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Renowned Irish Peace Activist & Musician to Appear in Milwaukee

Tommy Sands Milwaukee

Tommy Sands, an Irish folk singer-songwriter and peace activist from Northern Ireland, will appear at Milwaukee Irish Fest and Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School this August (2019)!

Tommy Sands has achieved something akin to legendary status in his own lifetime. From his pioneering days with the highly influential Sands Family—bringing Irish music from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Moscow’s Olympic Stadium—he has developed into one of the most powerful songwriters and enchanting solo performers in Ireland today.

Tommy's desire to unite people—and his belief that song and music can be a catalyst to this unification—is rooted deeply in his early life. The small farm where he grew up with his parents and six siblings was often a place where Catholics and Protestants got together for music, dancing, and fun. His mother played the accordion, his father and six uncles also played fiddle and his six aunts lilted for dances. Music surrounded the Sands family.

His songwriting, which has drawn the admiration of Nobel Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney and father of folk music Pete Seeger, prompts respected US magazine Sing Out to regard him as “the most powerful songwriter in Ireland, if not the rest of the world.” His songs, like “There Were Roses,” “The Music of Healing,” and “Daughters and Sons,” have been recorded by Joan Baez, Kathy Matthea, Moloney, O’Connell & Keane, Dolores Keane, Tommy Makem, Frank Patterson, The Dubliners, and many others.

You have two opportunities to appreciate and learn from Tommy Sands at the annual Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School, held every year the week before Milwaukee Irish Fest, and three chances to catch a performance at the festival: 

Summer School

Monday, August 12, 7:00 - 9:00 pm | Free
“Songs and Stories with Tommy Sands”
8pm: Legendary singer, song-writer, and activist Tommy Sands shares songs, stories, and conversation moderated by Ed Ward exploring his music and life

Tuesday through Thursday, August 13 - 15, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm, Class | $100
“Songs of Peace” This class will focus on the strong relationship between song and peace movements throughout the world. Past students have described his class as mesmerizing, powerful and inspiring.

Irish Fest

Friday, August 16, 7:30 pm | Village Pub Stage

Saturday, August 17, 7:00 pm | Village Pub Stage

Sunday, August 18, 1:15 pm | Village Pub Stage

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