Where No Pennywhistle Has Gone Before

Astronaut Cady Coleman will perform with the Chieftains during the group’s concerts in Naples, Fla., and Houston, Texas. While these won’t be Coleman’s firsts performance with an internationally known act, it just might be her first experiences doing so while standing  on planet Earth.

You might remember Coleman’s 2011 duet with Ian Anderson while she was on the International Space Station. As the Jethro Tull frontman/flutist played a portion of “Bouree.” while safe on the ground in Perm, Russia, Coleman accompanied him from orbit, playing the piece perfectly while floating in zero gravity.  The duet honored the 50th anniversary of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human in space.

Now Coleman is about to gig with the Chieftains.  When she embarked for the International Space Station in 2011, she brought along a pennywhistle and an antique wooden flute loaned to her by the Chieftains.  As a thank-you, she performed a special St. Patrick’s Day tune for the band.

Coleman will perform with the Chieftains Feb. 9 in Naples at the Philharmonic Center For The Arts and Feb. 15 at Houston’s Jones Hall For Performing Arts.  As an added astronomical attraction, the Houston concert will also have the Chieftains and Coleman performing a version of Van Morrison’s “Moondance” along with a recording of the tune made by astronaut Chris Hadfield while on the International Space Station.   Space invaders permitting, of course.