Hudson River Ceili
Traditional Celtic Song and Dance in the Northern Hudson River Region

Hudson River Ceili performs traditional Irish and other Celtic style music and dance. The group especially enjoys high energy dance tunes from the Irish, Quebecois, and New England traditions and performs in the region for weddings, dances, and festivals. Members are Andre Ernst (guita and mandolin), Leanne Balfoort (Irish dance), David Jones (fiddle and uilliann bagpipes), and Diane Jones (fiddle).

Ceili is an Irish word for a dance party. The Hudson River snakes through the region where the performers all live.

Concert at the Little Theater on the Farm, Fort Edward, NY, 18 July 2021
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Andre Ernst (vocals, guitar, mandolin)

Andre Ernst is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, bouzouki, and mandolin player. Born in the Catskills and raised in New York’s Capital District, Andre has played stringed instruments since he was 8. You may have seen him at a Capital District Irish session or at your local farmers market singing celtic ballads, his own compositions, or just thrashing out a trad tune with a colorful group of musicians.

Over the years he has played many local venues such as Caffè Lena, the Parting Glass in Saratoga, Powers pub in Clifton park, the Valatie community theater, and the Hudson River Music Hall, as well as many other locations in the capital region and throughout New York state. Andre is recently returned from Europe and touring the venues, sessions, and pubs there.

Enjoy Andre's Performances on FaceBook

Leanne Balfoort (Irish dance)

Leanne has been studying, competing and performing as an Irish dancer for over 12 years. Her love of traditional Celtic music combined with the challenging rhythmic movements is what makes it so personally fulfilling and fun to share with with others. She contines to compete locally and in a regional championship with the Boland School of Irish dance, Green Island.

Recent Performaces: 2019 Mid-Atlantic Regional Oireachtas (Adult Championship, Adult 4-hand, and 8-hand Ceili (1st place)); Strand Theater, Hudson Falls, NY, March 2019; Shaker Pointe, Watervliet, NY, March 2019; First Night Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY, December 2019

Diane Jones (fiddle)

Diane started violin as a child and studied for a year at the Crane School of Music. She took up the violin as fiddle later on and studies tunes from a variety of genres.

Diane attended the Willie Clancy Summer School in Ireland in 2006 and Catskills Irish Arts Week in 2007 and 2010, as well as the East Coast Tionol in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Diane has been playing with Grafton Street Trio since 2009.

Recent Performaces: Clifton Park Contra Dance, October 2019; Contra Dance, Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY, July 2019; Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council Festival, Glens Falls, June 2019; Strand Theater, Hudson Falls, NY, March 2019; Shaker Pointe, Watervliet, NY, March 2019; First Night Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY, December 2019

David Jones (fiddle, uilleann bagpipes)

David Jones plays fiddle and Irish uilleann bagpipes. From 2000-2009, he played with the Adirondack Pipes and Drums of Glens Falls and he also played fiddle in the Capital District MegaBand in 2010 and 2012. David has been playing with Grafton Street Trio since 2009.

Recent Performaces: Clifton Park Contra Dance, October 2019; Contra Dance, Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY, July 2019; Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council Festival, Glens Falls, June 2019; Strand Theater, Hudson Falls, NY, March 2019; Shaker Pointe, Watervliet, NY, March 2019; First Night Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY, December 2019

Performances

mid-July 2022 Little Theater on the Farm, part of the LARAC-funded Afternoon of Irish Music
25 September 2021 Glens Falls Farmer's Market
14 August 2021 LARAC Festival, 10:30am, City park Bandstand, Glens Falls, NY
24 July 2021 Glens Falls Farmer's Market
18 July 2021 Little Theater on the Farm, 2pm, part of the LARAC-funded Afternoon of Irish Music
22 May 2021 Glens Falls Farmer's Market
17 October 2020 Glens Falls Farmer's Market
Week of 9th September 2020 The whole gang at the Afternoon of Irish Music, Little Theater on the Farm, closed recording session concert to stream on FaceBook
8 March 2020 Saratoga Order of Hibernians St. Patrick's Day party
28 Feb 2020 Glens Falls Farmer's Market
Andre's Song "Hudson Byway" performed live in Morris NY at the farmer's market. The song is a rework of the English traditional song Ratcliffe Highway with changes the context and geography.