Arts & Culture

Abanalan Band to Perform at Carnegie Art Center

Carnegie Art Center Continues to Bring Live Music to North Tonawanda

Friday, March 1, 2019, 6:30-8:30PM

The Carnegie Art Center will host the Abanalan Band on Friday, March 1, 6:30- 8:30PM. Abanalan, Irish for “Beautiful River” was introduced into the Western New York music scene in 2016. The band includes regional standouts in the traditional Irish music scene: Stephanie Benson (fiddle), Tim Benson (Uilleann pipes, flute, whistles, fiddle), Maureen Bluett (vocals, bodhran and mandolin), and Mark Warford (cittern, tenor guitar, vocals). Abanalan features inspired sets of Irish dance tunes and song arrangements infused with a unique alchemy.

Tim Benson is a multi-instrumentalist who became interested in Irish music after involvement in the Ulster Project during his teen years.  He plays uilleann pipes, fiddle, flute, whistles, banjo, guitar and mandolin. Stephanie Benson is a highly accomplished fiddler as well as an avid hockey player and mom of three.  Since 2006, Tim and his wife Stephanie have specialized in building Irish uillieann pipes.  More information about their music can be found on their website at

Maureen Bluett has been playing Irish music in WNY since 2006, starting with the bodhrán and then adding mandolin and vocals.  She plays regularly at area seisiúns including Nietzsche’s, and at Ceili’s and contradances with Resistance is Futile.  She is also a member of Setanta with Gregor Harvey and Mark Warford.

Mark Warford has been a staple of the Buffalo Irish music scene for many years.  He cofounded the seisiún at Nietzsche’s, the only weekly Irish music seisiún in the area, 15 years ago.  He anchored the First Thursday seisiún at the Shannon Pub for many years. He is also a member of Setanta.  You can see him playing bouzouki, cittern, guitar and singing at various venues around WNY.

Together they make up Abanalan and perform a traditional Irish repertoire including jigs, slipjigs, reels, hornpipes, airs and ballads.  Their wide array of tunes, songs and instruments make them a delight to listen to.

Admission to the concert at the Carnegie Art Center is $10. Tickets can be purchased on the Carnegie Art Center website ( or at the door on the day of the event.

The North Tonawanda City School District Student Spotlight Exhibition will be on display during the concert. This exhibition features artwork created by students in all of the North Tonawanda City school art classes. The show is curated by the NT art teachers. The NT art teachers will also host a free “Family Night” where the public is invited to create art at the Carnegie Art Center on March 19, 6:30-8PM. The exhibition will be on display until March 22, 2019.

%d bloggers like this: