Arts and Culture


Recently formed Irish band, VINCI, will perform at the US-Ireland Alliance’s annual Oscar Wilde Awards on 21 February 2019, at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot in Santa Monica. The band was invited after a private showcase for 100 people last night at The Mint in Los Angeles.

Trina Vargo, founder and President of the US-Ireland Alliance, who was in LA for the performance said, “We normally don’t make announcements this far in advance, but VINCI killed it on Thursday night and I knew by the immediate reaction of the audience that they have to play the Oscar Wilde Awards.”

Kurtis Wade Murphy (lead singer/acoustic), Noely Musgrave (bass), Andy Lestrange (lead guitar), David Doyle (cello keys) and Leo Cassandro (drums) are VINCI. Inspired by the Renaissance (rebirth), VINCI derives from the Latin “vincere” meaning to defeat, to beat, to overcome. Their unique sound rose out of shared struggle and is grounded in their working-class ambition.

Lead singer Kurtis Wade Murphy said, “For a self-managed and self-promoted Irish band to be given an opportunity like this and be welcomed so warmly in LA is incredible. The US-Ireland Alliance guests included music producers, composers, film music supervisors, film producers, directors -- we could not have asked for a better audience. Within hours, several people there were already reaching out to us to support. We’ve worked so hard and overcome so much to be here and being invited to perform at the Oscar Wilde Awards -- an event that has featured the likes of Van Morrison and Snow Patrol -- is honestly a dream come true. What Trina has done for us is unprecedented and we will always be grateful. We have seen how that event can launch the careers of lesser known acts in the states and we’ll give it everything to continue that trend.”

February will mark the 14th year of the Oscar Wilde Awards, which are always held on the Thursday before the Academy Awards. The casual event draws a diverse group of people and has provided a unique opportunity for up-and-coming Irish talent to be seen and heard by people in the entertainment industry. Among those at the most recent event were Mark HamillColin FarrellAva DuvernayElon MuskDiane KeatonPaul MalcomsonCatherine O’HaraBarry KeoghanKathy GriffinSean HayesAndy SerkisVictoria SmurfitDana DelanyPaddy CosgraveColin Devlin, as well as numerous industry execs, including Paramount Chairman, Jim Gianopulos; Disney Chairman, Alan Horn; Warner Bros. President, Peter Roth; Warner Bros. Chairman & CEO, Kevin Tsujihara; producers Suzanne ToddPatrick Crowley, and Gigi Pritzker; President of Original Programming at Showtime, Gary Levine; and several CAA agents including President Richard Lovett and former Oscar Wilde honoree, Hylda Queally.

The private gig at The Mint was for members of the US-Ireland Alliance’s Cultúr Club – a group of Irish, Irish Americans, and “friends of” that grew out of the annual Oscar Wilde Awards. Vargo noted that, “VINCI was formed less than two years ago, and this was their first performance in Los Angeles. I’m sure you’ll hear a lot more of them in the future and we’re delighted to be there at what is only the beginning of a great career. We look forward to sharing them with an even bigger audience in Los Angeles in February.”