Friday, March 20 | 8:00pm

Eleven years ago, four Irish singers, performers and songwriters decided to take a calculated risk. The constituent parts of The High Kings – Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden – each had a wealth of history in the music business behind them, but knew that in order to maintain any level of creative interest they would have to boldly go where no other Irish ballad group had gone before.

Their self-titled debut album, released in 2008, reached a highly impressive number two on Billboard Magazine’s World Music chart. It was during The High Kings second tour of the US in 2011, however – having graduated from playing small venues to larger halls as they promoted their follow-up album, “Memory Lane”, which also crashed into Billboard’s World Music chart – which everyone involved realized the fan base was growing into something that no one had predicted. Subsequently, the group’s tour of Ireland sold out within hours.

The High Kings received the stamp of approval from the likes of Christy Moore and, perhaps more pertinently, Ronnie Drew, the lead singer of The Dubliners, and the man behind one of Ireland’s most recognizable and enduring ballad voices. The High Kings had achieved what many had thought improbable, if not impossible: they were moving the Irish ballad tradition into the here and now, carrying along with them the steadfast older fans while simultaneously bringing it to a new audience.

In 2013 the group’s third studio album, “Friends For Life”, featured original songs among the traditional fare. The group’s fourth studio album, released in 2016, “Grace & Glory”, takes them back to the essentials that kick-started their career in the first place. 2017 saw the band continue with intensive touring of Ireland, the UK and America. They celebrated their tenth anniversary with the November 2017 release of “Decade – Best of the High Kings”, receiving rave reviews and record sales figures with the band again topping the Irish Album Charts and the Billboard World Music Charts.

A co-presentation of  the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and the Garde Arts Center.