Irish virtuoso flute & whistle player Laurence Nugent in concert

Thankfully, the world did not end last Saturday as some had predicted. Katharine Cornell Theatre (KCT) Concerts would have had to cancel this Friday’s 8 pm concert at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven and we would have been deprived of the opportunity to hear the ethereal music of Irishman Laurence Nugent right here on Earth.

Mr. Nugent will be accompanied by Nancy Conescu, an internationally respected guitarist and vocalist. Ms. Conescu has toured Ireland with the group Aontas and is regarded as one of the great voices in the world of Irish traditional music today.

Mr. Nugent is a virtuoso flute and whistle player. His music has a clear melodic quality that only the most grounded and accomplished musician can convey. He grew up in a musical family. His father Sean Nugent was an All-Ireland fiddle champion and leader of the Pride of Erin Ceili Band, one of the top Irish dance bands of its day.

The younger Nugent grew up listening to many of Ireland’s most accomplished musicians. He won numerous musical contests in his native Ireland as a young performer and went on to win the senior All-Ireland Championships in 1994 and 1995. He is an established performer on the Celtic music circuit. Mr. Nugent has performed with many musicians, including The Chieftains, Shane McGowan, Van Morrison, The Drovers, The Green Fields of America, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, and Paddy Keenan.

He has toured extensively throughout Ireland, the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. His CDs (Laurence Nugent, Two For Two, and The Windy Gap, on Shanachie Records) have met with critical acclaim. On them, je was joined by some of the greats of Irish music, including fiddle legends Kevin Burke and Liz Carroll, and guitarist Arty McGlynn. His music is often heard on radio, including A Prairie Home Companion,

He has lived in Chicago since 1992. He teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and in workshops throughout the United States and Ireland.

KCT Concerts continues to bring to the Island the best that there is in Irish music with occasional doses of American folk/roots music. Their production values, while never too shabby, continue to improve and provide us with some of the finest musical presentations on the Vineyard.

The upcoming schedule includes: The Kane Sisters with Edel Fox on Wednesday, July 27; Richie Stearns on Saturday, Sept. 3; The Bee Eaters Thursday, Sept. 22; and Jake Schepps on Sunday, Oct. 9.

KCT Concerts is a nonprofit organization, the result of the hard work and dreams of Gregg Harcourt and Mary Wolverton. It is supported by ticket and CD sales, volunteers, and a grant from the Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council. KCT Concerts also lends its support to other Island musical productions. For more information go to kctconcerts.com.

Laurence Nugent, with Nancy Conescu, 8 pm, Friday, May 27, Katharine Cornell Theatre, Vineyard Haven. $20; $15 in advance (at aboveground records, Island Entertainment, Alley’s, the Scottish Bakehouse and the Oak Bluffs General Store, or online at ticketsmv.com), free for children. Call 508-693-6237 for information and reservations.