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April 12-14, 2019   Wrightwood, CA

Celtic Retreat


Hooley Night

April 13, 2019
Music, Dance, & Fun


Music & Lecture

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Dennis Doyle

Dennis is a professor of English and Humanities at Glendale Community College.  He is also a singer and a multi-instrumentalist. Best known as a Celtic harpist, his music career has brought him to festivals, fairs and workshops throughout North America, Ireland, England and Japan. He has over a dozen recordings (available on iTunes and CDBaby) and has published two books on Celtic music with the Mel Bay Publications.

Over the years, he has served as the opening act for Clannad, the Dixie Chicks, and DeDannan. He has worked in Southern California with the band Innisfree, a band he helped form over 25 years ago with his wife, brother and friends.



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Michael Kelly

An extremely versatile fiddler, Michael's career has spanned decades and includes forays into Classical, Country & Western, Jazz, Rock 'n' Roll, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, and Folk. His exciting fiddle style and soaring tenor voice are a delight to all.

In 2002, Michael co-founded the award-winning Celtic Bluegrass Fusion group "Sligo Rags", which has performed regularly at Disneyland California Adventure and Downtown Disney since 2011.
Michael host weekly Wednesday night Irish Trad Sessions at Griffins of Kinsale in South Pasadena.  His website contains a wealth of free material targeted at those wishing to learn Irish traditional music. Additionally, Michael has a blog which expounds on his teaching philosophy.



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John Sommers

John Sommers is an extraordinary musician who penned the number one hit Thank God I'm a Country Boy. John played rhythm guitar, mandolin, the five-string banjo and the fiddle in Denver’s band for four years in the 1970s. Pint of Irish folks have had the pleasure of playing with Jim at our Palmdale session. His playing style is sweet to the ears and brings life to any Celtic tune!

John performing with Jim & Anne Curry

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David Key

David was in early grammar school when he first sang solo for an audience and never really quite stopped. His introduction to Celtic song was an LP by Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGregor that he’d read about in Saturday Review. Some years later the Clancys started showing up in LA coffee houses (at least the ones that had good beer) and things started looking up.  All this while he was following Pete Seeger and the American folk tradition.  Some people think of him as a multi-instrumentalist though the real ones know better.  As Jean Redpath says, of her guitar, it’s just accompaniment.  His real love is the wonders of language and its interplay with tune and harmony.   His background of reading aloud and theater help inform modes from storytelling to preaching to serve communication through song.


Partnered with fiddler Becky Spiro for many years; they appear casually at venues around Southern California.

No, they don’t have a new CD since the one recorded in Descanso Garden but maybe one day?


Familiar Faces Teaching Intro Classes



Kenneth Grotjohn: Concertina






Diane Grotjohn: Irish Whistle





Jean Pickard: Bodhrán


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Ann McBride

Ann McBride was born in Whitehead, Northern Ireland and became interested in Scottish Country Dancing while living in New Zealand.  In 1969 she moved to California and once again joined the local SCD group.  She became a certified SCD teacher in 1973 through The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and has taught all levels of classes from beginner to demonstration team levels.  Ann has been the guest teacher at many dance weekends up and down the West Coast of Southern California.  Ann is currently the Chair of the Los Angeles Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and a member of the St. Andrew's Society of Los Angeles.  She is also an ardent fan of Scottish poet Robert Burns


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James Johnson

Artist, Jedi knight, and NASA Mechanic. Many of you may know Jamie as a long-time member of Pint of Irish, a jaw-harp player and the always happy to help morale officer for our group. You may also know that he and his wife Mindy run our Palmdale session. But did you know that he is a talented freelance artist/illustrator? 

James is very active in the local art scene in the Antelope Valley.  For many years he and Mindy organized quarterly juried art shows for local artists; filling the walls to capacity with themed art pieces. James' talent has been recognized by the acceptance of his work into city and county art shows and competitions.  He is now teaching fundamental art skills every Tuesday at Butlers Coffee in Palmdale.

Video of James teaching a class:

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