana'o Radio
Among some great vendors, Maui Celtic had a stand of our fine Celtic imports, jewelry, logowear, Hawaii Tartan apparel, books, and Hamish Burgess' artwork (see our STORE and GALLERY pages).
Sunday October 18th - the 1st Princess Ka`iulani Cup Cricket Match was at Baldwin Beach Park Cricket Pitch in Paia. The Maui Cricket Club faced off against the Oahu Cricket Club. Cricket has been played in the islands since the 1800s and was supported by King Kamehameha IV, who is now considered the patron saint of Cricket in Hawai‘i, and was a sporting craze in Victorian Britain during the time of the Princess' exile in England.
For more information visit the pipeband's website at www.isleofmauipipeband.com
Friday, October 16th - Irish supergroup DERVISH were in Hawaii (Big Island) playing in the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center. See above for more on this award-winning traditional Irish music group - or at at www.dervish.ie.
Sunday October 11th - Hamish's Maui Celtic music radio show was on Mana'o Radio, featuring some new Celtic releases, and a special show for Columbus Day and Discoverer's Day, featuring Celtic music in honor of Sinclair, Welsh Prince Madoc, Viking Lief Erikson, and St.Brendan - all European explorers who landed in the new world long before Columbus.
Saturday October 10th - the Isle of Maui Pipe Band were at the Queen Ka'ahumanu Shoppping Center stage for a promotion their 2nd annual Princess Ka`iulani Festival on the 17th (see above). MC Hamish Douglas Burgess of MANA‘O Radio, introduced the band that he was a founding mmember of, and they gave a great perfomance. They were followed by Gordean Bailey's Halau Hula Wehiwehi O Leilehua, who gave a fine hula show, with a brilliant story of the Pricess' life with hand-puppets. Finally was a debut for Maui's newest Celtic music band, Finn McCoul, with a nice set of Celtic tunes and songs from Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany.
The Isle of Maui Pipeband at the Queen Ka'ahumanu Mall
Halau Hula Wehiwehi O Leilehua at Queen Ka'ahumanu Mall
The Finn McCoul band at Queen Ka'ahumanu Mall
Hamish was also talking about the Hawaiian Princess Ka'iulani, who was half Scottish, and representing The Ka'iulani Project, dedicated to getting the true story of Hawaii's heroine out to the public.
Clint, Mark and Bud at the Irish Session, Mulligans - Friday October 9th - the Irish session at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina, was going off again !! Led by bodhran player Bud Clark, with Hamish Burgess, Roger McKinley and Alison Jackson on Highland bagpipes, Clint Burdick on Celtic guitar, and Mark John on the fiddle. The joint was rocking with electric Celtic when Alison, husband Jake on bass, and Clint on guitar did a Dropkicks style "Fields of Athenrye" ! Mulligans at the Wharf is in the Wharf Cinema Center opposite the Banyan Tree, Lahaina. 661-8881
Sunday October 4th - Hamish played more Celtic music on Mana'o Radio, with special guest Bud Clark, philoshopher and bodhran player, who brought in some great Scottish music from his time in Glasgow. The second half featured an interview and music from Con O'Brien of the Irish Descendants 'phoning in from Newfoundland, an Irish stronghold in the Canadian Maritimes.
The Irish Descendants from Newfoundland
October 3rd - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii event "Edinburgh Adventures: Summer 2009" took place at the Hale 'Akoakoa, Windward Community College, with tales from ‘The Gathering’ in Edinburgh, from Chieftain Bruce McEwan and Council member Lillian Cunningham. Also a report from the Society's 2009 Scottish Education Research Grant recipient, the Castle Performing Arts Center, on the play they took to Scotland this summer. CPAC was the first public school from Hawaii to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (August 2009) for the American High School Theatre Festival, performing "Okinawa 1945" by playwright Alice Shikina. There was a sampling of some of their member's scrumptious shortbread recipes along with afternoon tea.
Friday October 2nd - the Irish session at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina, was packed and jammin' !! Led by bodhran player Bud Clark, the small pub was rocking with Celtic music from Bud and Siobhan Halstead on bodhrans, Hamish Burgess, Roger McKinley and Alison Jackson (photo right) on Highland and smallpipes, Clint Burdick on Celtic guitar, not to mention the new Celtic band Fin McCoul with Peter Della Croce and Cary Ritt on guitar and drums, Mark John on the fiddle, Bud on bodhran and whistles, Roger on pipes, Pamela and Lily singing, with Andre on bass. Mulligans at the Wharf is in the Wharf Cinema Center opposite the Banyan Tree, Lahaina. 661-8881
October 1st - Hamish Burgess was painting his latest piece, 'LINDISFARNE SPIRALS' (© Hamish Burgess 2009), a reproduction from the Lindisfarne Gospels and mixes spirals and shapes after the early Celtic La Tène style, and zoomorphic birds. The Lindisfarne Gospels were created in the late 600s or early 700s AD, in the Lindisfarne monastery which was built on a tidal island (cut off from the mainland except at low tide) known as Holy Island, off the Northumberland coast of what is now north-east England. Historical writings state the amazing work was created by the hand of Bishop Eadfrith (628-721). The book is now in the British Library in London, where Hamish has studied it's intricate art first-hand. More details and photos on our Gallery page.
Sunday September 27th - Hamish's Maui Celtic music radio show was on Mana'o Radio, featuring some new Celtic releases, and a special birthday greeting with tunes to the Mad Wandering Bagpiper Mike Riedel.
Saturday September 26th - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii presented the 6th annual Dressed To The Kilt at the Hawaii Prince Hotel in Waikiki. To celebrate Scottish and other Celtic cultures, there was a buffet dinner in the Captain's Room, with Grace by Father Richard Rubie, bagpiping from Mike Hudgens of the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, and 'Celt of the Year' presentation. SASH President Ian Wilson presented their Celt of the Year award to Cesci Pérez de Wang, the past president who has worked tirelessly to promote the Society and their events, and Celtic culture on Oahu, for the last 8 years.
Saturday September 26th - Big Island of Hawaii based family Lobo Del Mar with the pipebandband The Dogwatch gave a Bagpipes & Dance performance at the Hilo Pana'ewa Zoo Namaste's 11th birthday celebration.
Friday September 25th - the Irish session at Mulligans at the Wharf continued to rock Lahaina, led by bodhran player Bud Clark, while Kevin O'Kennedy whistles his way round Ireland. The pub was alive with Celtic music with Bud joined Siobhan Halstead on bodhrans, Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley on Highland and smallpipes, Clint Burdick on Celtic guitar, Peter Della Croce on guitar and drums, and Mark John on the fiddle. Mulligans at the Wharf is in the Wharf Cinema Center opposite the Banyan Tree, Lahaina (661-8881).
September 24th - HAPPY ARTHUR'S DAY TO ALL OUR GUINNESS LOVING FRIENDS ! Today was the historical 250th anniversary of Arthur Guinness signing the lease at St. James’s Gate in Dublin in 1759. The GUINNESS 250 celebrations peaked on ‘Arthur’s Day’ all around the world to honour Arthur Guinness whose legacy is the iconic black GUINNESS stout. The largest celebration was be Dublin, the home of GUINNESS, with live music events in over 30 venues across the city pubs to a concert at the hub of the porter universe, St. James’s Gate brewery itself. SLAINTE !
There were celebrations on Oahu of course, with the Arthur Guinness' 250th Anniversary Party at O'Toole's (NuuanuStreet, Downtown Honolulu), with a Guinness Trivia Contest, and the band Warsaw.
Monday September 21st - Hamish Burgess finished painting his latest piece, 'ROSS-SHIRE ROSE' Hilton of Cadboll Stone (© Hamish Burgess 2009), created for an the Primarily Red juried art show at the Hui No'eau in Makawao - it didn't get in. Every color used in 'Ross-shire Rose' is a shade of red, running from the lightest pink, which looks white, to the black outline, actually with a slight red tint when used very thinly. It features 32 triple spirals, 8 double spirals, and a stylized gemstone at the center. The piece is based on a carved spiral panel of an ancient Pictish standing stone (9th century) orignally in Ross-shire, Scotland, called the Hilton of Cadboll Stone. Also inspired by a line drawing recreating the broken panel, by the late great Celtic artist George Bain. Hamish studied the original stone which is now in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. More details and photos on our Gallery page.
Sunday September 20th - Hamish's Maui Celtic music radio show was on Mana'o Radio, featuring some new Celtic releases, and a special nod to Arthur Guinness' 250th anniversary, with some songs about the iconic black drink.
Friday September 18th - the Irish session at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina continued led by bodhran player Bud Clark, while whistle player Kevin O'Kennedy was a-rovin' in Ireland - the dapper versatile dude also filled in on a bit of whistling ! The pub had a nice crowd that night, who rocked with Celtic music from Bud joined by Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley on Highland and smallpipes, and Clint Burdick with some wild Celtic guitar picking, not to mention his wee bairns providing some impromptu jigs. Mulligans at the Wharf is in the Wharf Cinema Center opposite the Banyan Tree, Lahaina. For more info call 808-661-8881.
Clint Burdick & Bud Clark, Mulligans at the Wharf, Lahaina
Thursday September 17th - started Halfway to St Patrick's Day on Oahu week-long celebration with Warsaw at O'Toole's Pub in Honolulu. They played all week at the Irish Rose and Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki as well.
Saturday 19th - The Friends of St.Patrick had their monthly meeting at O'Toole's with the substitute theme of Arthur Guinness and His 250th anniversary of the brewing of Guinness. Besides the pint o' the Plain they had 3 other brews owned by Guinness - Harp, Smithwicks and the Guinness 250th Anniversary stout. They invited the Two Beer Queers of YouTube and internet fame to join their Guinness tasting. These two well respected beer enthusiasts, Russel Kealoha and Bully O’Sullivan, have a large local following on the subject of beers in Hawaii. Celtic band the Doolin Rakes finished the night off. The next night was a showing of the Irish American film 'Boondock Saints', and The Kaimana Ceili Band played at Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki. Tuesday 22nd - there was a showing of the Irish film 'Waking Ned Devine' at the The Irish Rose in Waikiki, and after Warsaw played at Kelley O'Neil's.
Sunday September 13th - Hamish's Maui Celtic music radio show was on Mana'o Radio, featuring some new Celtic releases, including several tracks from the brilliant new CD 'Zama Zama : Try Your Luck', from the Battlefield Band, with clips from an interview Hamish cut with the boys at Temple Records near Edinburgh, on his recent trip to Scotland.
Wednesday September 9th - 9/9/09, Hamish Burgess played bagpipes for his friends at the wedding of Jonny Gross and Aubrie Scott, his the beautiful bride from Molokai. After an adventure living on the remote north back side of Molokai, a year or so in the busy civilization of Maui, the couple are heading off to a new life in Molokai again. A great wedding on West Maui at Castaways, was started with a traditional Oli (chant) by Hawaiian kahuna Clifford Nae'ole, followed by a very cool ceremony from Brad Salter. Hamish piped the couple off to the reception, with great food, plenty of drinks and a highlight was the family singing a special Molokai rap composed about Jon and Aubrie. Hamish and Jonny have been friends since arriving on the island within weeks of eachother, both working together as dive instructors in Lahaina, before moving on to other things. Best of luck to you both - Slainte and Aloha !!
Sunday September 6th - Hamish's Celtic music Labor Day Special radio show was on Mana'o Radio, with a theme of working songs, and a tribute to workers' hero James Connolly, also an Irish national hero. As well as a featuring some recent releases from ARC Music, he played an exclusive pre-release track from Temple Records by the Battlefield Band, with piper Mike Katz (right) introducing his composition about a Hawaiian fishing-god, Ku'ula Kai.
Mana'o Radio today also welcomed a new presenter Larry Sarner with Folk Country a new show from 6-8am, directly before Hamish on Sunday Solstice. Larry is a well-known local musician and hosts the Maui Folksong Circle, a group that usually meets 2 or 3 times a month to sing anything from American Folk to Irish songs. Interested singers or guitarists please contact Larry Sarner at Lsarner@maui.net
Sunday August 30th - Mana'o Radio had more great sounds with Scottish music from The Gathering on Hamish's show, as well as new interviews and music from George Millar of the Irish Rovers, now based in Canada, and the legendary Scottish singer and songwriter Archie Fisher. Hamish had recently returned with exclusives from many top Celtic musicians while travelling in Scotland, Cornwall and Vancouver (see below).
Hamish interviewed (left) George Millar and (right) Archie Fisher
Saturday 29th August - Oahu's own CELTIC WAVES played at Wards Rafters in Honolulu. An Irish get-together, with William and Kat Greene from Oregon as special guests. If you haven’t heard their fiddln’ in years past – don’t miss it ! Featuring LAWSON CANNON (Guitar, bouzouki and vocals), KEVIN CRAVEN (Fiddle), CLARK RATLIFFE (Flutes, Whistles), SUSAN REINHART (bodhran, Acoustic Bass, Vocals), KATIE McCLELLEN (Harp, Mandolin, Whistle and Vocals), PLUS WILLIAM AND KAT GREENE (Fiddles and Vocals).
Sunday August 23rd - Hamish had a special radio show featuring interview clips and great Scottish music from The Gathering (see below). He just returned from travelling in Scotland, and interviewed some of the nations top musicians, not to mention other historic events. He played an exclusive pre-release track from the upcoming CD Zama Zama : Try your Luck on Temple Records by the Battlefield Band, with singer Alan Reid introducing his great composition about financial tyrants, Robber Barons.
Hamish Burgess back at Mana'o Radio, Wailuku, Maui - sporting The Gathering shirt
Sunday August 23rd - the first event of its kind in Hawaii, The Pan Pacific Irish Dance Championships & Feis was held all day at the OHANA East Hotel, in the Princess Kaiulani Conference Room. Organised by Jim & Lauren Crowe-Mueller, TCRG, and sponsored by An Daire Academy of Irish Dance, the registering body was the North American Feis Commission and the Western US Region of the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America, in association with An Coimiún le Rincí Gaelacha in Dublin.
"This first big Irish Dance event to come to Hawaii, will bring together dancers from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. The Pan Pacific will offer a unique syllabus, with a feis following the standard Western US syllabus for all grades and championships on the first day, and the special Pan Pacific Solo & Team Championships on the second day. Pan Pacific Senior, Junior and Minor Solo Championships will be open to all Prizewinner, Preliminary Champions and Open Champions, with Pan Pacific Team Championships to include Senior, Junior and Minor céilí and figure choreography, as well as a Dance Drama Championship."
Registration and tabulation contracted through FeisWorx, www.feisworx.com.
CONTACT - For more event details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.panpacificchampionships.com.
Hamish and Jennifer by the Inuksuk near the summit of Whistler B.C., Canada
August 13th-16th - Hamish of Maui Celtic was up in British Columbia, Canada, for some R & R with Jennifer after his crazy schedule in Cornwall and Scotland (see below).
It was great to have a break in Whistler, a beautiful mountain resort only 2 hours from Vancouver. A hiking, biking, rafting resort in the summer, it is a world class ski and snowboard destination in the winter, now gearing up to host the Winter Olympics 2010. It was busy that weekend with the Kokanee Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival, with bikers from all over the world tearing around the mountain, riding from the summit, or competing in slalom and freestyle events, and doing spectacular jumps.
The Maui Celtic duo had a fun day at the 2nd annual Canadian Cheese Rolling Championships at Blackcomb Mountain. Based on a UK-style, 200 year old tradition, this mad event has contestants (some in crazy costumes) chasing an 11-pound cheese wheel down the mountain, running and tripping all the way, before being stopped by guys with padded shields ! Traditionally, the first person to get down the hill wins the race and the cheese (and Whistler Blackcomb Season Passes). You could also sample Canadian cheeses at the farmers’ market, and Hamish and Jennifer sat in on an informative cheese-tasting seminar, ranging from delicious to minging !
