The Irish music "session" – regularly connected with the great pubs of Ireland and the wild beauty of the west of Ireland – is now set to take a new path on American airwaves.  Renowned Irish traditional band Dervish will bring the sounds of a spirited Irish session to American public radio audiences through a weekly radio program, "Irish Heartbeat with Dervish.” The program goes into production this month at the band's Sligo studios in the West of Ireland and is set to launch later this year on over 800 public radio stations across the country.
The radio program will be hosted by Dervish’s lead singer, Cathy Jordan, and will feature guests from among Ireland and America's top traditional and roots musicians, as well as noted figures from Ireland's literary and wider arts world. Already confirmed are Matt Molloy (of The Chieftains) with John Carty, Moya Brennan of Clannad, The Celtic Tenors, Irish rock band The Saw Doctors, singer Susan McKeown, fiddler Frankie Gavin (De Dannan), and leading traditional groups Danú and Téada.
Listeners will get a true sense of sitting close in a music session at a pub or party in Ireland—a memorable experience with lively instrumental tunes traded back and forth, moving songs, chat, laughter, and always a great sense of fun.
The program is the brainchild of Dervish co-founder and accordion player Shane Mitchell.  "We wanted to capture the character and spirit of a pub session, which is the natural home of our music," he says. "We came up with the idea of a regular radio show with guests jamming with the band, to send to America. I must say I've never seen the band so excited about a project!"  The members of Dervish will make up the program's house band.