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In the 21st century, the Irish of New York no longer live in many of the city neighbourhoods that echoed with the sound of jigs and reels in the 78 rpm era or the heyday of the traditional music revival. Almost all the Irish bars that once lined Broadway in Inwood and Bainbridge Avenue in the Bronx are gone. You don’t hear many brogues on the streets of Woodside and Sunnyside in Queens these days. Immigration from Ireland is down to a trickle, and Irish Americans continue to heed the siren call of the suburbs.

It could be said that the city has lost some of its Celtic character, but there are still strongholds where the Irish have sunk deep roots and show no signs of leaving. Irish tricolours still wave alongside the Stars and Stripes on Katonah Avenue in Woodlawn in the Bronx, on McLean Avenue just over the city line in Yonkers, on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens and, especially, in and around Pearl River in suburban Rockland County.

In those core Irish neighbourhoods, families still send their kids to traditional music classes, and a corps of dedicated teachers continue to turn out new generations of talented young musicians.

Recordings from the Present Day