Fiddle Tricks

One talented family out of the Ottawa-Valley region of Canada has been entertaining audiences for years with their spectacular dancing and musical techniques. The Fitzgerald’s blend Canadian and Irish styles in their show, which includes step dancing, fiddle playing and singing.
The Fitzgeralds originally started out as a full-family group called Everything Fitz, which included all four siblings and their parents. They played fundraisers and local church events until eventually doing more tours outside of Ontario.
Then three of the siblings — Kerry, Julie and Tom — started a new show called The Fitzgeralds Irish Celebration, which has evolved to include additional musical talents to the band.
While they live in Canada, their family line reaches back to Ireland, so their show features a cultural blend.
“We have Irish and Scottish roots on my father’s side of the family,” Julie Fitzgerald said. “During the potato famine, our ancestors immigrated to Canada. They settled just outside of a region of Ontario called the Ottawa-Valley. This region is known for the Ottawa-Valley step dancing, a unique high-energy style that blends Irish, French Canadian and tap dancing. It’s a unique style to the area and we are so excited to share this in Laughlin!”
For their upcoming run at the Riverside Resort March 15-19, The Fitzgeralds Irish Celebration is returning with a larger cast for a bigger sound on stage. The bandmates will include: Kerry Fitzgerald on fiddle, step dance, piano and ukulele-bass; Tom Fitzgerald on fiddle, step dance and vocals; Paige Ballagh on vocals and step dance; Kyle Waymouth on guitar and step dance; Alanna Jenish on fiddle, step dance and piano; and James Law on percussion.
The group will focus on traditional Irish tunes, as they will be performing over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, but they will include a couple of their original songs as well. All of the accompanying dance routines are choreographed by the band.
With the addition of a few new members, Laughln guests can expect to enjoy a thrilling updated show from this tried-and-true act.
“A big addition to the show will be the powerful vocal talents of Paige Ballagh,” Kerry Fitzgerald said. “With a background in musical theatre, song-writing, and live performance, Paige brings a fiery energy and passion to the stage! Together with the band, she will be singing Irish classics and audience favorites, including ‘When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,’ ‘Galway Girl,’ ‘The Night Pat Murphy Died,’ ‘Caledonia’ and ‘Black Velvet Band.’ We will also be bringing a unique Canadian flare to the Irish music, including brand new arrangements of East Coast songs ‘Out on the Mira,’ ‘Northwest Passage,’ and ‘Irish Washerwoman.’”
There will be lots of twists and turns in the show, holding the crowd’s attention every second of the way with their fascinating song and dance techniques.
“We have gotten very creative and innovative with our dance routines, and like to try fun things on stage to keep things interesting for the audience,” Kerry said. “You will see a lot of tricks with the fiddle and feet, and a whole variety of musical stylings. In particular, Tom performs a novelty version of ‘Over the Rainbow’ where he takes his bow apart in order to wrap the hair around all four strings, for a three-part harmony performance all on his own!”
This high-energy crew puts on a show like no other, which will delight the entire family.
“Our show appeals to an audience of all ages, from youngsters up to the young at heart,” Kerry said. “Fiddle music is very uplifting, and makes everyone want to tap their toes and clap their hands, even if they are unfamiliar with the music. The energetic and impressive step dancing is sure to capture everyone’s attention!”
Get ready to do a jig in Laughlin this weekend as The Fitzgerald’s bring the Irish spirit to town.
“I believe that we all have a little Irish in us, so dust off your St Paddy’s apparel, let your Irish spirit shine and join us for a week of Irish Celebration at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort,” Kerry encouraged. “If you weren’t Irish when you came, you certainly will be when you leave!”