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Traditionally rooted yet original and creative, County Donegal's Altan survived the 1993 death of co-founder Frankie Kennedy quietly to become the Irish band of the past decade for serious Celtic music listeners. Nine years ago their captivating blend of Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh's vocals, northwestern Irish music, and Scottish influences propelled Island Angel past 100,000 units sold and the band into the pages of such unlikely publications as The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. Altan has since toured worldwide and continued to produce one excellent recording after another, remaining committed to the notion of traditional music as modern music. Tickets for the 8 p.m. Friday concert at N.C. State's Stewart Theatre are $30 for the general public, $24 for PineCone members, and $19 students. Call 515-1100 for information. –Art Menius

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