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Westfield Memorial Library Hosts Two Irish Programs in March

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On Wednesday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m., the Westfield Memorial Library will host a photographic “Journey through Ireland” and on Saturday, March 17, at 2 p.m., the library will host Irish Music with Mark Kilianski. The library is located at 550 East Broad Street.

World traveler and photographer Joel Simpson will present wild, ancient and hidden Ireland. Ireland, both the Republic and Northern Ireland, exudes authenticity: its landscape, alternately lush and stark; its prehistoric, ancient and Medieval sites; its small towns and villages; the rich geology of its ragged coastlines and interior wonders; its “haunted” ruins; its spectacular flora — and its reassuring lack of commercialism.

This scenic glimpse into Ireland will have audience members yearning to visit--or revisit--the Emerald Isle. Joel Simpson’s art and photography have been showcased in New York, Colorado, Seattle, Barcelona and Paris. His work has been published in many art and photography magazines including “Camera Arts,” and “Focus.” His last program at the library was an amazing “Around the World” photographic journey.

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On March 17 at 2 p.m., Mark Kilianski on guitar, and Deb Shebish on fiddle, will carry on the tradition of Irish music with vibrance and reverence. They will play lively reels and jigs, boisterous pub songs, and tender ballads, as well as tell the stories and history that go along with them.

After establishing an explosive musical connection at the Appalachian String Band Festival in West Virginia, the two teamed up to bring Irish music to the people of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Berklee College of Music graduate and New Jersey native Mark Kilianski tours full time as a solo artist, and with the Americana duo Hoot and Holler.

Mark has won awards at The Appalachian String Band Festival (2nd place Neo-Trad Contest), and Mt. Airy, NC Old Fiddler's Convention (4th place Guitar Contest). In 2016, Mark was featured in the book New Jersey Folk Revival: History and Tradition for his work as a guitar and banjo player, singer, songwriter, and interpreter/advocate of traditional Appalachian and Country music.

Philadelphia fiddler Deb Shebish holds a masters degree in Scottish Studies from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and has performed folk and classical music with the likes of Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh, Ric Blair, Tim O'Brien and The Three Irish Tenors. She teaches and performs in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, and is a documentarian of music in Philly, the Balkans, and her home state of Indiana.

The programs are open to Westfield Memorial Library and MURAL cardholders. (MURAL cardholders belong to the 43 libraries that are part of the Middlesex Union Reciprocal Agreement Libraries. Visit www.wmlnj.org and click on the “About Us” tab to see if your library participates.) Visit the library’s website at www.wmlnj.org, click on the Online Calendar, or call 908-789-4090 option 0.

Founded in 1879, the Westfield Memorial Library — the community’s destination for discovery and ideas — engages minds, entertains spirits and facilitates lifelong learning for people of all ages. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information call 908-789-4090, visit the library’s website at www.wmlnj.org, and sign up for the monthly e-newsletter “Library Loop,” or stop by the library at 550 East Broad Street for a copy of the award-winning quarterly newsletter “Take Note.”

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