Andy Cooney, with his outstanding voice and dynamic stage presence has always been a favorite among American and Irish audiences everywhere. His talent and versatility provide the ability to deliver a song directly to the hearts of his audience. Andy is surely one of the greatest singing sensations on the stage today. Christened “Irish America’s Favorite Son” by The New York Times, is a title he truly deserves. From his Sell Out performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall to performing in big and small cities across America, Andy Cooney is a house hold name in every Irish American home. Some of Andy’s latest successes have included his 9th sell out appearance at Carnegie Hall last December with The New York Tenors and The Irish Tenors. Andy will be at Carnegie Hall again on December 9, 2019 with the New York Tenors and Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers. This will be Andy Cooney’s 22th Annual Cruise of Irish Stars. “It all began in 1998. We’ve gone from a few hundred cruisers to as many as 1700! Let’s keep this great Irish Party at sea going for many years to come!”
Ronan Tynan, “Put courage in your dreams, Ronan, and leave the rest to the Man Above, And then you will carve your footprints in the sand.” These words have shaped the remarkable life of the Irish tenor Ronan Tynan – a proud and loving lesson of his mother’s – from his childhood milking cows on a farm in County Kilkenny, Ireland, to an ever-evolving career as a singer, bringing him worldwide fame and admiration that could have existed only in the farthest reaches of those dreams. International audiences met Tynan as a member of The Irish Tenors. Now his singular voice and irresistible appeal have led him to strike out on his own, a decision that seems to have resulted in something far more meaningful than a mere solo career. For more information on Ronan, visit his website.
The New York Tenors
Deirdre Reilly beautifully personifies the dramatic influence that Irish music has had on today’s American Country scene. Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts to a mother from County Cork and a father from County Mayo, Ireland, Deirdre began performing at age five. As a teenager she sang with her step-father’s show band and traveled around New England and parts of New York with her own band. Deirdre’s talents were revealed on a national level at age eighteen when she toured the United States with Paddy Noonan’s Irish Variety Show. In 1989 Deirdre auditioned at the Berkeley School Of Music in Boston, Massachusetts for talent scouts from the Opryland Show Park in Nashville, Tennessee. After hearing Deirdre sing, there was little deliberation among the scouts about offering her a contract to perform in their most popular show “COUNTRY MUSIC USA” for the coming summer season. Deirdre eagerly accepted that contract and was well on her way to exploring a world of music that she innately was destined to pursue. That summer led to three consecutive seasons at Opryland Show Park where she quickly began to open many doors in the music industry.
The Byrne Brothers
The Byrnes Brothers are a family band from Dublin who moved to Donegal for 12 years and now reside in Orlando Florida. They consist of 3 very young talents that are champion level, decorated with medals in traditional Irish music. Dempsey the youngest at 9 years old plays Bodhran, whistles and sings. Finn, 13, plays banjo and mandolin. Luca the eldest at 14 plays button accordion. These young lads are also champion Irish Dancers. Tommy Byrne the “Daddy” plays Guitar and also plays Uilleann Pipes, Fiddle, Whistles and Bagpipes.Their Show is fun, entertaining, breath taking, hilarious, fresh, ground breaking but with serious musicianship and arrangements. They are sure to win the hearts of all our cruisers!
Former European Kick-boxing champion, Mick Thomas, moved to New York from County Wexford, Ireland and after a couple years of living in the US he started to pursue his life-long dream of stand-up comedy. Mick Thomas quickly became a favorite at comedy clubs all over Long Island, New York City, and the tri-state area. In addition to stand-up, Mick has written sitcoms and sketches, has his own podcast, “The Mick Thomas Show”, and can be seen in “Excuse Me for Living” with Jerry Stiller and Christopher Lloyd. Mick has performed with comedy greats Colin Quinn, Louis Anderson, Jim Breuer, Dom Irrera, Greg Giraldo, Gary Gulman, and WWE legend Mick Foley. Mick’s hour special, “Live at McGuire’s”, recorded in 2013, is hilarious and smart.
