Irish Band Vinci Set to Perform at Oscar Wilde Awards (Exclusive)

Vinci - Publicity - H 2018

The young rockers impressed during their first-ever gig in the U.S. at the Mint in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

Fresh off their first performance in the U.S., the young Irish rock band Vinci has accepted an invitation to play at the 14th annual Oscar Wilde Awards in February.

The awards-season event will take place Feb. 19 on its traditional Thursday night before the Academy Awards. The shindig, held at the offices of J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot in Santa Monica, provides a unique opportunity for up-and-coming Irish talent to be seen and heard by people in the entertainment industry.

Vinci — Kurtis Wade Murphy (lead singer, acoustic guitar), Noely Musgrave (bass), Andy Lestrange (lead guitar), David Doyle (cello, keyboards) and Leo Cassandro (drums) — were enthusiastically received at The Mint in Los Angeles during a private showcase Wednesday night for about 100 mostly industry folks.

Said Trina Vargo, founder and president of the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, the nonprofit that puts on the Oscar Wilde Awards: "We normally don't make announcements this far in advance, but Vinci killed it last night, and I knew by the immediate reaction of the audience that they have to play the Oscar Wilde Awards."

The bash recognizes the contributions of the Irish (and even some who aren’t Irish) in film, television and music.

Vinci's name is derived from the Latin "vincere," meaning to defeat, to beat, to overcome. Together for less than two years, the quintet performed songs like "We Are Ghosts," "Liars" and "Lions" during their set at the Mint.

"For a self-managed and self-promoted Irish band to be given an opportunity like this and be welcomed so warmly in L.A. is incredible," said Murphy, who traveled from Dublin for the gig despite the fact that his father had died unexpectedly just a couple weeks earlier. "The U.S.-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."

Honorees will be announced in the coming months. Among those saluted in previous years were Jim Sheridan, Colin Farrell, Mark Hamill, Paula Malcomson, Hylda Queally, Seamus McGarvey, Ruth Negga, Sarah Bolger, Martin Short, Saoirse Ronan, Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Colbert, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, James Corden, Colm Meaney, Van Morrison, Terry George, Michelle Williams, Neil Jordan and late THR writer-editor Steve Brennan.