LEWISTON — New England Celtic Arts will host Newfoundland’s top-rated Celtic band The Irish Descendants at the Franco-American Heritage Center on Monday, Feb. 6.

The group, which has been a mainstay in the Newfoundland and Canadian music industry for more than two decades, will also perform at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, Feb. 7; and at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in South Carthage on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Founding members of the group formed in 1990 hail from various outpost fishing communities. Their original goal was to take the music they learned and performed in their kitchens to festival stages, pubs and concert halls in Newfoundland.

After the 1991 release of their first CD, “Misty Morning Shore,” (the first CD released by a Newfoundland band), it was clear The Irish Descendants were on track to take their music on a worldwide journey.

The Maine tour in February is the launch of their 14th recording, “Rise Again,” in the United States and the start of their 2012 Winter Tour.

In 1997, The Irish Descendants were selected to perform for 500th anniversary celebrations of the discovery of Newfoundland by John Cabot in 1497. That summerlong journey saw them perform for the Queen of England and heads of state of Ireland and Spain.

Over the years, the band has been led by front man and founding member Con O’Brien, one of Newfoundland’s most recognized entertainers, courtesy of his rich baritone voice. The lineup for the touring season will see regulars Robert Kelley (bass and vocals) and veteran St. John’s musician Dave Panting (guitar, bouzouki, mandolin and vocals), joined by another veteran traditional player, Patrick Moran (fiddle and vocals).

Curtain is at 7 p.m. at the Franco center, 7:30 p.m. in Unity.

The Franco center is at 46 Cedar St. Skye Theater is at 2 Highland Drive in South Carthage. UCCPA is at 42 Depot St., Unity. Tickets are $20 at the door. For reservations, call the Franco center at 783-1585, Skye at 562-4445 or UCCPA at 948-7469.


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