International Celtic Music Trailblazer Altan at DWT March 21

ASHEVILLE NC – One of the most important live acts playing traditional Irish music both in Ireland and throughout the world, Altan performs at Diana Wortham Theatre on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 8:00p.m. With a repertoire that includes soulful old Irish ballads to fiery jigs and reels, Altan captures the beautiful essence of traditional Irish music—particularly that of the Donegal fiddlers and singers. Altan’s performance at Diana Wortham Theatre is presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College.

In more than a quarter-century of performing, Altan has been a pioneer for traditional Irish music on the world stage. The band was the first of its kind to be signed to a major label when it signed with Virgin Records in 1996. Altan has toured extensively across the United States, Europe and Japan. In addition to other awards, in 2003 Altan was awarded the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Group.

Over the course of its career Altan has become an ambassador of the music and culture of Ireland. The group has accompanied the Irish president on State visits around the world, played at the White House for President Bill Clinton on two occasions. Altan was invited to play by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives in 2007, and was granted the celebrated Arkansas Traveler Award from state governor Mike Huckabee. “Tommy Bhetty’s Waltz” from the album Red Crow was featured in the Oscar-winning film Good Will Hunting (1997). The Irish government featured Altan on an official Irish postage stamp, one of the government’s highest honors bestowed on any living artist.

Altan has performed in some of the most prestigious venues around the world including the Sydney Opera House, The Hollywood Bowl and The Royal Albert Hall, and has collaborated with many great artists including The Chieftains, Dolly Parton, Ricky Skaggs and Alison Krauss. The group’s most recent album Gleann Nimhe—The Poison Glen (2012) which features songs in both English and Irish is described as “richly layered musicianship shot through with a verve” by The Irish Times.

Altan’s Asheville performance is presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College and is made possible by Celtic Series Sponsors Don & Nancy Ackermann Cole, with additional support from Media Sponsor WNCW 88.7FM.

The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is located in the same complex as the Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum and is within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2012/2013 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Citizen-Times, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Asheville Renaissance 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.

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