Traditional Celtic Music
Resources in the S.F. Bay Area
Updated May 8, 2010
Venues for live traditional music:
If your venue hosts sessions or frequently has traditional celtic acts,
send me the information, and I'll try to post it. There is no charge for this
listing. E-mail: email@example.com
- San Francisco:
- Plough & Stars Pub--
the best S.F. place to hear Irish traditional music seven nights a week,
usually starting around 9:30. The Web site has the monthly schedule of groups.
Pros: Irish ambience, good Guiness; Cons:
often very noisy -- make sure you get as close to the stage as you can,
preferable in front of the speakers.
Blackthorn Tavern, 834 Irving Street. -
Culann's Hounds' home in San
- United Irish Cultural Centre, 2700 45th Avenue (at Sloat Boulevard) - (415)
661-2700 - Concerts, ceilidhs and other events at irregular schedule
- Johnny Foley's This very pleasant pub near Union Square has had occasional Irish acts in the past (e.g. Lunasa, but they currently seem to be booking mainly rock acts.)
- Ireland's 32 Geary Street (around 4th Ave?) They have been
hosting Irish set dancing on some Sundays, but not a lot of traditional music.
- Kells Irish
Restaurant & Pub, 519 Jackson Street (415) 955-1916.
& Salvage on Addison (just off San Pablo one block south of
University Ave. Pros: very good acoustics, audiences there to hear music rather
than talk. Cons: no beer or wine, relatively non-Celtic crowd.
- Sally Greenberg's House
Concerts These concerts tend to feature English and
Scottish music in a great, intimate setting (limited to 40 people).
- Starry Plough Pub,
at 3101 Shattuck Ave (south of Ashby) . The Starry Plough
has informal sessions every Sunday night starting at 8:00 organized by Shay
Black and Irish set & ceilidh dances on Monday nights.
- McGrath's Irish Pub, 1539
Lincoln Avenue is a regular venue to host Irish Jam Sessions. A
Berkeley Area Slow Session (BASS) (or fast, if faster players show
up) happens every Sunday afternoon from 2:30-6:00. A nice warmup
for the 8:00 session at the Starry Plough.
- The King's
Head Pub & Restaurant, 201 Orchard City Drive. Celtic sessions
Wednesday night. More info: (408) 871-2499. Proprietors:
Sam and Barbara Summerscales.
- Santa Cruz Area:
- Sonoma County:
- The Black
Rose Irish Pub in Santa Rosa at 2074 Armory Drive .
Calendar of events is on their web site. Celtic/Irish jam
sessions on the 2nd and 3rd Wednesdays of every month starting
at 8:00 p.m. as well as an International Session on the 1st Wednesday and a
Bluegrass Session on the 4th Wednesday. For more information, call
the pub at .(707) 546-ROSE.
- Murphy's Irish Pub, 464
First Street East, Sonoma. Murphy's has its schedule on its website.
- Finbar Devine's Irish Pub & Restaurant in Petaluma at 145 Kentucky Street in The Old Opera House Bldg, Finbars has live music, including Irish music, on Friday and Saturday nights. Check out the schedule and menu on their website. For more info call (707) 762-9800.
- S.F. Peninsula:
- San Jose
For a list of Irish music sessions happening around the Bay, check
Dancing and Dance Instruction:
- Irish set dancing
- The 1st, 3rd, and 4th Thursdays of the month, at the United Irish Cultural Center (2700 45th Ave as Sloat Blvd S.F.
- The 2d Thursday at the
Plough & Stars Pub, Clement
& 2 Ave, S.F. If interested contact Michael Reimer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Irish ceili dancing
- Scottish dancing
These resources are listed under the specific traditions:
- Down Home
Music Store, 10341 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, CA (510 525-2129) has
far and away the best selection Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Canadian
music in the Bay Area including a lot of hard-to-get imports.
Records, 1855 Haight Street, San Francisco store has a large
selection of Celtic records, with a heavy emphasis on Irish CDs. (The selection
at the Berkeley store is much smaller). The Virgin
Superstore in S.F., has a much smaller selection. Rasputin Records &
Tower Records on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley, and Borders Books in Emeryville
have quite minimal selections.
- See also the Mail Order and Internet Dealers listed under
- Nancy Carlin Associates,
agent for Nomos, Anam, Carreg Lafar, Andy M. Stewart, (510 372-4260), 411 Ferry
Street, Suite 2, Martinez CA 94553, E-mail: email@example.com
Crossings represents over 50 traditional Irish and Scottish
musicians and dancers for concerts, weddings, and other celebrations. Contact
Cecilia at CelticXing@aol.com.
- Valley of
the Moon Scottish Fiddling School. Each year Alasdair Fraser,
the great Scottish fiddler, holds a week long camp, recently in the Santa Cruz
mountains. Other fiddlers who have taught in the past include Martin Hayes and
Buddy MacMaster, so the range of celtic music covered is broader than simply
Scottish. Extremely highly recommended from those who have gone.
- Paul Chafee Paul has been playing
in the S.F. area since 1988. He has played with Tipsy House and Gnarly
Pilgrims. ph: 510 620-0616, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cáit Reed
- has over 30 years experience as a teacher and performer of
Celtic music. Many of her students have gone on to be professional musicians in
their own right. When she teaches, (group classes and private lessons), Cáit focuses
on technique, ornamentation, regional styles, phrasing, creating variations,
playing "by ear" and having fun.
Her own solo CD entitled The
Rolling Wave will be released this year. She plays (and teaches) fiddle, transverse flute, tin whistle,
mandolin, tenor banjo, bodhrán, back-up guitar and cittern, as well as
song accompaniment and arrangement. My style is definitely
archaic, having been learned from some of the old players from Galway
and Clare." I also perform in SF and the general Bay
Area and will soon be finishing my album and would like to send you
one when it gets released. Phone: 415-564-9674 (SF)
- Michael Mullen
I teach both individual students and group workshops. in Scots-Irish fiddle. More info on my website email: email@example.com Tel: (510)336-1535 or (510)414-6063
- Duck Baker, legendary fingerstyle
guitarist has moved back to the Bay Area ans is now accepting serious
intermediate and advanced students of all styles of finger-picking: Celtic,
Old-time country and bluegrass, blues, ragtime, swing ,etc. East Bay, S.F. and
Marin locations. Call (510) 237-8804.
- Mary Hopkins - celtic and classical harp,
performance and instruction, P.O. Box 475102, San Francisco, CA 94147 (Phone:
Local Record Labels:
Records This San Francisco label has produced a variety of celtic
records by artists such as Bill Dennehy, Séamus Egan, Theo Paige, Dale
Russ, Todd Denman and Deby Grosjean.
- Gourd Music
This Felton, CA label features artists such as guitarist William Coulter.
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