The Ímar concert is free, made possible by a generous donation, and will take place rain or shine under the tent being set up on the Center’s lawn for the event. The concert gets underway at 6 p.m. While some chairs will be available, the public is asked to bring your own comfortable seating to set up on the green around the performance stage.
There are many reasons to be excited about new Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar–not least a line-up featuring current and former members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk, Barrule, Cara, Mabon, Mec Lir and The Lowground, whose collectively crammed trophy-cabinet includes several BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and All-Britain/All-Ireland titles.
Ímar’s formation also embodies a more personal reconnection with its members’ formative years, dating back long before their recent camaraderie around Glasgow’s justly celebrated session scene. All five of them–which also includes fiddler Tomás Callister and bouzouki ace Adam Rhodes (Barrule/Mabon), both from the Isle of Man, plus Glasgow native Mohsen Amini (Talisk) on concertina–originally met as teenagers through Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the Irish traditional music network that tutors budding players throughout the British Isles and beyond, and stages the annual schedule of Fleadh competitions.
The band has a strong shared background in Irish music–even though all now live in Glasgow, Scotland. These foundations underpin many of Ímar’s distinctive qualities, in both instrumentation and material, while also highlighting the cyclical evolution of Scotland’s wider folk scene. Go back a couple of decades or so, and Irish repertoire still predominated at many Scottish sessions and gigs, whereas today Ímar’s sound stands out boldly from the crowd.
It’s a combined commonality and diversity of background and influences that fuels Ímar’s unmistakable synergy, centered on the overlapping cultural heritage between Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. All three places once shared the same Gaelic language–the name Ímar comes from a 9th-Century king who reigned across this combined territory–and a similar kinship endures between their musical traditions.
Expect a high energy show, punctuated by some beautiful airs from the Isles during Ímar’s Great North Woods Arts concert. “We are proud to have this top-flight group kick things for us at the Center,” Jordan said.
Prior to the show visitors will be able to tour the grounds, see inside some of the buildings and visit with members of the GNWCA, the Connecticut River Artisans Group and the Carriage Lane Players, the three arts organizations working on the new Center. Visitors to the open house and attendees to the concert that follows will be able to make donations of any size if they so wish at a few strategically placed donation boxes. “That would be great if you want to help that way,” Jordan said. “But regardless, all are welcome to this afternoon and evening to celebrate the budding Great North Woods Center for the Arts,” Jordan said.
For the latest concerts offered by the GNWCA, visit www.gnwca.org or call 237-9302 or 246-8998.