The 19th Street Band
Caolaidhe came to America from Holywood, Northern Ireland in 2005 to pursue a career in music. While establishing an earlier band, he found himself in need of a fiddle player. As fate would have it, Meghan (a classical violinist) was working at an Irish pub in DC as a server while teaching music at a nearby public school. Through Caolaidhe’s acquaintances, he was lucky enough to meet Meghan and quickly auditioned her for the band. What Caolaidhe didn’t know was that he was auditioning his future wife. Fast-forward a few months down the road, and Meghan and Caolaidhe found themselves living on ’19th Street’ in Arlington, VA, writing songs and creating the sound that would become the backbone of The 19th Street Band.
Together they ignite an audience with their love for music, combined with a magnetic passion and enthusiasm. Add to the mix their talented rhythm section Patty Dougherty (drums) & Greg Hardin (bass) and this band will undoubtedly get you rockin’ & a-rollin’ through the night.
The 19th Street Band has had the honor of sharing the stage with country music stars such as Rodney Atkins, Craig Morgan, and Chuck Mead. They have opened for The Wheeler Brothers and Spirit Family Reunion at The Hamilton as well as Grammy Award-winning Western Swing icons, Asleep at the Wheel, at The Birchmere. They have also packed the house at such venues as the 9:30 Club, Black Cat, Strathmore, Jammin’ Java, Rock & Roll Hotel, Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival, The Washington Folk Festival, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville, The Black Box in Belfast, and Hill Country BBQ and Pianos in NYC. The 19th Street Band has steadily been performing 230 shows a year for the past 5 years, and they are recently back from a tour in Northern Ireland, where they performed live on BBC Radio Ulster and were a part of the Open House Festival in Bangor. Their new album, The Things That Matter, is currently getting air play on BBC Radio and multiple radio stations throughout the UK.
Keohane & Kenneally
Paul Duffy, from Dublin Ireland as a young lad grew up in show business where his parents were the talents behind Duffy’s International Circus that toured though out Ireland. Before long, Paul taught himself to play the saxophone and promptly played it in the Circus on a tightrope. He went on to learn bagpipes, bass, drums, flute, guitar, keyboards, tin whistle, and the trumpet. Before he knew it, he was playing in bands, at recording studios and bars around Dublin until he started his own band at age 26. As Paul career flourished and would go on to performing with legends like Ben E. King, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Brian Johnson, Suzi Quatro and The Commitments.
Born in 1970, Declan Aungier began studying the Piano Accordion at the age of 9, but admits that his love for the instrument actually stems back to his early childhood. He became interested in Irish/Scottish Traditional music at age 13 and became All-Ireland Under 18 Piano Accordion Champion in 1987. It was around this time that he began to take an interest in accordion music from all over the globe and the 5-Row Button-Key instrument. He became a professional musician in 1991 and embarked on a career that has taken him all over the world. In 1997 he switched from the Piano Accordion to the 5-Row Button box, which is the instrument he plays today. Declan works exclusively as a solo entertainer, providing music ranging from Country and Irish, some Irish Traditional music and music from present day.
The Willie Lynch Band
The Willie Lynch Band have been singing traditional Irish music in pubs, VFW halls, festivals, church basements, political fund-raisers, cruises, weddings and wakes famously in New Jersey. Born the last of eight children in the Dublin suburb of Cabra West, Lynch was raised by his mother, Lily MacDonald, who sang “Pal of My Cradle Days” around the house, a tribute to a mother’s sacrifices. Willie now sings it in her memory, and of the 60 or more songs in his repertoire it’s the one that makes him sentimental. “He plays traditional Irish songs with a Vegas kind of flair…he’s one of the backbones of Irish culture.” Guitarist Jim Cox and accordionist Paddy Yorke, have been with him 27 years. All the members of the Lynch band can play several instruments, though they don’t bother much with a fiddle or banjo, preferring the sound of an accordion-mandolin-penny whistle combo. For more information on The Willie Lynch Band, visit their website.
Stephen’s Green have since firmly established themselves on the Irish music scene in the United States, performing in Irish venues across the country where they are acclaimed as one of the hottest Irish duos on the circuit. Martin Doyle and Andy O’Driscoll, both natives of Dublin, by chance combined their outstanding musical talents several years ago. Andy is a gifted balladeer, equally at ease with traditional and contemporary favorites. Martin, an exceptionally capable musician, performed for several years on the music scene in and around Dublin before coming to America a few years ago. He holds Irish and International awards for his performing ability as master of the accordion, and is regarded as an exceptional keyboard artist. Together, Stephen’s Green provide an outstanding array of haunting ballads, rollicking jigs and reels and hand-clapping sing-a-long favorites, as well as first-rate original compositions. Their friendly, engaging ways and outstanding stage presence have won them a legion of fans wherever they perform. For more information on Stephen’s Green, visit their website.
