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‘HEY HO BELIEVE’ by Jimmy MacCarthy

Jimmy MacCarthy and Donal Lunny following the launch of ‘Hey Ho Believe’ will be performing at the National Concert Hall, Dublin on November 29th and the Cork Opera House on December 5th. Jimmy MacCarthy is probably the only unknown quantity and unreleased potential of his generation performing in Ireland today. Although selling out significant venues to capacity, and to great acclaim over the last two decades, needless to say it has been as a songwriter that he stands alone among his kind. With songs already standard, such as ‘No Frontiers’, ‘Ride on’, ‘The Contender’, ‘Bright Blue Rose’, ‘Katie’ , ‘Neadin’ and ‘Mystic lipstick’ to name but a few. Now over the last eighteen months following a five year sabbatical Jimmy has returned to stage, and stage craft with nothing less than a stunning rejuvenation. Jimmy will now be performing upcoming concerts, with legendary musician Donal Lunny, and on keyboard Graham Henderson.

Permalink - Posted: October 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm


Here’s something different! Possibly the first album ever devoted to traditional Irish & Scottish dance music on the nyckelharpa (Swedish keyed fiddle). Fiddle player, Gavin Pennycook has spent the past couple of years adapting the traditional Celtic fiddle repertoire for the nyckelharpa. The tracks on the CD are a mixture of solo and ensemble pieces, with Gavin joined by Chris Wright on cittern and 12-string guitar, Esther Kuck on bodhrán, Rob Truswell on guitar and Richie Werner on djembe. Gavin also adds his own fiddle, octave-strung fiddle, Galician bagpipes and whistle to a few tracks.

Permalink - Posted: October 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm


Ceis is an ancient word meaning magic, draíocht, enchantment or Spirit of the Harp. ‘Ceis’ gives a fresh take on ancient harp airs, west Kerry polkas and new compositions from legendary fiddler Tommy Peoples.
In the past year Laoise was honoured to represent Ireland at the World Harp Festival in Paraguay. She also returned to the Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton, having recorded the special ‘Fiddletree’ show, with all performers playing instruments made from the same tree by Otis Thomas. Laoise played the opening concert of Cáirde na Cruite’s 50th anniversary celebrations and will perform the finale at the Edinburgh Harp 30th anniversary in April 2011. Other highlights were performing with Poets, Seamas Heaney and Paul Muldoon on the Hill of Tara, and playing at the Mansion House for the turning of the Soverign Seal.

Permalink - Posted: October 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm


This Autumn, members of Kíla are embarking on a live music theatre piece in collaboration with Donal O’Kelly. The Adventures of the Wet Senor tells the true story of a Spanish captain from the Armada washed ashore on Streedagh Strand as told through his letter written after he safely made passage to the Flanders. It is a exciting story told by a quirky character who finds himself amongst savages as he flirts with Irish women and struggles to understand the idiosyncrasies of the people of 15th century Ireland.
The character De Cuellar is performed by Jamie Carswell, from the award winning Cirque de Legume, Carrie Crowley and Sorcha Fox are the performers and for the first time (that we know of!) the music for the show will be performed live on stage with members of Kíla interacting with the cast. The end result is a funny, very exciting tale of this unlikely character making his way through an Ireland we can barely recognise.

Permalink - Posted: October 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm


Drawing from the Well
Following on from last year’s successful All-Fiddle Festival, this year Sean Abeyta and his pals presented a two-day festival of North Kerry music over in Kilflynn, a few miles north of Tralee. Nicky McAuliffe and Ciaran Dalton gave a lecture on the music and musicians of the area. There were also workshops on fiddle and accordion, by Máire O’Keeffe and Graham Guerin respectively, and an exhibition of photos.
As part of the effort to spread some knowledge of North Kerry related tunes, the material taught at the workshops and some of that played at the sessions came from a booklet called “Drawing from the Well”, produced as part of the festival enterprise. It contains 25 tunes; most of these come from the Rice-Walsh manuscript collection, which was compiled by a pupil of the 19th century North Kerry fiddle master, Jeremiah Breen, and which eventually was given to Francis O’Neill. O’Neill published over forty of these tunes in “Waifs and Strays” in 1922, as well as several tunes from the donor, fiddler Patrick Stack, from near Listowel. The “Drawing from the Well” booklet adds some history on these tunes, and in addition there are several tunes that have not appeared in print before.

