Irish vocalist Maura O’Connell first came to this country in the early 1980s as a member of the acclaimed traditional Irish band, De Danaan. Immediately, American audiences warmed to her and she found a home on this side of “The Pond.” Grammy-winning instrumentalist Jerry Douglas became an early and enduring friend. When O’Connell decided to step out as a solo artist, she invited Douglas to produce her albums and moved to Nashville, Tenn. The collaboration paid off with a Grammy nomination for her 1989 CD, “Helpless Heart.” A native of Ireland’s County Clare, she continues to delight audiences with her eclectic choice of songs, pitch-perfect singing, and warm Irish charm. On Saturday, O’Connell will perform at the ArtsCenter. www.artscenterlive.org
Other highlights: • On Sunday, Bluegrass Experience guitarist Tommy Edwards will present a program on traditional string band music in Chatham County at the meeting of the Chatham County Historical Association. The program will take place in the Chatham County Community Library on the campus of Central Carolina Community College at 2 p.m. John Cowan, former New Grass Revival vocalist and current bassist with the Doobie Brothers, brings his songs and soul-drenched vocals to the ArtsCenter on Wednesday. And Asheville’s Red June plays Berkeley Café on Thursday.