It’s been 22 years since the Indianapolis-based Irish Aires were created out of an informal musicians’ circle devoted to traditional Irish music and hosted by Dublin-born and raised Brian Cunningham. Only Cunningham on guitar and Leslie Krom Selden on vocals and fiddle remain from that 1986 group; they’ve since added T.H. Gillespie on keyboards and Brian’s son, Chris Cunningham, on percussion. Another Cunningham has participated for several years now: Brian’s daughter Kathleen, who is now college-aged, has danced with the group since she was a first-grader.
A 2003 collaboration with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and Indianapolis Irish dancers took the Irish Aires to the National Concert Hall in Dublin. The Aires have also played the Indy Irish Fest for all 12 years of the event.
The non-profit Indy Folk Series is now in its sixth year, showcasing local performers and touring artists playing folk, bluegrass, Celtic and other styles. The series features acoustic music in the classic candles-on-the-tables, 1970s coffeehouse setting.
“The Irish Aires are fun and exciting,” Indy Folk Series volunteer Dan Henkel says. “The Aires pack several centuries of tradition and spirit into a lively evening of fun. Listen, sing along and reminisce. Between the ballads and the blarney, you’ll be hooked.”
More on the series at indyfolkseries.org.