By Shannon Generau for The Cardinal Newsblog

The sounds of traditional Irish music will soon be heard in Winona.

Lúnasa, a band of five individuals who play a number of instruments, hails from Ireland. They will be performing at Saint Mary’s Page Theatre on Friday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. The group will also present a free “Page in History” program March 9 at 3 p.m. at the Winona County History Center.

The group has been touring the United States as it promotes its new album, “Cas,” and celebrates its 20th anniversary as a band. Their performance at Saint Mary’s will feature songs from the new album, as well as songs from years past. The new album is their first in seven years, and it is their first to feature some tracks with vocalists they have performed with over the years.

Although the band is not traveling with the vocalists—some of whom include Natalie Merchant, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Tim O’Brien—the group will bring audience members a show that will take them into the heart of Irish music tradition.

The band takes its name, Lúnasa, from the old Celtic harvest festival in honor of the God Lugh, patron of the arts. The group has certainly found its niche, having sold more than a quarter of a million albums over the past 20 years and with 9 highly acclaimed and award-winning studio albums to their name.

After finding great success when they first formed in 1997, the group has been touring and performing ever since. They carry on this tradition now, as they bring forth new songs with their inventive arrangements and bass sounds. The band combines their knowledge of Irish music with a passion and drive to create that music within the Celtic tradition, maintaining their place on the global scale of music.

The five members of the group—Kevin Crawford, Trevor Hutchinson, Ed Boyd, Colin Farrell, and Cillian Vallely—have all made a name for themselves in performances and work with others. Crawford toured with Martin Hayes and John Doyle, going by the name Teetotalers. Hutchinson went on a tour through Europe with his old bandmates, The Waterboys. Boyd toured with Flook and Cara Dillon, and Vallely worked with Bruce Springsteen on his album ‘High Hopes,’ which made #1 on the charts after its release.

Lúnasa will bring audience members an unforgettable show, giving people a taste of the Celtic music tradition and transporting them to the countryside of Ireland.

Tickets and information about this Page Series performance are available at or by calling the Performance Center Box Office at 507-457-1715 (12-6 pm, weekdays).

About the Performance Center

Serving over 25,000 visitors per year, the goal of the Performance Center at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is to be Southeastern Minnesota’s premiere performing arts center, bringing artists and community together through imaginative programming, unique collaborations, a welcoming atmosphere, and exceptional service. The Performance Center strives to be the venue through which artists and community connect, where audiences can experience a variety of cultures through quality performances of music, theatre and dance, and discover the relevance of the arts in their daily lives.

Page Series activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Educational and community programs are made possible through the support of the Xcel Energy Foundation and the Elizabeth Callender King Foundation.