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'AETN Presents' to feature Celtic Thunder's Keith Harkin in solo performance

Posted 18 Nov 2011

“AETN Presents: On the Front Row With Keith Harkin” will air on the Arkansas PBS (AETN) Friday, Nov. 25, at 6:30 p.m.

“AETN Presents: On the Front Row” is part of AETN Arts Fridays, featuring world class arts and culture programming and locally produced series.

Keith Harkin, a vocalist with Celtic Thunder, comes from County Derry in Northern Ireland, where he started performing for the public at age four, wowing audiences with his beautiful voice and musical talent. Now at 24, Harkin has played to audiences across Europe and North America. He is also an accomplished songwriter and guitarist and has opened concerts for acts such as John Martyn, The Undertones and David Kitt and has recently started his own record label, Busty Music.

“Keith is the blond, scruffy member of the band,” AETN Director of Production Carole Adornetto said. “He has joined AETN in the studio twice with his most memorable visit last December.

“In Ireland, Keith is a successful solo performer and has been for some time. He is really so talented and the show is phenomenal.”

Harkin describes his musical likes and influences as “anything with a bit of heart and soul, Tom Waites, Neil Young, The Beatles, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes.”

On returning back to Derry from a recording session in London in 2005, Harkin heard about the auditions for Celtic Thunder and decided to chance calling into the auditions, just as they were finishing. He auditioned and was invited then and there to attend the final auditions in Dublin, ultimately being selected as one of the five soloists for the Celtic Thunder show.

“AETN Presents: On the Front Row With Keith Harkin” will repeat Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 6:30 p.m.

Also airing Nov. 25 at 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from Los Angeles “Great Performances: Il Postino from LA Opera” with Plácido Domingo. World-renowned tenor Plácido Domingo joins the LA Opera in this romantic new opera by composer Daniel Catán based on the Oscar-winning Italian film. Multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Linda Ronstadt hosts. “Great Performances” is a production of Thirteen for WNET New York Public Media. The evening’s presentation is in cooperation with PBS SoCal (Southern California).

“I think we can lose ourselves in a performance of (this) caliber,” Arkansas Arts Council Executive Director Joy Pennington said.

“For those of us that don't always have the opportunity to go out and see live opera here in Arkansas, I think it's just fabulous that we have an opportunity to see it on our local educational television station.”

AETN Arts Fridays delivers world class arts and culture programming to viewers. The locally produced arts and culture series “AETN Presents,” featuring Arkansas authors and bands, airs at 6:30 p.m., and the unprecedented PBS Arts Fall Festival airs at 9 p.m. More information about AETN Arts Fridays and the PBS Arts Fall Festival, including previews, is available at 

“AETN Presents” features a variety of arts and cultural subjects. Previously included in the series have been the Arkansas Acoustic Festival; performances by the Cate Brothers, Trout Fishing in America, the Shannon Boshears Band, Wayland Holyfield and Friends, The Salty Dogs and Epiphany; and “On the Same Page” with authors Buzz Bissinger, Billy Collins, John T. Edge and Kenneth L. Smith.