Officials with padded shields at the Canadian Cheese Rolling Championships - note the giant mouse (right) chasing the cheese !
The English have been Cheese Rolling for centuries on Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire, where thousands come to watch daredevils come from all over the world to take part in the madcap event, steeper than this one, the gradient not far short of being classified a cliff !
The new Peak to Peak gondolas are now open and running across the huge expanse between the summits of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Jennifer coaxed Hamish onto the ride, as he has a wee fear of heights (as an ex-roofer) after falling from a 3 storey building in his youth - that obviously explains things ! The views were of course spectacular, as the gondolas (we used to call them cable cars in Europe) smoothly sped high above the forests. Jennifer was surprised at the lack of permanent snow at the summits of the moutains, compared to years past.
After a great break in the mountains hamish and Jennifer headed back to the bustle of Vancouver.
August 17th - Hamish interviewed founder George Millar of the Irish Rovers, for his Celtic music radio show on Mana’o Radio 91.5fm, 8-10am Sundays (online at www.manaoradio.com). Over tea and freshly-baked biscuits in the back garden, they had a chat about George's career and music. The Irish Rovers started in Toronto Canada in 1963, when newly emigrated Northern rishmen 16-year old George, and 23-year old Jim Ferguson, met at an Irish function, and ended up singing together. Cousin Joe Millar joined the following year, recruited as he stepped off the plane. The boys joined George's brother Will in Calgary and then headed to the folk clubs of California where they got a recording contract with Decca Records, and later released the million selling single 'The Unicorn'. They became famous from that, and their TV show in Canada and America. Thanks to Debbie Casey of Irish Music Cruises for setting up the interview.
Hamish Burgess interviews George Millar of the Irish Rovers, in Vancouver
Hamish and Jennifer also caught up with Geordie pal, singer/songwriter Tim Readman, who just released a tribute to Sir Bobby Robson, and plays with Alan Millen as The Exiles, as well as with Shona Le Mottee (the duo came to Maui for concerts in 2008 - see News Archive '08).
They also met Maura (McCay) de Freitas, publisher of The Celtic Connection newspaper, a great resource that serves the Vancouver and Seattle Celtic communities. Hamish is freelance writing for the newspaper.
Then a visit with renowned Celtic artist Aidan Meehan, Irish author of many books on the construction of Celtic knotwork, and inspiration to Hamish for many years. Aidan is a master artist of the traditional Celtic style, using ancient techniques to produce works that have to be seen to be believed. His latest works are fabulous larger scale paintings. He does commissions, custom original work and also has fine art prints.
Aidan Meehan showing us some new works of Celtic art in his studio
They caught up with other artist friends around the city. First Celtic jewelry designer Keith Jack, who's fine silver jewelry Maui Celtic will have at upcoming fairs. They visited him and Helen Ritchie at her fine Irish store Celtic Creations (Londsdale Quay Public Market) in North Vancouver. Then Rudi Diesvelt, a fine jeweller and leatherworker, Celtic renaissance man, and great guy ! Hamish sells some of Rudi's leather work - see Maui Celtic at locations on our Contact Us page. Rudy crafts one-off custom items of museum quality.
August 9th - back in Hawaii, The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held their 3rd Annual Blue Shamrock Kilted Classic Golf Tournament at Pearl Country Club. Kilt attire was order of the day for this early fun event ! The golf tournament web site is www.golfdigestplanner.com/7518-BlueShamrockKiltedClassicGolfTou/ or for more info please contact Cesci Perez de Wang 808-381-7216. email@example.com
August - Hamish of Maui Celtic was in the south of Olde England in Bridport, Dorset, visiting friend and world famous Celtic artist Courtney Davis to talk about future collaborations, and the possibility of Courtney coming to Maui for a joint art show, and to give talks and workshops on Celtic sprituality - please email Hamish if that interests you. Courtney began his Celtic art path in 1977, and recently completed his 50th book. Hamish wrote the forward for his 'Celtic Tattoo Workbook' Vol 2, which can be read at the end of our Celtic Art page. Courtney Davis - Bridport
Next stop was further into the heart of the south to West Sussex, and the medieval town of East Grinstead, which has the longest continuous row of 14th century timber-framed buildings in England. Hamish was there to see ARC Music, one of the biggest distributers of World music, about their Celtic music collection. Thanks to Chris Tomsett for the chat, and his hosptality at ARC, which is housed in a great Old English barn complex.
The UK adventure ended with a couple of days in London visiting old friends, and unfortunately avoiding others who had swine 'flu ! Hamish visited the city, taking in the sights of Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey (after seeing the Stone of Destiny film - see Scottish entry below), and the Houses of Parliament.
Celtic Queen Boudicca of the Iceni, legendary heroine of the ancient Britons
Across the street at the end of Westminster Bridge, is the statue of the Celtic warrior queen Boudicca (Boadicea), of the Iceni tribe. She led an uprising of the tribes against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire, after she was publicly flogged, and her daughters radped. She sacked Colchester, St.Albans, and London before being defeated. She is a legendary heroine of the ancient Britons, who is said to have ridden into battle with scythes on her chariot wheels. The bronze statue of Boudicca and her two daughters, is by Thomas Thornycroft, but cast in 1902, 17 years after his death.
July/August - Hamish was in the ancient Celtic land of Cornwall, visiting family and friends. Based on the North Cornish coast, at the old fishing town and tourist resort of Newquay, he was back in his old stomping ground of the middle 1980s, for a bit of cold water Altantic surfing !
Newquay Harbour and Towan Beach, North Cornish coast
Newquay has been settled since at least the Bronze Age around 3500 years ago, with the clifftops in the far left of the picture having barrows, or burial mounds to this day. Nearby at the natural cliff-top defences provided by Trevelgue Head are the barely visible mounds of an Iron Age hill fortress. By the 15th century the fishing village was called Towan Blystra, and after local officials secured funding for building a modern quay for thr thriving pilchard fishing industry, the town acquired it's present name. Still a working fishing harbour today, it is known for the sport of pilot-gig rowing, as well as being a busy tourist resort. With good surfing beaches all around, it has become the busiest surfing town of the UK, with the Fistral Beach Boardmasters surf contest being held while Hamish was there.
A convenient place to explore Cornwall from, Newquay is only an hour from Penzance (of Pirates of Penzance fame) on the South Cornish coast, now a busy port and market town. Until the 17th century it was overshadowed by its near-neighbour Marazion, opposite the spectacular old monastery and castle of St. Michael's Mount, reached on foot by a man-made causeway at low tide, or by boat at high tide. A few miles away is Lands End, the most south-westerly part of Britain, and the great beaches at Sennen Cove, home of Bilbo the famous canine lifeguard !
St.Michael's Mount, near Penzance, South Cornish coast
Several of Maui Celtic's suppliers of bronze-coated sculptures, pewter art objects, and silver jewelry are in this beautiful and ancient Celtic area. Check out our Contact page to find out where you can see these treasures in person, or visit our online store.
St.Ives, on the north Cornish coast
Less than an hour away is the picturesque harbour town and resort of St.Ives, with its steep old wynding cobblestoned streets, and great beaches, not to mention another good surfing town. Renowned for its number of artists and galleries, it is very busy with tourists in the summer. It is also home to the St.Ives Festival in mid-September, with folk and Celtic music. The other major Celtic festival in Cornwall is the Lowender Peran 'Festival of the Celts in Kernow' in mid-October in Perranporth (named after St.Piran - patron saint of Cornwall and tin-miners), 6 miles south of Newquay, which features traditional music, dance, songs, and story telling from Cornwall, Brittany, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales.
Thursday and Friday nights in the summer - On the above note, a regular performer around Cornwall is our old pal Alan Deane, The Belfast Busker, who sings at Treloy Tourist Park, Newquay on Thursday nights, and at a proper job pub, The Mermaid Inn in Porth right on the beach, just outside Newquay, on Friday summer nights. Alan is a one-man-band of singer, guitarist, harmonica and percussion, not to mention hilarious jokes and stories, possibly not for the kids ! Everything from classic Irish songs to old pop standards - if your'e in Cornwall, check him out. Try not to walk in or out during a song though, or expect a wee comment !
Hamish also met another busker, 'Breezy' or John Breeze, in the old fishing town of Padstow, singing and playing a mean guitar by the harbour. After a chat they found they had a lot of international acquaintances in common ! Padstow is best known for its ancient 'Obby 'Oss festival on Mayday, and more recently the hub of top British chef Rick Stein.
Dudley Burgess and Simon Clayton at DNA Tattoo Studio - Cernunnos tattoo by Dudley
Hamish's brother Dudley managed to fit him in after hours for a new Celtic tattoo - Dudley and Simon at DNA Tattoo Studio (33a Bank Street, Newquay) are already booked up until December - customers come from all over the UK, Europe and even the US for custom tattoos at the high tech studio. Hamish's latest piece of art is the Celtic god Cernunnos, (god of fertility, nature and the forest) from the ancient artifact the Gundestrup Cauldron, thought to date from the 1st century BC.
A new Celtic rock band to Hamish's ears this trip was Cornish based Black Friday, who rocked the packed house at Leadbelly's in Newquay, in proper job Cornish style. A good music venue right in town, known for it's rockabilly and blues bands, the lads and lasses had the crowd jumping to sea-shanties and Irish classics - a bit reminiscent of early Pogues ! A great night out - good music, and a few beers with a bunch of old pals - can't beat that, me 'ansomes ! Looking forward to the CD !
A favorite spot for Hamish to visit (40 minutes north along the coast from Newquay) is Tintagel, said to be the legendary birthplace of King Arthur, ancient King of the Britons in the early 6th century. The village (with nearby castle) is now a tourist destinations with Celtic gift and bookshops and art galleries - of interest is fantasy artist Peter Pracownik's gallery 'Another Green World', which aside from his renowned art, houses a collection of 2 cases of ancient Celtic atifacts. A viilage landmark is the Tintagel Old Post Office, an amazing 14th-century stone house with a slightly sagging slate roof. Tintagel Castle is out on Tintagel Island, which was actually connected by a peninsula, long since collapsed. The site was a fortress and trading settlement from at least the 5th century, but the castle ruins that stand today date from the 13th century. The castle is traditionally linked to Gorlois of Cornwall, who's wife Igraine was said to have been seduced by a magically disguised King Uther Pendragon, and conceived his son Arthur. The castle is also linked to King Mark of Cornwall, uncle of Cornish hero Tristan, sent to fetch Iseult back from Ireland to wed the king - that led to the secret affair and legend of Tristan and Iseult, or Isolde.
Tintagel Castle, King Arthur's legendary birthplace in North Cornwall, looking from the Island past the ruined gate and buildings, to the ruins on the mainland cliffs.
Under the 13th century ruins, at the bottom of the cliff is a cave now known as Merlin's Cave (right), which is eroded right through under the island from the bay to the open Atlantic. The view of the waterfall flowing into the bay, seen from inside the cave is spectacular.
The next picturesque village north along the coast is Boscastle, tucked in a deep valley with a very sheltered harbour built in 1584. Devastating floods came from the other direction in 2004, down from the moors, causing extensive damage and trapping villagers on the roofs, to be rescued by helicopters ! One famous local tradition is of Cornish witches and wise women - one building that survived the floods is still open after 50 years - the Museum of Witchcraft.
Good pals Julian Holmes and Helen Thurlow took Hamish to dinner at an amazing location near Camborne in central Cornwall. The hilltop of Carn Brea has been settled since at least 3400 BC in Neolithic times, and was an Iron Age hillfort much later. Carn Brea Castle is a stone twin towered fortress, built originally as a chapel in 1379, perched on top of huge uncut boulders, which make up some of the inside walls. It was rebuilt by the Bassett family as an old hunting lodge in the 18th century, and nearby is a 90 feet high granite Celtic cross, the Basset Memorial (1836). It is now a restaurant, with the great food prepared by Jordanian chefs, the Sawalha Family - dinner was in medieval style with only candlelight, with aquick break for sunset rooftop views. Mahalo Jules and Helen !
Carn Brea Castle, Camborne - now a restaurant
A fine 10 days in Cornwall went by way too quickly, without too much rain, but with plenty surfing, and spending time with friends and family, with a bit of business thrown in there somewhere. Thanks to Dud and Amanda for their untold generosity and hospitality, and of course mum for the great days out !
July - Hamish of Maui Celtic was in Scotland to attended ‘The Gathering’ in Edinburgh, part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a year long series of events aimed at bringing folks of Scottish heritage back to their homeland, in the year of national poet Robert Burns’ 250th birthday anniversary. He was also there for his favorite Celtic rock band Wolfstone's 20th Anniversary Concert. As Scottish Ambassador for The Princess Ka’iulani Project, Hamish also took the story of Hawaii’s most beloved Hawaii/Scot back to her father’s homeland, where he was a featured guest on Liz Clark’s show “Travels with My Auntie Liz” on Celtic Music Radio Scotland, and broadcasting icon Archie Fisher’s “Travelling Folk” show on BBC Radio Scotland, both in Glasgow.
While representing Scots of Hawaii, he reported on events and interviewed traditional musicians for his Celtic music radio show on Mana’o Radio 91.5fm, 8-10am Sundays -online at www.manaoradio.com Here's the details.....
Auspiciously enough, the movie Hamish watched on the Air Canada flight from Vancouver to London, on the way to Scotland, was the Canadian/Scots film The Stone of Destiny - from the book by Ian Hamilton - the true story of his adventure (with friends Gavin Vernon, Kay Matheson, and Alan Stuart), of liberating of the Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey in 1950 - after it had been there since being stolen from the Scots by King Edward 1st of England in 1296. A great Nationalist film to get you ready for The Gathering !
Wednesday July 22nd - Hamish arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland where musician friends Fin Moore and Sarah Hoy took him to a great cafe 'Monster Mash' for some real fish & chips, then to a traditional music session at Sandy Bell's Pub (25 Forrest Road, EH1 2QH), a legendary music venue. Several local musicians were playing some great old style Scottish tunes that night, while the gang downed a few jars ! Mahalo to Fin and Sarah for their hospitality in Edinburgh - especially the oatcakes !!
Thursday July 23rd - Hamish interviewed the brilliant Battlefield Band at Temple Records, on his 2nd day in Scotland. He was invited out to Temple Records 12 miles south of Edinburgh, in Temple, Midlothian. The village is named after the military order of the Knights Templar, who had their Scottish base there in medieval times, until the order was supressed in 1312. A founding member of Boys of the Lough, Robin Morton's great traditional music label (est. 1978) and recording studio, is housed in a fabulous converted church (pictured). Across the street is the ruined Old Temple Parish Church and graveyard, with some interesting carved headstones. Hamish interviewed Robin about his record label, and the talented Alison Kinnaird MBE, who divides her time between her two careers as a glass engraver and a professional Scottish harp player. He then interviewed the Battlefield Band about their music and new CD, 'Zama Zama ...try your luck...', due out in the week beginning the 14th September. The theme running through the album is the pursuit of wealth and the effects & results, touching on greed, disasters and the human resilence and victories involved. The band is named after the Glasgow suburb of Battlefield, and was formed by Alan Reid and three other student friends 30 years ago ! The group today features songwriter Alan (keyboards/guitar/vocals), the instantly recognizable piper Mike Katz (Highland pipes/small pipes/whistles/bass guitar), Alasdair White (fiddle/whistle/banjo/bazouki/Highland and small pipes/bodhran/...and probably anything else he can lay his hands on!), and the only Irishman, Sean O'Donnell (vocals/guitar) from Derry in Northern Ireland. Thanks to Robin and Alison for their hospitality, to the whole gang for time out of their busy schedule, and engineer Ewan for the editing and lifts !
