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Clarinbridge, Co. Galway
Sat. 13th / Sun. 14th April, 2013

A weekend of Music, Exhibitions and Workshops

Featuring America’s foremost clawhammer banjoist Michael J. Miles

“ in all my 70 years this is among the most beautiful recordings I’ve ever heard…it is enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again.”

(Pete Seeger, describing Michael’s recording ‘Counterpoint’)

Why a banjo festival?
The banjo is currently undergoing a revival across a range of musical genres (David Bowie plays a 6-string on his new album) and is the instrument that differentiates groups such as the extremely successful We Banjo Three and Mumford and Son.  ‘It’s what gives our music a lot of its momentum, a lot of its energy. I think we’d be a bit lost without it’. (Ted Dwane, Mumford and Sons)

Why Clarinbridge?
There are many exponents of the banjo living in the South Galway area and Clarinbridge is home to Clareen Banjos, Ireland’s premier maker of hand crafted traditional Irish banjos (and other fretted instruments).

The weekend will ‘kick off’ on Friday evening with a ‘banjoree’ at Jordan’s (all instruments welcome). Saturday starts with a series of banjo (tenor and five string) workshops (beginners to master classes) and there will be an opportunity to learn  how to care for your banjo. In addition, you are invited to an exhibition of vintage instruments in a parlour setting at Clarinbridge Antiques and a tour of the Clareen Banjo workshop. Our main event features our visiting guest from Chicago, the highly acclaimed Michael J. Miles ( in  ‘From Senegal to Seeger’ - a presentation on the history of the banjo from its roots in Africa to the present day. Michael is a master banjoist, guitarist and orchestral composer. He is author of numerous theatrical works combining music and history, and an acclaimed music educator. Above all, he is passionate about the banjo. The evening will be rounded off with a session at Paddy Burke’s (all instruments welcome).

On Sunday, we will remember local musicians Peter Galligan and Harry Horan with  a visit to Clarinbridge Cemetery at 12.30 followed by refreshments at the Parish Hall and at 1.00pm, there will be a session in Jordan’s featuring special guests. All are welcome.

Permalink - Posted: March 27, 2013 at 11:17 am