Friday, September 29th at 7pm, join Asbury Hall at Babeville for “When Buffalo Eyes Are Smiling.” Tickets start at $15 and for more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.
This evening of songs and stories performed by Irish brothers Owen & Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin with The Buffalo Chamber Players will reflect on the power of music and culture to bridge divides and bring people together. Drawing on the history of Irish migration to America, the concert will feature the songs of Buffalo’s own Chauncey Olcott, whose popular songs changed American perception of Irish immigrants 120 years ago. With a vast career in the performing arts, Chauncey wrote hit songs that helped transform Irish American identity, including “My Wild Irish Rose” and “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”
At the time, Irish immigrants had faced widespread and vicious discrimination; they were excluded from mainstream American society. The music and performance of Chauncey and other Irish immigrants helped them confront and overcome intolerance to become a celebrated part of American culture. At this concert, famous Irish singers Owen and Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin will perform these Irish American songs, as well as older folk songs from Ireland, with the full and beautiful accompaniment of the Buffalo Chamber Players.
The concert will explore themes of migration, beauty, and belonging, with special guests Yuki Numata Resnick (violinist and co-founder of Buffalo String Works) & Sam Thomas (flute player from Yorkshire, UK). With remarks from some of Buffalo’s New American community leaders, together we will reflect on how music and culture can create sources and spaces of belonging for today’s immigrant groups in Buffalo and beyond.