HOLDEN, Mass. — The Jolly Beggars, a traditional Celtic folk band from West Hartford, will perform a benefit concert Saturday for the Holden CROP Hunger Walk at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Holden.
The Jolly Beggars is made up of six music educators and freelance musicians, including Wachusett Regional graduate Greg Wilfrid, who perform original arrangements of traditional folk music from Ireland, Scotland, England and other cultures that fall under the "Celtic" cultural umbrella.
"The young men all graduated from Hartt School of Music, and while they were in college one of them went to Ireland and learned how to play Irish music from Irish musicians," said Kathy Mills, coordinator of the Holden Crop Hunger Walk.
After returning, he got a group of friends together to form The Jolly Beggars, and the band toured the East Coast from Maine to North Carolina during summer 2011 and performs regularly throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, she said.
The Beggars' music has a strong storytelling and historical element that features guitars, pennywhistles, mandolin, tenor banjo, double bass, bódhran and spoons. Nick Noble, host of The Folk Revival on WICN 90.5 Worcester, said the band has "adopted the legacy of Irish folk music and carried on that tradition successfully as the first decade of the 21st century transitions to the next."
"They possess an exuberant enthusiasm, a winning charm, and above all outstanding musical chops, all of which enables them both vocally and instrumentally to share their delight in all aspects of this old-time music with a contemporary audience of all ages. They are a joy to listen to and are vastly entertaining," he said.The cost of the concert is $10 for an adult, and those younger than 18 can bring a food pantry item. Proceeds from the concert will go to benefit the Holden Crop Hunger Walk on Sunday, Oct. 21. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 346 Shrewsbury Street. To learn more about the Holden Crop Hunger Walk, visit www.holdencropwalk.org or their page on Facebook, and to support the walk, click here to visit the Donation Page.