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Leading Irish musicians take to stage to support Irish visit of Cuban uilleann piping sensations

Wonderful line-up of leading artists at Dublin’s Grand Social on June 1 as Irish pipes continue to take hold in Cuba

A concert featuring Ireland’s leading traditional musicians will be held in Dublin’s Grand Social venue on Thursday June 1 to support a visit to Ireland next month of Cuban uilleann pipers Alexander Suarez Mendez and Rosalia Acosta Corrales.

Alexander, now a seasoned traditional musician, was a sensation when he first came to Ireland from Cuba in 2014 and both he and Rosalia will attend Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy in July along with a number of piping and pipe-making workshops in June and July. The two musicians have also been invited to perform in Áras an Uachtaráin during their visit.

Na Píobairí Uilleann chief executive Gay McKeon, who has spearheaded the growth of the instrument on the Caribbean island, is the man behind next month’s visit.

Speaking about the visit, McKeon said: “The interest shown in piping in Cuba is remarkable. In 2014 I brought Alexander over and it was wonderful to see both his enthusiasm to learn the craft and how warmly he was received. He’s made wonderful progress since and now teaches other Cubans the pipes on a weekly basis in Havana and is working in a Luthiers workshop in Havana where he has access to equipment which will hopefully enable him to make pipes.”

Earlier this year, McKeon was invited to assist with and take part in a number of concerts as part of the recent state visit by President Michael D Higgins to Cuba at which Alexander and Rosalia both performed.

The line-up for the fundraising concert includes Hothouse Flowers front man Liam Ó Maonlaí and will include the wonderful Noel Hill, fiddle virtuoso Liam O’Connor, leading uilleann piper Seán McKeon, outstanding multi-instrumentalist John Blake along with legendary Dublin singers Jimmy Kelly and Pat Goode and the newly formed Dublin Lasses.

McKeon has appealed to the music community and its loyal audience to support this important cultural exchange by attending or contributing to the event. Tickets are available on eventbrite

Further details of the visit including footage of Alexander, Rosalia and other Cuban uilleann pipers performing can be found on Facebook Page

Permalink - Posted: May 25, 2017 at 10:26 am