Tom Comerford has been playing music since 1988, and has been fortunate enough to do it as a profession, since 1990. After a vast amount of mileage, countless tours, and three well received CDs with The Whole Shabang, Tom decided that it was time to concentrate on a career closer to home. Tom is still one of the most sought after entertainers in the South East of Ireland, where he works in a solo capacity. Possessing a fine ability to read an audience, Tom’s repertoire is vast and varied, and continually growing. Anyone who has been to a show can recognize that he is equally happy whether singing the old classics or the newer contemporary Irish songs that are destined to become classics. Recording is still a top priority with Tom, having just released “Celtic Connections”; other CDs include “A Tour Of Ireland”, “Face the Music”, “Organized Rhyme”, “Celtic Christmas”, and “Celtic Classics”. The emphasis is on fun, sing-a-long, audience involvement…you don’t need to know a whole bunch of Irish songs to enjoy one of the gigs…Tom Comerford knows more than enough Irish songs for everyone to have a good time. For more information on Tom, visit his website.
Bill Lewis is an acclaimed pianist/accompanist, arranger and performer and has enjoyed a professional career for forty years. He is the Associate Music Director for the Natchez Opera Festival and Head Vocal Coach for the Central City Opera House Festival. Since 2001, Bill has been appearing with Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan in concert. In addition to his concert appearances, Bill also serves as official pianist for several important vocal competitions. As a teacher, Bill has served on the faculties of both the Boston and New England Conservatories and at Rutgers University. He has taught Master Classes across the United States and has a private studio in New York City.
The Catskills Ceili Band
The Catskills Ceili Band features Traditional Irish Music Hall of Fame members Jimmy Kelly, Sr. who has drummed with the Tulla Ceili Band, along with All-Ireland Accordion Champion John Nolan, and well-known New York Fiddler Bernadette Fee who is a veteran performer and is very active in the traditional music circles.
The Andy Cooney Band
Colm Graham plays guitar in the Andy Cooney Band and sings lead and background vocals, he hails from the County Tipperary. Colm released “Celtic Landscapes”, his first all instrumental album for acoustic guitar, all music written and arranged by Colm, and recently released his first solo album, “Songs of Home” that includes pub sing-a-longs and a couple of songs written by Colm and his brother, Brendan Graham. For more information on Colm, visit his website.
Jimmy Kelly plays drums and sings lead and background vocals and occasionally guitar in the Andy Cooney Band. Jimmy lives in Albany, NY and is from an extensive line of Irish musicians. Jimmy recently was in Riverdance on Broadway and took third in the All Ireland for ceili drumming.
Mitch Reilly has been a professional musician for 36 years. Mitch was born into an Irish-American family hailing from Co. Cavan, Ireland. He has performed with many international entertainers including Engelbert Humperdinck, Tiffany and Kelley Hunt as well as television performances on MTV, VH1, BBC, Arsenio Hall, Pat Sajak, The Oak Ridge Boys and Disney Channel. Mitch is a sought after studio musician in Los Angeles and Nashville and has recorded three solo records as well as performed on recordings with Chet McCracken (Doobie Brothers) and The Diane Marino Quartet. He has also headed up his own jazz group and Irish group to perform on radio shows and at festivals in Tennessee and Alabama.
John Nolan was born & raised in the Bronx section of New York. His first introduction to Irish music was listening to his father playing a Baldoni D/C# box. His first formal training came from John Glynn and later Martin Mulvihill, but he later learned and continues to learn from all musicians through sessions, recordings and close personal friendships. John started his musical career in the Catskills in the mid 1970’s with the great fiddler Pat Keogh. In August of 1982, he became the first American to win the Senior All-Ireland Champion on both the two-row and three-row button accordions. John has been featured on over a dozen recordings, including two of his on production – “A Taste for the Traditional” and “A Rake of Reels”. Then in 2009, he was inducted into the Comhaltas Hall of Fame. Besides keeping a busy performance schedule, John currently teaches, sells accordions and has developed a tremendous business – “Buttons & Bellows” –tuning and repairing accordions from his home in Rockland Co. where he lives with his wife Mary, daughter Maura & son Brendan.