Hamish Burgess inteviews The Battlefield Band at Temple Records, Midlothian, Scotland. From left: Hamish, Mike Katz, Sean O'Donnell, Alasdair White, Alan Reid.
Friday July 24th - Hamish Burgess of Maui Celtic attended the first ever Clan Convention, at the Scottish Parliament (Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) building, where over 100 Scottish Clan Chiefs and clan dignitaries from around the world discussed the role of the Clans in the modern world. Thanks to author, historian, journalist and broadcaster Roddy Martine for hosting Hamish at this historic event, and to Joanna Tod, Media Relations Officer at the The Scottish Parliament.
Hamish Douglas Burgess at the Clan Convention, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh 2009
The Scottish Parliament new building sits at the bottom of Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile, near Holyrood Park and under Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat. The steel, oak, and granite complex was designed by architect Enric Miralles, inspired by the surrounding landscape, flower paintings by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and upturned boats on the seashore. A unique feature is the wall of 114 projecting bay windows (shown right) of the Members of Scottish Parliament office building. Termed 'contemplation spaces' by the architect, internally each has a window seat and fitted shelving.
Alex Fergusson, the Scottish Parliament's Presiding Officer opened the proceedings, saying that although the Scottish Parliament had endured a 300 year break, the Clans had not, and now from a homeland population of 5 million, the Scottish diaspora worldwide is now 30-40 million people.
The Rt Hon Malcolm Sinclair, Earl of Caithness (Chief of Clan Sinclair, and Convenor of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs) during his speech 'The Role of the Clan in the 21st Century' welcomed all the chiefs saying “Never have so many chiefs been in one room, without swords and shields, gathered in peace”. He also thought that more were there that day than were gathered at the famous battles of Bannockburn (1314) or Culloden (1746).
Jim Mather, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, gave a speech 'Scotland in the 21st Century' about the new Scotland and the Scottish diaspora with it’s affect on tourism.
In the first of two sessions of talks on the ‘The Global Scottish Community and its Clan and Kinship Links to Scotland’, author Dr. Jim Hunter spoke about emigration, using as an example the story of a Mc.Leod family, escaping a life of poverty and starvation during the potato blight of the 1840s, going to North Carolina and working up to a life of prosperity in the Americas.
Using only one part of Scotland as an example amongst many, he told of the Isle of Skye population dropping from around 23,000 in the 1800s to around 7,000 in the 1980s, with the average age of an emigrant being only 22. He noted that descendants of those emigrants were now returning to live in their ancient homelands of the Highlands and Islands. The Skye population is now up to around 9000.
He further showed the significance of the day’s event, saying that the last time the Clans gathered like this was in 1745, when the Highland Army captured Edinburgh !
David Sellar, Lord Lyon King of Arms, talked about the Scottish clan and family, saying the word ‘clan’ comes from the Gaelic ‘clann’ meaning ‘children’, and defined it as a “social and political kin-based unit”. He described the earliest recorded mention of ‘clans’ being in a 12th century gospel, although they had surely been functioning before that, and talked about ‘septs’, members of a branch of a clan that do not share it’s name.
There was a question and answer session, discussing the clans’ message to their US branches – that there is a ‘new Scotland’, a mixture of old traditions and hi-tech modern age developments. Also mentioned was the participation in DNA testing and research, and the growing University of the Highlands and Islands, outside of the established city seats of learning. The teaching of more genealogy studies in Scottish schools was recommended.
The point was raised that more Lowlanders than Highlanders left Scotland and contributed to the diaspora, and peacefully discussed without recourse to old geographical and social differences !
The Clan Chiefs at the first ever Clan Convention, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
After the official Clan Chiefs photograph, a fabulous lunch was served, where Hamish met several of the Chiefs and worldwide clan representatives.
The first afternoon speaker was Bob McWilliam, President Emeritus of COSCA (Council of Scottish Clan Associations, USA), who talked about the Scottish diaspora of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and beyond, and the percentage of overall population that have Scots heritage.
Chief Donald McLaren of McLaren (standing) addresses the Clan Convention, with (L-R) panel Dr. Jim Hunter, David Sellar the Lord Lyon King of Arms, and Bob McWilliam.
Next was Donald McLaren of McLaren (Chief of the Clan McLaren), speaking on behalf of the Scottish Chiefs, on ‘Clan Chiefs: Linking the Global Community to Modern Scotland’, with selected parts also in Gaelic. During an entertaining and passionate speech he said “Titles are not to honour men, the man or woman is to honour the title”.
During a ‘Breakout Session’, the attendees were split into 5 discussion groups, with topics such as Clan organization, tourism, and youth involvement. Hamish sat in on a session about ‘Youth and the Clans’, led by George Reid, the previous 1st Minister of Parliament, with representatives of Young Scotland, and the Scottish Youth Parliament. The panel and guests discussed ways of getting young people interested in their heritage.
The session was then surprisingly cut short by a genuine fire alarm, sending the kilted Chiefs and dignitaries, not to mention the kilted Hamish Burgess, out on the street in the torrential Edinburgh rain. Fortunately there was a large covered entrance to the Parliament buildings, where bewildered tourists and residents gaped at the tartan-clad, bonnet and feather-sporting throng. It’s been a long time since so many caps and bonnets bearing the traditional 3 feathers of a Clan Chief were seen in old Edinburgh.
Above left (L-R): James McBain of McBain and Madam Pauline Hunter of Hunterson
Above right (L-R): Stuart Morris of Balgonie Castle, and Iain MacIver of Strathendy
Back in the chambers after the surprise break, presiding officer Alex Fergusson, MSP chaired an open debate on many subjects, including those below.
- The issue of some Chiefs who are unwilling to meet or deal with their worldwide clan members, and effectively hide away in their homes and castles. One delegate from New Zealand asked the Lord Lyon if it was possible to legally depose a Chief ! Apparently in modern times it is not, as it’s a hereditary position, although an unable or unwilling Chief could appoint a second as a public representative. The Lord Lyon cannot appoint or remove Chiefs, but is responsible for awarding arms and heraldic devices to worthy applicants. The members of a clan with no chief can possibly elect one themselves.
- The issue was raised by a Chief that clan events staged to bring worldwide clan members home should be funded by the government or tourism authority.
- Some thought that The Gathering had scarce advertising in Scotland, although well covered abroad.
- The issue of clan societies use of clan badges on items sold to help fund events and scholarships was discussed, with the Lord Lyon agreeing that tasteful and use of a correct logo or arms was acceptable. However, one Highland Chief stated quite firmly that his arms, bought and paid for, belonged to him, and were not available to use by anyone else !!
- The misuse of Chiefly bonnet feathers was touched on, and a speech on limiting of the number of new tartans per clan was well received – ‘enough tartan tat’ was one expression – the Chief meant to preserve existing tradition without seeing unnecessary additions.
- The subject of ‘Duchas’, or clan homelands arose, and was likened to Native rights in the Americas.
- A large part of the debate was about getting young people interested in the clans, and the general answer seemed to be that it is not so much of a problem in the North America and elsewhere overseas, but much more of an issue at home in Scotland. The promotion of websites such as Scotlands People and the Scottish Youth Parliament. The overwhelming opinion seemed to be that traditional music is the key to getting young folks excited about their heritage.
To close a memorable day, Danus Skene of Skene (Chief of the Clan Skene) spoke on behalf of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs), saying that they planned to act on all the questions and recommendations of the Clan Convention, and would continue to be ever more welcoming and accountable, to not only the ‘Scotland of the 5 million’, but to the ‘Scotland of the 40 million’.
THE GATHERING 2009, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, Scotland
Sat-Sun July 25-26th - ‘The Gathering’ took place at Holyrood Park in Edinburgh - the biggest clan gathering, Highland Games, and Scottish music festival in memory ! The event was masterminded by Lord Sempill and Jenny Gilmour. Hamish was there when over 47,000 people from at least 40 countries around the world, enjoyed the 2 music stages, bagpiping, dancing, heavy athletics, and visiting the Clan Village of 125 clan tents. There were talks on genealogy, history and storytelling, and Scottish arts and crafts, the wonders of Scotland’s larder, and of course local ale and a wee dram of whisky available.
The weekend featured Highland dancing and piping competitions, a ‘Pipe Idol’ contest for under 25s, a traditional hill race, World Tug-of-War Champions, and the World Highland Games Heavy Events Championship. The music ranged from Scottish traditional groups to bagpipe rock !
Saturday featured the opening ceremony by The Gathering 2009 Patron The Duke of Rothesay, Prince Charles, with The Lonach Highlanders (pictured above right), The Atholl Highlanders, and Massed Pipebands. The main arena staged the heavy athletics - Putting the Stone, Throwing the Weight for height and distance, Hammer Throwing, Tossing the Caber, Tug-of-War, and Strongman Events, with backgound music from tribal pipers and drummers Clanadonia.
The Clan Village with its miriad tents inhabited by 128 clans was at the heart of The Gathering, open both days with Chiefs and Clan representatives there to meet the many visitors keen to find out about their heritage.
Of course 'Robert the Bruce' was at large around the event, with his descendant the Lord of Elgin and Kincardine, son of the Chief of the Bruce Clan, nearby the Bruce tent (shown left).
Many Scottish cultural insitutions had tents, such as the two main conservation agencies Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland, as well as woodland planters Teaghlach Wood. The world's leading experts on tartan and Highland dress were there, the Scottish Tartans Authority, also Ancestral Scotland, the ancestral tourism site of Visit Scotland. You could visit magazines Scottish Field, sister publication Scots, and The Scottish Banner newspaper for ex-pat Scots.
The Gaelic Village - Ar Baile - had talks in and about the native language over the weekend.
Scottish Military Heritage was present at 'The Golden Thread' tent of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. This amalgamation of the famous and previously seperate regiments, was formed in 2006, 373 years to the day after the the first Scottish Regiment was raised in 1633.
Among the many booths was Na Fir Dileas (The Loyal Men), a Jacobite organisation led by their chief Colin Innes, revivalists who work under the clan system, with craftsmen who make authentic clothing and weaponry. They also have their own registered tartan.
On the music front, the Acoustic Tent, a good venue with solid walls and actaully amplified, opened by showcasing a great set from duo The Cast, with Mairi Campbell on fiddle and vocals, and Dave Francis on guitar and vocals - with an award-filled career already, their 'Auld Lang Syne' was featured in the movie Sex in the City.
Contemporary singer Rachel Sermanni was next, followed by a powerhouse set from the group Daimh, traditional combo of Ross Martin (guitar), Angus MacKenzie (pipes/whistles), Gabe McVarish (fiddle), Colm O'Rua (banjo/mandola), Fr. Seumas Bremner (bodhran), and Calum Alex MacMillan on Gaelic vocals. The boys are from several countries, playing Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton music.
A beautiful set next from harp, flute and vocal duo Rachel Newton and Lillias Kinsman Blake, who also play in all-female group The Shee, was followed by singer Roddy Hart, before a closing session from Tha B�rd na G�idhlig musicians.
The Scotland Lives Auditorium featured talks from Diana Gabaldon author of the famous Outlander series of books, Elizabeth Roads on The Develpopment of Scottish Heraldry, George MacKenzie on Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry, Roderick Graham on The Life of Mary Queen of Scots, Charles MacLean's Whiskypedia, Alistair Moffat on The Rievers, and Bennett Greenspan and Max Blankfield on The DNA of the Scots.
The Talisker Taste Experience was open for a wee dram of the 'Water of Life' all day, with three different master tasting classes by experts.
Actor Chris Tait as Robert Burns during his 250th birthday year (left)
The Highland Dancing Stage featured competitions all day, while on The Wee Stage there was Scottish Country Dancing, a Piping Exhibition from the National Piping Centre, and actor Chris Tait brought Robert Burns to life during his 250th anniversary year. The Storytelling Tent heard from Marie Louise Cochrane, Fiona Herbert, Fergus McNicol, and Linda Strachan and Sally J Collins with kids favourite Hamish McHaggis.
The Main Stage rocked all day starting with a ripping set from great new band Breabach, from pipe-led intrumentals to beautiful slow songs with Patsy Reid (vocals and fiddle). Ewan Roberston shared vocal duties whilst multi-instrumentalists Calum MacCrimmon and Donal Brown played pipes, flute, whistle, bouzouki and even step-danced !
Next was the legendary Battlefield Band for a spectacular set with 30 year veteran singer Alan Reid (keyboards), piper/whistler extraordinaire Mike Katz, amazing fiddler Alasdair White, and accomplished guitarist, Irishman Sean O'Donnell. The band is named after the Glasgow suburb of Battlefield, and was formed by Alan Reid and three other student friends many albums ago - the lads performed tunes and songs from across many CDs, but also some from their upcoming release, Zama Zama, due out mid-September. Listen on the CD for Mike's tune about a legendary Hawaiian fishing god...... Battlefield Band on The Gathering main stage Saturday
The Julie Fowlis Band were amazing, with her incredible Scots Gaelic vocals joined by husband Eamon Doorley on bouzouki (from the Irish band Danú) and legendary Highland fiddler Duncan Chisholm (Wolfstone), Tony Byrne on guitar and bodhran wizard Martin O'Neill (Dochas). Martin taught Maui bodhran player Bud Clarke to play music on that instrument - thanks Martin ! Julie is also with the band Dochas, plays a mean whistle and Highland bagpipes ! The only singer to have won Scots Trad Music's award Gaelic Singer of the Year twice.
The Red Hot Chilli Pipers at The Gathering
Next the phenomenon that is The Red Hot Chilli Pipers took the stage and the audience by storm - bagpipes, drums and rock 'n' roll !! Three top level pipers - Stuart Cassells, Kevin MacDonald, and Willie Armstrong, joined by drummers world champion snare Steven Graham and Malcolm McEwan, keyboards Chris Russell, and G-man Gregor James on rock guitar - not to mention the Red Hot Chilli Dancers - certainly brought Bagrock to the masses !
A surprise end to the hot sunny Edinburgh day - a pleasant surprise in itself ! - were the hot lasses and lads of Highland Heartbeat, with Scottish classics and their own original songs. Beautiful vocal group led by Fiona Kennedy, with Jillian Isbister, Frances McCann, Maureen McMullan, and lads Ross Davidson and Gaelic Mod winner Darren MacLean (not pictured).
The weather couldn't have been better, after a couple of rainy days before, and the music was great. Time for a quick fish 'n' chips or a sarnie before the Gathering of the Clans, near the ancient gates of Holyrood Palace.
The Lonach Pipe Band on the Clan Parade, The Gathering 2009
Saturday evening was a highlight of the event with the Clan Parade up the Royal Mile of 8,000 clansfolk of at least 125 clans and several pipebands, from the Palace of Holyroodhouse, up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle Esplanade. Hamish managed to photograph the parade, and saw several Hawaii Scots from Maui (Ginny Pipe and Judi Cowper) and Oahu (Lilian Cunningham and Bruce McEwan) marching with their clans, not to mention at least 4 Maui Celtic T-shirts !! He joined his own clan, the Douglases (and unfortunately not the Strachans, his other clan), who were led by The Caledonian Brewery Pipe Band at the head of a division, for the memorable long walk up the medieval cobbled street, with 20,000 spectators cheering them on - an epic evening !
