“My parents thought it was so great that I could play waltzes, they would have get-togethers. People would come over for cocktail parties, and I would come out as a seven year old and play waltzes for them. They’re all waltzing, and they’re all immigrants from Ireland and they’re loving it. And I realize, hmm, it’s not only an individual pursuit. There’s a greater thing going on.” —John Williams, speaking from his home in Evanston, Illinois

This story is partly what inspired me to assemble a show about traditional music, and the bigger stories behind it. Whether you already play the accordion, or you don’t really know Irish music or dance steps, hearing stories like John’s is an incredible way for me to consider community, identity, culture, creativity, and 21st century humanity.

So I’m in mad scientist mode, assembling episodes for the Irish Music Stories Podcast. (I’ll launch a 3-minute teaser on January 10, 2017). I can’t wait to share all the beautiful stories and interesting themes that are emerging.

I plan to alternate themed episodes with one-on-one “Cuppa Tea” chats. If you have your own recordings, thoughts, or interviews, I hope you’ll share them, so Irish Music Stories can be a space where we can engage in much broader humanities issues together.

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