Call of the Celtic soul: Nuala Kennedy brings sounds from her Irish roots to The Sofia on March 16

By Alyssa Earnest

For Nuala Kennedy, community, tradition and her home are the threads that weave the music she creates.

After moving from Ireland to Edinburgh, Scotland, in her late teens, Kennedy found herself feeling homesick. Music, specifically the Irish folk music she grew up with, helped her feel more at home.

“I accidentally came across a session, which is like the informal way to hear Irish music,” said Kennedy. “It reminded me of all the music that I grew up with, and I just got completely obsessed.”

Kennedy joined an Irish Céilí band, where she played flute and piano. The experience helped build her repertoire and shaped the music she makes today. 

Kennedy combines flute, guitar and other instruments – along with her soothing vocals – to create an airy and melodic sound that can be traced back to traditional Irish and Scottish music. With professional playing experience since 2001 and six albums on Spotify, Kennedy is excited to share her music once more. She’s on tour with Eamon O’Leary and Kevin Burke, playing in select cities throughout the United States, starting in New York and ending in Kevin’s home of Portland, Oregon. 

The trio will play at The Sofia, Home of B Street Theater on Saturday, March 16.

“Eamon and I discovered that we both love collecting songs and writing songs,” said Kennedy. “So, we started singing together more back in 2010.”

After playing with O’Leary, Kennedy met Burke on a boardwalk, and their professional relationship blossomed from there.

“We stayed up all night, we played music together and we had a lot of fun,” said Kennedy, “and that’s when it all kind of started.”

Kennedy says that she prefers smaller venues due to a more community-centered feel and a chance to meet people like Buck Busfield, the director of The Sofia.

“It’s always enjoyable to go to a place where you feel like the people appreciate the music that you do,” Kennedy reflected. “And I love to play, like smaller venues where you can talk with the audience.”

Busfield was eager to discuss Kennedy and her upcoming show.

“Nuala has this beautiful combination of sweetness and a profound kind of poignant longing,” Busfield observed. “It’s the perfect venue for the variety, the diversity of sounds and the feelings that her music evokes.”

In addition to the album she released last year, Kennedy – along with O’Leary – is currently working on a new album together that will be released later this year.

“We’ll be previewing some of those songs as part of our concert at The Sofia,” Kennedy revealed. “We’re excited to do the harmony song together.”

Jude Joiner, the PR agent for the tour, said that the show offers a rare opportunity to see these three together.

“It’s the first tour with these three and probably a one-off, so music fans should catch it while they can,” Joiner noted. “There is something for everyone.”

The show will start at 7 p.m. and the tickets are $35.

To find more information about the show and to buy tickets, click here

Our content is free, but not free to produce

If you value our local news, arts and entertainment coverage, become an SN&R supporter with a one-time or recurring donation. Help us keep our reporters at work, bringing you the stories that need to be told.


Stay Updated

For the latest local news, arts and entertainment, sign up for our newsletter.
We'll tell you the story behind the story.

Be the first to comment on "Call of the Celtic soul: Nuala Kennedy brings sounds from her Irish roots to The Sofia on March 16"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.