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Arts and Entertainment

February 22, 2013

Celtic singer to perform in Oxford

6 On The Square — at 6 LaFayette Park in downtown Oxford — will host Susan McKeown at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Celtic-contemporary singer is a Grammy Award winner and BBC Folk Award nominee. Her songwriting “is a blend of Celtic traditionalism and eclectic contemporary,” a media release said.

McKeown credits her mother — an organist and composer — as one of her greatest influences, the release said. Other influences include the words of Chief Seattle, the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Irish legend The Tain.

As a teenager, McKeown abandoned a career in opera to sink folk and original songs in Dublin, Ireland.

In 1990, with a Travel Bursary from the Arts Council and Kaliber Arts Achievement Award, she left Ireland to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, as she wanted to become an actress who sang, the release said.

She has recorded 11 albums, with her latest, “Belong,” released last year. McKeown has performed with Pete Seeger, Natalie Merchant, Bill Bragg, The Klezmatics, Mariachi Real de Mexico, Lunasa, Flook, Johnny Cunningham and many others. Her music has been featured in documentary programs and shows on CBS, the Discovery Channel, PBS, the BBC, ABC in Australia, and she has performed on National Public Radio and Public Radio International.

The musician has been mentioned in Time magazine and Rolling Stone, and the Irish Examiner said, “A singer of passion, grace and striking presence with the ability to capture both the essence of traditional folk song or the more hard-edged domain of contemporary adult rock; she seems to personify both past and present.”

Tickets are $20 in advance at www.6onthe or $25 at the door. For more information, call 843-6876.

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