When describing Cherish the Ladies, the critics say it best; "It is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn't enjoy what they do", the Boston Globe, "An astonishing array of virtuosity", the Washington Post, "Expands the annals of Irish music in America, the music is passionate, tender and rambunctious", The New York Times and for the past twenty-seven years, Cherish the Ladies have proven themselves worthy to live up to these accolades and in doing so have become one of the most engaging ensembles in the history of Irish music.
Taking their name from a traditional Irish jig, the group initially began in 1985 with a series of concerts celebrating the rise of female musicians in once a male dominated scene. The concerts were held in New York City and organized by Dr. Mick Moloney and the Ethnic Folk Arts Center. The troupe initially won recognition as the first all-women traditional music and dance ensemble, but they soon established themselves as musicians and performers without peer and have since won many thousands of fans of their music.
Under the leadership of the dynamic and irrepressible Joanie Madden on flutes and whistles, they have grown from a one-time concert concept to an Irish traditional music sensation and are the most successful and sought after Irish-American group in Celtic music.
With their unique spectacular blend of virtuosi instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing, this powerhouse group combines all the facets of Irish traditional culture and puts it forth in an immensely humorous and entertaining package.
The past years have seen the group touring all over North and South America, the United Kingdom and Europe, China, Australia and New Zealand performing in the finest concert halls and international festivals. They are equally at home in front of a symphony orchestra, a performing arts center, a folk festival or even a command performance for the President at the White House.
During their travels, they have attained numerous awards and achievements including; named Best Musical Group of the Year by the BBC, Top North American Celtic Group at the Irish Music Awards, Entertainment Group of the Year by the Irish Voice Newspaper, chosen the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall's International Group of the Year at the Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland and voted Top North American Celtic act by NPR Radio "Thistle and Shamrock" program. In 2010, the ladies were immortalized as they were bestowed a street naming, "Joanie Madden and Cherish the Ladies" became a permanent street sign on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, New York. In 2013, they recorded a live DVD / CD; “An Irish Homecoming”, Live from Bucknell University featuring Cherish the Ladies, Irish singing sensation Maura O’Connell, seven dancers and a string section that has been featured as a nationwide special on American Public Television.
They have shared the stage with such noted entertainers as James Taylor, Joan Baez, Emmy Lou Harris, The Clancy Brothers, Tommy Makem, The Chieftains and dozens of symphony orchestras. The "Celtic Album", their collaboration with the Boston Pops Symphony led to a 1999 Grammy nomination.
The Ladies have recorded sixteen highly acclaimed albums which were all released to rave reviews including their Christmas Album which was chosen as one of the top Christmas Albums of the Year by The New York Times, Washington Post, The Village Voice and many other nationally syndicated Newspapers. Their recording “Woman of the House” was also in the Billboard top 10 World Music Charts.
Cherish the Ladies have appeared on CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, Evening at Pops, C-Span, PBS and National Public Radio in the United States and on BBC and RTE radio and television overseas. At the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, they were chosen to represent Irish music and culture at the Official Cultural Olympiad.
The girls continue to blaze forward and continue to enchant audiences worldwide.
The current lineup, along with group leader Joanie Madden and founding member Mary Coogan from New York on guitar, consists of All-Ireland Champion Mirella Murray from Connemara in County Galway on accordion; fiddler Grainne Murphy from Boston; and piano player and harmony singer Kathleen Boyle from Glasgow, Scotland.
1985 Cherish the Ladies' Artists Shanachie
1992 The Back Door Green Linnet
1993 Out & About Green Linnet
1996 New Day Dawning Green Linnet
1998 One and All Green Linnet
1998 Threads of Time RCA
1999 The Celtic Album with the Boston Pops RCA
1999 At Home RCA
2000 Cherish the Ladies Live Big Mammy
2001 The Girls Won't Leave the Boys Alone Sony BMG
2003 Across the Waves Big Mammy
2004 On Christmas Night Rounder
2005 Woman of the House Rounder
2009 A Star in the East Big Mammy
2011 Country Crossroads Big Mammy
2013 An Irish Homecoming Big Mammy