World-famous Celtic fiddler to join Dayton orchestra on Schuster stage

The New York Times once referred to Eileen Ivers as the “Jimi Hendrix of the fiddle.”

The Celtic fiddler and Grammy winner has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Sting, Hall and Oates, guest starred with over 40 orchestras, original Musical Star of Riverdance, nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, worked on movie soundtracks including Gangs of New York, and has performed for presidents and royalty worldwide. This weekend she will team up with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for Celtic Spirit on Feb. 22-23.

As a New York City native, Ivers is accustomed to cold weather. However, with February dates in Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio, she could be facing some treacherous winter conditions.

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“We’ll have to talk to our agent about that,” Ivers said with a chuckle. “It can be tough to tour in the winter but we love to play so it’s nice to get out and do it anyway,” she continued. “Maybe we’ll warm some hearts.”

Ivers, whose parents were Irish immigrants, began playing fiddle at age 9. She was a founding member of Cherish the Ladies in the mid-1980s. Ivers launched her solo career in the early 1990s and did a stint with Riverdance beginning in 1995. Her debut album, “Eileen Ivers: Traditional Irish Music,” was released in 1994. Other releases include “Wild Blue” (1996), “Crossing the Bridge” (1999) and “Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul” (2003). Her latest album, “Beyond the Bog Road,” was released in

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2016 and it was the fiddler’s first album since 2007’s “An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas.”

Ivers has performed with artists such as the Chieftans, the Boston Pops and Black 47. The concert with the Dayton Philharmonic is her only symphonic show during the current run of shows.

“We’ve been blessed to be doing the orchestra shows for 20 years and we do a sprinkling of them throughout the year,” Ivers said. “The orchestral shows are an extension of our theater shows but with this amazing, big old band and wonderful pallet of orchestral sounds that add so much to the arrangement.

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“It’s a privilege to share the stage with such amazing musicians,” she continued. “It’s always a thrill and just goosebumps for me and the other band members.”

In addition to backing from the DPO, Ivers will be performing with bandmates Buddy Connolly (accordion, whistles, keyboards), Matt Mancuso (guitar, trumpet, fiddle, vocals), Lindsey Horner (bass, baritone sax) and Dave Barckow (percussion, guitar, vocals).

“It’s important to me it’s represented with the band,” she said. “At times the orchestra will be playing with us and be an integral part of the arrangement. There are also some tacit areas in the charts where the band and I can really improvise and take it out because that’s the nature of Celtic music. We try to balance both ends of it.”


WANT TO GO?

What: "Celtic Spirit" with Eileen Ivers and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23

Cost: $14-$80

More info: Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com

Artist info:www.eileenivers.com

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