Archive for the “Irish in America” Category

The Irish Roots Cafe
Free 4 day Irish gathering first ever

To Go to the main event page for this event, click below.

Our Irish old style gathering will last 4 days
Relatively few know of or perform sean nos or old style
song or dance in America. Even fewer are acquainted with
these older forms of Irish song and dance in the heart
of America. Well, we intend to change that, one person
at a time during 4 days in April. April 23, 24, 25, 26.
All individuals are welcome to listen, learn and perform.
The full itinerary is below.

The Old Style Dance facilitators
Michael and Nyssa will be flying in from Boston for
the sean nos and set dance. Michael has 30 years of
experience in Irish dance, in both Ireland and coast
to coast in America. They will be teaching and
dancing each day during the gathering in Kansas City
and Weston, Missouri. You can listen to his interview
from the event page at

April 23 The Celtic Ranch, Weston, MO. 6 pm to 8.
Jam session. Micheal and Nyssa will teach. Free snacks
April 24 Conroys. music,song,dance, sessions 6 to 9
April 25 Browne’s Irish Marketplace K.C.MO. Five thirty to 9 oclock
dance instr., sean nos songs broadcast, 80s Irish music.
April 26 Session at Mikes Tavern, approx 3 to 6

Sean nos song, music, and dance instruction each day.
Streaming video songs broadcast April 25 at Brownes
Michael and Nyssa, our two dance facilitators daily
Irish Sean Nos old style dance and set dancing.
Sean Nos and Traditional Songs in Irish and English daily.
Irish Musician and Song sessions Weds, Thurs, Sat.
Talisman and Scartaglen interview and songs on 25th
Food and drink for a price at Conroys and Browne’s.
Free snacks at the Celtic Ranch.
All are welcome, it’s about the song not the singer

Dance Groups Past and Present
Dancers are invited to all events. We will print a one page history of your group in our program. Send it promptly
We honor old time local performers and dancers, from the Irish revival in the 1980s. I remember several at the KC Irish American Cultural Center in 1982, and starting the Clanna Eireann dancers, the bagpipe group…

Watch from anywhere in the world
We will broadcast sean nos Irish language songs live from Brownes starting at 7 pm Kansas City time, 6 EDT, after the dance segment. We will group sing Oro, Se do Bheatha Bhaile, to finish up the broadcast. You are invited to sing too. This is on Friday, March 25, for the song segment of that days event.

Your friends anywhere in the world can watch on Concert Window, 7 oclock KC time. Register now and they will send you a notice in advance. It is under the name Irish Roots Cafe on Concert Window here

Sponsored by
This program sponsored by the Irish Roots Cafe. The Irish Roots Cafe band performed the first all Irish language, song stage show in the midwest, and will be appearing at the upcoming Scottish Highland games this year, on Saturday and Sunday. Sponsors welcome in support of the Irish old style. contact for more information.

Current Approved Facilitators
Michael Collier
I began set dancing and ceili dancing at the same time in 1982, from Larry Lynch in San Francisco for sets and from Terry O’Neal and others at the Starry Plough pub in Berkeley. I performed ceili style dancing in groups in the Bay Area through the 80s to 1993. I also taught ceili dancing at the Starry Plough for about 8 years. My set dancing experience includes classes with Larry 6 tours with Larry to join with local dancers in the west and south of Ireland learn their dances and experience dancing with them. I have attended set dancing classes at the Willie Clancy Summer School 14 times learning from older dancers from Clare, than later from Larry, and more recently older Cork and Kerry sets from Tim the Brit McCarthy. On trips to Ireland I continue to visit the pubs where the locals gather to do their sets. I have also learned a few Donegal couples dances in Glenn Colmcille in the southwest corner of Donegal.

