WGBH to air premiere of Music of Ireland film

, Staff

To help usher in St. Patrick’s Day, WGBH will premiere the brand new and highly acclaimed Irish music documentary “Music of Ireland – Welcome Home” at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

“Music of Ireland – Welcome Home” tells the definitive story of contemporary Irish music, focusing on the Emerald Isle’s greatest musical exports, their influence on America and the music’s global impact. Hosted by Clannad’s Grammy Award-winning Moya Brennan, the performance documentary features six Grammy Award winners, Academy Award and Golden Globe winners, and three Rock& Roll Hall of Fame inductees. The film is directed by four-time Emmy Award-winner Philip Marshall.

Beginning in 1960 with the Clancy Brothers, “Music of Ireland – Welcome Home” traces the origins of Irish music, and features exclusive interviews with U2’s Bono and Adam Clayton, Michael Flatley and Bill Whelan of Riverdance, Live Aid and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats, Sinéad O’Connor, Pete Seeger, The Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney, former Celtic Woman Órla Fallon, Black 47’s Larry Kirwan, six-time Academy Award-nominated director Jim Sheridan, the late Liam Clancy in his final U.S. television interview, and many other Irish musicians, scholars, journalists, and producers. The documentary also boats loads of never-before-seen performances.

“This is about a country, its people, their undeniable spirit and the amazing music that has transcended generations. There is no place like Ireland,” explained Executive Producer Denny Young in a press release. “For such a small country to produce such amazing talent and the way their music defines the people,is just extraordinary. It has fascinated me for most of my life and is something I wanted more people to be in tune with.”

“This has been an amazing journey so far,” added Brennan. “Never in my 40 years of working in the Irish music community had I totally recognized the impact we have all had on the world generally and in America specifically. And I must say, it has been a real treat to be on the other side of the camera talking to Glen, Damien, Paddy, Sinéad, Bono, Adam, andso many others.”

Fans can also pick up “The Music of Ireland – Welcome Home” DVD along with a companion CD at Barnes & Noble, who will serve as the projects’ exclusive retail partner. Amazon.com is also offering all the album’s tracks digitally. A limited bonus CD will be bundled with the package for those making donations to WGBH.

A sequel to Music of Ireland – Welcome Home is planned for late 2010 spotlighting more recent artists including U2, Celtic Woman, The Cranberries, The Corrs, The Irish Tenors, and singer/songwriters like Glen Hansard and Damien Rice, as well as the rise of Irish music festivals and the use of Irish music in film and television.

For more information or to preview the film, please visit musicofireland.com.

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