The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are on sale for a February 28 concert featuring “The First Lady of Irish Music” — Grammy winning flute virtuoso and bandleader Joanie Madden — in an encore appearance with her Irish-American all-female supergroup, Cherish the Ladies.
Scheduled for 8 p.m. inside the Pollak Theatre, the Friday night “fleadh” finds these frequent favorite visitors to the Monmouth campus returning for the first time in four years; performing in one of the earliest dates of their coast-to-coast U.S. tour with full band, guest vocalists, and traveling troupe of dancers. The event in the 2020 Winter-Spring Performing Arts Series promises to turn the flagship performing arts venue at Monmouth into an intimate house party of music and motion and masterful stagecraft, as the Cherish ladies (whose own homes range from County Galway to County Bronx) display the stuff that practically rewrote the rules in what was once a strictly male-dominated game.
Hitting the road on the cusp of both the St. Patrick’s concert season and Women’s History Month, Madden and guitarist Mary Coogan mark their 35th year of entertaining audiences worldwide, in the company of Scottish pianist Kathleen Boyle and Irish accordionist Mirella Murray — as well as the newest addition to the Ladies lineup, Irish-born fiddler Nollaig Casey, here making her first appearance on the Pollak stage. Drawing from a discography of some 17 studio and live albums, the celebrated musicians trace the Irish roots of such American traditions as big-city folk and back-country bluegrass, all the while reminding their devoted local audience that authentic Irish music remains a cherished thing indeed on the Jersey Shore.
From the palaces of heads of state to Olympic arenas and Emmy winning international broadcasts, Cherish the Ladies brings the warmth, spirit and intimacy of Irish music to settings of all sizes — a mix of instrumental prowess, song and step dancing that makes a highly anticipated “homecoming” this winter, when Monmouth University welcomes Madden and company for a delightful lesson in what the bandleader has called “a music of emotional highs and lows…it’s breaking your heart one moment, then ripping your head off the next!”
Tickets for the February 28 concert by Cherish the Ladies are priced from $35 through $55, and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu./MCA. Tickets for other upcoming Performing Arts events — including NJ Hall of Fame inductees The Smithereens with guest vocalist Marshall Crenshaw (March 7), and the return of Men At Work’s Colin Hay (April 2) — are also on sale now.