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Dublin’s premiere celebration of traditional Irish Music and Culture in the heart of the city

Wed 28th January to Sunday 1st February 2009

Details of the programme for Temple Bar TradFest 2009 Festival of Irish Music and Culture have been announced.  From Wednesday 28th January till Sunday 1st February Temple Bar will come alive with a series of festival concerts and will feature a rich line up of musical performances, showcase concerts, workshops, family events and much more in a celebration of traditional Irish music and culture.

Organised by TASCQ (Traders in the Area Supporting the Cultural Quarter Limited) the 2009 festival which is once again sponsored by Bushmills will be an exciting mix of performers with many new festival innovations, as Temple Bar TradFest has been rebranded and reinvigorated.

TASCQ are delighted to announce that Hollywood actor and Irish Traditional Music fan, Mr Stephen Rea is re-affirming his association with the festival in 2009 by acting as Festival Patron.

“This year’s Temple Bar TradFest features a line up of some of the most well-loved names in traditional music, alongside younger artists of incredible talent who have burst onto the traditional music scene in recent years. A particular highlight will be the rare opportunity to see international traditional bands like Solas, Genticorum and Mike McGoldrick’s new band.” – Róise Goan, Festival Programmer.

This year the TradFest sees a greatly extended festival with free outdoor performances, exciting concerts, a family programme, workshops, films and lots more.

2009 Temple Bar TradFest will see some very exciting concerts in the Button Factory and Project Arts Centre.

-      A major coup for the festival will see Paddy, Seamus and Kevin Glackin perform together, after a long absence from the stage they return to perform live in the Project Arts Centre on Thursday 29th Jan in the Project Space Upstairs

-      On Thursday Jan 29th audiences can enjoy the music of exciting American trad group Solas in the Button Factory. The secret to the Solas music is that they explore traditional music using innovative and vocal combinations.  The result is a unique hybrid, a wonderful suynthesis of old and new.

-      Festival audiences will have a chance to hear some of the finest female talents that Irish traditional music has ever produced – Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Tríona Ní Domhnaill, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh & Moya Brennan on Sat 31st Jan in The Button Factory.

-      Uillean Piper Paddy Keenan (founding member of the legendary Bothy Band) joins musical forces with guitarist and tenor vocalist Tommy O’Sullivan on Thursday Jan 29th when this unique duo will perform in the Project Space Upstairs.

-      If you want a fascinating mixture of youth and talent then you will find it in this quartet who musical pedigree belies their various ages.  Sean McKeown and Liam O’Connor as well as Aidan O’Donnell and Ciaran O’Maonaigh who will perform on Friday 30th Jan in the Project Space Upstairs.

-      One of the most fascinating and original combinations at the TradFest comes with the meeting of minds and music of fluting maestro Michael McGoldrick and the power trio from Montreal Genticorum in the Button Factory on Friday 30th Jan.

The TradFest is also expanding its film element.  A major development in the 2009 festival is the participation of one of Temple Bar’s biggest attractions the Irish Film Institute.

The IFI will screen two acclaimed documentaries about the history of music:  the Emmy award winning Bringing it all back Home and From Shore to Shore which looks at Irish traditional music in America using historic photos and rediscovered film footage.   The Festival also offers two fun films with an ironic take on our love affair, or lack of it, for Ireland’s native language.  The first is acclaimed film Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom.  A Chinese young man arrives in Dublin believing that Irish is (as stated in our constitution) the official language of Ireland.  When he arrives he finds that his hard work studying Irish pays scant reward when he tries to talk to the Irish.

Fluent Dysphasia tells the tale of a man (Stephen Rea) who, after a night of celebrating his football team’s victory, awakens with a terrible hangover to find he can only speak in Irish.  Even knocks on the head with a frying pan brings no relief from his distress!
Both films offer big laughs in a wry context and run right through the festival from Wed 28th – Sat 31st Jan in Meeting House Square. On Sunday 1st Feb Meeting house square will come alive with jigs, reels and high kicks when the outdoor Ceilí kicks off, featuring the renowned Tulla Ceilí band and performances by Ceoltas Ceoltoiri Eireann.

Children’s Parade. Down To Earth Inc Street Theatre Company create street spectacular with an interactive parade as part of the Tradfest celebrations.
Swans, mythical characters, waves, all take to the streets of Temple Bar as they animate the story of King Lir, his four children Fionnuala, Aodh, Fiachra and Con and
the wicked spell cast upon the children transforming them into swans.

This professionally produced parade will feature young people from St.Audeons and St. Brigid’s National Schools in a series of performance and dance workshops and
youth clubs from Dublin’s north east inner city in a series of circus workshops focusing on stiltwalking and poi.

Performers both professional and from the local Dublin community, all spectacularly costumed will parade on stilts, bicycles and skates interacting with passers by.

