The Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota Presents Acclaimed Irish Singer and Guitarist Paul Duffy in a Tribute to St. Patrick’s Day

Sunday, March 8 • 3 p.m.

Vocalist and guitarist Paul Duffy, Dan Cartlidge on Irish drum, and Greg Holt on fiddle, celebrate Ireland with folk songs and sea shanties. This tribute also includes dancers from the Drake School of Irish Dance in full Irish regalia.


(Sarasota, FL) Called one “one of the greatest musicians to ever come out of Ireland,” vocalist/guitarist Paul Duffy teams up with Dan Cartlidge on the Irish drum and Greg Holt on fiddle to celebrate an early St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 8, 3 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Tickets are $15. Proceeds from the concerts will be used to help finance the church’s social justice program. To purchase tickets, visit For more information, call 941-371-4974 or visit

“This is our biggest concert of the year; we sold out very quickly last year,” says Don DeMaio, concert coordinator. “I strongly recommend buying your tickets early. And remember: This is not just a concert; it’s an Irish celebration of St. Patrick’s’ Day, which is why we call it the ‘Early St. Patrick’s Day’ celebration.”

Irish ex-pat Duffy, one of one of Sarasota’s most popular entertainers, is known for presenting a multi-faceted program of Irish lore, sea shanties and folksongs. He toured with the Irish rock band The Commitments for six years, traveling all over the world.

A multi-talented musician, composer and vocalist Duffy was born, literally, under the big tent. His parents were Irish circus entertainers; he was delivered by a midwife after a performance in North Donegal. Their act was called Duffy’s International Circus and he was the youngest person to walk the tightrope while playing the saxophone—self-taught, of course. He was only nine years old.

Duffy’s journey from Dublin to Sarasota was lengthy and arduous. At 17, he played sax for the popular Irish band, The Miami Showband. By the ripe old age of 21, he joined The Irishmen and gained a reputation around Dublin as a talented and reliable studio musician. At 26, Duffy started his own band, MPH, with his siblings. Noticed by a promoter while touring with MPH in Texas, Duffy received an invitation to tour internationally with the legendary Irish band, The Commitments, and remained on tour with the group for the next six years. He has since performed with Ben E. King, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Brian Johnson, Suzi Quatro, Chris de Burgh, Paul Hazel, The Corrs and Hazel O’Connor.

A gifted musician, Duffy plays the saxophone, trumpet, flute, guitar, keyboards, drums, bass, tin whistle and bagpipes. He attended the Dublin Conservatory of Music to learn to read music; his prowess with wind instruments is self-taught. “I practiced the sax with a John Coltrane record playing for hours on end,” says Duffy. “Mum would yell at me to go out and play, but until I discovered pints and women, all I wanted to do was practice me music.” Duffy was the owner of the Irish Rover in Sarasota until its closing in 2011.

To purchase tickets, visit For more information, call 941-371-4974 or visit


The Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota is the largest Unitarian church in Florida with nearly 500 members and friends. Founded in 1952 with 12 members, it is now a growing church with an active calendar of cultural and social events, including its popular series of Freethinkers presentations on the first Friday of every month.