The Douglas Clan on the Clan Parade up the Royal Mile
YouTube videos (not by Maui Celtic) of the Clan Parade up the Royal Mile :
The Gathering, Parade, and Mustering for the Clan Parade
Clans Alba through to Cochrane on the Clan Parade
Clans Colquhoun through to (Mac)Dougall on the Clan Parade
Clans Douglas through to Fergusson on the Clan Parade
Clans Forbes through to Gregor on the Clan Parade
Clans Gordon through to Gunn on the Clan Parade
Clans Gunn through to Hannay on the Clan Parade
Clans Hay through to Johnstone on the Clan Parade
Clans Kennedy through to MacLachlan on the Clan Parade
Sorry to the remaining clans not featured - we couldn't find any more footage - if you have any, please post it on YouTube, and let us know.
A Young Bruce and an Auld Piper on the Clan Parade
In the courtyard of the ancient imposing Castle was the world premier of the musical pageant Aisling’s Children: Tales of the Homecoming, which told the history of Scotland with words, music and dance, through the eyes of a mother and six generations of her descendants. Directed by Mark Murphy, co-writer with Raymond Ross, and music composed by Jim Sutherland, featuring the True North Orchestra. Starring Kirstin McLean as Aisling ('vision' in Gaelic), the actors portrayed historical figures starting in 1320 with Robert the Bruce at the Declaration of Arbroath, The Black Douglas, then the Battles of Flodden and Culloden, through the Highland Clearances to the MacLeans emigrating to Australia, eventually returning to The Gathering today. After the pageant ended with all the clans being named while runners laid out material to represent the stripes of tartan, the night finished in great style with Massed Pipe Bands marching out of the Castle gates.
'Aisling’s Children: Tales of the Homecoming' - Edinburgh Castle Esplanade
Sunday, although overcast and rainy, saw an ancient ceremony in the main arena, with the swearing-in of the Finlaggan Pursuivant, followed by more Massed Pipebands, and the heavy athletics again with backgound music from Clanadonia. Putting the Braemar Stone Braemar style, Throwing the Weight, Hammer Throwing, Tossing the Caber, and Tug-of-War.
Tossing the Caber and Hammer Throwing at The Gathering 2009, Edinburgh
The winners from the heavy events were: 2009 Deuchars World Highland Games Heavy Events Champion was Aaron Neighbour of Australia (21 points). Runner-up was 2008 Champion Sean Betz of the USA (24), and 3rd was fellow countryman Larry Brock (27.5).
The Highland Dancing Stage had more top level competitors, and The Gathering International Champion was David Wilton from Forfar.
The Acoustic Tent staged The Gathering 2009 Invitational Piping Competition, with 8 of the world's best solo pipers - held up due to the Red Hot Chilli Pipers being too noisy from the main stage ! The Invitational winner of the solo piping competition was Stuart Liddell. On the Wee Stage there was a ‘Pipe Idol’ contest for under 25s, with some great young pipers - Cameron Drummond was the winner.
There was a traditional Hill Race up Arthur's Seat - 7km / 480m height race (5 mile/1250ft) - with 85 starters. First man home in 33 minutes 27 seconds was Murray Strain, with first woman home in 37 min and 40 sec Sue Ridley. The first veteran was Bruce Smith in 35min 54sec (4th overall) and first super veteran was Gordon Pryde in 39min 33sec (15th place). 1st overseas visitor was Robert Mackay from Canada in a time of 40min 26sec (18th place).
The Scotland Lives Auditorium featured a talk from Ian Hamilton author of The Stone of Destiny - the true story of the liberation of the Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey in 1950 - now a British-Canadian film release. Also talks from authors Diana Gabaldon, and Alexander McCall Smith, and more from yesterdays speakers, with new ones Bill Lawson on Outer Hebrides Emigration, and photographer Andy Hall - Touched by Robert Burns. The Storytelling Tent and the Talsiker Taste Experience ran again today.
The Main Stage was the top venue today, even with the rain - a fine soft day, they might have called it in Scotland. With serious pipng competition in the Acoustic Tent today, this was the venue for the wild music, starting with a bag-rocking set from platinum sellers The Red Hot Chilli Pipers !! From rocked-up pipe tunes to piped-up heavy rock songs, the crowd happily braved the Edinburgh rain to see the boys do their stuff - or maybe it was to see the girls of the Red Hot Chilli Dancers do their stuff !
The legendary Scottish songwriter and singer Dougie MacLean showed his mastery of the craft and had the audience eating out of his hand - from beautiful slow songs to singalongs, and of course the anthem of missing Scotland, the beautiful 'Caledonia', recorded by many other artists, as has been his melody The Gael (used in The Last of the Mohicans movie). 'Dougie MacLean's Caledonia' is now a special whisky from Edradour distillery that Dougie proudly unveiled on stage. Very nice too, as Hamish had a wee dram after the concert with Dougie while doing an interview for his radio show. Dougie was a member of pioneering Scottish band the Tannahill Weavers, and briefly with Silly Wizard, before concetrating on his solo career, and has a successful 10-day music Festival in the autumn - Perthshire Amber.
Next was top band Capercaillie for a brilliant set with the magical vocals of singer Karen Matheson in English and Gaelic - described by Sean Connery as having "a throat that is surely touched by God". They had the first ever Gaelic language UK Top 40 single ! With great players and founder Donald Shaw on accordion, Charlie McKerron fiddle, Michael McGoldrick on Uilleann pipes, whistle and flute, Manus Lunny bouzouki and guitar, Ewen Vernal bass, Che Beresford drums and David Chimp Robertson on percussion, they are truly a supergroup.
Celtic supergroup Capercaillie at The Gathering
Finally came the legendary Battlefield Band for another great set of tunes and songs - the Batties rock ! Nice Aloha shirt Mike ! - must be getting in the mood with the tune he wrote for the new album about a Hawaiian fishing god legend......Ku'ula-kai.
Mike Katz of the Battlefield Band
A fitting end for an epic weekend of traditional and modern Scottish music, and as Dougie MacLean said - in a spectacular setting. A wee bit of rain never stopped anything here - especially with the 'Chillis' selling Saltire (St.Andrews Cross flag) rainmacs !!
Truly a ‘once in a lifetime’ Scottish experience..................... ....THE GATHERING
A huge mahalo (thanks) to the lovely Iona Scott, Media and PR Manager of The Gathering, for all the help and hospitality extended to Hamish during his time in Edinburgh, and facilitating many interviews with all the above bands, for use on his Celtic music radio show on Mana’o Radio 91.5fm, 8-10am Sundays (online at www.manaoradio.com).
Sunday July 26th - Hamish raced up to see legendary Celtic rock band Wolfstone's 20th Anniversary Concert, at the Festival Theatre in Pitlochry. An important night for the boys - as well as 20 years for fiddler Duncan Chisholm (right) and singer/guitarist Stuart Eaglesham, it was their own 'homecoming' for piper Stevie Saint as this is his hometown. Hamish got a great interview with the lads before their gig, about their career and music - thanks lads, and to manager Dave Hogg. The evening started with a nice set of pipe tunes from the young folks of the Pitlochry and Blair Atholl Pipeband. Then the Wolfstone longtimers Duncan, Stuart and Stevie were joined by newer members Davie Dunsmuir and Colin Cunningham on guitars, and Alyn Cosker on drums, and proceeded to rock the full house the way only Wolfstone can ! To start the second half, the lads played a brilliant acoustic set, including some of their older songs and tunes. Then the place went ballistic as they stepped up the pace and blew the place apart with their classic Highland Celtic Rock, and some new scorchers from their latest CD 'Terra Firma'. My all-time favorite still has to be their pal Gordon Duncan's beautiful 'Sleeping Tune' with 'Gillies'. An utterly brilliant show ! This is how Celtic rock should be........
Wolfstone's 20th Anniversary Concert at the Festival Theatre in Pitlochry
Monday July 27th - Hamish went up to see old pals Scot and Sam in the Kingdom of Fife. Samantha MacKenzie and Scot AnSgeulaiche (a full-time traditional Scottish storyteller who performed all over Hawaii a few years ago) run a "Jamie and Claire Tour", styled after the historic novels of Diana Gabaldon, and take fans of her writings to fascinating places relevant to the books. It was great to catch up as we crossed paths on our busy schedules of touring Scotland. We met in the historic village of Culross (pronounced "Coo-ros"), a former royal burgh with it's own restored 1597 palace, with a spectacular hanging garden on the hillside behind. The entire village with it's narrow cobbled lanes and stunning buildings, is a 16th century time capsule, maintained by the National Trust for Scotland for over seventy years.
Sam and Scot introduced me to a local institution - down in the western parking lot by the water is 'The Crisp Hut' - that's potato chips to North Americans - a booth making gourmet crisps cooked to order and salted or flavoured to your choice.......delicious !!
He visited long-time Hana, Maui resident Sandra Pearl, now living in the lovely fishing village of Pittenweem, on the East Neuk coast of Fife, and spent a fun afternoon with Sandra and her mum Ellie Black at St.Andrews, the old university town and home of the world-famous golf course.
St.Andrews Cathedral ruins, University and Golf Links, from the top of St.Rule's Tower
There was a Pictish settlement here from the early centuries AD before the monk Rule, or Regulus, is said to have brought the relics of the apostle Andrew, now Scotland's patron saint, here to king Oengus mac Fergusa. Hamish climbed the still-intact tower dedicated to the monk, St.Rule's Tower, amidst the ruins of St.Andrews Cathedral, for the amazing view of the ancient coastal town. The 108 ft high tower was built around 1127 by Bishop Robert, perhaps built so tall intending to draw pilgrims to the shrine of St.Andrew. The larger ruined cathedral was built later, founded in 1160, long after the church here had become the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. The University of St Andrews is the oldest in Scotland, dating back to 1410. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St.Andrews was founded in 1754, and exercises legislative authority over the game worldwide, the famous links being the most frequent venue for the oldest major golf championship, The Open.
Tuesday July 27th - Hamish was invited to be a featured guest on Liz Clark’s show “Travels with My Auntie Liz” on Celtic Music Radio Scotland, which airs every Tuesday night 8-10pm GMT and repeated on Wednesday at 1pm.
The station broadcasts from the University of Strathclyde, Livingstone Tower building in Glasgow city centre, 24 hours a day with Scottish and Celtic music on 1530AM in the Glasgow area, and online at www.celticmusicradio.net. Liz played interviews and music from a Loch Lomond Games she had been at over the weekend, and chatted to Hamish about The Gathering in Edinburgh, and the Celtic music and Scottish scene in Hawaii. As Scottish Ambassador for The Princess Ka’iulani Project, he also spoke about the Islands' most beloved Hawaii/Scot, Princess Ka'iulani. A fun night hiding from the torrential Glasgow rain, with the Celtic Music Radio gang in the studio, keeping warm with coffee and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts all the way from Hawaii !
Liz is a director of the TMSA (Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland), and regularly sees emerging music by their talented musicians, as they come through the Danny Kyle Open Stage - she promotes these new singers and performers on her show.
With an aqua-planing drive through the rain back to Edinburgh, Hamish managed to get to The Reverie pub (1-5 Newington Rd, EH9 1QR · Tel 0131 667 8870) to meet musician friends Fin Moore and Sarah Hoy for the Tuesday night traditional music session. Fin and several local musicians were playing some ripping tunes that night, with regulars Luke and Angus from great Scottish band Shooglenifty ! The brilliant Edinburgh week finished as it started - as it should, in the pub listening to great music with good friends - Thanks again to Fin and Sarah for their hospitality in Edinburgh - Mahalo !!
Wednesday July 28th - Hamish was a guest on Archie Fisher’s “Travelling Folk” show on BBC Radio Scotland, which airs Thursdays 8-10pm, repeated on Saturdays at 10pm-midnight.
He was invited to the Glasgow Clydebank studios of BBC Scotland to record an interview with legendary Scottish singer, guitarist and songwriter Archie Fisher, for broadcast on Hamish's own Celtic music radio show on Mana’o Radio 91.5fm Maui (8-10am Hawaii time Sundays - live online at www.manaoradio.com). They had a great chat about his songs and career, then Scottish broadcasting icon Archie turned the tables on Hamish and interviewed him for his show airing the following night ! They spoke about Hamish's long journey from the UK to having a Celtic show on Maui radio, the Celtic music and bagpiping scene in Hawaii, the Hawaiian Scottish connection, and of course, Princess Ka'iulani. It felt great taking the true story of the Princess back to her father’s homeland, and getting it on such a widely broadcast national show.
Archie Fisher in the studio for 'Travelling Folk', BBC Scotland, Glasgow
Archie Fisher is Scotland’s leading folksinger, inducted into the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame. He was awarded an MBE (Distinguished Member of the British Empire) for services to traditional music in 2007. He is known nationwide as the host of BBC Radio Scotland’s award-winning “Travelling Folk” show, which he has presented for 27 years. Archie’s first album was recorded in 1968, and he then worked with duo Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, as a guitarist, and also produced albums for them and Scottish band Silly Wizard, before teaming up as a performing duo with Canadian songwriter Garnet Rogers. His current Cd is the brilliant 'Windward Away' on Red House Records. Thanks to Debbie Casey of Irish Music Cruises for setting up the connection.
An amazing 8 days in Scotland went by in a flash ! What an epic trip though - interviewing some great Scottish musicians, brilliant concerts, guesting on 2 radio shows, the historic Clan Convention and The Gathering, and the once-in-a-lifetime Clan Parade up the Royal Mile. Off to Cornwall for a rest........maybe......see above.
Sunday July 19th - Back on Maui, Hamish had a special radio show celebrating the life of legendary Cape Breton fiddle player Jerry Holland, who passed away this week, leaving a legacy of great Celtic music and many top level fiddlers that he taught. He played a lot of Jerry's tunes, and other music dedicated to him - a huge loss to the traditional music world - Aloha Oe, Jerry. The show is every Sunday 8-10am on Mana'o Radio 91.5 fm Maui - live online at www.manaoradio.com ! 11am-1pm US/Canada West coast, 12-2pm Mountain time, 1-3pm central time, 2-4pm East Coast, and 7-9pm in Ireland and the UK. (Photo by Carol Kennedy - courtesy www.jerryholland.com)
Friday July 10th - the Irish jam session at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina was a good craic. Host singer and great whistle player Kevin O'Kennedy belted out a bunch of great traditional Irish songs, joined by Bud Clark on the bodhran, and Clint Burdick picking some wild tunes on the banjo. Hamish Burgess busted out Irish and Scottish tunes on the Highland bagpipes. Not to mention good food and Guinness !
Irish Seisun at Mulligans at the Wharf, Lahaina
Sunday July 5th - Hamish of Maui Celtic was back on the radio celebrating his new American citizenship and 4th July/Independence Day by playing 2 hours of great Celtic music with an American theme. Every Sunday 8-10am on Mana'o Radio 91.5 fm Maui - live online at www.manaoradio.com ! 11am-1pm US/Canada West coast, 12-2pm Mountain time, 1-3pm central time, 2-4pm East Coast, and 7-9pm in Ireland and the UK.
Saturday July 4th - HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY !! - The Isle of Maui Pipeband marched as usual in the 44th Annual Makawao Paniolo Parade and won Best Musical Entry. This year's parade theme was "Na Paniolo Maoli No" - The Original Cowboys! The parade went through Maui's Upcountry cowboy town, up Baldwin Ave and along Makawao Ave to Mayor Eddie Tam Community Center.
Sunday June 28th - Maui Celtic Bagpiper Hamish Burgess headed to Mulligans on the Blue tonight, to play with Maui’s Piping Highlanders, led by Piper Roger McKinley. As usual joined by regulars - piper David Asher, accompanied by the rock solid drumming of Cary Ritt on snare, and the funky bodhran playing of Bud Clark (not to mention whistles and didgeridoo!). Special guests tonight were bodhran goddess Siobhan Halstead, and ace piper Allison Jackson, current Pipe Major of the local pipeband, who ripped out some great tunes.
