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“Hauntingly beautiful ballads and lilting storytelling...it might spring from the 17th century...but the play seems as current as the latest troubles in Belfast...Patrick Ball’s acting is fine, his musicianship outstanding...A small gem.”
Variety, New York

“Richly theatrical...the spell he casts is hauntingly beautiful...Ball embodies his subject with uncanny realism...a gem of a show.”
St. Petersburg Times, Florida

An Irish Bard Plucks at Heartstrings
“... whenever performer Patrick Ball pulls his stool up to the harp, streams of silvery tunes glisten and shimmer. It’s instant Irish nostalgia, even for a listener who has no particular connection to the country and its culture...Ball plays the pedalless Celtic harp with a deft, florid touch. The melodies are lovingly shaped and the intricate finger work gracefully phrased.”
San Francisco Chronicle, California

A Poet’s Fond Stirring Farewell
“Ball is both a master storyteller and one of the world’s leading Celtic harpists...he smoothly melds the two skills into an arresting oral biography of O’Carolan. The music is glowingly distinctive, lingering in the memory after the last note dies. Ball gives MacCabe’s recollections a depth of emotion and a true sense of loss. Together the words and music create a moving portrait of O’Carolan.”
The News Journal, Wilmington, DE

Harp Takes Audience on Irish Time Travels
“Ball is a master of the Celtic harp, a fascinating instrument that sounds at times like a harpsichord and at other times like bells, but always, beneath his hand, passionate and evocative of the undaunted Irish spirit and the emotional pull of the Irish landscape. Ball is also a skillful actor with an understated style and a gift for both storytelling and characterization which gently brings alive MacCabe, O’Carolan and the various characters they encounter.”

“It is a fantastic respite from standard holiday fare, yet at the same time gives you the sort of emotional lift so enjoyable during the season. O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music makes an excellent early Christmas present.”

“The piece is performed wonderfully...the evening crackles.”
Contra Costa Times, Contra Costa County, CA

A Fond Farewell / Salute to Celtic Harpist Tugs At Heartstrings
“An engaging tale...beautifully realized...soothing, thrilling and haunting...Ball has a warm stage presence, and his storytelling skills are strong...But when Ball sits behind his brass-stringed harp and plays O’Carolan’s music, that’s when this show becomes something special...one glorious tune after another.”
Oakland Tribune, California

Emotional Adieu
“Patrick Ball, expert at the magic of music and words...is a world class harper and a fine actor, with a storyteller’s sharply honed timing and delight in a good joke. Lively, witty and touching...O’Carolan’s Farewell is tightly woven like fine Irish tweed, where the warp is a human relationship and the weft is music, interlaced with threads of history and colorings of humor...If any part of your heart and/or ancestry connects with the shamrock shore, this play is a must-see.”
Pacific Sun, Marin County, CA

Simple Pleasures
“Riverdance, step aside. Frank McCourt, enough of you already, and your brother, too. It’s time to make room for Patrick Ball. O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music plucks a note as simple and candid as the fireside bond of oral tradition -- and that’s exactly the magic...the solo performance weaves an irresistible Gaelic narrative, filled with laughter and mischief, politics and conflict...a rare performance...an inspired production...the music is spiritual and effortless.”
Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, CA

A Gem of a Show About the Emerald Isle
“Between his music and his storytelling, Ball’s performance is a tour de force. O’Carolan’s music is played with wonderful flourish...he brings O’Carolan’s...songs to full and sophisticated life....The script is part history lesson and part outright hoot. The result is an evening that’s informative, inspiring, amusing and, above all, entertaining. It’s so well presented and so well paced that you’re likely to be reluctant to bid farewell to “O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music.”
Daily Local News, Westchester, PA

“Patrick Ball’s solo performance summons up multiple characters and the spirit of an era, but it’s in his brilliant playing of the rare wire-strung Celtic harp that the evening springs to life. The script...richly contextualizes the music...inspired.”
San Francisco Bay Guardian, California

“Musically, the show is impeccable. Ball plays with a passion for the music that is only matched by his skill...Ball is also a gifted storyteller...As MacCabe, Ball tells the story with warmth and humor. And then he sits at the harp, and O’Carolan speaks for himself.”
Arcade Suburban Publications, PA, NJ

“An entrancing play...mystical and enchanting. Beautiful.”
Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, CA

“There may be one person on the stage, but in The Fine Beauty of the Island...a whole culture appears before us. Through the voice of his Celtic harp, the lilt of his penny whistle, and the brogues of a pubful of characters, contemporary bard Patrick Ball casts a spell...weaving a pageant out of scraps of stories, researched history, and the raucous dark humor of the Irish. We find ourselves, like children, fed by his stories and abandoned to imagination. By blending a personal inner journey with the sensual reality and harsh beauty of the Blasket Islands, he created, like the bardic wanderers of old, the story of a vanished world.”
The Voice, Sonoma County, CA


“An American master of the Irish instrument, a peripatetic modern day bard, combining tale-telling, history and music into a seamless compound that reaches all ages and types of listeners.”
San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA

