The Eastport Arts Center is pleased to present a series of events, June 6-8, with renowned Irish fiddler Gerry O’Connor, who visited us last May and was a big hit with the Downeast community.

The series begins Thursday, June 6, from 7-8 pm, when the Center will host a Meet-and-Greet for community members of all ages to join O’Connor informally. Irish drink and snacks will be available for purchase, and a $5 entry will be collected at the door.

The following evening, Friday, June 7, O’Connor will give a performance with Kevin McElroy at 7 pm. The concert will feature Irish fiddle compositions. Concert tickets are $20; attendees 17 and under will be admitted free of charge; no one will be turned away for lack of funds. 

The series finale will be a pair of workshops on Saturday, June 8. First will be a Beginner’s Fiddle Workshop from 10 am to 12:30 pm; an Intermediate Fiddle Workshop will follow, from 1 to 2:30 pm. Workshops are offered for $35 each, or $60 for both. A sliding fee scale (pay what you can) is available by request.
The workshops are open to all ages and experience levels, but some ability on the fiddle is recommended. In addition to the workshop topics, participants will be able to learn about their own fiddle and how to get the most out of it. Space limited; to register, please email workshops@eastportartscenter.org and specify which workshop(s) you’d like to attend.

O’Connor and McElroy are shown on the EAC stage, May 2023.

A four-time winner of The Fiddler of Oriel competition, O’Connor has played and recorded with such highly-regarded groups as Lá Lúgh (Eithne Ní Uallacháin, Sony Music) and Skylark (Len Graham, Gary O’Briain & Mairtin O’Connor), recording four CDs on the Claddagh label. He has toured and recorded with members of many well known groups including the Chieftains, Planxty, Bothy Band, De Dannan, and Boys of the Lough. In 2018, he was awarded “Ceannródaí”, the prestigious Bardic Award by Comhaltas for his valued contribution to the Traditional Arts. In the same year he published The Rose in the Gap: Dance Music of Oriel from the Donnellan Collection. O’Connor teaches fiddle at the Willie Clancy Summer school in County Clare, Ireland, and at master classes throughout Europe. When at home, he works as a violin maker/restorer.

Freeport, Maine-based musician Kevin McElroy has been playing Irish traditional music since he was a teenager, inspired by his family’s music, dancing and Irish stories. Kevin is a guitarist, singer, fiddler and banjo player. 

This series of events has been supported by Culture Ireland and the Maine Arts Commission.