Jamie O. March Enews.

Read this post as an enewsletter

“When the root is deep there is no reason to fear the wind.”

Jamie O’Reilly March Enews
Celebrating my 41st year & my Irish roots

What feeds the creative spirit is not limited to the here and now.
Our roots are infused with the work of those who came before us.
The search is ongoing. The possibilities, endless.

A Note from Jamie
March, 2022
SongNotes: The Last Rose of Summer
Roots in Ireland update
Concert Dates

This March marks my 41st anniversary year as a professional singer. It all started on St. Patrick’s Day at The Jury Room, a club on Lincoln Avenue.

As Women & Irish History Month begins, the unthinkable goes on: war rages in Ukraine. Russia, the oppressor, offers no mercy. The men stay and fight. Women and children seek safety. Who will bury the dead? The Irish, too, suffered greatly at the hands of the oppressors for centuries. Their bold, courageous spirits rebounding time and again. Their music, art and literature are our solace and inspiration.

Thursday, March 24th, I’ll return to Chief O’Neill’s Pub with Tough Broads & Tender Lasses: Songs of Resilience, accompanied by John Erickson piano. I am honoring the 20th century chantuese — women who met adversity and struggle with tenacity and vigor — leaving behind classic songs and stories. Among those featured will be singer and harpist Mary O’Hara, who strongly influenced me as a young singer starting out in 1980s Chicago. (Read more on the SongNotes blog.)

Roots in Ireland Update
As many of you know, this summer I hoped to make a trip to Ireland. Due to an unforeseen health situation within my family, I want to stay close to home this summer. Though I will not travel this June, the Roots project continues!
In the year since I came up with this idea, I have been thrilled with the response to the project and my concerts.What feeds the creative spirit is not limited to the here and now. Our roots are infused with those who came before us. The search is ongoing. The possibilities, endless.

There is much yet to see and do and learn, much of which can be accomplished with my own study, internet resources, singing concerts, and story-gathering. Yes, the Roots project will continue with learning and doing as its objective. Travel will just be another stage.

I am proud of what we did! I created an extensive marketing and fundraising effort for the Roots in Ireland project, collaborating with women-owned businesses and skilled artisans. All the concerts have sold-out. I hired musicians, recording engineers, graphic and video designers. I was the recipient of an Artist Rescue Grant. I even hosted a raffle. All in all, a good year!

For those of you who bought tickets to the concerts, or contributed to the Roots project, thank you. I will stay in touch. I hope to host an event here around the Joyce Centenary in June. Read on about more gigs. Peace, Jamie

SongNotes Blog
The Last Rose of Summer
Mary O’Hara

Among my first Irish records was Songs of Ireland by harpist Mary O’Hara, the sublime soprano. Mary’s story compelled me: a beautiful woman with a romantic story, who went from singing sensation to falling in love, to widowhood, to the convent, and then returned to an exciting life of performance and travel. Her mastery of phrasing influences me to this day. Her diction is superb. Her pitch-true acapella renderings of the repertoire were a guide to me, a fledgling performer just making my way in the musical scene.

SongNotes (cont’d)
I first learned The Last Rose of Summer from the sheet music my Aunt Dorothy gave me. Lyricist Thomas Moore set it to an Irish melody “The Young Man’s Dream,” in the early 19th century. Dottie’s sheet music, published in 1900, was arranged as a parlor song, an Anglo-Irish interpretation for voice and piano common at the time.

I first performed The Last Rose of Summer in music school at DePaul University and later at a reception for Galway’s Cultural Emissary to Chicago at the University Club in 1982. That evening Mary O’Reilly, (no relation) who helped found the Irish American Cultural Center in Chicago, heard me sing this and other Irish Art songs. Struck by the authenticity of my interpretation of this repertoire (and avoidance of what she called the “hackneyed” folk-tunes most American singers covered), Mary began to bring me LP records and sheet music of Irish singers and composers. “You could get alot of work,” she insisted.

Read the full SongNotes Blog here: https://www.jamieoreilly.com/jamie-oreilly-songnotes-2last-rose-of-summer-mary-ohara/

Save-the-dates for these concerts

Thursday, March 24 at 7 PM
Chief O’Neill’s Pub
SongBirds Series: Tough Broads & Tender Lasses: Songs of Resilience
Featuring Irish songs, too
3471 N Elston Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
Reservations strongly suggested. Tickets only via the event page.

Thursday, May 19
Venue tbs
Anne Hills & Jamie O’Reilly
SongBirds Series: Songs of Resilience and Spring
Watch the blog for updates

Friday, July 15 at 7 PM
Jamie O’Reilly’s SongBirds Series
Tough Broads & Tender Lasses: Songs of Resilience
St. Giles Church Courtyard
1045 Columbian Ave
Oak Park, Il 60302

Sunday, July 17 at 7 PM
Midsummer Celebration
Jamie O’Reilly’s SongBirds Series
Tough Broads & Tender Lasses: Songs of Resilience
Tre Kronor Swedish Bistro Garden
3258 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60625.
Reservations required.
Tickets https://www.jamieoreilly.com/events/jamie-oreilly-midsummer-concert-tre-kronor-swedish-bistro/

Field Study, photo by Nia O’Reilly Amandes

Enews – Copyright © 2022 Jamie O’Reilly
Read the updated Roots letter