In two years in southern California,1993 to 94, in Redlands about 60 miles east of LA, I gathered people at my house to teach set and ceili dancing and joined with the group there to put on a couple of larger ceilis.
In the Boston area, beginning in 1995, I have taken some set dance classes from local teachers. I participate in regular ceilis and festivals with set dancing. I also taught older sets in this vicinity for a while. Then for a couple of years I took classes in sean nos step dancing from Kieran Jordan.
Nyssa Patten
Nyssa’s dancing CV matches mine since she started at class at the Willie Clancy Summer School in 2001. We actually met at a class in Boston the next year. We’ve been dancing every place together since then, from the same classes at the WCSS the pubs we love to visit for dancing in Ireland and to all the events here in the Boston area.
The photo I’ve attached is of us on stage at set and sean nos step dancing evening at the WCSS in 2011.

Mike O’Laughlin
A singer of old style Sean Nos song, learned by ear, sung solo in Irish, with historical context. He sang with the Irish Roots Cafe in the first all Irish gaeilge show in the midwest, and was honored to sing at the annual gaelic Mass in Kansas City. His album, Irish Song Traditional and Sean Nos, was placed in the Irish Traditional Music Archives on Sept. 1, 2013. It is one of the top 10 albums of Irish traditional song for 2013 via Tradconnect. Mikes songs range over four centuries, from Irish, Scots, and Cajun, to Vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley.
Mike is a leading author and publisher of Irish Books, CDs, DVDs, and Videos on Irish family heritage. He descends from the OLaughlins and Kilmartins of Clare and the Donahues and Kellihers of Kerry.

Stevie Wilson Davis, (band member) sessions, video, Conroys (24th)
Robert Koke, (band member) sessions, posters
Megan Illidge, (band member) sessions, consultation
Bernie FitzPatrick, Dance groups contact.

See also The Irish Roots Cafe house band page at,

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Trivia Test Results. Irish Language dates

Our Trivia Test
The Irish Roots Cafe house band played last
week, and we set up the Irish trivia contest.
The previous year I also prepared the trivia
test, but a few folks thought it might be too
easy, so this year I took it up a notch…
a big notch it seems..

The Questions
Well, there were 50 questions, and the high
score was 14 correct out of the 50. Here is
a question I prepared. I knew it would fool
a few, but it even got the historians…
How many leaves are on a lucky Shamrock…

King James Irish Army List described
One of our books nearing sellout

Not one correct answer. I will only tell you
that there is no difference between a lucky
Shamrock and a normal Shamrock.

Luckily, one person knew what country the Irish
got their flag from, and most knew where the
Cliffs of Moher were. Other than that it was
a low rate of positive responses, including
the location of the Lee and Liffey rivers.

Next time
Next year I will have a two part quiz. 20 easy
questions, like the colors of the Irish flag,
and then 5 hard questions. We’ll give a prize
for who ever does best on each one. It’s the
only way to keep everyone happy…

The house band
Meanwhile, the band is keeping Irish language
week in full force with a nice selection of
songs in Irish gaeilge. We of course, still
balance out the show with English language
songs, unless otherwise requested.

Here is our current schedule
Irish Language week(s) Seachtain na Gaeilge
March 15. Louisburg, KS, March 15, Irish Dinner 6:00
March 17, Californos in Westport. 11:30 to 1:00
March 17, Conroys Public House, 2:00 to 5:00
April 23, Irish gathering in Weston at the Celtic Ranch
April 24, Session to be announced
April 25, Irish gathering in KC at Brownes Irish Market
April 26, House session to be announced
April 27,(closing event.
June 14, 15, Scottish Highland Games, Riverside, Missouri
Aug. 30, KIrksviille, MO, Harvest Festival Fundraiser

Remember to support the rare books that
we publish and author. It keeps the
wheels turning for everything at

My Next Entry will be on
The Sean Nos gathering, calling singers, dancers and students.
Final details being arranged… Be There..
We’ll also be teaching folks to sing the chorus to an Irish
language song….so stay tuned to our events

Mike O’Laughlin
The Irish Roots Cafe and Hedge School
The Irish Roots Cafe house band

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