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Friday November 29, 2019 8:00 pm
Christmas With The Celts is the brainchild of music producer Ric Blair. Mr. Blair reigns as one the country's most respected purveyors of Celtic music. Americanborn, he credits the popularity of the Christmas With The Celts concert presentation and the nationwide broadcasting of the show as a PBS-TV special to his unique blending of modern Christmas standards and sounds with the spirit and sounds of Celtic roots.
The Celts pack concert halls around the world including The Grand Ole Opry, The Ryman Auditorium, The Lincoln Center, and many other Performing Arts Centers, Theaters and large Casinos. The Celts have shared the stage with a diverse range of specials guests and artists including Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan, Vince Gill, Irish singer Cathy Jordan of Dervish, Ricky Skaggs, Riverdance piper Ivan Goff from Dublin, Patty Loveless, Braveheart/Titanic piper Eric Rigler, and Tim O’Brien to name a few.
The first live performance of Christmas with The Celts was filmed in front of a sold out audience at the original Grand Ole Opry (voted top venue by Pollstar) The world famous Ryman Auditorium. The Celts lineup features founder Ric Blair on vocals, guitars, bodhran, and piano, Laura McGhee from Dundee, Scotland on vocals and fiddle plus an ensemble of world class musicians playing uilleann pipes, Irish whistles, drums, bass, mandolin, a children’s choir, lush string arrangements plus always crowd pleasing Irish step dancers.
Ric Blair was a promising jazz major at the University of Cincinnati’s prestigious College Conservatory of Music until a chance encounter changed the entire course of his life. “A buddy of mine said “Hey there’s this Irish group playing tonight,’ American-born and Nashville based Blair remembers. It took a little prodding, but he agreed to give the concert a shot. “I opened the doors, and people were literally dancing on the tables,”says Blair. “The music was so happy. As soon as I heard the pipes and Irish whistle, something in my blood hit me and said ‘this is what I want to do’.” Today, Blair reigns as one of the country’s most respected purveyors and historians of Celtic music. "I’m proud of my Irish/Scottish roots, but I am equally proud of my American music roots. So, our music has become a product of merging the two cultures." Blair credits the group’s popularity to their unique blending of modern American hit songs and sounds with organic Celtic instruments as well as the success of their PBS-TV special Christmas with The Celts.
In 2015, The Celts appeared on PBS TV show Music City Roots. In March of 2016 performed at The Bluegrass Underground and will soon host another PBS special called Roots of Great American Music which will feature some of the world's most famous Country music, Irish music, and pop stars as special guests.