BAR HARBOR — Irish music ensemble Lúnasa will perform at the Criterion Theatre along with guest Ashley Davis on Friday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m.
Lúnasa is comprised of flutist, whistle-player and lead man/comic Kevin Crawford, piper and whistle player Cillian Vallely, fiddler and whistle-player Colin Farrell, Trevor Hutchinson on upright bass and guitarist Patrick Doocey.
Since coming together in 1996, Lúnasa has performed over 2,000 concerts, and achieved a worldwide reputation as a different breed of Irish traditional music group — one with the repertoire of life-long traditional musicians, the intricate harmonies of a jazz combo, and the energy of a rock band.
The all-instrumental quintet is noted for double-bass and guitar-driven rhythms, original compositions mixed with material from Celtic regions such as Brittany, Galicia and Asturias, and a surprising focus on slower melodies involving three-part harmonies played on the traditional pipes, fiddle, and flute.
Their most recent album, “Cas,” features guest vocalists for the first time.
“In Ireland, in years past, families, friends, and neighbors gathered in kitchens and celebrated with music, stories, songs, and — if the room was big enough – dancing,” organizers said. “Once a year, Lúnasa brings this type of bygone celebration to theaters and music halls across the United States.”
Irish Central said of the band, “The group doesn’t just play jigs and reels as they have been handed down for generations … but rather more textured and nuanced variants of Irish dance music, displaying not only their notable skills on their respective instruments, but also their creativity and arrangements.”
Davis’ music draws on traditions of Ireland and Scotland, but also from the influences of her birthplace in the Kansas plains, and the country music tradition born of the Appalachian Mountains.
Her most recent album, “Burning Down,” embraces the electronic compositions of her rebellious youth. Of her six recordings, two celebrate this time of year, “The Christmas Sessions,” with guitarist John Doyle and “Songs of the Celtic Winter.”
Show tickets start at $18 and can be purchased online at criteriontheatre.showare.com or at theater.