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Cherish the Ladies

Joanie Madden
Background information
Origin New York City
Genres Irish folk music, Celtic music
Years active 1985-present
Website Official website
Joanie Madden
Mary Coogan
Mirella Murray
Roisín Dillon
Michelle Burke
Kathleen Boyle
Former members
Aoife Clancy
Siobhan Egan
Winifred Horan
Eileen Ivers
Liz Knowles
Donna Long
Maureen Doherty Macken
Mary Rafferty
Marie Reilly
Cathie Ryan
Heidi Talbot

Cherish the Ladies is an all-female Irish-American super group. The band began as a concert series in New York in January of 1985, the brainchild of Mick Moloney who wanted to showcase the brightest female musicians in America in what had been a male-dominated scene. The group took their name from a traditional Irish jig called "Cherish the Ladies", and the series opened to sold out concerts. Their leader Joanie Madden plays flute and tin whistle. The other members of the group play a wide variety of instruments. Their albums contain both tunes (instrumental tracks) and songs (tracks with vocals).



Joanie Madden was born in the Bronx, New York to Irish parents and is an All-Ireland champion on the flute and whistle. She became the first American to win the senior all-Ireland championship on the tin whistle in 1984[1]. For 25 years (since 1985), she has been the powerhouse behind Cherish the Ladies, driving them to international acclaim. The group has been a launchpad for many of the top female musicians in Celtic music including; Eileen Ivers, Winifred Horan of Solas, Cathie Ryan, Heidi Talbot, and Liz Carroll.

Over the course of the past twenty five years, the band have played in the finest concert halls and have performed in North and South America, the UK, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Their shows are always accompanied by world class step dancers on stage.

They have recorded many albums, but their album The Girls Won't Leave the Boys Alone stands apart from their other albums in that it consists mostly of songs. It also has guest appearances by Arlo Guthrie, Tom Chapin, Pete Seeger, Eric Weissberg, Matt Molloy and The Clancy Brothers. They have also recorded a track on the Grammy-nominated album, "The Celtic Album" with the Boston Pops.

Although the group formed from Irish-American female musicians, the current lineup along with Madden consists of founding member Mary Coogan from New York on guitar; All-Ireland Champion Mirella Murray from Connemara in County Galway on Accordion; fiddler Roisin Dillon from Belfast, Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland piano player and harmony singer Kathleen Boyle on piano; and Michelle Burke from County Cork on lead vocals.

Cherish the Ladies are one of the busiest working folk groups in the world today.



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