The Chieftains

To kick off Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, legendary Irish band The Chieftains will perform at Symphony Center on Friday, March 6, at 8 p.m., in their “Irish Goodbye” tour.

The Chieftains, led by founder Paddy Moloney, will present a program of modern renditions of traditional Irish folk music and original songs.

The six-time Grammy Award-winning band has been delighting fans since their formation in Dublin in 1962. Although their early following was purely a folk audience, the range and variation of their music quickly captured a broader audience, making them the best-known Irish band in the world today.

Founding member and tin whistle player Moloney leads the group, which includes Matt Molloy, flute; Kevin Conneff, bodhran/vocals; Jon Pilatzke, fiddle/dance; Triona Marshall, harp/keyboards; Alyth McCormack, vocals; Tara Breen, fiddle/saxophone; Cara Butler, dancer; and Nathan Pilatzke, dancer.

Now in their 58th year together, The Chieftains are widely credited with reinventing traditional Irish folk music on a contemporary and international scale. They have been honored in their own country by being named Ireland’s Musical Ambassadors, and their performances have been linked with seminal historic events such as being the first Western musicians to perform on the Great Wall of China, participating in Roger Water’s “The Wall” performance in Berlin in 1990 and being the first ensemble to perform a concert in the capitol in Washington, D.C.

In 2012, celebrating their 50th anniversary, The Chieftains were awarded the inaugural National Concert Hall Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Ireland Fund. Over the years, they have collaborated and performed with symphony orchestras as well as some of the biggest names in modern music including Sting, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and The Rolling Stones.

Tickets can be purchased by phone at (800) 223-7114 or online at