Karan Casey sings Irish in Asheville

From staff reports

Evocative and soulful, the innovative Karan Casey merges the ancient and the modern in Irish and American folk with her band on May 15 at Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville.

A winner of “Best Folk Album” and “Best Folk Female” (Irish Music Magazine) and a favorite of Asheville audiences, her return visit to the Diana Wortham Theatre is presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College.

For her Asheville performance, Casey is joined by Matt Heaton on guitar and Corey DiMario on bass. Casey’s most recent solo album, “Two More Hours,” is completely self-penned, a first for Casey. Contemporary in tone, the album takes a much more personal approach to her writing and singing.

Casey has enjoyed a 25-year career, from her early days as a jazz performer in Dublin to her heady days with the ground-breaking Irish supergroup Solas to her now well-established six-album solo career. She has toured extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, making regular appearances at world-renowned venues including the Kennedy Center, New York’s Symphony Space, and Dublin’s National Concert Hall. She is set to perform with the Boston Pops Orchestra at Symphony Hall later this month.

Karan Casey released her first album with the group Solas, which quickly became the most celebrated Irish band in the United States. Following Solas’s early releases Casey struck out on her own. Since embarking on her solo career, she has sold more than half a million albums. She has toured regularly throughout North America, Europe and Japan, performing with her own band as well as a diverse array of musicians such as Tim O’Brien, Karen Matheson (Capercaillie), the Michael McGoldrick Band, and Lúnasa.

Casey was a key member of Paul Winter’s Grammy-award winning Celtic Solstice project. She has appeared a myriad of festivals such as WOMAD USA, the Philadelphia Folk Festival and Festival Cornouaille, as well as appearing at prestigious venues including the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and many others.

Eyes on Emerald Isles

Who: Karan Casey

When: 8 p.m. May 15

Where: Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville

Cost: $30 on down

Buy: 257-4530, dwtheatre.com