From Waterville in Kerry to Waterfront in Belfast: the best trad music this week

Éigse na Brídeoige takes a maritime theme; Gradam Cheoil Traditional Music Awards cherishes the ladies; White Raven brings Irish traditional and medieval song together

Éigse na Brídeoige

Various venues, Waterville, Co Kerry, Saturday February 3rd & Sunday February 4th

Now in its 26th year, this lovely gathering in south Kerry takes as its theme this year “Tides and Tales” or “Éigse na Farraige”. Amid lectures and discussions on climate change, maritime rescue and marine history, there will be some lively contributions from singer – and anchor for the whole festival – Tim Dennehy, Dordán (Mary Bergin, Kathleen Loughnane and Dearbhaill Standún on whistle, harp and fiddle) on Saturday nigh, as well as the launch of an album of music from this beautiful Iveragh Peninsula recorded at last year’s Éigse. Local sessions will be dotted across Ballinskelligs, Caherdaniel and Waterville and all points in between.

Gradam Cheoil TG4 Traditional Music Awards


Waterfront, Belfast, Sunday, February 4th 8.30pm €25/€22

This year's Gradam Cheoil concert honours many women: Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, Claire Friel and Máire Ní Chéileachair, as well as the lateral-thinking producer Máire O'Keeffe (for her work with Colin Dunne and Mel Mercier on Dunne's Tommy Potts-inspired dance performance Concert). Sunday's celebratory concert will also doff its collective cap to Traditional Musician of the Year Frankie Gavin and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award Patsy Hanley. Guests musicians also include De Dannan, Harry Bradley, John McSherry, John Wynne and many more. Odds are that the music will flow long into the breaking of the day.

White Raven

Ionad Cultúrtha, Ballyvourney, Co Cork, Friday February 9th, 8.30pm, €20/€15

Cork singer now resident in Switzerland Kathleen Dineen merges her two passions of Irish traditional and medieval song in this a capella trio. Their three-part settings and arrangements echo the sonorities of the 15th-century chanson, with its characteristic fluid style. Early music shot through with an Irish sensibility. Also featuring Robert Getchell and Mathias Spoerry.

An Góilín

The Teachers' Club, Parnell Square, Dublin, Friday February 9th, 9pm €3

Club regulars Jerry O’Reilly, Fergus Russell, Frank Nugent, Antaine Ó Faracháin, Mick Keeley and Máire Ní Chróinín will raise the rallying cry for a regular club night, where the best of unaccompanied singing of songs in any language is warmly embraced. Newcomers welcome. A listener’s paradise.