from the heart of New York City...
Celtic Cross is the legendary NYC seven-piece band fronted by Kathleen Fee, a talented singer-songwriter and her brothers John (accordion) & Kenny (fiddle) Vesey. They are joined by a group of accomplished and skilled NYC players Wally Ensor on guitar, Pat Dineen on bass/keys, Frankie McCormick on mandolin/banjo, and Ryan Cavan on drums.
Products of Irish parents, traditional Irish music roots, and American pop radio, Celtic Cross puts it all together in a very different way than what you will hear from most Celtic acts. The band’s music tells great stories using the traditional on top of sassy pop, alt-country and funk playing. They are a band’s band around the NYC Irish scene and will remind you of Fleetwood Mac or the B-52s with a heavy dose of Saw Doctors or Stockton’s Wing.
The band was founded in the Bronx in 1990 and has been making and breaking Irish music tradition all over the US and abroad ever since. Celtic Cross are as long-running an Irish music act as you will find… but as fresh and edgy as ever with their 2014 CD Saoirse’s Heart achieving critical acclaim for its innovative production and songwriting. The fourteen all-original tracks explore the lives of the Irish in America in uncharacteristic and revealing ways. The title track is an explosive rap/trad rebel song about The Troubles reverberating impact on an Irish immigrant’s life. It’s a story you do not typically hear… but anyone Irish knows all too well.
Their previous CD Shores of America was named Number 1 Irish Voice Record of the Year for 2007. Mike Farragher of the Irish Voice wrote that Celtic Cross is “quintessential Irish Americana.”
In addition to four CDs of original tunes to choose from for their set lists, look out for unexpected use of popular covers from the Doobie Brothers, AC/DC, Tom Petty, Jackson Five, and Wild Cherry intertwined with traditional Irish tunes. No one does smashups like Celtic Cross live.
Celtic Cross is currently actively booking national Irish/Celtic festivals, music venues, and events for 2015, including available weekend dates in the Summer & Fall festival season.
Kathleen Fee is the band’s lead singer-songwriter, front-woman, and driving force. An accomplished Irish Traditional singer, Kathleen’s voice ranges from silky ballads to the driving rock and pop dance songs that are the band’s hallmarks. You may even catch her dancing a step or two during a performance, showing of her champion Irish step-dancing. With writing credit for Shores of America, Who I Am, Those Were The Days, Going Home on Shores, Kathleen has established herself as one of New York’s established songwriters. Kathleen sang a sassy duet “Wedding Reel” with Black 47’s infamous front man Larry Kirwan.
Kenneth Vesey is an All-Ireland Champion and eight-time North American Champion fiddle player. His eclectic style was developed in part by his instructors, Martin Mulvihill, Mary Mahon and Eileen Ivers. While a virtuoso Irish player, Kenny’s style fits right in with the country and alternative styles of the band.
John Vesey, button accordionist and brother to Kenneth and Kathleen, is a three time North American Champion. John blends impeccable Celtic chops with a Cajun and downright honky-tonk style. His innovative approach to traditional Irish music is evident in his unparalleled physical style overflowing with energy. You might even catch him playing the box over his head Jimi Hendrix-style.
Walter Ensor is a native of the well-known Irish stronghold, Rockaway Beach, New York. With charming vocals and versatile guitar-playing, Walter is at the heart of the Celtic Cross sound. Walter hails from a family of musicians who have influenced his unique style and knowledge of music. Walter is also an accomplished solo performer around town as well as a session player of choice. In spite of the significant Hurricane Sandy damage to Walter’s neighborhood of Rockaway, he stood on the stage with the band barely a month later in the famous NYC “Sandy Seisiuns” fundraiser concerts.
Patrick Dineen, another NYC native, is the band’s bassist/keyboardist. Also providing vocals and songwriting, Pat plays a major role in the band’s signature punchy rhythmic style. He is Kathleen’s foil in interacting with the audience, often with stand-up humor. Pat has appeared with several popular NYC area bands including Tippling Way and Peter Street.
Frankie McCormick on banjo and mandolin, from Tyrone, Ireland, came to America in 1986. He has 2 All-Ireland solo championship titles on banjo and mandolin as well as the coveted All-Ireland Scor Award. Frankie brings a fresh northern punch to the phrasing of the tunes and his quick wit keeps the audience howling. Frank has become quite a songwriter as well in the band’s recent work.
Drummer Ryan Cavan hails from Buffalo with a deep jazz resume which took him all over the world with many notable players, and most recently the popular McCabes in the Celtic scene. Having recently joined the band, Ryan has made a big impact on the polish and arrangement flare for the band. Ryan currently makes NYC his home. Ryan is also a fantastic guitar player which adds to his significant writing contributions to the band’s new work.
Fairfield University, CT
Fox & Friends, The Fox News Network
The Harp, Boston, MA
Iona College, New York
The IZOD Center in Rutherford, NJ
Joe's Pub, NYC
Kenny's Castaways, New York
Manhattan College, New York
Mulcahy's Pub & Concert Hall
The Museum for Television & Radio, New York
New Jersey Waterloo Village Fairgrounds, New Jersey
Northern Lights, Albany, NY
PNC Bank Arts Center
Riverside Church, NYC
Sherman Theatre, PA
St. Peters College, New Jersey
The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York
WFUV at Fordham University, New York
Saoirse's Heart (March 2014)
Always Believe - Holiday Single (November 2008)
Shores of America (2007)
Last Call (1999)
Part The First (1993)