A very special photographic exhibition by renowned Connemara based, Belgian photo journalist Nutan, who will exhibit his work for the first time.  For over twenty seven years he has worked for some of the world’s most prestigious publications including National Geographic, Time and Newsweek and is the winner of the Pentax Gold Award in 1969 and the Benson & Hedges gold award in 1990.

During the five days and five nights of the Trad Festival, many of the bars and pubs in Temple Bar will play host to regular trad and folk music sessions.  A pub trail guide will be available.  Several hundred musicians from around the country will play in these sessions over the weekend and admission to these is free.

There is lots in enjoy in this years festival from Pipe Bands in Temple Bar, the Trad Market (31st Jan) on Cows Lane, the Irish culture Workshops (31st Jan & 1st Feb) held by Gael Chultur, set dancing and singing workshops and lots more!

Booking opens: December 1st

Tel: 01 6772397

Press information:  Sinead O’Doherty / Gerry Lundberg

Gerry Lundberg Public Relations    Tel: +353 1 679 8476 / + 353 86 259 1070

Details of the various concerts during Temple Bar TradFest:

Opening concert

Paddy, Seamus and Kevin Glackin

Wednesday 28 January
Venue: The Button Factory

Opening an outstanding Temple Bar Trad line-up is an outstanding combination of Paddy, Seamus and Kivin Glackin.
Their appearance is a major coup for the festival simply because they have not performed on stage together for such a length of time.
Regarded by experts and fans alike as among the most talented fiddle players in the country, the three brothers Paddy, Seamus and Kevin may hail from Clontarf in Dublin but their style is very much part of a Donegal tradition passed down by their late father Tom Glackin.

Tom was regarded as a highly talented fiddle player and his sense of energy and tradition was picked up by his sons whose attitude to music was once aptly summed up by Paddy Glackin who said that that traditional fiddlers and other musicians should not just be regarded as musical historians.  Communication was everything.
“It’s not just the notes and words of a song, which are hugely important of course.
Giving people a context is also very important.  Knowing where a tune is actually from, as well as the story behind it, can define its tempo, the embellishments you might add, the rhythm you play it in.”

>From an early age Paddy has been surrounded by music.  Picking up the fiddle at the precocious age of six he went on to study at the Royal College of Music in Dublin before winning a number of All-Ireland senior fiddle titles before he was out of his teens.

Paddy was the original fiddle player in the The Bothy Band, regarded by some as the most influential and innovative teaming in the last thirty years and whose enormous shadow hangs large over this year’s festival (Paddy Keenan is at the Project Space Upstairs on Thursday the 29th while singer Triona Ni  Dhomhnaill is also featured at Button Factory on Saturday the 31st ).

Now the scene is set for a remarkable reunion and a concert that will surely be fully booked out by those who want to not just to experience a great occasion but also to see those who have played such a huge role in this country’s musical heritage.

Thursday 29 January
Venue: The Button Factory

American trad group Solas don’t have to blow their own tin whistle as an ecstatic media are quite happy to do it for them.

Easily the most exciting Celtic band to ever come out of the United States since it’s birth in 1996, the Boston Herald hailed the lineup as “the first truly great Irish band of America” while The Philadelphia Inquirer said “they make mind blowing Irish music, maybe the world’s best”. Perhaps the most significant and accurate tribute to the bands talents came from Seth Rogavoy of the Berkshire Eagle who wrote that Solas “is to Irish music what some of Miles Davis groups were to jazz in the 1960s and ‘70s”.

The secret to the Solas magic is that they explore traditional music by using innovative instruments and vocal combinations.  The result is a unique hybrid, a wonderful synthesis of old and new.   Trad, country, folk, blues, jazz inspired improvisations and even global rhythms, Solas has done it all.  It was not so far fetched when the much sought after rap producer Timbaland sampled their music on his hit “All Yall”.

The Solas sound today is anchored by its two founder members Seamus Eagan and Winifred Horan, two of the most respected and imitated musicians anywhere in acoustic music.

Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Moya Brennan
Venue:The Button Factory on 31st Jan.

On the festivals penultimate night comes the chance to hear some of the finest female talents that Irish traditional music has ever produced.

Nobody fits that description better than Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill whose singing and keyboard playing have been an integral part of Skara Brae, Touchstone, Nightnoise, Relativity and, most famously, The Bothy Band.

Maighread Ní Dhomnaill’s 1999 debut solo album No Dowry reminded everyone of the power of her voice.  The album caused a stir partly because she had maintained a low profile since the demise of Skara Brae in the early ‘70s, a band that included her brother Mícheál O’ Domhnaill, sister Tríona and multi instrumentalist Daithi Sproule.

Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh, when in college Mairead played with Frankie Kennedy who went on to become her husband.  The couple recorded one album together before helping to put together Altan, one of  Irelands traditional supergroups and a regular at big festivals and concert halls around the globe. Mairead has also enjoyed stints presenting programmes on radio and TV.

