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Thursday

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Dublin native Susan McKeown’s best career move took place about a decade ago, when she moved to New York City. With access to new listeners on a new shore, her passionate yet thoughtful interpretations of traditional Irish and Scottish ballads helped put the vocalist in the same league with such established masters as Maddy Prior, June Tabor, and Polly Bolton. McKeown’s latest recording, Lowlands (Green Linnet), is a haunting collection of ballads sung in English and Gaelic; for a real thrill, listen to her stirring a cappella rendition of Liam Weldon’s “Dark Horse on the Wind.” Tonight’s concert, “Songs for the Winter Season: The Traditions of Scotland & Ireland,” unites McKeown with ace Scottish fiddler Johnny Cunningham, who, among his other escapades, was a founding member of the seminal band Silly Wizard. Anchoring tonight’s “Millennium Stage” proceedings is guitarist Aidan Brennan. The Celtic magic begins at 6 p.m. in the Kennedy Center’s Grand Foyer. Free. (202) 467-4600. (Ken Roseman)