St. James plans Irish music, step dancing for WinterFest

— On Sunday, Feb. 12, St. James Catholic Church is planning an afternoon of fun traditional Irish music and dancing as part of Cazenovia’s WinterFest 2012.

Entertainment for the afternoon will be provided by local artists guitarist Bill Delaney and fiddler Joe Davoli. Dancers from the McDonald-Ashford Academy of Irish Step Dancing will be also be featured. The event is set to help fundraise for the church’s Haiti Twinning Committee, which sponsors St. Joseph’s School in Thibeau, Haiti.

More than 300 children now attend the school whose grades run from preschool to sixth grade with a teaching staff of ten. Funds will be used to pay for books, uniforms, supplies, and school lunches as well as for staff salaries and teacher training. A second story and a computer room were recently added to the school last year, allowing for a growing student body and an introduction to modern technology.

In addition to education, profits from the Irish Music and Step Dancing event will also help to support clean water in Thibeau, Haiti. Since 2006, roughly 1,400 families have benefitted from the water purifiers provided through the Haiti Twinning Committee.

Fiddler Joe Davoli is currently a full time member of the touring Irish pop rock band, Ceili Rain, and a consummate performer of several styles of music including Celtic, bluegrass, jazz, rock, blues and classical.

He has won two SAMMY’s (Syracuse Area Music Awards), one for “Best Bluegrass Instrumentalist/Vocalist” in 2001 and the other in 2003 for his CD release of various style Celtic fiddle tunes with guitarist Harvey Nusbaum in the “Best Folk/Bluegrass Recording” category. Joe is a resident of Syracuse.

Guitarist Bill Delaney has been a fixture in the local Irish-American folk music scene since the late 60s, singing with his dad in The Dr. Tom Dooley Choraliers. He began singing and playing ukulele with Dooley’s Flyin Column in the early 70’s and is now the front man providing wit, humor and vocals in this engaging Irish folk group.

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