THE multi-Grammy and Oscar-winning godfathers of Irish music, The Chieftains, will be bringing their unique Irish music and dance show to Majorca this weekend. Speaking from Huelva on the mainland where the Chieftains performed last week, founding member of the group, Paddy Moloney, told the Bulletin that Ireland's Musical Ambassadors are looking forward to playing at the Casino this weekend and also advises those going to the concert to make sure they've got their dancing shoes on. We're much more of a show that a concert. We've always been accompanied by dancers in our performances, Michael Flately was with us for seven years before he went off and set up Riverdance and made his millions, and during the show we send our dancers into the crowd to help get people dancing to an Irish jig or two. It's great fun for us and the crowd. In the States recently, before we knew it, we had people up on the stage dancing with us. The show features a range of different pieces of music from the traditional and folk to tracks we have recorded over the years with the likes of Elvis Costello. We performed at his wedding two years ago at Elton John's mansion. Also, U2, Sinead O'Connor, The Cranberries and the Rolling Stones. I am also looking for some pipers, so if there are any on the island, come to the sound check two hours before the concert. We would also love to meet any local bands which play Irish music, we would like to give them a chance to play with us at the end of the evening so they too should attend the sound check, Paddy said. An invitation of a life time considering the Chieftains were founded over 40 years ago in 1962 and since then have recorded nearly 50 albums and are six-time Grammy winners. The Chieftains are now recognised for bringing traditional music to the world's attention. In 1990 they became the first Western group to perform on the Great Wall of China during their tour of the country. Over the past 40 years, the band has played all over the world and Paddy says that, wherever they go, they are always well received. I don't know what it is about Irish music, I think you either like it or you hate it but, as Suzannah York said in 1972 about our music it gets me in the gut. The roots of Irish music dates back hundreds of years. The Irish are great story tellers and much of the music we play is a part of history, Paddy explains. But, I think the big problem has been that the Irish are timid people. Not so long ago you would have got a good slagging' for walking down the street with a fiddle, however, more recently, the Irish in general, are no longer afraid to express their talent, whatever it may be, he said. Ireland is booming, in every sense of the word and in all walks of life and wherever we travel, we are playing to audiences of all ages from children to our original fans. It's wonderful and very satisfying, he added. Later this month The Chieftains will take a trip down memory lane when they return to the Cambridge Folk Festival. We first played there in 1969 and on July 28, we're going to return to perform for some 25'000 people, it's a very special festival for us. In 1979, 135'000 people turned out to watch them play during the Pope's visit to Ireland and more recently they have returned to top the bill at Carnegie Hall. We also went to play in Budapest not so long ago and we met people who had been following and listening to our music for the past 28 years. What is more, we're finding that playing the pipes has become increasingly popular over the past decade and we're discovering piping clubs are opening all over the worldFrom San Francisco to Tasmania, there are piping clubs and we're always keen to get involved with the local pipers. Paddy is a piper himself. When their debut album was released he quickly became regarded as the most exciting piper of his generation and his passion for pipe music has involved working with local musicians from all over the world. The Chieftains recorded some tracks with the Chinese during their historic tour. They have also worked with musicians from Galicia, the north of Spain is famous for its pipers, and South America. However, Paddy and the band have yet to play with Majorcan pipers - so here is your chance.
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