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> Sorcha Nic Aodha
Thousands of fans cheered as the Galway band announced live on stage at the Milwaukee Irish Fest in August, that they are Galway 2020’s new cultural ambassadors.
Milwaukee Irish Fest is the world’s largest celebration of Celtic music and culture. Taking place in August each year, the festival hosts hundreds of musicians and artists from around the globe performing on 17 stages, over four days of Irish music, heritage and culture.
With an audience of over 150,000 visitors, the four-day festival was the ideal opportunity to make the announcement, with an audience of over 12,000 for the Galway band.
Made up of two sets of siblings – brothers Enda and Fergal Scahill and brothers Martin and David Howley, We Banjo 3 have taken the international music scene by storm in recent years. Taking the Number 1 position in Billboard’s World Music charts, the quartet were chosen to entertain Barrack Obama and members of the U.S. Congress at the annual ‘Friends of Ireland’ luncheon on Capitol Hill in 2016.
Inspired by the traditional Irish and Americana music they heard growing up, the band marry a mix of banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin to create an authentic style that they dub ‘Celtgrass’.
The Galway men said they were “incredibly proud” to represent Galway City and County as ambassadors, seeing it as a unique opportunity to showcase Galway’s depth of talent.
The band will act as ambassadors in the run up to, and during 2020. This will involve spreading the word about what Galway 2020 has in store, and letting their fans know that if there ever was a time to visit, or re-visit Galway, 2020 is it. The Galway 2020 team is looking forward to collaborating with the guys in the coming months, with Chief Executive Hannah Kiely, saying she is ‘delighted’ to welcome the internationally successful Galway band as ambassadors.
“As Galwegians, We Banjo 3 have a strong connection to all things Galway and as internationally recognised musicians, they can bring Galway 2020’s message to an international audience, particularly our Irish diaspora. We look forward to working with them over the next few years,” said Galway 2020 Chief Executive, Hannah Kiely.
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> Jo Lavelle