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15 finalists for Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal to be announced

The 15 finalists who will compete for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal 2014 will be announced on Peadar Ó Riada’s Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Friday 5 December at 7 pm.

The programme will be broadcast live from the Mills Inn in Baile Bhuirne for the Éigse Dhiarmuidín festival, with live music and song from, among others, Nell Ní Chróinín, Seán Ó Liatháin agus Conchubhar Ó Luasa.

The judges for this year’s contest, which is for fiddle, are Seán Keane from Dublin, Connie O’Connell from Cork and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, from Donegal.

Permalink - Posted: November 28, 2014 at 10:29 am

Music Network Announces Spring Season 2015

Music Network today unveiled its Spring Season 2015 with an exceptional line-up of talented Irish and international musicians that will tour to twenty towns and villages across seventeen counties from January to May. The season spans an eclectic range of styles from Irish trad, Nordic jazz and solo piano like you’ve never heard it before, to the inspired pairing of classical mandolin with accordion, and rootsy Americana.

Describing what’s on offer, Music Network CEO Sharon Rollston explains, “We kick off Spring 2015 with Irish vocal legends Maura O’Connell and Karan Casey who share the spotlight in what promises to be a really special tour, aided and abetted by the singular talents of Ed Boyd on guitar and piano accordionist Martin Tourish. Early booking is highly recommended! February offers up a slice of Nordic noir as jazz trio Phronesis, one of the most exhilarating outfits on the European circuit, bring their intelligent and imaginative sound to the stage with its intricate bass lines, hypnotic grooves and spiralling piano patterns.”

Permalink - Posted: November 26, 2014 at 1:57 pm

New album from Connemara singer-songwriter

The Tides that Bind / Fánaíocht is a new album from Connemara singer songwriter Seán Ó hÉanaigh, featuring traditional songs in English, Irish and Scots Gàidhlig, as well as some original compositions.

Seán is from Connemara, and can boast an enviable musical pedigree as the nephew of legendary sean-nós singer Joe Heaney.

Seán has been playing and composing music since he was young.  He was a member of well-known Galway band Roudledum, which played throughout the west in the 80s.  He then formed the band Éinniú in 1990 and they released an album of the same name in 1992 on the Cló Iar-Chonnacht label (CIC).  The album featured mainly Seán’s own compositions, many of which became Irish-language hits, including the popular song ‘Conamara’.  The Tides that Bind / Fánaíocht is his first album since then.

Permalink - Posted: November 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm


The four existing DVDs of highlights from the series Come West along the Road have now been re-published by RTÉ in a box set.

Songs from singers in Irish and English; jigs, reels, hornpipes and airs from solo musicians and groups; step dances and set dances from exhibition and social dancers – this four-DVD collection from the television archives of RTÉ, the Irish national broadcaster, contains twelve hours of outstanding performances from across the rich spectrum of Irish traditional music.

It is available to visitors to the Irish Traditional Music Archive or from the RTÉ shop.

Permalink - Posted: November 6, 2014 at 5:17 pm


Susan Hughes – Exhibition of Musicians of Ireland

Susan Hughes graduated from Belfast Art College in 2006. For the past two years she has worked full time as an artist attending residencies in Norway and Ireland. As a fiddle player she has been honoured to play tunes over the years with many of the musicians she has painted. As she draws their faces, hands and instruments she aims to capture some of their spirit with her ink and brush.

Permalink - Posted: November 6, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Launch of inaugural Scoil Gheimhridh Ghaoth Dobhair

The inaugural Scoil Gheimhridh Ghaoth Dobhair will be launched on Rónán Beo @3 on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, live from St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, in Dublin, on Tuesday 11 November at 3 pm.

Scoil Gheimhridh Ghaoth Dobhair will take place in northwest Donegal from 27 December to 1 January.  In its first year under its new organisers, Comharchumann Forbartha Ghaoth Dobhair, the School will continue the original vision of the Frankie Kennedy Winter School: to pass on, through sharing knowledge and nurturing talent, the joys of Irish traditional music, with special place given to the music and songs of the Donegal Gaeltacht. (more…)

Permalink - Posted: November 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm

New Online Concertina Course with Edel Fox

The Online Academy of Irish Music

Calling all those who want to learn the Concertina: OAIM is pleased to announce the release of Edel Fox’s brand new course ‘Irish Concertina Skills’. The first lesson of this course is absolutely free, so log–in and get learning! These videos are all in HD and have been enhanced with animated graphic diagrams to enhance the on–line learning experience. Edel’s course is aimed at the more experienced Concertina learner. Thirteen tunes are examined with each focused on a specific technique. These techniques are discussed, demonstrated and developed throughout the lessons. They include more advanced ornamentation, air button / bellow control, and becoming familiar with the lesser used buttons on concertina.

Permalink - Posted: October 31, 2014 at 12:30 pm


The Arts Council of Northern Ireland are major investors in Traditional music, with figures from the 2012/13 season showing they poured in more than a half a million sterling into events are artists, with Belfast festivals receiving the Lion’s share. It may seem a good deal, but it is less than 5% of the Council’s £13M budget. As part of its Music Strategy 2013–2018, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has established a forum to specifically focus on the development of the traditional music sector in the region.

Bringing together a number of traditional music organisations, the aim is to explore the sector’s own aspirations and proposals for development, and encourage these organisations to advocate for the inclusion of traditional music’s in Northern Ireland’s formal music education provision.

Permalink - Posted: October 31, 2014 at 12:30 pm


The beautiful mountain Knocknarea in Ireland’s County Sligo is said to be the final resting place of the ancient Irish warrior– queen Maeve.

The ‘Alt’ is a storied glen on the side of Knocknarea, and it was in the shadow of this glen in the little village of Coolaney that the three master Irish traditional musicians in The Alt–John Doyle, Nuala Kennedy, and Eamon O’Leary, first gathered to rehearse.

Each player in The Alt is a leading light of today’s folk scene and though this could be easily called a supergroup, at its heart The Alt is really a celebration of friendship and song. The old ballads, winding tunes, and freshly discovered songs that each artist brought to the table reflect the pure love of the song that has made Irish music so beautiful and compelling over thousands of years. It’s this same love of the song that the Irish brought to America, nestling into their new homes in Appalachia and forming the bedrock that would bring us American country, bluegrass, and old–time music.

Permalink - Posted: October 31, 2014 at 12:29 pm


If We Only Knew is the debut album from the Socks in the Frying Pan singer and guitarist Aodan Coyne, which was released in October. The Socks were the big hit of the US festival circuit in summer 2014, gaining praise and re–bookings wherever they went. Aodan already has established a following of fans and is likely to build on this, with this excellent debut album.

Permalink - Posted: October 31, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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