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Submitted Photo Irish Christmas in America brings the spirit of Emerald Island to the desert of New Mexico.

Irish Christmas in America show comes to Ocotillo Performing Art Center in Artesia

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

The family-friendly Irish Christmas in America show comes to Artesia’s Ocotillo Performing Art Center, 310 W. Main St., Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.

The hugely popular Irish Christmas in America show — now in its 14th season — features top Irish music, song and dance in an engaging performance, and is rich in history, humor and boundless energy. Produced by Oisín Mac Diarmada of the award-winning lrish group Téada, the 2018 tour includes TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year Séamus Begley, along with the immense vocal talents of Sligo’s Niamh Farrell. Begley comes from the Irish-speaking region of West Kerry and is a member of one of Ireland’s most musically-acclaimed families.

Farrell, a talented young singer from Sligo, came to attention in 2014 during a 10-month world tour with English singer-songwriting star David Gray. The tour highlight for Niamh was performing at the Ryman Auditorium, the home of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Niamh recently joined the group Project West, with whom she has toured extensively in the past year. Niamh brings to this show a magical voice and stage presence, invoking the warmth and charm of an Irish Christmas evening.

Brian Cunningham is one of the most exciting sean-nós or ‘old-style’ dancers to have emerged from Ireland in quite some time. At 33 years of age, he has won all the major dance competitions in Ireland, and was honored with an invitation by the president of Ireland to perform during an official state visit to Japan and South Korea in 2005.

With Irish being one of the larger immigrant groups to the United States, the show will resonate with many. After all, there are many Irish descendants in Southeast New Mexico as well.

“One of the most heartfelt themes of Irish Christmas is immigration,” Mac Diarmada said. “Music was a way that people stayed close to home.”

The show features evocatively-sung Irish ballads, lively instrumental tunes and thrilling Irish dancing, while evocative photographic images provide a backdrop to some of the rich historical traditions. The audience will take a memorable glimpse into the enchanting spirit of an Irish Christmas, as the finest traditional artists from Ireland bring on a fun-filled start to the holiday season.

For more information, visit artesiaartscouncil.com or call the Ocotillo Box Office at 575-746-4212.