“It’s rare that we will feature a performer on our fine performances season for two consecutive years, but then Patrick is a rare artist...The audience was entranced by his harp playing, amused by his storytelling. Patrick is a grand man who puts on a great show. A warm and magical performance.”
APAP Report / Humboldt State University

“Patrick Ball conjured some Druid magic...weaving words and music into a spellbinding program.”
The Blade, Toledo, OH

“The SRO audience loved Mr. Ball’s performance, asking when we will be bringing him back. Ball was a delight to work with, very professional and he is superb at captivating an audience.”
APAP Report / Arizona State University

“His concert consisted of ethereally gorgeous instrumental music and colorful stories. The music, like that of many Windham Hill artists, painted a feeling with delicate wisps of sound. But there is something special about the sound of the harp and the sight of someone playing it. His renditions of musical antiquities were almost a spiritual experience.”
The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY

“Ball weaves a pleasant skein of shanachie tales with a fair bit of wit, but it’s just so much string for his true jewels, the short harp solos. These extremely delicate and gracefully measured melodies shone like constellations over a moonless heath.”
The Boston Globe

“One of the premier interpreters of O’Carolan’s music today.”
Los Angeles Times

“Patrick Ball...casts a haunting spell... a graceful and often bittersweet evocation of the past.”
Washington Post

“Patrick Ball is the finest interpreter of traditional Celtic music I have ever heard in my professional career. His storytelling is wonderful and his entire program combines storytelling and Celtic harp tunes seamlessly. He is a delightful entertainer.”
APAP Event Report / Barbara A. Harris, Caffe Lena

“Patrick Ball is a real artist; perhaps a profound one.”
Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, MI

“Thank you again for the wonderful concert and residency at Elon College. I am still getting rave reviews from all those who attended the performance. Truly your music and stories bridged the generation gap; students, faculty and community patrons have uniformly shared enthusiastic comments about the evening. The music was enthralling and the stories delightful. We all appreciate the opportunity we had to become acquainted with you and we look forward to having you return to Elon.”
George W. Troxler, Director of Cultural Programs,
Elon College, NC

“Once again, ‘Thank you, Thank you, Thank you’ for the wonderful experiences you brought to the audiences of ASU’s Kerr Cultural Center. The “Coffee at Kerr” you hosted on Friday morning was both informative and entertaining, the two elements we strive for in theses presentations. AND Friday evening’s performance was magical. I received so many wonderful comments from the audience, including ‘When is he coming back?’ It was a genuine pleasure working with you. I am sincerely looking forward to our next encounter.”
A. Nannette Taylor, Kerr Cultural Center,
Arizona State University

“It’s some of the most interesting and heart-stoppingly gorgeous music to come along in some time...Ball plays with skill and feeling, weaving intricate textures and rendering the centuries-old material compelling from the first note...The harp itself sounds so glorious that it’s quite understandable why it’s reputed to be the instrument of choice among the angels.”
The California Music Magazine, Los Angeles, CA

“The leading practitioner of O’Carolan’s art is Patrick Ball. He systematically explores O’Carolan’s prolific output, as well as branching out to other traditions in his laudable and ambitious search of a by-gone Celtic past.”
Tower Records Pulse!

“Patrick Ball plays the ancient, wire-strung Celtic harp with a sense of magic and refinement that takes you back to a time when musicwas more direct and powerful in its simplicity.”
CD Review

“The show is a rare treat.”
The Arcata Union (Humboldt State University concert)

Los Angeles Music Center Performances

“It was such a joy and a delight to have you perform at Berkeley Hall School. You were an absolute smash with everyone, from the head of the Board of Trustees, to the teachers, headmaster and best of all, the students...Your music was beautiful, your tales were enchanting, and your command of the audience impressive. I can’t tell you how grateful we were to have you. My colleagues on the Cultural Arts Committee join me in saying “Bravo! Many thanks for a beautiful and enriching afternoon.”

“Outstanding! My students were enthralled!”

Young Audiences of the Bay Area Performances

“The entire performance was wonderful! The students absolutely adored him and stayed after to ask questions and were not concerned about recess at all!!”

“Fabulous to work with, talented, warm, approachable and intelligent. He gives each group more than their money’s worth. I learned so much. What a unique program!”

“Great performance!”

Salt Lake-Moanalua Pubic Library, Oahu, Hawaii

“Thank you so very much for sharing your artistry with our families...your artistry in music and story may have been that one life-changing experience for a child who, having heard you, will begin a life-long love affair with words beautifully and artful spoken and music skillfully and hauntingly performed.”

University of Hawaii, Manoa Outreach College Performances
“I loved his humor, his rapport with the audience, his ability to adapt the presentation to the age of his audience, and his absolute professionalism.”

“Patrick Ball is excellent and a professional in every way. I am honored to have had the opportunity to witness the artist in action!”

“Everything went as smoothly as Patrick Ball’s serene artistry on the harp.”

Mesa Public Schools, Arizona

“Great storyteller! Very unique and a wonderful introduction to the students and exposure to the harp. His musical talents are great.”

“Wow! This was a wonderful assembly -- the children were so interested and very well- behaved.”

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