Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Performing Arts Center, in partnership with the Classic Center, will present the Chieftains on their 50th anniversary tour Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. in the Classic Center Theatre. Winners of six Grammy Awards and an Oscar Award, the Chieftains are the most honored traditional Irish band in the world.
Paddy Moloney formed the Chieftains in 1962 from the ranks of the top folk musicians in Ireland. During the past 50 years, the Chieftains have amassed a varied résumé and taken part in historic events around the globe.
The band was the first Western group to perform on the Great Wall of China as well as being the first group to present a concert in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., the latter at the invitation of former House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill.
In a February 2012 profile of the Chieftains, New York Times writer Ben Ratliff wrote, “This is what a 50-year-old band looks like: a dynastic machine, producing new material from the present and the past simultaneously, collaborative and flexible, an entity much bigger than its music; a well of history and a blank slate for representing the ideals of the culture.”
The Chieftains have been honored in their own country by being officially named Ireland’s Musical Ambassadors. The band performed during the Pope’s visit to Ireland in 1979 in a televised concert that was viewed by a worldwide audience of 135,000,000.
In 2010, the Chieftains made history again when Paddy Moloney’s whistle and Matt Molloy’s flute traveled to outer space with a NASA astronaut. In 2011, the group performed for HRH Queen Elizabeth II during her historic visit to Ireland.
Tickets for the Chieftains are $45 to $85 and can be purchased online through the UGA Performing Arts Center at pac.uga.edu or the Classic Center at www.ClassicCenter.com. The Performing Arts Center box office number is 706/542-4400 and toll free at 888/289-8497. The Classic Center box office number is 706/357-4444.
The Classic Center Theatre is located at 300 N. Thomas Street in downtown Athens.
Note to editors: An image of the Chieftains is available for download at http://multimedia.uga.edu/media/images/Chieftains.jpg.