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Solas

Irish-American band Solas is playing the Dennison Theatre on Saturday, March 12.

Get in to the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day with awesome music of jigs, reels and other great songs by the Irish-American band Solas.

The fifth show of the Bitterroot Performing Arts Council’s season will be at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the Dennison Theatre in Missoula.

Executive director Monica Grable said the incredible music experience is worth the drive.

“This is their 20th anniversary as a band,” Grable said. “We wanted to be in on that. They are incredible musicians with this incredible singer-songwriter element where the song is the thing. Their original lead singer, Karan Casey, is joining them on this run to Montana. We’ll have them with their original singer who has her own career now. She has a fantastic voice.”

According to solasmusic.com, “2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the quintessential Irish-American band, Solas. Formed in 1996, in a manner befitting their name (Gaelic for “light”), Solas burst onto the Irish music scene and instantly became a beacon – an incandescent ensemble that found contemporary relevance in timeless traditions.”

“Solas” opened the Bitterroot Performing Arts Council’s first nonprofit season in November of 2009. The Celtic group has eleven albums, numerous awards and has been heralded as the most influential group in the history of Irish music.

The band that sets the standard includes founding members Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (violins, vocals), long-time members Eamon McElhol (guitars, keyboards, vocals) and Mick McAuley (button accordion, vocals) and newest member Moira Smiley (vocals, banjo).

“They are the most popular Irish-American band going still and are often followed by people who don’t necessarily follow Celtic because they are just a great band,” Grable said. “They have done a project in Montana that involved documentary film and music. Seamus, the band leader, has some family connection in Butte and they are always happy to come back to Montana.”

Grable said people should come to this concert because “they don’t want to hear from their friends the next day how awesome the concert was if they don’t go.”

“A lot of the community wants to know why we’re taking this concert to Missoula,” Grable said. “In the 12 seasons that we have had the series one of the reasons we have been able to sustain it this long with quality artists is that each time we have 20 to 25 percent of our audience coming from the Missoula community. Plus, our regular venue was unavailable.”

Grable said it will be “fantastic music for everybody.”

“Plus, it will help you get into the mood for St. Patrick’s Day,” Grable said.

“Solas” and their “All These Years” tour will be presented by the Bitterroot Performing Arts Council 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the Dennison Theatre at the University of Montana.

For tickets call (406)363-7946 or online visit bitterrootperformingarts.org.

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