A young band taking the Scottish/Irish music scene by storm, The Paul McKenna Band performs with exciting energy and contemporary flair Friday, March 14 at 8:00 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre. The band honors the traditional alongside the innovative with outstanding vocals, driving guitar and bouzouki, intense fiddle playing, a warm pairing of flute and whistles, and dynamic bodhrán and percussion. Fatea Magazinecalls The Paul McKenna Band, “A band with the potential to dominate the Scottish/Irish traditional scene for the next twenty years.”
Named “Best Up and Coming Artist of 2009” at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, The Paul McKenna Band had a strong showing at the same awards show in 2012 where Paul McKenna won “Scots Singer of the Year,” and the group was nominated for “Folk Band of the Year.”
In 2013 The Paul McKenna Band celebrated the release of its third studio album, Elements, on the Greentrax Recordings label. The album is acclaimed for its fresh, innovative arrangements and exciting, dynamic sound — a result of the band’s contemporary approach to traditional folk music. The band’s two previous albums, Stem the Tide (2011) and Between Two Worlds(2009), were also released on Greentrax.
Since forming in 2006, the band has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and has performed at international festivals including The Cambridge Folk Festival (England), Tonder Festival (Denmark), Milwaukee Irish Festival (U.S.) and the Goderich Festival (Canada) in addition to a headline performance at the internationally acclaimed Celtic Connections Festival at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.
The Paul McKenna Band is: Paul McKenna (vocals, guitar, bouzouki), Shannon Quinn (fiddle), Sean Gray (flute, whistles, guitar, vocals), and Ewain Baird (bodhrán, cajon, vocals).
The Paul McKenna Band’s Asheville performance is presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, and made possible by Celtic Series Sponsors Don & Nancy Ackermann Cole, First Citizens Bank, and Ward & Smith, P.A.; with additional support from Media Sponsor WNCW 88.7 FM.
The new entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is marked by the location of the theatre’s new marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway between Marble Slab Creamery and Circle in the Square restaurants, and into a large interior courtyard for Pack Place with multiple glass doors to the theatre’s lower lobby and new box office. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2013/2014 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Scene, Blue Moon Water, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.