You are reading

Sunnyside’s Irish Music finds Global Audience


Aug. 1, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

Sunnyside’s Irish heritage is about to be broadcast across the globe yet again.

“Sunnyside Sessions,” a television program showcasing Irish musical talent from the area and hosted by local musician Cathy Maguire, is premiering tonight on Irish TV, a channel watched in more than 140 countries.

The show is filmed right in Maguire’s backyard in Sunnyside, and showcases two Irish musical acts per episode. Maguire finishes off each episode with a performance of her own music.

The show began as “a seed idea” when Maguire would host her fellow musicians for casual jam sessions in her backyard just for fun. She said one day she looked around and realized that it could make a good television show, approached Irish TV with director and producer Colin Flynn, and it grew from there.

“There’s a hotbed of talented musicians here,” Maguire explained, and she saw an opportunity to showcase the incredible work she saw around her.

Maguire has found immense support in the community, she said. “Seeing how much the artists got on board, how the community got together, it started as an idea on my porch, and everyone we called jumped on board and the support has been just incredible,” Maguire explained.

“Sunnyside Sessions” just wrapped filming of the first series on Thursday, shooting on the last day with folk legend Judy Collins. “She was so kind to give advice and was so supportive of the ‘Sunnyside Sessions’ and gave a lot of advice to the up and coming artists about how to sustain a career, and she said very interesting things in her interview,” Maguire said.

In addition to featuring musical performances, the show includes interviews with local Irish people of interest. Maguire said that some of the interviews were with Congressman Crowley in his office and with comedian Des Bishop in Flushing.

“The diaspora is so incredibly large all over the world,” Maguire explained of why having a program focused on Irish culture is so important. “Millions of people have Irish heritage, and we’re a very arts rich and music rich culture, so an Irish channel is totally necessary.”

The show had a premiere party at the Irish consulate on July 20 that Maguire said was “standing room only.” Congressman Joseph Crowley and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer both attended, and Crowley even graced the crowd with a performance of a Simon and Garfunkel song.

The launch also featured performances by local Irish musicians Tara O’Grady and Joni Madden, among others.

CathyMaguire“It perfectly encapsulated the spirit of what ‘Sunnyside Sessions’ is all about, the spontaneity, the all-artists-welcome spirit,” Maguire explained.

“Sunnyside Sessions” will begin filming its second series early next year, as soon as Maguire’s backyard clears of snow. She also plans to host live shows in the area.

Bouncing between homes in Sunnyside, Nashville and Ireland, Maguire has several projects underway. In addition to “Sunnyside Sessions,” she is also releasing a new country music album in October that she recorded with Cowboy Jack Clement in Nashville. “Everyone in Ireland listened to country music, and that drew me to it,” Maguire said.

Though Irish TV does not currently air in the United States, it is launching an American channel in October, which will show “Sunnyside Sessions.”

For more information on “Sunnyside Sessions,” visit the Facebook page at

email the author:


Click for Comments 
El loco

Boy, I would have loved to have seen political hack Joseph Crowley singing. Seriously though how about one of the many, many Irish bars hosting Sunnyside sessions each week. I would go and I’m sure my fans in Sunnyside would love yo meet me.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.