Moya Brennan formed Clannad with her two brothers and her mother’s two twin brothers and achieved world fame with the single Harry’s Game achieving massive and enduring success.  The group introduced Irish to an international audience and a duet with Bono pushed the groups profile even higher: he once described Moya’s voice as   “one of the greatest the human ear has ever experienced” and altogether Moya’s has sold 20 million albums and recorded 25. Her debut solo Maire arrived in 1992 and her Whisper to the Wild Water earned a Grammy nomination.

Together the four artists are sure to deliver a truly magical and unique experience.

Sean McKeon & Liam O’Connor. Aidan O’Donnell & Ciaran O’Maonaigh
Venue:  The Project Arts Centre
Friday 30th January   8.30pm

If you want a fascinating mixture of youth and talent then you will find it in these duos whose musical pedigree belies their various ages.

Liam O’ Connor shot to prominence in 2002 when he was awarded the prestigious TG4 “Young Traditional Musician of the Year”.  Picking up a musical interest from his father Mick, a renowned music historian and flute player, Liam completed all eight grades of classical violin with distinction in the College of Music, Chatham Row, Dublin and has won 5 All Ireland fiddle and slow air championships. He won the Oireachtas fiddle competition at junior and senior levels.  Alongside his dazzling fiddle playing he is an accomplished concertina player and has toured extensively in his home country, the USA, France and Italy.

Sean McKeon grew up listening to music at home in Dublin with his parents Gay McKeon  (uillean pipes) and Mary Corcoran (fiddle and piano) being his earliest influences.  He began an interest in the tin whistle when he was six and within two years progressed to the uillean pipes and was able to study the styles of musicians from another generation-Seamus Ennis, and James Morrison are just two names here-through recordings.  His biography is very akin to Liam O’ Connor in that he won the senior Oireachtas solo competition and in 2005 was made the TG4 Young Traditional Musician of the Year.  He now tours Europe teaching and performing and in 2005 released a recording including not only his own music but also that of his brother Conor and his father Gay.

Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and Aidan O’Donnell are two young fiddle players who hail from opposite ends of that most musical of counties, Donegal. Ciaran was heavily influenced by his extended family which includes Altan members Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh and Frankie Kennedy.  He released his first album Ceol a’Ghieanna/The Music of the Glen in 2004 and was honoured with the TG4 “Young Traditional Musician of the Year” a year earlier.  Aidan O’Donnell began his music making at 12 and his influences include the older generations of Donegal fiddle players such as the Dohertys, the O Beirns and The Cassidys.  In 2007 he won the prestigious “Oireachtas na Gealige” fiddle title and both he and Ciarán released their album Fidill during the summer.

The combination of all these precocious award winning musicians promises much today and even more tomorrow.

Michael McGoldrick / Genticorum
Venue: Button Factory    Friday 30th January   9pm

Surely one of the most fascinating and original combinations at this year’s Trad comes with the meeting of minds and music between Manchester’s fluting maestro Michael McGoldrick and the power trio from Montreal Genticorum.

Whistle player Michael McGoldrick has had an extraordinary career to date and been associated with a number of diverse artists and styles culminating in his acknowledged masterpiece Fused which was a superb title for a recording that masterfully combined traditional music with folk and jazz not to mention dance influences such as trance: it was an album that caught the imagination of musicians and music lovers all over the world.

Michael was born in Manchester in 1971 and by 17 had won numerous All-Ireland Championships after swapping bodhran for flute and whistles.  He made a name for himself while still at school as a founder member of Toss The Feathers, the most influential Celtic rock band in Manchester and went on to win the acclaimed BBC Radio Two Young Tradition Award in 1995.  This led to a recording career and a new band called Flook! which saw him team with two other flautists.  He then went his own way teaming up with such diverse artists as Jim Kerr from Simple Minds and Jim Cale, famous for his work with The Velvet Underground and much else.  And in 2000 came Fused which seemed to have mixed up all of Manchester’s musical influences onto one album.

It will be hugely interesting to see how he meshes with Genticorum who come to Dublin with easily the most eclectic instrumental lineup of the festival.  Yann Falquet plays guitar and Jews harp.  Alexandre de Grosbois-Garand plays wooden flute, electric base and fiddle while Pascal Gemme is on fiddle and feet!

One of the most sought-after proponents of Quebecois musical culture, the band have toured in over fifteen countries with their “full and glorious noise” combining precise and intricate fiddle and flute work with gorgeous vocal harmonies underpinned by thunderous foot percussion.  Their latest album “La Bibournoise” is a rousing experience and listening to it, it is hard to believe there were only three musicians on board.

The addition of a fourth in Michael McGoldrick promises an exhilarating night.

Permalink - Posted: December 5, 2008 at 4:57 pm