Mike Kirkpatrick & Kathleen Keane from the Drovers

Mike Kirkpatrick and Kathleen Keane have a long, successful and innovative musical history together.  They were both instrumental in the rise of the critically acclaimed Chicago Irish rock band, the Drovers, in the 1980s & 1990s. Both have led outstanding individual careers ever since.

Mike KirkpatrickMike is a Chicago-based composer and record producer and has composed music for film (Backdraft, Blink), theater (Beauty Queen of Leenane), and dance (Trinity Irish Dance, Fara Tolono, and many others).  Mike is accompanist for the dance technique classes at Columbia College, a position he has held for 28 years.  As a record producer, he has become known for a unique style of recording. Using old-school (1920’s thru 1960’s) ideas about microphones, recording techniques, and acoustics, he makes modern-style recordings that are easy on the ears and can stand up to repeated listening.

Kathleen KeaneKathleen is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, composer, and dancer.  She is one of the finest exponents of the Irish community in Chicago.  She collaborated with Mike both on and off screen in “Backdraft” and on her own in “The Road to Perdition.” While living in Los Angeles, her whistle and fiddle skills were also featured on the “Cinderella Man” soundtrack. She has graced stages around the world with the “Titanic” band, Gaelic Storm.  Her original composition, “The Longing,” for “Windham Hill’s Celtic Christmas Silver Anniversary” – which she co-wrote, sang, produced and performed – resulted in her first # 1 record on BILLBOARD’S World Music Chart. A champion Irish step dancer, choreographer and instructor, she studied with Michael Flatley and also obtained her TCRG, the Irish Dancing Certification awarded by An Comisiun le Rinci Galatia, Dublin, Ireland.

Mike & Kathleen are currently recording an album with Mike’s ensemble, The American Folk Music Orchestra due for release next spring.

Friday, November 1st, 8:00pm-10:00pm
Heartland Gallery
Wristband or cover

Beginning Tin Whistle Workshop, with Dean Karres

Dean Karres

Come for a low stress introduction to the tin whistle (penny whistle). This workshop is for the complete novice.  You will be shown correct hand and finger position; a simple scale; and, we will work through one or more very simple melodies.

A whistle will be given to the first twelve participants.  If you bring your own whistle please make sure it is a “D” whistle.  This is often etched into the whistle body or printed on a label.


Dean plays and teaches bodhrán.  He also plays whistle, uilleann pipes, might sing on occasion and is currently in love with ceili drumming.  In 2005 he won first place in the “Midwest Fleadh Cheoil” adult bodhrán competition and then competed in that year’s “All Ireland” event.  He plays in area sessions and bands and recently started playing drums for the ‘Nashville Ceili Band”.

Dean has led bodhrán clinics at the Kansas City Irish Festival and other Midwestern music festivals since the late 1990’s.  He has led beginning whistle clinics at events in the last few years.

Friday, November 1st, 6:00pm-6:45pm
Heartland Gallery