The main act, the rollicking Celtic Tigers, of course featured singer/whistle player Kevin O'Kennedy and drummer Kris Thomas, but with guest Celtic Tigress singer/guitarist Erin Smith filling in for Murray Thorne. They play every Saturday and Sunday night, everything from nice slow Irish airs on the whistle, jumping jigs and reels to flat out guitar pounding and rocking vocals - some Scottish ones thrown in too ! Make sure to ask for their new CD "Roar".
Visiting from Ireland was Siobhan's cousin Niall Murphy, enjoying the craic and sampling the local Guinness ! A highlight of the pipers' 2nd set was when 8 year-old piper Innes Asher took to the stage playing his Scottish smallpipes for a solo, then was joined by his dad and the boys. The pipers normally play the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month, BUT ARE TAKING A BREAK IN JULY AND AUGUST.
Sunday June 28th - local band Upcountry Celtic played at the first annual Paia Fest (www.paiamaui.com), in front of the Maui Crafts Guild, with traditional Irish and Scottish tunes and songs. Members are Bruce Butler, Barclay Hill, Elaine Olson, Julie Potter-Dunlop, Katie Romanchuk, and Mary Smith - new website going up at www.upcountryceltic.com.
Sunday June 28th - Hamish of Maui Celtic played 2 hours of great Canadian Celtic music on his radio show, to celebrate Canada Day (July 1st). With the early emmigration of many Scots to Nova Scotia, and Irish to Newfoundland, their music spread throughout Canada creating an amazing Celtic music scene. You Canadian Celts rock !
Thursday June 25th - Pipers James Brent and Hamish Burgess played a bagpipe tribute at sunset for the Korean War Veterans Association Candlelight Ceremony, at the War Memorial in Kahului. The pipers played 'Amazing Grace' after the Roll of Honor of the fallen Veterans, before the 21 gun salute, with 'Taps' was beautifully played on the bugle by Mr.Ray Benarao. Mahalo to all the Veterans, and to the Korean Community Association for the great food. It was an honor to play for the fallen veterans - mahalo.
Sunday June 21st - Hamish had 2 themes on his Celtic music radio show, with folklore, traditions and history behind the Summer Solstice - with great songs and tunes about this ancient celebration - and also Father's Day, with music for all the Dad's listening out there. The actual solstice in Maui was on Sat 20th at 7.40pm this year.
The summer months of May, June and July are divided by the Summer Solstice, on June 21st, with the longest day of the year (in the Northern hemisphere). It is also referred to as Midsummerbecause it is roughly the middle of the growing season throughout much of Europe. Many remains of ancient stone structures can be found throughout Europe, some of which align on the midsummer sunrise. According to the ancient Gaulish tablets, the Coligny calendar, the time of June / July was called "Equos", or 'horse-time', a time for fairs and good weather.
In ancient Gaul the Midsummer celebration was called Feast of Epona, named after a horse goddess who personified fertility, sovereignty and agriculture. She was portrayed as a woman riding a mare, and seen as a stylised horse on anceint Celtic coins. Druids celebrated Alban Heruin ("Light of the Shore") and led the ancient Celts in homage to the Sun. The days following Alban Heruin form the waning part of the year because the days become shorter.
June 13/18th - Hamish was hidden away for a few days painting an epic piece, 'MAUI CELTIC OCEAN' .
Original modern Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, this is a re-work of a painting from 2004, spurred on by several requests to put it onto canvas and make prints.
The theme is Hawaiian marine life, painted in a Celtic style, inspired by Hamish's many years as a working scuba-diving instructor in the Caribbean, then Oahu and Maui, seeing these animals on a daily basis.
The piece depicts from the sky to the ocean floor, starting with the clouds and sun (featuring a triscele). Next is an Hawaiian spinner dolphin (Nai'a), jumping through the waves, and a humbpack whale (Kohola) with her calf. The jellyfish is about to be pursued by a green sea turtle (Honu), with a manta ray (Hahalua) nearby, all made with Celtic knots. The reef features an octopus (He'e) interested in a pencil-slate urchin, a green moray eel (Puhi), a moorish idol (Kihikihi) and a trigger fish (Humuhumunukunukuapua'a) feeding on corals. Resting on the sand is a white-tipped reef shark (Mano). Even the Moorish Idol and the Triggerfish are made up of modern Celtic knots.
More details and photos on our Gallery page.
Wednesday June 10th - Hamish played bagpipes at the Lutheran Emmanuel School, when he visited the kids at their summer camp, and talked about the Scots, their music, bagpipes, and kilts. The kids had tons of questions to keep Hamish on his toes for an hour, in between playing the Highland Pipes outside, and the smallpipes in the classroom. Great fun !
Sunday June 7th - Hamish played some great Celtic music on his radio show, and also included a tribute to the Veterans of D-Day, the WW11 Invasion of Normandy, which took place 65 years befor on June 6th 1944, when heroes gave their lives for the following generations to be free from tyranny. Please don't forget these brave men.
Monday May 25/26th - Hamish was hidden away for a couple of days painting 'Guardian of the Goddess', a piece of Modern Celtic art as an entry for Art Maui (which did not get accepted). An original Celtic Dragon mixing several styles of Celtic art, the zoomorphic creature's front claw is holding a crystal ball containing a white triscele, representing the ancient Celtic Mother Goddess, with her three aspects as Maiden, Mother and Crone. The balance of the old world was upset with the displacement of the White Goddess by the coming of the newer era of Christianity. The Guardian is the red dragon of the Celtic people caring for the Goddess, safe a crystal ball, until it is time for Her return. More details and photos on our Gallery page.
Sunday May 24th - Maui Celtic Bagpiper Hamish Burgess headed to Mulligans on the Blue, which rocked Celtic style tonight with Maui’s Piping Highlanders, led by Piper Roger McKinley, playing every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. As usual joined by regulars - piper David Asher, accompanied by the rock solid drumming of bodhran player Bud Clark and snare Cary Ritt - tonight saw a few special guests.
A beautiful opening song set by Pamela and daughter Lily, was followed by the crew on Highland Pipes and drums. Trail by fire was the word for bodhran goddess Siobhan Halstead, thrown into the fray by fancy Gallus-dude tipper Bud Clark, ocassionally known to toot the flute. Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess on pipes, made a rare appearance over from the West Side, taking a break from producing traditional and modern Celtic art. The main act, the rollicking Celtic Tigers, of course featured singer/whistle player Kevin O'Kennedy, singer/guitarist Murray Thorne and drummer Kris Thomas.
They play every Saturday and Sunday night, everything from nice slow Irish airs on the whistle, jumping jigs and reels to flat out guitar pounding and rocking vocals - some Scottish ones thrown in too ! Make sure to ask for their new CD "Roar".
There were a few dancers doing the odd jig as well.
The pipes were back at the break - this time Scottish small pipes, with light drumming and bodhrans, with a jazzy version of 'Amazing Grace' in honor of Memorial Day.
Sunday May 24th - Hamish of Maui Celtic featured some great Celtic music about Memorial Day on his Celtic music radio show, with facts and history behind this American holiday that dates back to the Civil War. He also featured the new CD Girsa by all-female Irish-American group Girsa from the New York area - great songs and tunes - check them out at www.girsamusic.com
Sunday May 17th - Hamish of Maui Celtic featured some great Celtic music about Emigration on his Celtic music radio show, with facts and stories of the long emigration of the Celtic diaspora, in celebration of his new American citizenship. Mahalo for all the great phone calls. Music featured tales of the early Irish explorer St.Brendan, who sailed on a fantastic voyage to the American continent, and the epic exploration sagas of the Vikings. Then of course the mass emigration of the Scots before and during the Highland Clearances to Nova Scotia and America, and the millions of Irish escping the Great Hunger, or potato famine, who came to populate the new American cities.
Hamish’s show is on Mana'o Radio 91.5 fm 8-10am Sundays (Hawaii time). For those of you not living on the island of Maui, the radio show is available live online at www.manaoradio.com
Wednesday May 13th - Hamish of Maui Celtic became an American citizen today in Honolulu, after 12 years of being a resident alien. This continues a long tradition of emigration by the Celtic people to the Americas, and other further parts of the world. For more than 350 years Celtic people have been migrating westwards in huge numbers, either poor and starving to find a better life, persecuted for their religious or political beliefs, or those seeking new lands overseas. Some came looking for adventure, certainly the case for Hamish, travelling the world extensively for 25 years, exploring the cultures of everywhere he lived and visited. He worked for many years as a scuba diving instructor, starting in Cornwall U.K., the Mediterranean, the Caribbean Islands, and then the U.S., finally ending up in the Hawaiian Islands, where he settled due to their beauty, great surfing and diving conditions, and the spirit of 'aloha', a sentiment he felt at home with, similar to the friendly hospitality of the old Celtic lands.
Sunday May 10th - Hamish of Maui Celtic featured some great Celtic music for Mother's Day on his Celtic music radio show, with traditions and folklore of the UK and Ireland's Mothering Sunday (late March or April), and the completely different history of the American Mother's Day. The Celtic Mothering Sunday was related to attending your Mother Church, the main church or Cathedral of your area, when children working as apprentices or domestic servants had the day off to visit with their mother and family, picking wild folower on the way to give to their mothers. American Mother's Day was related to the meetings of groups of mothers, whose sons had died on opposing sides in the American Civil War, and was started by Anna Jarvis. The Mother's Day Proclamation, a call for peace and disarmament, by Julia Ward Howe, was first read in 1870 in Boston. Anna Jarvis' daughter started the modern celebration in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia, which was declared nationally in 1914.
Friday May 1st - Hamish and Jennifer, and friends of Maui Celtic attended the May Day / Lei Day Celebrations at the Haleakala Waldorf School in Kula. Featuring great hula performances by all the grade classes for Hawaii's Lei Day, the festivities changed gear to the ancient May Day ritual of dancing round the Maypole.
The forgotten Bile pole of Irish mythology has survived as the Maypole, a tall pole decorated with long colored ribbons and flowers, around which young lads and lasses dance, interweaving the ribbons. The circle of dancers, an even number of boys & girls, begin with the ribbons taut, and as far out from the pole as the length of ribbon allows. The boys face clockwise and girls counterclockwise, and dance and weave the ribbons over-and-under eachother around the pole, creating a pattern that is said will indicate the abundance of the harvest season.
The Puritans reacted with pious horror to most of the May Day rites, even making Maypoles illegal. English Queen Elizabeth 1st had a Maypole which was toppled and burnt by Oliver Cromwell's men in 1644.
Fortunately the ancient Beltane festival tradition has continued to this day in Britain and Ireland, and even Maui, in the form of May Day celebrations.
Sunday April 26th - Hamish of Maui Celtic featured the ancient festival of Beltane on his Celtic music radio show, with traditions and folklore and music of the season. Beltane is the ancient name for May Day, and starts on the evening of April 30th. This important festival, dedicated to Bel the Sun God, marks the beginning of Summer. Beltane means 'the fires of Bel'. In ancient times, Druids would kindle the Beltane fire, and two seperate bonfires were made, with people and animals being driven between them, to cleanse them of diseases and bad luck from the dark part of the year, winter. Household hearths were re-lit from the Beltane fire, having been extinguished for the occasion, a special event as they were never normally allowed to go out.
Celtic Tree of Life by Hamish Burgess
The medieval church called the festival Roodmas, trying unsuccessfully to shift the common folk's tradition from the Maypole (pagan symbol of life) to the Holy Rood (the Roman cross, an instrument of death). In ancient Ireland the Bile was a Sacred Tree, the center of the Tuatha, or clan. Seen as a Tree of Life, the Bile Pole, represents the connection between the people and their three worlds. The heavens or Skyworld, the human or Middleworld, and the Otherworld. The forgotten Bile pole has survived as the Maypole, a tall pole decorated with long colored ribbons and flowers, around which young lads and lasses dance, interweaving the ribbons. The Beltane festival tradition has continued to this day in Britain and Ireland, and even Maui, in the form of May Day celebrations.
Saturday April 25th - West Maui was the place to be today for the celebration of the Lahaina Banyan Tree 136th Birthday. There was live entertainment all weekend long in the Banyan Tree Park in Lahaina Town, with local artists and craftsmen showing their work under the branches of the huge tree. The Banyan Tree (native to India) was planted on April 24, 1873 by William Smith, who at the time was Sheriff of Lahaina. Great Hawaiian singer Wilmont Kamaunu Kahaialii started the day, and a highlight at lunchtime was the march-in of the Isle of Maui Pipeband, joined for the occasion by special guest Hamish Burgess of Maui Celtic, a long-time bagpiping resident of West Maui, who played "Happy Birthday" for the grand old tree, before the cutting of the huge birthday cake.
There was also fun for the keiki (kids), with sack races, bobbing for apples, a strolling magician, and piñatas. The Banyan Tree Birthday Celebration is staged by the Lahaina Town Action Committee. For info call 667-9175 or go to www.visitlahaina.com. A display of photos and articles about the tree’s history is available in the Old Lahaina Courthouse.
Lahaina Banyan Tree 136th Birthday Party
Sunday April 19th - Hamish featured the forgotten holiday of Hocktide on Sunday Solstice on Mana'o Radio, alongside lovely guest Jennifer Fahrni of the Ka'iulani Project. Hocktide is the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday after Easter. It combined the once serious business of paying debts and rents to landlords, with the fun times at the end of the old Easter week. People were said to be 'in hock' if they owed tolls, rent or dues. Any debtors not paying at this time were liable to be tipped upside down so their money fell out of their pockets!
He also played some Polynesian/Celtic music in honor of the Merry Monarch Hula Festival this past week, and a memorial song for the anniversary in Scotland of the Battle of Culloden.
Sunday April 12th - Hamish had an Easter Special on his Celtic music radio show, talking about the origins and old traditions of the season, as well a review and music from Oahu's recent 'Scottish Festival & Highland Games' (see below April 4/5th entry for the great musicians). Easter takes its name from Eostre, or Ostara, the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people of Northern Europe. The 'Goddess of Dawn' was the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, fertility and the rising sun. The female hormone estrogen comes from her name. Her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox, the same time that the Christian festival of Easter is now held. Her sacred animal was a hare, represented now by Easter Bunnies. One legend associated with Eostre was that she found an injured bird on the ground at the end of winter, and to save it's life transformed it into a hare - but the transformation was not complete and the hare retained the ability to lay eggs, which she would decorate and leave as gifts to the goddess. The ancient Celts decorated eggs, and rolled them down hills in imitation of the movement of the sun. The Christian Church remodelled this custom and the cycle of death and re-birth of Spring, to symbolise the death and resurrection of Christ at Easter.
Saturday April 18 - wild Irish Celtic rock band Flogging Molly were ripping it up on Oahu at the Pipeline Cafe (805 Pohukaina Street) in Honolulu. Special guests Civet also played. Check the Irish rockers and their new CD "Float" out at the Flogging Molly website www.floggingmolly.com
Wednesday April 8th - not actually Celtic, but banjo virtuoso and group The Alison Brown Quartet with Joe Craven played a brilliant concert at the McCoy Studio Theatre, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. The band offered up an astonishingly original instrumental sound that blended jazz, bluegrass, Latin, Celtic and folk music. Each tune showcased the amazing talents of Alison on banjo, John R. Burr playing piano, Garry West on bass, and drummer Larry Atamanuik. Special guest and character was Joe Craven on fiddle, mandolin, percussion, and vocals - he acted out the Voyage of St.Brendan with great sound effects as Alison told the story ! A surprise was Alison and Garry's kids joining them on stage for a couple of songs featuring Hannah singing to her brother Brendan. The show ended in fine Maui style with Alison and Joe both ripping on the ukulele !
