“Music of Ireland” series prolongs with U2, Hansard

NEW YORK – U2, Glen Hansard, Damien Rice and the Script are among the Irish pop musicians featured in the second installment of the documentary series "Music of Ireland," scheduled to roll out nationwide on public television stations in September and all through the fall.

"Music of Ireland — Welcome to America" begins where "Welcome Home," which first aired on PBS in February, left off: in the early 1980s, when U2 was budding as a world-renowned act. It goes on to profile the careers of Sinead O’Connor, the Corrs and the Cranberries, and the international influence they cultivated. The hourlong documentary also features interviews with Academy Award winner Hansard, of the Swell Season, and songwriter Rice.

"The thing that charms me the most is that this tiny little island of 4 million has been able to turn out (this) number of top-selling artists and influential artists," says Denny Young, president and founder of Elevation Group and executive director of the series. "That was the story that hadn’t been told in totality and something I felt the general public would find very interesting."

According to Clannad’s Moya Brennan, who hosts the documentary, the series shows how wide the scope of Irish music is. Part 2, she says, illustrates the role America has played in the preservation of Celtic musical traditions.

"The people that (emigrated to) America were able to record and treasure what they brought with them," Brennan says. "(America) helped us sustain and remember."

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