The Irish Breakfast Band
Recordings, available at our concerts or through the links below:
The Irish Breakfast Band is a diverse group of DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland residents who meet Saturday mornings for a potluck breakfast. After breakfast is a rehearsal of its repertoire of Celtic tunes. These Saturday meetings are usually held at a different house each week, with attendance often exceeding a dozen musicians, though rarely the exact same set two weeks in a row.
Most performances feature 15 or more musicians, often several fiddles and flutes, a guitar or two, a drummer, a hammered dulcimer, banjo, pipes, and at least one vocalist. A child-friendly band, the group often brings extra percussion instruments to give young audience members a chance to participate. As you can see from the picture, it sometimes gets a little crowded on stage!
The band performs extensively in the Washington Metropolitan area at festivals and other events including the Washington Folk Festival, Art on the Avenue (in Alexandria) and local concert series.
Band Leader Sean Doherty can usually be spotted by his distinctive floppy blue hat and blonde fiddle. Sebastian Barajas, Connie Desrosiers, Melissa Gouffray, Peter Hayes, Sandy Hoar, Gordon Johnston, Kate Keating, Steve Keating, Bobby LaRose, Joyce Mercer, and Tom Van Wagner round out the Fiddle Section. When not dancing, Molly Hayes, Maggie, and Jannie Johnston join us on fiddles. Lisa Anderson, Becky Bates, Abbie Desrosiers, and Laura Monagle play flute and whistles. When she is not playing the concertina, Marcia Finnerty joins in on whistle as well. Katie Duffy plays the mandolin, Jackie Owen plays the ukulele, Butch (Cassidy) Owen plays the tenor banjo, as does Karen Helbrecht, along with bouzouki and cello.
Composer and dulcimer player Sue McIver wrote the very well received title track, Sean's Treasure for our first CD. Maddy O-Neill-Dean plays guitar, as does Grier Hoyt (or bouzouki), Rick Netherton joins in with his bass, and Martha Beall's piano, solo or accompaniment, can be counted on to get toes tapping and hands clapping. On a wide variety of percussion instruments are Chuck Moran and Jonathan Cagle-Mulberg. Both Chuck and Maddy have been known to lead us in a rousing song or two from time to time.
Dancers often perform traditional steps accompanied by the band. Dancers from the Boyle School of Irish Dance (where Emma & Catherine Beall, Molly Hayes, and Maggie & Jannie Johnston took lessons) and sometimes other local schools are often featured with performers of all ages dancing in both hard and soft shoes. These dancers perform in traditional dress as well, with elaborate dresses embellished by knot-work, Irish stylized animals and birds and lots of bright colors to dazzle the eye for the girls. The boys are more reserved in slacks and shirts but no less striking and no less skilled. The dances at our family-friendly Community Ceilis are usually taught by the fabulous Shannon Dunne, with band members Maggie and Jannie calling when Shannon is not available.
Do you think the Irish Breakfast Band is one of the top ten (or could this be because Sean's brother is in the publishing business)?
For more information on the band or to discuss a performance, please drop us a note at sean"AT"irishbreakfastband.com (replace the "AT" with "@," we put it this way to confound SPAM e-mail address collectors) with the words "Breakfast Band" in the subject line. Please include telephone, e-mail or snail-mail contact information!
Thanks for visiting the Irish Breakfast Band on-line! This page is updated less frequently, so for the latest on our activities and plans, please check our Schedule Page!
Original page design by Coyote Consulting. Assistance with establishing this website (as well as the art direction and design for our 2005 CD, On High Cross Farm) by Jamie Bresner of nearestexit studio. Current web page maintenance by Gordon Johnston. Web page had been scanned for errors and multiple browser compatibility using Doctor HTML. Now that this service is no longer available, I have begun using the W3C Markup Validation Service. Last update February 20, 2019. Page text, photographs and graphics are property of the Irish Breakfast Band. © 2000, 2001 - Coyote Consulting and 2002-2018 - the Irish Breakfast Band.
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