The real Celtic connection here is that Alison is co-founder of Compass Records, one of the best Celtic music record labels in the world. In 1995, Brown put her business skills to work, founding Compass Records with her husband Garry West. The internationally recognized Compass Records Group oversees more than 600 releases from the Compass Records, Green Linnet and Mulligan Records catalogs and has been called by Billboard Magazine "one of the greatest independent labels of the last decade."
Alison Brown has achieved success in many areas: a Harvard graduate, record label co-founder and owner, mother, and, the role that most people know her in: banjo virtuoso. A GRAMMY award winning and internationally recognized musician with a wide-reaching and loyal fan base, Brown first came to national prominence when she was asked by Alison Krauss to join her band Union Station in 1989. A three-year stint with that band, and a year serving as band leader for Michelle Shocked followed as did bluegrass music's highest accolade for an instrumentalist: the International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year in 1991. Guest Joe Craven is a 17-year-member of the David Grisman Quintet.
Alison also played on at UH Hilo on Hawaii Island, at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center, and on Oahu at the Paliku Theatre, Windward Community College - opening there for The Alison Brown Quartet was Hawaii`s own "progressive bluegrass and new acoustic" band the Saloon Pilots with multi-instrumentalist Barbara Higbie. Higbie`s Grammy-nominated, Bammy-winning career spans recordings with Windham Hill Records to Carlos Santana. She and Joe Craven are also former bandmates.
The first Tartan Day Rally at the Hawaii State Capitol
Monday April 6th - there was a Tartan Day Rally at the State Capitol from 3-3:30pm. In 2008 the Hawaii State Legislature passed a resolution designating April 6 each year as Tartan Day and recognizing the Hawaii Tartan. This year in gratitude for that act, The Caledonian Society of Hawaii sponsored a short Tartan Day Rally at the State Capitol.
Bagpiping was from Tina Yap, Mike Hudgens, and Corey Armstrong with drummer Tracy Burnham (of the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii), and guest piper Hamish Burgess of Maui Celtic. Speakers were Bruce McEwan, Ron McPherson and State Representative Joey Manahan. There was small tartan-clad crowd present to applaud the bagpipes, the resolution, and the contributions made by Scots to the flourishing of the State of Hawaii. See our Hawaii Scots page.
Since 1998 April 6 has been recognized as National Tartan Day throughout the U.S. The date was chosen to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. This document, declaring independence, proclaims, “For we fight not for glory nor for riches nor for honour, but only and alone for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life.”
Saturday & Sunday April 4th/5th - The 'The Hawaiian Scottish Association' presented the 28th annual 'Scottish Festival & Highland Games' in Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, Oahu.
On Saturday the main stage featured hula from the Lindsey Hula Halau, and piping from Dogwatch (Big Island of Hawaii), then local Oahu fiddler Lisa Gomes and Jig This - School of Irish Dance. Dancing continued with the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii, meanwhile on the smaller stage harpist Katie McClellen played, followed by Maui pipers David & Innes MacDonald Asher (father & 7 year old son), joined by Hamish Burgess of Maui Celtic for the last set, before Celtic music from Judith Weikle and friends.
A highlight of the weekend was a main stage 30 minute presentation by The Ka'iulani Project with Jennifer Fahrni and guests Leilani Kupahu-Marino, Kimo Kaho'ano (a direct descendant of Ka'iulani's father, Archibald Cleghorn) and Brian Dinsmore, with Hawaiian and Scottish pipers, Jacob Kaio and Hamish Burgess. Hawaii celebrity and long time host of The Merrie Monarch Festival, Kimo Kaho'ano, opened with an Oli or chant, followed by the bagpipes. As Jennifer narrated the life of the Hawaiian Scottish Royal, Princess Ka'iulani, Kimo portrayed King Kalakaua, with Leilani Kupahu-Marino representing Ka'iulani, Brian Dinsmore as Archibald Cleghorn, and Jennifer as Mrs.Davies, in short segments from the original script "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose", written by Fahrni and co-writer Carol Harvie-Yamaguchi. The play will be a large-scale stage production which will premiere in Hawaii. Producers are now looking for actors to fill the roles of the great musical Kalakaua family and perhaps, most importantly, the lead role of Ka'iulani herself. Having the presentation in Queen Kapi'olani Park was very appropriate as Ka'iulani's father Archibald Cleghorn was lead landscaper for the park and became known as Hawaii's 'Father of Parks'.
This was followed immediately by the march of the Parade of the Color Guard, Pipe Bands and the Scottish Clans, and opening ceremony, after which the local Oahu pipeband The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii played on the main stage. During the afternoon on both stages, there was more great traditional music with visiting Scottish singer Ed Miller (now based in Texas), whose knowledge of the songs and traditions of Scotland is second to none. There was lively music fom duo Switchback from Chicago, Hawaiian Piper Jacob Kaio, and local bluegrass band the Saloon Pilots. Dancing was from The Celtic Keiki, and Highland Dance Hawaii, with swordplay displays from the Society for Creative Anachronism, who had their own medieval tent on site.
Sunday started with a Celtic Mass, and the "Kirkin' o’ the Tartans", a traditional blessing at Highland Games, followed by a surprise highlight of the weekend, a wedding on the main stage ! Well known in the Scottish community, Ron and Carlene MacPherson tied the knot today with a fine ceremony. The couple were piped down the 'white carpet' by Hawaiian bagpiper Jacob Kaio, with kilted men and tartan-clad ladies lining the steps of main stage. A very impressive event, with delicious cakes !
Saturday's performers played and danced well on both stages again, and additions today were Oahu's own Celtic group Celtic Waves, joined by Lisa Gomes and the Jig This dancers, also an amazing young singer Kiana (6th grader from Waimanalo), guitarist Michael Tanenbaum, and ensembles the Royal Hawaiian Band - and visitors the Lassiter High School Band from Georgia !
There was of course the yearly fun Highland Games athletics (tossing the caber, throwing the hammer, putting the stone, throwing the weight, and running the kilted mile - not to mention the popular ladies' throwing the frying pan). The usual tasty food booths too - fish & chips and Haggis !
Also vendors, including great Celtic CDs from Rampant Lion Celtic Traders, and locals Maui Celtic with a booth of fine Scottish imports, classic Maui Celtic logo wear (Hamish's new cool Celtic whale T-shirts), brand new plaid items - Hawaii Tartan sashes, shawls, and head wraps (do-rags) !! They also represented Sportkilt again this year. Nearby was the Clan tent, where you could find out more about your family history, and visit the The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii, The Caledonian Society of Hawaii, and the The Friends of St.Patrick booths. More info on the event from The Hawaiian Scottish Association at www.scotshawaii.org.
Friday April 3rd - The 'The Hawaiian Scottish Association' presented a 'Taste of Scotland' Ceilidh at The Willows Restaurant in Honolulu (901, Hausten Street), from 5-9pm - a good time for residents, members of the Scottish community, and visitors to the Games to socialize. With great Celtic music by Switchback of Chicago, a special guest appearance by Scottish singer Ed Miller. Local pipers and dancers the Celtic Keiki were joined by visiting piper and highland dancers from the Margaret Rose School of Dance of Helensborough, Scotland. Not forgetting the sampling bar with several whiskys and a myriad of unusual beers, with a fine array of real ales and porters. More info on this yearly event at www.scotshawaii.org
Thursday April 2nd - the Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented their yearly sunset Tribute to Princess Victoria Kawekiu Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Ka'iulani Cleghorn at 6pm at Mauna ‘Ala, the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii, in Nuuanu Valley (2261 Nu‘unau Avenue), Honolulu. All were welcome to attend this short, simple ceremony, which included bagpiping, readings, dancing, and presentation of a lei at the crypt of the Hawaiian-Scottish crown princess, who was heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii at the time of the illegal overthrow of the monarchy. Princess Ka'iulani (October 16, 1875 – March 6, 1899) was half Hawaiian (her mother being Princess, Miriam Likelike) and half Scottish (her father was entrepreneur, Archibald Cleghorn, last Royal Governor of O'ahu). Hawaiian piper Jacob Kaio played the bagpipes, and Jennifer Fahrni of the Ka'iulani Project talked about the Princess and read some of her own words. The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii performed a special dance in the chapel entrance hall, then outside Jake piped for visiting Highland dancers from The Margaret Rose School of Dance of Helensborough, Scotland, who put on a fine display. Well wishers were allowed to pay their respects to the Princess and the Hawaiian Royal Family down in the crypt itself, a very moving moment. Maui was represented by Hamish Burgess and Jennifer MacKay Fahrni of Maui Celtic.
Mid-March - The Office of Hawaiian Affairs newspaper KA WAI OLA ran an article on Hawaiian bagpiper Jake Kaio. .......Photo Jake Kaio and Hamish Burgess
"Hawaiian bagpiper to travel cultural bridge to Scotland" by Liza Simon / Ka Wai Ola Loa ran in the Malaki 2009 Mid-Month Extra Edition, and told how in Honolulu, 2 events would celebrate the ties between Hawaiian and Scottish cultures.
Jake Kaio is an accomplished Native Hawaiian bagpiper who has attended Scotland's most prestigious invitation-only bagpipe competitions, and was founding Pipe Major of the Hawaiian Thistle Pipe Band. Jake performs at the The Caledonian Society of Hawaii's Princess Ka'iulani Memorial at the Royal Mausoleum in Nuuanu Valley (this year April 2nd) and at the annual Hawaiian Scottish Festival and Highland Games at Kapi'olani Park, Waikiki (April 4th-5th). Both events pay tribute to Princess Victoria Ka'iulani – the daughter of Hawaiian Princess Miriam Likelike and Scottish businessman Archibald Cleghorn. At the Festival, Jake will be part of the presentation by The Ka'iulani Project with Jennifer Fahrni and guests Leilani Kupahu-Marino, and Kimo Kaho'ano (a direct descendant of Ka'iulani's father, Archibald Cleghorn).
Saturday March 28th - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii held their Annual General Meeting at the DoubleTree Alana Hotel, Ala Moana, Honolulu, where they were voting in a new Board of Directors.
Friday March 27th - there was rollicking Irish Music on Oahu when the great Irish American duo Switchback played a concert at the Irish Rose Saloon in Waikiki. Honolulu's own Doolin Rakes followed until the wee hours. You can see Switchback at the Scottish Festival but everybody's complaint there is "where's the beer?" Well thanks to Guinness, Bailey's Irish Cream and Bushmill's Irish Whiskey you could see them in a pub atmosphere at the Irish Rose Saloon. All proceeds went to the The Friends of St.Patrick and their Parade Fund. Thanks for supporting Irish Music in Hawaii and the Annual St Patrick's Day Parade. Marty McCormack and Brian Fitzgerald are accomplished musicians, and Switchback was named the Irish Music Duo of 2008 by the Irish Music Association. www.waygoodmusic.com
Sunday March 22nd - as well as recognizing the return to Springtime with the vernal equinox, Hamish of Maui Celtic had a special guest on his Celtic music radio show, when banjo virtuoso Alison Brown called in to chat about her music and upcoming Hawaii shows (see below). The real Celtic connection here is that Alison is co-founder of Compass Records, one of the best Celtic music record labels in the world. In 1995, Brown put her business skills to work, founding Compass Records with her husband Garry West. The internationally recognized Compass Records Group oversees more than 600 releases from the Compass Records, Green Linnet and Mulligan Records catalogs and has been called by Billboard Magazine "one of the greatest independent labels of the last decade." For several years, Hamish has been playing a lot of the label's artists on his weekly show.
Hamish’s show is on Mana'o Radio 91.5 fm 8-10am Sundays (Hawaii time). For those of you not living on the island of Maui, the radio show is available live online at www.manaoradio.com
Friday, March 20th - There was a 'Celtic Celebration' with Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess at the Kaunoa Senior Center in Sprecklesville. Hamish entertained 85 folks with a bagpiping concert starting with the Great Highland Bagpipes, then the Scottish Smallpipes, and gave a culture and history talk covering the history of some of his tunes, bagpiping and the tartan kilt, Scottish and Irish links, and the Scots in Hawaii. The backdrop was a presentation of Hamish's photos of Scotland and Ireland. He was joined by Jennifer Fahrni of the Ka'iulani Project, who gave a talk with photographs on the life of Hawaiian Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn. After Hamish finished the hour and a half show with the pipes again, there was a fun question and answer session during lunch.
Thursday, March 19 & Monday, March 23 - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented a Special Scottish Movie Event several times each day. The Gaelic movie "Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle" showed at The Movie Museum, 3566 Harding Ave, in Kaimuki.
“Seachd” (2007) was filmed mostly on the island of Skye and is presented in Scottish Gaelic with English subtitles (88 mins). A young man, Aonghas (Angus) visits his dying grandfather and embarks on a quest for the truths behind his parents’ deaths and behind his grandfather’s ancient, fearful stories from Gaelic history. On a mountain in Skye he finds an ancient truth he did not expect. Billed as “family drama,” this film was nominated for several BAFTA awards in 2007. The word ‘seachd’ is Gaelic for ‘seven,’ the number of stories portrayed in the film, counting Aonghos’ own story. Lan fhirinn na sgeoil: the truth is in the story.
Thursday, March 18th - There was a morning 'Touch of Celtic Culture' with Maui harpist Ginny Morgan at the Kaunoa Senior Center in Sprecklesville, Paia, Maui. Ginny gave a 2 hour presentation on A Short History of the Celts, Religion of the Celts, Music, and Art. Ginny currently teaches at Maui Community College, and is a professional harpist. www.mauiharpmusic.com
March 17th - St. Patrick's Day on Oahu.......(see below for Maui St.Patrick's Day criac)
On an overcast humid day, the 42nd Annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade down Kalakaua Ave, took place in Waikiki at 12 Noon, with hundreds of folk wearing the green ! The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, the Royal Hawaiian Band and the Damien Memorial School band, marched with more than 750 people, including Mayor Mufi Hanneman, St. Patrick's School kids, and University of Hawaii athletic director Jim Donovan who was the 'Irishman of the Year'. St. Patrick himself was played by Ed Gavigan of Kaneohe. The Friends of St.Patrick marched proudly (to march with them next year please contact Bill Comerford 233-3997), as did their Scottish cousins the St.Andrew Society of Hawaii.
The Post Parade Party was at Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki, with Live Irish music by Celtic Waves and more. Corned beef and cabbage and of course Guinness was the order of the day.
Maui Celtic was on Oahu at the Honolulu St. Patrick's Day Block Party. Every year Murphy's Bar and Grill sponsors a FREE all afternoon/evening block party in downtown Honolulu at Nuuanu Avenue and Merchant Street. The streets were closed from 10am with the official party 6-10pm. There was great food - tasty fresh oysters, corned beef and cabbage, fish & chips, and of course plenty of Guinness and Irish whisky at the outdoor booths, not to mention in Murphy's and O'Tooles ! The party gets going at lunchtime with the downtown workers, and really gets moving after work.
Hamish, Jennifer and Ming were there with a Maui Celtic booth of Irish jewelry and other goodies and kool kelly green HAWAII CELTIC T-shirts, Hawaii Tartan (plaid) clothing, and All Ireland plaid noggin wraps (do-rags) too !! Green T-shirts were of course a hot item ! Mahalo for supporting your local Celtic business.
