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This group of Milwaukee area musicians has been performing traditional Irish music since the spring of 1989. Ceol Cairde has its roots in the 1988 Irish Fest Summer School, a week of classes held the week before Irish Fest. Classes are taught in Irish music, dance, language, and theater, as well as other Irish cultural activities for all ages. Deciding one week a year of Irish music was not enough, they began playing in each other’s living rooms, learning more and more tunes. With the windows open during one summer day, a passer-by heard the delightful sounds of jigs and reels and asked the group to perform at her wedding. Milwaukee Irish Fest, Holiday Folk Fair, the Canadian Carrousel of Nations, and many other special events followed that special wedding performance. Ceol Cairde members share the energy and spirit of the traditional Irish music they enjoy so much. The irresistible blending of their instruments provides the unique sound that is the “Music of Friends.”

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As we continue this musical journey among friends, we must pause to remember one whom we lost. Harry Seaman was a founding member of Ceol Cairde. He sadly passed away in early 2021 from cancer. Harry was not only a musician, but a nuclear engineer, a good friend, a great father, and a wonderful husband. Harry will be missed, but we will never forget him. His memory will live on in our music for years to come. We like to think that he is still here playing some of his favorite tunes alongside us.

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