The ballad traditions of Ireland have expanded through the efforts of Irish-American multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, radio announcer, and songwriter Danny O'Flaherty. In addition to performing concerts around the globe with his band, Celtic Folk, featuring his brother, Patrick, O'Flaherty has provided an outlet for Irish musicians at his Irish Channel Center in New Orleans.
While traditional ballads serve as the foundation of his repertoire, O'Flaherty has masterfully composed new tunes in the traditional style. His original compositions include "The Ballad of the Yellow Ribbons," written for the American hostages in Iran; "Derby Day in Ireland"; and "The Blushing Bride," which has increasingly been heard at wedding celebrations. As the founder and president of the nonprofit Celtic Nations Heritage Foundation, O'Flaherty has hosted an annual festival of Irish music and art since the early '90s. Initially held in Madisonville, LA, increasing attendance forced the festival to move to a larger site. Held at Marconi Meadows in New Orleans, the event has averaged more than 50,000 people annually since 1997. ~ Craig Harris
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