There was great traditional Irish music in O'Toole's Pub (www.irishpubhawaii.com) with the Kaimana Ceili Band, wandering Irish minstrel Kieran Murphy, and outside on the block the Doolin Rakes started at sunset, followed by the Piranha Brothers. For more information on the yearly event visit www.gomurphys.com
The streets were jumping by sunset, with folks in crazy green costumes - Hamish Burgess played the bagpipes in O'Tooles Pub and outside several times during the evening ! Credit and mahalo for the above photo to Metromix Honolulu
March 11th-17th - wandering Irish minstrel Kieran Murphy was in Honolulu pubs playing traditional Irish music at downtown O'Toole's and Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki. The boundlessly energetic Kieran and larger-than-life dad Joe are regulars in Hawaii at this time of year, taking a break from New York to entertain our local Irish crowd. Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess on the Highland Bagpipes opened for Kieran on St.Patrick's Day in O'Tooles. Kieran's singing was amplified outside the pub and across the block party for thousands to hear !
Kieran Murphy is a singer and songwriter whose music ranges from traditional folk to contemporary rock and even electronica ! He is New York born, but with a heritage deeply rooted in the culture of New England and the mysticism of his Irish ancestors. Check out his award winning website at www.kieranmurphymusic.com
Tuesday, March 17th - St.Patrick's Day on Maui !
There was a ST. PADDY'S PUB CRAWL starting at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina at noon with great local Irish band the Celtic Tigers and Piper Roger McKinley to escort the 40 folks from pub to pub in Lahaina, ending back at Mulligans for the Blessing at 5 pm. A great craic !!
12pm The crawl started at Mulligans at the Wharf with the piper Roger and Celtic Tigers
1:30-2 The piper took the crawl to Santa Fe Cantina for the eating contest
3:30-4 The piper took the crawl to Lahaina Coolers for the Miss St Patty's Day Contest and the Lahaina Coolers Annual Parade then at 5 pm Back to Mulligans at the Wharf
St.Patrick's Day at Mulligans at the Wharf in Lahaina started early with The Celtic Tigers and Highland Piper Roger McKinley at noon. There was a traditional Hawaiian blessing at 5pm followed by those crazy blue grass guys Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band. Then locals Silky I-rish Ringo rocked the night away. Bartender Bernadette Stack from County Wicklow Ireland said "back home in Ireland this is the greatest day of the year and we will continue the long standing tradition here in Lahaina". There was of course lots of corned beef and cabbage and drink specials throughout the day. Special prizes for best leprechaun costume. Erin go Bragh.... Ireland for ever, Maui style !
St.Patrick's Day at Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea had the biggest Maui party with locals The Celtic Tigers, the Isle of Maui Pipe Band, the Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band, then the legendary Willie K Band.
Kahului Ale House in Central Maui had their party with Upcountry Celtic band The Tropical Harps.
There was a SING with the Maui Folksong Circle for St. Patrick’s Day, at Kahului Library on St. Patrick’s Day 6:30-7:45pm. The public joined the Maui Folksong Circle to sing real Irish (not Irish-American) songs. Books and song sheets were be provided. The group usually meets 2 or 3 times a month at other sites, but this was a special event at the Library. For regular events, please contact Larry Sarner at Lsarner@maui.net.
Saturday, March 14th - Isle of Maui Pipeband presented their “WORLD MASTERS OF PIPING SERIES” Concert, featuring World Champion Bagpiper JACK LEE. Held at the historic Makawao Union Church.
Folks enjoyed an evening with one of the world’s leading pipers, Jack Lee, for his return performance on Maui. Back from British Columbia to lead a workshop for the local bagpipe band, he will once again perform at the historic Makawao Union Church. This year’s concert also featured members of Isle of Maui Pipe Band. Thanks for supporting the event. All proceeds fund our local non-profit pipe band. www.isleofmauipipeband.com
Friday & Saturday March 13th & 14th - Hamish Burgess of Maui Celtic was on Oahu, playing bagpipes as as the official bagpiper for Anheuser-Busch's Bass Brigade promotion, leading up to St.Partick's Day. On Friday, Hamish got a great reception as he led the lovely Bass ambassadors Tia and Alisha around the Downtown Honolulu pubs of Murphy's, JJ Dolan's, Bar 35, and O'Tooles, where pal Kieran Murphy was playing traditional Irish music (see above). The ladies and account managers kept everyone surprised and happy with beer promotions and T-shirt give-away contests. Saturday night the promotion moved to Waikiki, with more fun at Kelly O'Neils, The Irish Rose and Lulu's.........................Tia, Hamish and Alisha
Saturday March 7th - The Friends of St.Patrick presented their Premier Event of the Year, the yearly Emerald Ball at the Willows, Honolulu. There was a Silent Auction, Buffet Dinner, Irish entertainment, and Irishman of the Year Award. www.irishclubhawaii.com
Saturday March 7th - The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented Scottish Smiles with Brian Flynn at the Parish Hall, Episcopal Church of St. Clement, Honolulu. Their presenter was Brian Flynn, a Scottish-born Society member who keeps in touch with current comedy on visits to Scotland and London several times a year.
Friday March 6th - two great friends of Maui Celtic, Jason Wolford and Alison Way, were married on West Maui today at the Hyatt Hotel. The joining of two heritages was celebrated with the handsome groom Kilted, and the lovely bride in a beautiful Japanese wedding dress. Maid of Honor was Alison's sister Stephanie Way, and best man was Chris Weidenhammer. Hamish Burgess piped Alison down the aisle with 'Highland Cathedral', then piped the new Mr. & Mrs.Wolford out to greet their guests. The pied pipers Hamish and Michael Riedel then led the large group down through the gardens to the reception, where there was a cool Celtic/Japanese ice sculpture. A surprise to welcome the groom were the Zenshin Daiko drummers, followed by music from Tiare Johnson & Friends. After dinner with a Scottish toast from Hamish, and a Japanese Banzai toast from Joe Cosner, there was a mini band of Hamish, Roger McKinley, John Impey on bagpipes and Peter Della Croce on snare drum. The gathering was blessed with a slight soft rain, which held off until later in the evening. All the best to Jason and Alison - Slainte and Kampai !!
Jason and Alison have been friends of Maui Celtic for years, helping at booths on Maui and at the Scottish Games on Oahu for years. Jason is a bagpiper, and works as a realtor and boat captain. Alison who works at the hospital, is also the owner of 'Dog Gone Maui'.
Sunday March 1st - the Isle of Maui Pipeband opened the 3rd Annual Barryfest, held at Keopuolani Park Ampitheater in Kahului. Mana'o Radio celebrates this event in the memory of the station's co-founder Barry Shannon - the all-day music extravaganza is a benefit for the listener supported station, and is also being held on the station's 7th birthday. With emcees Tita and Marty Dread, many local performers were in the lineup, including the Willie K. Band, Eddie Tanaka and Friends, Vince Esquire Band, Mana'o Radio Orchestra and Friends, including special guest Rick Vito, Marty Dread & Eric Gilliom, the Haiku Hiillbillys, Hula Honeys, Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band, Jazz Cafe Regulators, Bob Jones Band, Dr.Nat and Rio Ritmo, Gina Martinelli Band, Steve Grimes and Mojo Gumbo, Sound Wave, and the Zenshin Daiko drummers !! Check out www.barryfest.org for more information.
Thanks for coming out and supporting Mana'o Radio 91.5 fm, and keeping us on the air so you can listen to all the shows, including 'Sunday Solstice', 2 hours of great Celtic music from 8-10am. For those of you not living on the island of Maui, the radio show is live online at www.manaoradio.com ! Local time will be 8-10 am (Hawaii), which for the summer will now be 11am-1pm US/Canada West coast, 12-2pm Mountain time, 1-3pm central time, 2-4pm East Coast, and 7-9pm in Ireland and the UK.
Sunday March 1st - Hamish's Celtic Radio Show on Mana'o Radio 91.5fm, KEAO Wailuku featured Welsh music in honour of ST.DAVID'S DAY, and Cornish music for ST.PIRAN'S DAY. St.David or Dewi Sant (birth date uncertain, somewhere from 462 to 512) is the patron saint of Wales, and Welsh folk around the world celebrate their culture on March 1st. St.Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall (in the South West of the UK), and also tin miners, with his celebration day on March 5th. A lovely guest was Jennifer Fahrni of the Ka'iulani Project, and the Mad Wandering Bagpiper Mike Reidel, who stopped in to give away some competition tickets to the upcoming Jack Lee concert. Michael was a founding member of the Maui Celtic Pipes and Drums, and was responsible for bringing Champion Bagpiper Jack Lee to Maui to teach local pipers. All of us were on our way to Barryfest (see above).
Saturday, March 28th - There was a big celebration Upcountry with the Makawao Library 40th Anniversary, with talks, slideshows, and music all day. Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess played the Scottish smallpipes and "Happy Birthday' as the fabulous cakes were sampled, and answered questions about bagpiping, his tunes, the tartan kilt, and the Scots in Hawaii. Then Jennifer Fahrni of the Ka'iulani Project gave a talk with a slideshow on the life of Hawaiian Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn.
THANKS FOR COMING OUT TO SUPPORT MAUI CELTIC'S LAST CONCERT...........
Friday, February 20th -- Maui Celtic proudly presented The World's Top Scottish Fiddler and brilliant Cellist...... ALASDAIR FRASER and NATALIE HAAS at the McCoy Studio Theater, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Kahului. The return of Celtic music’s dazzling duo - Fraser, a musician of unsurpassed eloquence, passion and energy - paired with sizzlingly-talented cellist Natalie Haas. With cutting-edge musical explorations and driving dancing rhythms they explored lyrical sensitive airs and the dynamic soul of Scottish dance music. Great Hawaiian musician Wilmont Kamaunu Kahaialii, joined Alasdair & Natalie in a tribute to Hawaiian/Scottish Princess Ka’iulani. photos by Siobhan Halstead - www.shoobeedesigns.com
The Courtyard pre-show started at 6pm, with great local Celtic music from Kevin O'Kennedy (whistles and vocals), Bud Clark (bodhran and whistles), Peter Della Croce (bodhran and guitar), and Roger Mc.Kinley (smallpipes) - a new quartet specially for this event, we hope to see more of them. Michael Riedel played the Highland bagpipes, joined by Pete playing snaredrum. Good Scottish and Irish food was by Mulligan's at the Wharf (Lahaina), and Maui Celtic had a logowear booth, with Hawaii tartan and Hawaii Scots books. The bar had tea and Guinness - a good start to a great night !
The crowd moved into the McCoy Theater, and the concert started with a stirring bagpipe salute from 'The Mad Wandering Bagpiper' Michael Riedel with a beautiful slow air and a couple of 6/8 marches. Maui Celtic's own Hamish Burgess introduced the evening, and sponsors Celtic Heraldry Creations, Mulligans at the Wharf, and the Ka'iulani Project, dedicated to celebrating the life, spirit and legacy of Princess Ka'iulani. Starting the theme of mixing the host culture with the visiting musicians, Maui's own Wilmont Kamaunu Kahaialii blew the conch shell, and performed a beautiful Oli (Hawaiian chant).
Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas then returned to the Maui stage for their second visit. Starting with a stunning slow air, then signature tune 'Calliope meets Frank', the evening was off to flying start. The first half showcased the duo as masters of their instruments, and Alasdair's witty stories and banter confrimed his status as 'Scotland's musical ambassador'.
Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, joined by Wilmont Kamaunu Kahaialii
After the interval, soulful Hawaiian musician and cultural speaker Wilmont Kamaunu Kahaialii sang a beautiful Hawaiian song, explained his connection to Scottish culture, and talked about the Hawaiian Crown Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn, the 'daughter of a double race', who's mother was the vivacious musician and composer, Hawaiian Princess Miriam Likelike, and father was Scotsman, Archibald Scott Cleghorn, Governor of Oahu and Hawaii's Father of Parks. He was then joined by Alasdair & Natalie for a highlight of the evening, a tribute dedicated to the Princess. Wilmont sang 'Ku'uipo', a stunning song written by Ka'iulani's mother - the guitar and vocal backed by fiddle and cello was nothing short of spectacular. A beautiful blend of Hawaiian and Scottish culture from three amazing musicians.
More fine Scottish music from the duo kept the audience captivated, with another signature tune being 'Alien Ceilidh' that Hamish has been playing a lot on his radio show on Mana'o Radio. Other highlights were Alasdair leading the audience to sing the classic 'Loch Lomond', and some wild jigs and reels. A standing ovation brought our stars back for the encore, when Alasdair had the whole audience Scottish stepdancing by their seats. Wilmont then led the Celtic duo in a moving rendition of 'Hawaii Aloha', accompanied by the voices of the entire audience.
More foot-stomping Scottish dance music closed the show with all three musicians rocking the house ! A truly epic night of music !!
Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas' album "Fire & Grace" was awarded the Best Album of the Year in the Scots Traditional Music Awards 2004 - check out their new CD "In The Moment" which is equally as good - get it at ......
Alasdair's website: www.alasdairfraser.com Natalie's website: www.nataliehaas.com
An amazing night ended with a legendary session at the Wow-Wee Maui's Kava Bar & Grill, with a great crowd of the concert-goers coming down for the after-party. The concert 'Courtyard crew' got the place hopping, then local musicians got a chance to jam with Alasdair Fraser, with everything from Celtic jigs & reels to rock 'n' roll !!
Photos on above entry by queen bee photographer Siobhan Halstead - www.shoobeedesigns.com
Sunday Feb 20th -- Hamish and Jennifer of Maui Celtic, and Hawaiian musician and cultural speaker Wilmont Kamaunu Kahaialii joined Joel Agnew on the "1110am on 1110AM" show on KAOI, Wailuku, for a fun interview about the concert they were presenting that night with Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Featured headliner Alasdair Fraser called in for a chat, and to introduce his music. Guest artist Wilmont Kahaialii played guitar live and sang a beautiful Hawaiian song 'Ku'uipo', written by Princess Ka'iulani's mother Princess Miriam Likelike. More fun ensued with Marty Dread coming in for a chat about Whale Day, a phone-in from John Cruz, and a surprise duet of 'Edelweiss' from Wilmont and Leighanna Edwards (Maria in Maui Onstage's upcoming production of 'The Sound of Music') !
Sunday Feb 15th -- Hamish had a special interview on his Celtic Radio Show on Mana'o Radio featuring music from Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, before their 2nd visit to Maui to play a concert presented by Maui Celtic at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. In a fun interview from a busy fiddle retreat, Alasdair talked about his career and music, and his collaboration with Natalie. Hamish played music spanning Alasdair's career, including his theme score form the movie "Last of the Mohicans", the album with Natalie "Fire & Grace" which was awarded the Best Album of the Year in the Scots Traditional Music Awards 2004, and ending with their new CD "In The Moment".
Sunday, Feb 8th - The newly formed Maui’s Piping Highlanders, played at Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea for the 2nd time !! The band was led by the talented fingers (and short thumb) of Piper Roger McKinley with David Asher, accompanied by the bodhran drumming of Bud Clark. They played before both Celtic Tigers sets, of course featuring singer/whistle player Kevin O'Kennedy and singer/guitarist Murray Thorne. The group will perform every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month starting @ 6:30pm. Regardless of the size of the band on any given Sunday, you are guaranteed a great kilted performance!
Sunday Feb 1st -- Hamish was back on Maui with his Celtic Radio Show, featuring music from the IRISH MUSIC CRUISES CONCERTS AT SEA (see below), where he joined Irish singer Liam Clancy on a cruise to the Mayan ruins in the Western Caribbean (www.irishmusiccruises.com), along with talented singers and musicians Gabriel Donohue, Robbie O’Connell, Aoife Clancy, the Makem & Spain Brothers, Matt & Shannon Heaton, Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty, Eugene Byrne, Ciaran Sheehan, Seamus Kennedy, Hanneke Cassel.
Mana'o Radio 91.5 fm - listen to 'Sunday Solstice', 2 hours of great Celtic music from 8-10am. For those of you not living on the island of Maui, the radio show will be available live online at www.manaoradio.com ! Local time will be 8-10 am (Hawaii), which for the winter will now be 10am-12pm US/Canada West coast, 11-1pm Mountain time, 12-2pm central time, 1-3pm East Coast, and 6-8pm in Ireland and the UK.