The booklet follows on from the publication last year of Ciaran Dalton’s “Ardfert by the Sea: A memoir of music, musicians and dance from Ardfert, County Kerry”. It sells for €10, plus p&p.

Permalink - Posted: October 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm

New Sean-nós Singer in Residence at Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway is delighted to announce the appointment of Treasa Ní Mhiolláin, a native of the Aran Islands, as Sean-nós Singer in Residence for 2011.

Treasa Ní Mhiolláin has an international reputation as a sean-nós singer, and in 1996 won the prestigious Sean-nós Cois Life award for her efforts in promoting and encouraging the sean-nós song tradition. Treasa is a renowned exponent of the great love songs of Connacht, but also possesses a store of locally composed songs and some English ballads. Popular songs include ‘Sagart na Cúile Báine,’ ‘Dónall Óg’ and Treasa’s famous and unique version of ‘Cúirt Bhaile Nua.’ She is also a noted performer of the light-hearted songs with quicker tempo such as ‘An Spailpín Fánach’ and ‘Bríd Thomáis Mhurcha.’ Treasa has twice won the coveted ‘Corn Uí Riada’ award, the top prize for sean-nós singing at Oireachtas na Gaeilge (1972, 1979), and her distinctive singing was featured in Bob Quinn’s television series Atlantean.
Since returning to Aran permanently, Treasa has taught many younger singers the art of traditional Gaelic song, including Macdara Ó Conaola and the Mulkerrins brothers. She has also continued to tour and perform internationally over the years, having given concerts and taught in Germany, Switzerland and Sardinia among other countries.

During the period of her residency, Treasa will participate in a series of performances and workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies and other venues throughout Connemara and the Aran Islands. She will also record her own work and that of other singers. The workshops, which are free and open to the public, will commence in February 2011 at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway.

This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway.

Permalink - Posted: October 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Máirtín O’Connor conferred with Honorary Masters at NUIG

Galway musician honoured for lifetime contribution to traditional music.

With a career spanning decades it is no wonder that Máirtín O’Connor has been recognised for his lifetime contribution to Irish music at NUI Galway today.

Máirtín O’Connor is one of the most respected and best loved musicians ever to emerge from Ireland.

Permalink - Posted: October 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm


The death has occured of Peter Horan on Sunday 17th Ocrober 2010.
The Ballymote native had been ill for some time.

Noted as an exceptionally gifted and influential flute Player, Horan was also a versatile fiddler, indeed techniques more common to the traditional violin were adpoted by Horan to the flute and this in part gave him his distinctive style.

He had two longstanding musical partners, first Fred Finn with whom he played for three decades and latterly Gerry Harrington with whom he made two CDs. Peter Horan was a recipient of the TG4 Gradam Award.

Our condolences to his family and many friends.

Permalink - Posted: October 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm


SLIGO LIVE SESSIONS, Ireland’s fastest growing music festival is to forge a partnership with Glasgow’s massive Celtic Connections Festival, the world’s largest roots music Winter Festival.  The alliance will see the festivals cooperating on programming and marketing. Initially, Celtic Connections will host a Sligo Live Sessions night each year and Celtic Connections will present a Scottish Programme in Sligo Live Sessions starting in 2011 and each will help to cement the strong cultural links and kinship between Scotland and Ireland. This partnership has significant cultural value not just for Sligo but for Ireland, and is an opportunity to promote Irish Artists and Scottish Artists to an international audience.

This is the first time the 18 day event, which is held in January each year, has partnered any overseas event. To mark this unique partnership a symbolic Cultural Exchange Photocall will take place with the members of the two festivals whereby Celtic Connections will present Sligo with a set of Scottish Bagpipes and Sligo Live Sessions will present Glasgow with a handmade Irish Bodhran.

Permalink - Posted: October 14, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Lismore Music Festival presents

Irish Traditional Music Legends The Chieftains & Guests

For one night only at the Cappoquin Community Centre

Saturday 20th November 2010

Irish Traditional music legends The Chieftains will play a concert for one night only in the Cappoquin Community Centre on Saturday 20th November 2010.

The Chieftains and guests will play the state of the art 600 seater Community Centre for the first time as part of a four concert mini tour in Ireland in November.

Permalink - Posted: October 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm
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