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Back to County Monmouth: A Welcome ‘Home’ to Joanie Madden, Cherish the Ladies at Monmouth U

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ (February 5, 2016) – As part of its 10th Anniversary schedule of events, The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are on sale for a February 27 “fleadh” featuring Grammy winning flutist, bandleader and tin whistle virtuoso Joanie Madden with her Irish-American supergroup, Cherish the Ladies.

Part of the 2016 Winter-Spring Performing Arts Series, the 8 p.m. show finds these frequent visitors to the Monmouth campus performing for the first time in the newly renovated Pollak Theatre, the flagship performance space that boasts nearly 700 new seats, new carpeting, and a newly enlarged stage area. It’s a setting that promises to perfectly serve what Madden calls “a music of emotional highs and lows…it’s breaking your heart one moment, then ripping your head off the next!”

For 30 years, Madden has teamed with guitarist Mary Coogan to bring a willing worldwide audience on that marvelous rollercoaster ride — as the core of the all-female international sensation that rewrote the ground rules in what was once a resolutely male-dominated genre. Making their first area appearance since the winter of 2012, Madden, Coogan and the current Ladies lineup (Scottish pianist Kathleen Boyle, Irish accordionist Mirella Murray, Boston-based fiddler Grainne Murphy, joined by vocalist Deirdre Connolly) bring the warmth, spirit and intimacy of Irish music “home” to their cherished local audience.

Touring with a set of selections from an expansive discography that includes the 2013 live album and PBS special An Irish Homecoming, the band returns to the chilly Northeast (following their annual February cruise to Miami, Jamaica and various warm-water ports of call) with a signature mix of instrumental prowess, song and breathtaking step dancing. It’s an eclectic and exciting show that aims to help the Ladies (whose own homes range from County Galway to County Bronx) turn the Pollak into a house party of music and motion.

“Irish music is the basis of so many American musical traditions — old timey pop, folk, bluegrass,” observes Madden, whose well-earned title as “First Lady of Irish Music” merely hints at her renown as session musician, composer and producer. “It touches something in all of us.”

Tickets for the February 27 concert by Cherish the Ladies are priced at $40 and $50, and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at

Tickets for other upcoming Performing Arts events — including an April 22 event that teams Celtic musicians Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill with Switchback, for an engaging summit of traditional Irish and Americana styles — are also on sale now.

To schedule interviews, please contact Kelly Barratt at 732-263-5114.