Congratulations to Irish step dancer Kevin Doyle of Barrington, Rhode Island, winner of a 2014 Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) in Washington DC. Doyle is one of nine recipients of this year's award. Here is the NEA press release.
Kevin and his sister Maureen started dancing lessons as children, taught initially by their mother Margaret Taylor Doyle, who came from Roscommon. Their father John's parents emigrated to Providence from County Longford in the early 1900s.
Renowned for his technical brilliance, engaging personality and inventive footwork (both Irish step dancing and tap dancing), Doyle has won various awards throughout his career, and is one of the most popular performers on the Irish/Celtic circuit in New England. He is a frequent performer at the Blackstone River Theatre and Summer Solstice Festival in Rhode Island, as well as the Christmas Celtic Sojourn concerts held each year throughout the region.
Noted Irish music author and critic Earle Hitchner writes that "Kevin Doyle joins an elite list of NEA National Heritage Fellowship honorees who have drawn national attention and added luster to the inimitable traditional and folk arts create by the Irish American community in the United States."
Other New Englanders who have received the prestigious award include fiddler Seamus Connolly, who won in 2013, and accordionist Joe Derrane, who won in 2004.
This summer, Kevin will be performing locally at the Irish Cultural Center with Atlantic Steps in Canton on July 11, the Lowell Folk Festival on July 25-27, and the John Brown House Museum in Providence with Pendragon on August 7, 2014. Here is Doyle's performance schedule through the fall.
Find year round details on Irish culture in New England by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com.