Friday, September 29
When Buffalo Eyes Are Smiling – “Songs and Stories of Migration, Beauty, and Belonging in Buffalo” live in Asbury Hall
Presented by Owen & Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and the Buffalo Chamber Players
6:30pm Doors / 7pm Show
Tickets: General Admission Seated tickets, $15 advance / $19 day of show, can be purchased on TixR.com or in person at the Babeville Box Office (M-F 11a-5p) (in person: fee free cash sales, 3% credit card fee)
This evening of songs and stories performed by Irish brothers Owen & Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin with The Buffalo Chamber Players will reflect on the power of music and culture to bridge divides and bring people together. Drawing on the history of Irish migration to America, the concert will feature the songs of Buffalo’s own Chauncey Olcott, whose popular songs changed American perception of Irish immigrants 120 years ago. With a vast career in the performing arts, Chauncey wrote hit songs that helped transform Irish American identity, including “My Wild Irish Rose” and “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”
At the time, Irish immigrants had faced widespread and vicious discrimination; they were excluded from mainstream American society. The music and performance of Chauncey and other Irish immigrants helped them confront and overcome intolerance to become a celebrated part of American culture. At this concert, famous Irish singers Owen and Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin will perform these Irish American songs, as well as older folk songs from Ireland, with the full and beautiful accompaniment of the Buffalo Chamber Players.
The concert will explore themes of migration, beauty, and belonging, with special guests Yuki Numata Resnick (violinist and co-founder of Buffalo String Works) & Sam Thomas (flute player from Yorkshire, UK). With remarks from some of Buffalo’s New American community leaders, together we will reflect on how music and culture can create sources and spaces of belonging for today’s immigrant groups in Buffalo and beyond.
About the Artists
Owen and Mícheál ‘Moley’ Ó Súilleabháin are internationally recognized Irish musicians, singers, and performers. Hailing from one of Ireland’s most esteemed musical families, the brothers have been immersed in the rich tapestry of Irish music, song, and storytelling from a young age.
The brothers have developed a unique musical style, blending traditional Irish music with their original compositions, drawing from a range of influences. Their performances are known for their harmonious interplay, engaging stage presence, and the ability to convey the deep cultural roots of their music.
Beyond performing, Owen and Mícheál have released several albums, showcasing their creative talent and their dedication to preserving and evolving the Irish musical tradition. Their work has allowed them to collaborate with many influential artists, including the renowned poet David Whyte, Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe, and virtuosic singer Sinead O’Connor.
While both brothers have individual pursuits — with Owen incorporating his artistic background into a transformational coaching practice and Mícheál publishing his debut poetry book with Many Rivers press — their shared musical journey remains the heart of their artistry. Their collective work as musicians aims to celebrate their cultural heritage, spark joy, and connect people through the universal language of music. Learn more at www.owenandmoley.com.
Buffalo Chamber Players, Buffalo’s preeminent chamber music ensemble, presents innovative music programs performed by our region’s finest musicians. The ensemble’s mission is to challenge, redefine and enhance the public’s perception of chamber music while promoting the city of Buffalo as an inspiring place to live, work, and play. Read more at www.buffalochamberplayers.org.