Licko’s Celtic band returns with ‘Highland Echoes’

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By Nita Brown



If you enjoy the TV series “Outlander” or the stage show “Riverdance,” or if you were among the audience at the standing-room only Celtic Christmas concerts in Lancaster in 2015 and 2016, you won’t want to miss “Highland Echoes – The Holiday Tour.”

The performance by The Jennifer Licko Band is 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Lancaster’s Cultural Arts Center, 307 W. Gay St.

An outgrowth of band’s “A Celtic Christmas” performance, which toured successfully for seven years, “Highland Echoes – The Holiday Tour” includes traditional Scottish music, seasonal holiday songs and originals composed by Jennifer Licko and Patrick Mangan.

Inspired by Licko’s love of her Scottish heritage, and her study of Scottish and Celtic music, this tour launches a new nonprofit she has created to promote Scottish traditions and culture through music, dance and education. As the website explains, “This is the story of [Scots-Irish] immigration through music and dance.” (See www.highlandechoes.com)

Licko said the idea of launching the first tour in November and including some holiday music came from numerous requests for the Celtic Christmas concert to return in 2018.

The Lancaster show features Licko’s five-piece band in a performance tailored especially for the Cultural Arts Center. Selections include well-known Scottish ballads and more obscure Scots Gaelic songs, as well as a holiday musical mix with a Celtic flavor.

The full “Echoes” show includes dance and bagpipe music. The band has changed a little since its last trip to Lancaster. In addition to vocalist and leader Licko, returning are producer and keyboardist Bob Nobles, and popular “Riverdance” fiddler Mangan. Joining them are All-Ireland multi-instrumentalist Patrick Doocey and Brazilian drummer Daniel Gohn.

What, you might ask, is a Brazilian drummer doing playing in a Celtic band?

“I’ve been working with him in Brazil for the past three years. He is by far the best drummer I’ve ever worked with,” Licko explained. She said Gohn worked with a Scottish pipe band for many years in Sao Paulo, so it was a natural fit to add his percussion skills to the band.

Licko said they were looking forward to being here again.

“We are thrilled to return to Lancaster. It’s always such a warm and inviting audience,” she said. “The Lancaster Cultural Arts Center is a very unique and special place that all residents are lucky to have in their neighborhood.”

Admission to Saturday’s concert is $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Advance “Will Call” tickets are available through noon Friday at lccarts.net/tickets, or call (803) 285-7451.

As with other performances in the Vivian Major Robinson Concert series, proceeds will go to help restore and improve the historic Cultural Arts Center. This concert is sponsored by the Lancaster County Council of the Arts, the Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation, and the Craig Farm Historical Preservation Foundation