Going Green 

Eileen Ivers fiddles around town.

OCTOBER IS A little early to start celebrating St. Patrick's Day, even among the most devoted Irish. But when fiddler Eileen Ivers plays, it's hard to keep from dancing a jig and thinking what a beautiful color green is.

Ivers, a native New Yorker, became most widely known for her vigorous performances as an original member of Riverdance, touring with the company for three years and earning her own featured solos. Today, her music goes beyond the traditional to encompass the many sounds she grew up with, from Latino rhythms to African ju-ju, hip-hop to jazz, all held together by her love for the old music.

Ivers was only 8 years old when she first took up the fiddle. Growing up as the daughter of first-generation immigrants in the staunchly Irish neighborhoods of the Bronx, she traveled and won the All-Ireland fiddling championship seven times; she even picked up an eighth All-Ireland title on tenor banjo.

"The traditional music is a gift to be given and passed down in its purest and truest sense," she says reverentially.

Nonetheless, Ivers' music takes a world view. "I feel world rhythm elements complement the essential rhythms of traditional Irish music," she says.

Ivers' "Crossing the Bridge" band, named after her latest album, includes Puerto Rican percussionist Emedin Rivera, as well as uillean piper Jerry O'Sullivan and vocalist Tommy McDonnell. They're joined by guitarist John Doyle, last seen in Tucson as a member of the neo-Irish band Solas (Solas will return to Tucson November 4). South African bassist Bakithi Kumalo, famous for his work on Paul Simon's Graceland, was originally scheduled to tour after appearing on Ivers' album, until Simon began assembling a tour of his own. Leo Traversa will replace Kumalo.

"The Latin rhythms really complement the rhythms of Irish tunes," Ivers explains. "It's not quite on the on or the off beat, but on the 'and' of 'one and two and three and four,' percolating under the tune, which kind of propels the whole rhythm."

"The heart of the show is definitely the Irish music, presenting it from the airs and the dance tunes," according to Ivers. "We try to take folks on a little journey throughout the evening with a little song and dance."

Eileen Ivers and her Crossing the River band will perform on Wednesday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the TCC Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $20, $18 for seniors and In Concert! members. Tickets are available at Hear's Music, The Folk Shop and Antigone Books. For information and tickets by phone, call 327-4809.BY DAVID RYDER


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Morrissey Goes South

    Sergio Mendoza leads a band of all star Mexican musicians in a Morrissey cover project
    • Jan 22, 2015
  • New Frontiers: XIXA

    XIXA may have started as a cover band called Chicha Dust, but with the release of Bloodline, they are stepping into their own
    • Mar 10, 2016

The Range

The Weekly List: 21 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next Seven Days

Food Truck Frenzy at Tucson Hop Shop

Crooked Teeth and a New Brewery

More »

Latest in Music Feature

  • Courtney Comes Home: The Shondes

    The Shondes return to Tucson with new line-up and Old Pueblo favorite Courtney Robbins
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Hue Are You?

    Baroness’ latest album was born of an accident that nearly killed the band
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation