NY Croons for Xmas Decks the Halls at NY IRISH CENTER Dec 8
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 01:19 pm EST 11/29/23
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 01:06 pm EST 11/29/23

NEW YORK IRISH CENTER KICKS OFF CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS WITH CONCERT ON DECEMBER 8

IMMERSIVE "NEW YORK CROONS FOR CHRISTMAS" TRANSFORMS CENTER INTO WINTER WONDERLAND AS SINGER COLM REILLY FROLICS WITH FRIENDS IN JAZZ CABARET HOLIDAY SHOW

The New York Irish Center, a hub for culture and community enrichment serving diverse constituencies in Long Island City, presents its annual holiday concert, "New York Croons for Christmas," on Friday December 8 at 7pm. Tickets, which are $60 (includes complimentary holiday refreshments starting at 6pm), can be purchased at www.newyorkirishcenter.org The event -- a fundraiser to support all the cultural and social programs of the Center – is staged immersively in the storefront theater Reilly Room. The New York Irish Center (NYIC) is located at 1040 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City.

Hosted by Colm Reilly and featuring a rollicking line-up of notable local singers and musicians, "New York Croons for Christmas" is NYIC's warm-hearted holiday concert tradition. This year's featured performers include singers Carolyn Montgomery, Wendy Lane Bailey and Kathy Kaefer; singer-songwriter Jeanne MacDonald; and the acclaimed guitarist Sean Harkness leading The Life of Reilly Band. Bandmembers include Jennifer Vincent (bass), Rob Mitzner (percussion), Sara Caswell (violin/fiddle), and Sean Harkness (guitar).

Mixing traditional Christmas songs from a range of international repertoires as well as a naughty and nice selection of pop and Broadway chestnuts, with a dash of fun originals, the show is staged NYIC's street-level storefront theater, the Reilly Room, named after NYIC's beloved co-founder Paddy Reilly, Colm's father.

A two-time MAC Award-winner, Colm Reilly is a frequent performer and host at the Center, who has also appeared and headlined at The Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Iridium Jazz Club, Birdland, Feinstein's/54 Below and at Carnegie Hall. He has also toured with the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland, and in theatre productions across the US, including "Forever Plaid, "Brigadoon, and "Hello Dolly!" One of his two MAC Awards was for Best Male Vocalist.

Carolyn Montgomery is the co-founder and executive director of the American Songbook Association, which promotes and preserves classic American musical legacies, as well as a multi-MAC, Nightlife and Bistro award-winning performer. • A much-admired cabaret vocalist in New York City, Jeanne McDonald has earned several MAC Awards, a NY Nightlife Award, a Backstage Bistro Award, and the coveted Julie Wilson Award for Excellence in Cabaret. • A former Associate Director of the Cabaret Conference at Yale University, Wendy Lane Bailey is currently Assistant Artistic Director for United Solo Theatre. She is a frequent collaborator with composer Michelle Brourman and singer-songwriter Amanda McBroom, and is currently developing a solo theatre project, "She Has Wings," featuring music of Michele Brourman.

The Bistro Award-winning actress and singer Kathy Kaefer has appeared at Birdland, and Feinstein‘s at the Regency in the hit off Broadway show Our Sinatra. She has performed with the Tom Postilio Big Band at the famed Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center and debuted her award winning show "I'll Be Seeing You, Stories From the Homefront" at the Metropolitan Room in New York. • Sean Harkness composes and arranges music for solo guitar and for small ensembles, and accompanies many singers, musicians, and theatrical productions. Awards include a Bistro Award, a Broadwayworld Cabaret Award for Best CD Release, and six MAC Awards: for ensemble instrumentalist, his solo shows, a CD with duo partner, Canadian trumpeter Mike Herriot, and Major Duo/Group with Lina Koutrakos & Marcus Simeone. Sean represents Walden Guitars.

TWO OTHER NOTABLE HOLIDAY EVENTS AT NYIC

Annual Toy Drive (Sat Dec 2, 1pm)

As the annual Holiday Toy Drive returns for its 11th year, NYIC invites you to support our drive to deliver 500 gifts to 500 children across our communities. On Saturday, December 2 dozens of volunteer elves transform the Center into a gift-wrapping workshop, with the goal of wrapping over 500 individual gifts! This year we are supporting local charities Hour Children, Woodside on the Move, and Habitat for Humanity, among others.

Santa Visits from the North Pole (Sat Dec 10, 2pm $5, please register ahead)

On this special day, the Center opens its doors to welcome local children from across our diverse community, and throughout the five boroughs, for a chance to meet Santa Claus ahead of the Big Day. Friends from all over marvel at St Nick's distinctly Irish brogue. Who knew? Tea, coffee, and snacks will be on hand! Plus: each child who walks through the door receives a free gift!

A hub for culture and community enrichment serving a broadly diverse audience from its base in Long Island City, the NY Irish Center programs a wide variety of cultural events spanning film, theater, comedy, books and traditional and contemporary music. NYIC's social support programs include classes, networking and outreach for LGBTQ+ individuals, seniors and children.

"New York Croons for Christmas" on Friday December 8 at 7pm, reception begins 6pm… tickets ($60 including complimentary holiday libations)… for information visit www.newyorkirishcenter.org . For more info and queries call 718-482-0909 or e-mail info@NewYorkIrishCenter.org The New York Irish Center, 1040 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City NY 11101, is just seven minutes, and one stop, on the 7 train from Grand Central Station.

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ABOUT NYIC

When it was founded in 2002 by the late Father Colm Campbell and Paddy Reilly, NYIC was primarily an Irish immigrant service organization and community center. Now the NY Irish Center produces close to 100 events a year, serving a broadly diverse audience from its base in Long Island City. In addition to its social service outreach, cultural events span film, theater, comedy, books and traditional and contemporary music.

Social support programs responding to New York's continuously diversifying Irish diaspora include Irish language and computer classes, book clubs, and networking and outreach for LGBTQ+ individuals, seniors and children. George C. Heslin took over as executive director in the fall of 2020.

The New York Irish Center's programs are supported, in part, by the New York City Council - The Honorable Speaker Adrienne E. Adams and Honorable Council Members Robert Holden, Keith Powers and Julie Won; New York City Department for the Aging; the New York State Assembly -- The Honorable Assemblyman Juan Ardilia; the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Irish Consulate New York (Emigrant Services Program); and the Queens Borough President's Office -- the Honorable Donovan Richards Jr.

Additional support has been provided by the Bank of Ireland, Peter & Jeri Dejana Foundation; Emerald Guild Society; Euro Tech Construction; The Ireland Funds; The Irish Institute of New York; Keogh Law Group; The Northern Ireland Bureau, Invest Northern Ireland; Mathis Pfohl Foundation; Preferred Mechanical; Preferred Sprinkler Corporation; Regan Family Foundation; Tola Capital Management;Tourism Ireland; and United Structural Works.
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