Zumix, East Boston popular music and performing arts program, got into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit with a special performance by Celtic recording artist Ashley Davis.
The album release party featuring songs from Davis’s new CD, Night Travels was last Thursday at the Zumix Firehouse. The performance included Cormac DeBarra on harp, Duncan Wickel on fiddle, and Joseph Carmichael on guitar as well as City of Rain, a Zumix alumni ensemble, as the opening act.
“We were so excited to host Ashley Davis and her incredible band in our Firehouse,” said Zumix Executive Director Madeleine Steczynski. “They played a wonderful show and hosted a songwriting workshop that our youth really enjoyed. I’d like to thank Tom O’Neill for connecting us with Ashley Davis and initiating this great event.”
Davis was born in Lawrence, Kansas and began performing live throughout the Midwest region at the age of 14. Four years later, she began her undergraduate study at Nashville’s Belmont University, taking advantage of Belmont’s renowned music program and studying literature from the Irish, British and Latin traditions, while also performing solo at many of Nashville’s pubs and venues, including the legendary Bluebird Café. Pursuing a graduate degree from the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance (then known as the “World Music Centre”) at the University of Limerick, Ashley then earned her Master’s degree under the direction of Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin. In 2006, she journeyed to the Isle of Man, where she was an Artist in Residence, capturing and recording the native Manx language, as well as the melodies and stories of the island. Another of the singer-songwriter’s unique musical adventures was a stint in Las Vegas, where she was chosen as the soloist for the Vegas premiere of Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance.” Ashley spent one year with the show. In 2010, she was named one of the most influential Irish-Americans under the age of 40.
In her new album, Night Travels Davis said she has journeyed full circle, returning to the many influences of her youth, and in the process, creating an collection of songs and stories, set against a instrumental backdrop that will resonate with lovers of Celtic, folk, bluegrass and Americana music.
Recorded in studios in Dublin, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nashville and Kansas, “Night Travels” reflects the musicality and the culture of each of those places.