Saturday, January 24th -- The Maui Scots celebrated Robert Burns Night at 'Mulligan's on the Blue' in Wailea, on the eve of the Scottish poet's 250th birthday. While Hamish was off gallivanting on the Irish Music Cruise, the yearly Maui Celtic event was organized by Roger McKinley, who played the traditional “piping in of the haggis”. Once again, John Crowe elegantly spoke as the Master of Ceremonies and his wife Rose sweetly sang 'Auld Lang Syne', Peter Della Croce and Bud Clark kept the beat on drums and David Asher and Roger filled the place with pipe music. First grader Innes Asher also gallantly gave his first successful public performance on a child-sized set of Scottish smallpipes. Added to all the whiskey toasts, poetry, and good craic, singer/great whistle player Kevin O'Kennedy and singer/guitarist Murray Thorne as the Celtic Tigers provided their usual brilliant jigs and reels and raucous folk songs - some Scottish ones thrown in too !! ‘Mulligan’s on the Blue’ provided a special 3 course dinner - once again it was a full house and an event you don’t want to miss next year.
Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) is Scotland's national poet, and his 200 year old verse has become part of Scottish heritage celebrated all over the world on January 25th. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, and is the most widely translated poet in the world, even more than William Shakespeare. He was born in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1759, into a poor farming family. At age 27 he published his first volume of poems, which was a huge success, and his humour and wit became legendary. He moved to Edinburgh, and received critical acclaim. He wrote about everyday things, philosophy, and about his loves, which contributed to his popularity. 2 years later, he married and moved to a farm in Dumfries, working as an exciseman while still continuing to write poetry and songs. He died at 37, in 1796.
Saturday, January 24th - the Oahu Scots of The Caledonian Society of Hawaii celebrate "Robert Burns' 250th Birthday: A Man for All Ages" by presenting their annual Burns Night at the Hawaii Convention Center. This gala affair, with kilts and sashes in full view, was led by MC Kalani Brady, with haggis, whisky, bagpipes, songs and dances to keep the night merry. Chef Douglas Rothenburger, Executive Chef with the Hawaii Convention Center, presented the haggis in the traditional parade. The Honolulu Pipes and Drums and Scottish dancers performed, and the Bard himself was there in the person of actor Stephen Mead, with poetry reading, address to the Haggis, the immortal memory, toast to the lassies and laddies, special awards (Scot of the Year and the White Heather Award) and terrific food and drink. The traditional "Address to the Haggis" and "Tribute to the Memory of Robert Burns" were well received. www.scotsinhawaii.org
Sunday January 18th-25th -- Hamish and Jennifer were away on the brilliant IRISH MUSIC CRUISES CONCERTS AT SEA, joining singer Liam Clancy for an 8 day cruise from Tampa, Florida, to the Mayan ruins in the Western Caribbean, presented by Debbie Casey (www.irishmusiccruises.com) 1-888-56IRISH. Other talented singers and musicians were Gabriel Donohue, Robbie O’Connell, Aoife Clancy, the Makem & Spain Brothers, Matt & Shannon Heaton, Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty, Eugene Byrne, Ciaran Sheehan, Seamus Kennedy, Paul Grant, and Hanneke Cassel.
The week’s adventure started with a welcome cocktail party at the Tampa hotel, with a great music session and a chance to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones - we won't mention the stripping-off and swopping shirts bit (male and female) !
Sunday we boarded the Holland America ship the M.S.Veendam and set off south along the Florida coast. That night featured a solo concert from the brilliant multi-instumentalist and singer Gabriel Donohue, joined (before his own spot) by talented funnyman Seamus Kennedy, and special guest the great young fiddler Hanneke Cassel. Powerhouse duo Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty then got us well underway with originals and classic sea-shanties, ending a memorable first night with the Makem Brothers and Gabriel for a finale. Then of course, a late night bar session......
Monday morning saw us in the first port of call, Key West, where Hamish and Jennifer had a nice stroll along Duval Street, the main shopping street, with all its street cafes and crazy bars. A block back is the Hemmingway House and museum, with an unusual resident population of 5 toed cats ! A quick slice of Key Lime Pie before heading back to Mallory Square, legendary sunset street market and sideshow of unique performers, from high-wire walker to bagpiper. Hamish lived here 17 years ago, and stopped to see an old friend from Celtic Brittany, Dominique with his Flying House Cats - he has an incredible show with performing house cats that do tricks and even jump through hoops of fire ! Unfortunately the ship leaves the dock at 5pm when all the street acts are setting up for sunset - bad timing - the most fun time in Key West......
After dinner that night the first concert was a mixture of classic Irish songs and humour from Eugene Byrne, joined by Kevin Evans. Next came great traditional Celtic music from the quintet Robbie O’Connell, Aoife Clancy, Matt & Shannon Heaton, and Hanneke Cassel - dazzling instrumentals from the group, and nice songs from Robbie, Aoife and Shannon. The stage shows ended with the powerhouse vocal harmonies of the Makem & Spain Brothers. Then of course, a late night session at The Crows Nest, with a bit of bagpiping from Hamish on the smallpipes, and some rockin' fiddle and guitar......
Hanneke Cassel and Seamus Kennedy at a late night session
Tuesday was at sea crossing the Gulf of Mexico - still plenty of Irish entertaiment going on. There was a showing of a film on the life of legendary singer Liam Clancy, and an afternoon music session with the entire gang, where guests could join in with the pro's. The formal dinner that night saw Hamish and Seamus in full kilt attire - great food and fabulous company. The showcase of the week was the icon of Irish music, Liam Clancy, with guitar and concertina, holding his audience spellbound with beautiful ballads and rollicking traditional songs. At 73 years young, he is still the true master of his art - he was backed by Paul Grant, Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty.
Hamish Burgess & Seamus Kennedy . The legendary Liam Clancy on fire.
Wednesday we awoke in Belize, miss-timed our trip to Xunantunich Ruins, but managed race down the dock to get on another trip to the Mayan City of Altun Ha. As it turned out, a bumpy 1 hour bus ride was preferable to a bumpy 2 hour one, and the ruins at Altun Ha were spectacular. A complex of at least 6 pyramids, in various stages of restoration, around 2 courtyards. You were allowed to climb 2 of them, with a fabulous view of the whole area from the top. Back to Belize City for a cold local Belkin beer, and a look round some local craft markets - the further from the dock you get, the better price you can barter for clothing and souveniers.
Jennifer atop the Mayan City of Altun Ha
Back on the ship there was a late afternoon talk on Irish History by Peter Clarke and Eugene Byrne, followed by a special Chef's Dinner where the whole ship's dining staff danced and sang to the guests ! The evening concerts started with Gabriel Donohue solo, then joined by amazing tenor Ciaran Sheehan for a great set from The Phantom himself - not to mention some hilarious ad-libbing between the lads. A special impromptu moment was when Gabe asked Hamish if he could pipe with his playing piano and Ciaran singing, for a tribute song to Debbie Casey's mom. Next was comedian/singer Seamus Kennedy for a fine set - he also asked Hamish up to bagpipe with him on a grand version of 'Scotland the Brave'.
Thursday saw the group in Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala. Hamish and Jennifer took a long bus ride - easy through the beautiful hilly and forested countryside on good roads - into the interior, with the most unusual roadblock - a banana crossing, complete with huge rope speedbump.
Banana Crossing in Guatemala
Quirigua National Park Archaeological Ruins, Guatemala
They went to Quirigua National Park Archaeological Ruins, a beautiful park in the middle of the rainforest. A spectacular plaza of stelae - standing stones covered in intricate zoomorphic carvings and glyphs - led to a partially restored Mayan city that once ruled the area, with plazas, low pyramids, and a ball-court. After a look in the museum of ancient artifacts and replica treasures, the guides took us on an informative tour of the stelae carvings.
This was once a thriving Mayan river port town between AD 400-900. The amazing carvings on the stelae feature Gods, Kings, and costumes, and the glyphs represent historical times, mythology and calendars.
The time here went by too quickly looking at the incredibly detailed carvings on the monuments and altars, ending with a quick look in a craft market outside.
Mayan Stelae, Quirigua National Park, Guatemala
Back to the harbour in Santo Tomas for a bit of shopping in the market - you see Guatemalan items in import shops at home but it's way more interesting to pick up the colorful souvenirs where they are made. There is no fixed price here - some folks were paying the asking price, but Hamish's 28 years of travelling has made him a good bargainer - one obsidian carving that started at $150 ended up in his pocket for $ 20 ! Most of the vendors liked a good haggling session - fun and friendly people - Hamish and Jennifer loved Guatemala.
Jennifer Fahrni at the Santo Tomas market, Guatemala
Back on the ship and underway, the Maui Celtic couple were invited to a cocktail party with Captain James Russell-Dunford, who lived in a fishing village in the Celtic region of Cornwall in south-west Britain, when not away at sea. Hamish and Capt.James had quite the chat, both ex-pats from the UK, who had eventually settled in the same area after many years of travelling. Hamish lived in Cornwall for 10 years before emigrating to the Caribbean then the US and Hawaii. The Captain had been at sea on many vessels since 1978.
Music that night featured the great un-named group of Robbie O’Connell, Aoife Clancy, Matt & Shannon Heaton, and Hanneke Cassel with trad tunes and songs, and some originals from Robbie and the Heatons. They were joined for a Scottish set by Hamish on the smallpipes - his first time with a trad Celtic music group of this size. Sorry that Matt Heaton was missing from the below photo of the group with their guest piper.
Hanneke Cassel, Hamish Burgess, Shannon Heaton, Aoife Clancy and Robbie O'Connell
Next up was Eugene Byrne sporting a huge Guinness hat for his set of fun stories and Irish songs, followed by a brilliant concert from Paul Grant, Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty - aside from their rousing songs and sea-shanties, there was some fine guitar playing going on. Then of course, a late night bar session......
Friday the ship docked on the Costa Maya of Mexico, and we took a bus ride out to Chacchoben Mayan Ruins, a huge complex of pyramids and plazas on many different levels, some restored and others still overgrown, for a guided tour by some knowledgable guides. The 10 acre complex that is uncovered, is only part of this larger settlement that rises above the flat plains of the Costa Maya.
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins, Costa Maya, Mexico
Time for a bit of shopping at the cruise ship terminal complex, with similar colorful goods as in Guatemala, but much more expensive here, and the vendors being more pushy.
Formal dinner night with the two Seamuses in kilt attire again, then the evening started with a nice concert from Paul Grant and Kevin Evans, with songs and amazing guitar work. Ciaran Sheehan the great Irish tenor was accompanied by the immensely talented Gabriel Donohue, and roped in some help from the hilarious Hanneke for a wee skit on the Titanic. An unexpected star was one of the ship's waiters, who conducted a lot of the evening's music from around the room !
Makem and Spain Brothers, Irish Music Cruise 2009
The fantastic vocal harmonies of the Makem & Spain Brothers topped the night off. Then of course, a late night music session in the Crow's Nest.
Saturday was spent at sea crossing the Gulf of Mexico, with a song writing workshop from Robbie O’Connell, Paul Grant, Kevin Evans and Seamus Kennedy. Each songwriter explained and sang one of their compositions, all with different styles, and interesting stories behind the songs.
There was an afternoon session with all the performers, where anyone could join in with a song or tune.
Hamish Burgess and Hanneke Cassel at a session on the Irish Music Cruise
After a final dinner with the gang, that night was the Grand Finale with all the musicians - one night not to be missed when you can hear combinations of the performers you wouldn't normally see. Beginning with Robbie O’Connell, Aoife Clancy, Matt & Shannon Heaton, Hanneke Cassel and Gabriel Donohue, with rockin' traditional music and songs, then the Makem & Spain Brothers and Seamus Kennedy belting out great folk songs, joined by Ciaran Sheehan and Gabriel Donohue for show tunes to the unlikely heavy rock past of the Irish tenor himself ! Then Hamish Burgess, Eugene Byrne, Paul Grant and Kevin Evans with the legendary Liam Clancy joined the entire group of performers for a memorable end to a fabulous week of Irish Music At Sea.
(L-R) Eugene Byrne, Paul Grant, Liam Spain, Kevin Evans, Liam Clancy, Robbie O'Connell, Conor Makem, Gabriel Donohue - Irish Music Cruise Grand Finale 2009
Sunday we said our farewells at the dock in Tampa, and all dispersed to the far corners of the globe. What a brilliant week of great company, laughs, fine food, Mayan adventures, and amazing world-class Irish music - the craic was indeed mighty !
Gabriel Donohue, Hamish Burgess and Liam Clancy - Irish Music Cruise 2009
Thanks to Debbie Casey of IRISH MUSIC CRUISES CONCERTS AT SEA - check out the yearly event at www.irishmusiccruises.com or call 1-888-56IRISH for more info.
Saturday January 17th -- Hamish and Jennifer of Maui Celtic caught one day of the weekend Central Florida Highland Games, in Winter Springs, near Orlando, Florida. A great warm and sunny day with pipebands, Celtic vendors, Scottish athletics, and Clan tents - our thanks to the orgaizers for making us their guests for the day.
Massed Pipe Bands at the Central Florida Highland Games 2009
The Maui Celtic couple were welcomed into the Douglas tent by Hamish's clansfolk, whose hospitality was second to none. They fed us and fixed us up with an early wee dram !
Hamish with Clan Douglas - Central Florida Highland Games
The music was from Albannach, The Hooliganz and the Wyndbreakers. Warming up the crowd was local Florida traditional Celtic band the Wyndbreakers, followed by Scottish wildmen Albannach. Hugely popular on the East Coast festival circuit, the kilted and tattooed lads and lass are a powerhouse of tribal percussion with 5 drummers and a solo bagpiper. They were introduced in a big way by a big man David R Ross, Scottish author of many history books including 'On the Trail of Robert Bruce', 'On the Trail of William Wallace', and 'The Black Douglas'.
Albannach - Central Florida Highland Games
Rocking out the crowd at the end of the day were North Carolina's own Celtic rock outfit The Hooligans. Hamish interviewed the bands, and author David Ross, for his Celtic music radio show on Mana'o Radio. If you are in Florida at this time of year, it's a great Scottish day out - more on the Central Florida Highland Games at www.flascot.com.
Sunday, January 11th - The newly formed Three Pints Celtic Band played at Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea for the 1st time !! The band was led by the talented fingers (and short thumb - don't ask !) of Piper Roger McKinley, with David Asher and Logan Farrell, accompanied by the rock solid drumming of bodhran player Bud Clark and Cary Ritt. They played before both Celtic Tigers sets, of course featuring singer/whistle player Kevin O'Kennedy and singer/guitarist Murray Thorne. Somewhere during the evening the group's name mutated, thanks to Michael O'Dwyer, to Maui’s Piping Highlanders, who will perform every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month starting @ 6:30pm.
Regardless of the size of the band on any given Sunday, you are guaranteed a great kilted performance! Also regardless of the name of the band, which may vary on a weekly basis due to Mulligans' Irish lexdicksia !!
Sunday January 4th - Hamish of Maui Celtic had a Glasgow Special on his Celtic radio show, with great new Celtic music from Scotland brought in by special guest Bud Clark, hot Maui bodhran player, and Philosophy Professor at the MCC, who just returned from studying at Glasgow University. Bud brought back some CDs from a lot of the friends he was playing music with at many traditional sessions in the happening Scottish city.
Hamish’s show is on Mana'o Radio 91.5 fm 8-10am Sundays. For those of you not living on the island of Maui, the radio show is available live online at www.manaoradio.com