About Grafton & Grand
We love Kansas City. And we love being Irish in Kansas City. As an homage to two iconic streets in two very Irish cities, Grafton & Grand is your source for all things Irish in Kansas City and beyond.
Grafton & Grand is your go-to for the goings-on in the Kansas City Irish community as well as Irish culture in general. Whether it’s attending a trad session, chowing down on grub in a pub, or interviewing the many amazing movers and shakers in the Irish community, you can always count on Grafton & Grand to share the story of Kansas City’s Irish with you.
Meet the Team
Irish music and dance are indispensable from one another. It’s only fitting, then, that Louisa Blevins (Grafton) is a musician and Kiernan Markey (Grand) is a dancer.
The two became acquaintances because Louisa was a regular at Kiernan’s céilí classes. It wasn’t until a Chieftains concert in 2015 that they realized that they are essentially cut from the same cloth…and a love of Irish culture was the stiching. A fast friendship was born when the two struck a deal: Louisa would teach Kiernan how to play bodhran if Kiernan taught Louisa sean nós dance. They’d hang out weekly, teaching each other their respective skills and go out for pints after, where their discussions would inevitably turn to politics, music, literature, and, of course, their fascination with the Irish.
Kiernan & Louisa formed Grafton & Grand in 2015 to be a single resource for news and events in the Kansas City Irish community. But their love for all things Irish goes far beyond that, and it’s something they hope to share with all people everywhere.
Meet Louisa (Grafton)
Louisa started playing music before she could read and, when she was 5 years old, even went so far as to force the kids in her neighborhood to form a band. She has always had a deep love and appreciation for Irish music, but that turned into an obsession when she went on a trip to Tipperary back in 1997. Since then, Louisa has established herself as a member of the music community here in Kansas City, playing bodhran at trad sessions as well as singing in various choirs and playing in pit orchestras for local musicals.
Louisa plays numerous instruments, ranging from classical and jazz piano to the Appalachian dulcimer, but has a particular fondness for guitar (see Grafton & Grand Instagram video). This August, Louisa will represent Grafton & Grand in Ireland as she makes the move across the Atlantic to pursue a graduate program in Irish music studies.
Meet Kiernan (Grand)
Kiernan Markey is a writer, Irish dancer, and passionate promoter of Irish culture. A native Kansas Citian (on the Kansas side…and proud of it), Kiernan is a co-founder, choreographer and performer with Céilí at the Crossroads, a Kansas City-based Irish dance performance group. When she’s not chowing down on Irish breakfast or hanging out with Boomer, her needy Texas Heeler, she’s working professionally as a content marketer and attempting to write her first novel (about Cromwell’s invasion of Ireland, of course). If you see her about, buy her a pint and tell her your life’s story…she’ll chronicle it with her next Grafton & Grand profile piece.