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The 10th Anniversary Fin-Wyn Seisiun Gathering is Feb. 10 at O'Lacy's

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Back in 2002, Mark Warford of Buffalo and Dave Halligan of Rochester chatted at a Buffalo ceili dance about how great it would be to get Buffalo and Rochester traditional Irish musicians together for a seisiún somewhere between the two cities. O´Lacy´s Irish Pub, located in equidistant Batavia provided the perfect locale for such a project.

What has emerged from that initial conversation is what has been dubbed The Fin-Wyn Seisiún Gathering (c. 2003). Named for the Rochester (Tom FINuncane) and Buffalo (Martin WYNne) Branches of the international Irish arts organization, Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, the Fin-Wyn gathers traditional enthusiasts from all over Western New York and beyond at O'Lacy's Irish Pub.

The 10th anniversary gathering starts at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10 at O'Lacy's, located at 5 School St. in the City of Batavia.

As the word connotes, seisiún is an Irish word that corresponds somewhat to the American notion of the "jam session." It hearkens back to the folk revival of the later half of the 20th Century, which promoted the spread of Irish dance music from ceili halls to corner pubs.

United by a common vocabulary of "chunes," musicians the world over regularly gather to string together the traditional Irish dance tunes into "sets" at their local Irish pub. There is a term in Irish for the mystical quality of a good seisiún: craic; though it is hard to define, the sense of it is instantly known by regulars.

At this 10th Anniversary Gathering, the Fin-Wyn is honored by the participation of guest of honor, Brian Holleran, a student of the legendary flutist, Mike Rafferty, who was among the regulars featured in the premiere live recording of an American Irish seisiún, "Live at Mona´s." In addition to leading off the seisiún, Holleran will facilitate a pre-seisiún, advanced-level flute workshop. More information is available on the Facebook page, ´The Fin-Wyn Web´

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