Los San Patricios: Mexico's Irish Heroes

Seán Cleland and the faculty of The Irish Music School of Chicago join forces with Grammy-nominated Mexican folk music ensemble Sones de México for two spectacular music and dance concerts this month!

Los San Patricios: Mexico's Irish Heroes is an Irish / Mexican concert collaboration that tells the story of the St. Patrick's Battalion. In 1846-48, during the Mexican-American War, a volunteer army formed mostly by recent Irish immigrants to the U.S. who called themselves the St. Patrick's Battalion (Los San Patricios) fought alongside Mexico against the U.S. expansion and its Manifest Destiny doctrine.  They are regarded as heroes in Mexico to this day.

With music, dance and balladry they will bring together the fiddles, harps, accordions, foot tapping and voices of Irish jigs and Mexican son to tell the story of Los San Patricios.

“As Juan Díes, co-founder of Sones de México and one of the driving forces behind the San Patricio concert explains, the project emerged from a collaboration with Cleland and his band at the time a few years back, when they played together as part of an event related to “The Irish Soldiers of Mexico” by Michael Hogan, and then later on were invited to play together in many of Mayor Daley’s events in efforts to bring together the Irish and Mexican communities in Chicago. At some point, the musical friendship between Cleland and Sones continued to evolve and came to include participations by Sones in the Celtic Festival and conversely, Cleland’s being featured in some songs in Sones’ album Fandango on 18th Street. The artists come together to give witness to the gifts of two immigrant communities who today, in a city so far from their homeland, shape Chicago anew in the beauty of music and art.” 

- Catalina Maria Johnson, Beat Latino