faces of West Wind

West Wind

Irish Traditional Music

West Wind is a quartet of musicians based in Madison, Wisconsin interpreting the native music of Ireland. The members played together for years in pub sessions and in a variety of groups performing the music of Celtic Europe. As West Wind they have woven their skills together into a rich and unified sound. Drawing from the old and new traditions of Ireland, they balance lilting jigs and driving reels with exuberant dance tunes from the Sliabh Luachra region. Airs, ballads, and humorous songs round out their concerts. The energy of the session fuels their live performances, crafted with respect for the fine musicianship demanded by the rich tradition of Irish music.

Upcoming Concerts

West Wind band members Bob, Charlene, Alan, Mike
Charlene, Bob, Mike, and Alan
To find out where you can next enjoy West Wind's music live, just check the celticmadison.org Events Calendar.

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You can browse our recent broadcasts, and subscribe there to our RSS newsfeed.

Band Members


Charlene Adzima (fiddle, vocals) started young in the Irish scene of Columbus, Ohio and as a student of Liz Carroll's, achieving a gold medal in the 2005 Midwest Fleadh Cheoil and competing twice at the all-Ireland music competition. As an Irish step dancer she was known for her steady rhythm, knowledge of dance and energizing style. In 2007 she released her solo fiddle and vocal album The Initiation, and eventually arrived in Madison in 2011, where she was quickly recruited as the hot new talent in town.

Mike Crossley

Mike Crossley (flute, banjo, whistle, pipes, bodhrán) started playing Scottish highland pipes at age 7 but was drawn to Irish traditional music at age 10. His playing has been strongly influenced by such bands as Solas, Dervish, Lunasa, Danú, and Teada. A medal winner in several instruments and several years at the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil, he has developed a bold, passionate style on each instrument. He is currently a Master's student at the UW studying Entomology.


Bob Newton (octave mandolin, mandola, mandocello, bodhrán, vocals) has been playing with Irish and Celtic bands in Madison for the past thirty years, including Boxty, Far From Home, and the Public House Ceili Band. In the late 1970s, he caught the wave of the fresh, full sound of the emerging Irish music groups such as Planxty, De Danann, and the Bothy Band, bands which captured the imagination of a generation and charted the course of popular touring groups to this day. He has lived and traveled extensively in Ireland and Brittany and during the early 1980s was deeply influenced by the playing, warmth, and spirit of his neighbors in eastern Mayo and south Sligo, including Fred Finn among others, who invited him into their homes and pubs. Bob continues to teach courses related to the musical traditions of the Celtic countries and still enjoys the relaxed atmosphere of the local weekly session.


Alan Ng (fiddle, melodeon, bodhrán) Upon moving to Madison in 1992, bored with classical violin, he discovered and quickly succumbed to the addiction of playing in the open Irish session at Mickey's Tavern. In 2002 he spent some time deep in Sliabh Luachra, absorbing its music and dance, and he has been infected with outbreaks of polkas and slides ever since. His career performing Irish traditional music began with Madison bands The Snug and Public House Ceili Band, and he has since founded Birch and the Capitol Ceili Band.


For booking or other information please contact Bob Newton at rcnewton@wisc.edu, (608) 219-2009.

Webmaster. This page was last changed in some way on 16 June, 2023 . Photo credits: Nancy Ng (top banner), Frank X. Sommers (band portrait), Marjorie Lemay (headshots, except for Mike Crossley), Paula White (headshot of Mike Crossley)