As much as traditional dancing to blazing fiddles and accordions symbolizes Irish culture — and there will be plenty of that at this Ceili Group festival — consider easing into the quiet heart of the people, the old songs. Some are in English, some are in Irish, all are powerful. On Thursday night, the singers will remember longtime Ceili Group head Frank Malley. Friday night, you can either dance or listen to Sean Tyrrell (pictured) explain “Who Killed James Joyce.” Saturday peaks in the ballroom with legendary piper Paddy Keenan, the revived Dé Danann and Ringo McDonagh.
Thu.-Sat., Sept. 6-8, $15-$20 per day ($40 all-festival pass), Commodore Barry Club, 6815 Emlen St., 215-849-8899, philadelphiaceiligroup.org.