Piping hot performances: The best trad music this week
The Sound of Ireland celebrates uileann pipes at the Abbey. Plus: Tradfest takes a bow, Féile na Tána kicks off in Carlingford, and Brendan McCreanor curates Slow Sessions
Dixie fix: Alt-country queens Allison Moorer and Shelby Lynn headline the closing concert of Tradfest at Dublin Castle on Sunday night
Various venues across Dublin, Saturday January 27th-Sunday January 28th tradfest.ie
Although just two days remain in this year’s Tradfest, there’s still a sparkling mix of concerts to choose from. Lorcán MacMathúna and Eamonn Galldubh bring their song cycle with wind instruments inspired by the writings of a young Francis Ledwidge to Rathfarnham Castle on Saturday night, while any young ’uns with a yen to chance their arm can join the Give Trad A Try sessions in the Ark on Saturday and Sunday from 11am. Sunday night’s headliner concert in Dublin Castle promises to be a boon for those with an ear for alt-country, with the sublime Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer sharing a bill with acoustic roots and blues duo Martin Harley and Daniel Kimbro and Irish bluegrassers I Draw Slow. For the stalwarts who feel like whooping it up in earnest, check out the Tradfest Gala Night on Saturday night in Dublin Castle with Téada and Séamus Begley, Frankie Gavin and Blazing Fiddles. And that’s just the half of it.
Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Co Louth, Saturday January 27th, 2pm, €5 droichead.com
Brand new monthly afternoon session with a difference, curated by Kern’s Brendan McCreanor. A selection of easy and well-known session tunes will be played slowly so that people in the early stages of their playing or those coming back to playing music can have an opportunity to play together in a friendly, supportive and informal setting. More experienced players who wish to refine their techniques at a slower pace and those who just want to listen are also welcome.
The Sound of Ireland
Abbey Theatre, Dublin 1, Tuesday January 30th, 7.30pm, €30/€25 abbeytheatre.ie
A timely celebration of UNESCO’s recent recognition of uilleann piping as an important and unique symbol of cultural heritage, by their inclusion of piping in their Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This important global accolade reflects heritage cultural practices that are considered to enrich all of humanity. Na Píobairí Uilleann’s successful advocacy copperfastens the status of the pipes as a keystone of our national cultural identity. Tuesday night’s concert is a gathering to mark this achievement. Guests include Jimmy O’Brien Moran, Noel Hill, Liam O’Connor and Seán McKeon, Robbie Hannan and Paddy Glackin, The Four Star Trio and many others. Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh will also perform and MC the evening.
Féile na Tána
Various venues, Carlingford, Co Louth, Friday February 2nd-Sunday February 4th feilenatana.com
What better way to kick off Carlingford’s boutique weekend festival than with a concert from Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh on hardanger fiddle and Mick O’Brien on pipes, with the traditional orchestra of local Scoil Naomh Lorcan? Weekend instrument and singing workshops and a bilingual art workshop will see some serious players share their tips with locals and visitors: Tristan Rosenstock, Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, Liam O’Connor, Noel Hill, Séamus Begley, Michelle and Louise Mulcahy and fiddle player and singer Zöe Conway. There will be nightly sessions too. Féile na Tána is a finely curated gathering that celebrates past and present with equal ease.