The best trad gigs this week: National Harp Day to Vyvienne Long
RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards and Achill International Harp Festival also worth catching
National Harp Day
Harp Ireland, Cruit Éireann, invites harpers and people interested in the harp to join in celebrating Ireland’s 1,000-year-old tradition on National Harp Day. This year will feature harps sounding loudly from dawn to dusk throughout the country in concerts, sessions, pop-up sessions, talks and demonstrations of harp making. One of the many highlights of the day will include a day-long programme of harp-themed events at the Lexicon Library and Cultural Centre in Dún Laoghaoire, culminating in a concert by Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman, Cormac de Barra and Anne Marie O’Farrell and Eibhlís Ní Riordáin on early harp. Another promises to be a workshop with renowned Scottish harpist Catríona McKay in Ionad Cultúrtha, Ballyvourney.
RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards
John Creedon and Ruth Smith co-host the second Folk Awards, following last year’s resounding success. Tonight’s line-up is impressively eclectic and includes Martin Hayes, Ye Vagabonds, Karan Casey, Lisa O’Neill, Dervish, Ralph McTell and some surprise guests. The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Moya Brennan will also perform. Last year’s concert was one of the highlights of the year, so no pressure.
Students, Staff and alumni of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick
The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in the University of Limerick hosts a lunchtime concert of song, music, and poetry in support of Rape Crisis Midwest. Featuring performances by students, staff and alumni, this promises to be an eclectic gathering in a glorious setting.
Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick
Cellist Long first came to prominence when she performed with Damien Rice on his seminal album, O. Now celebrating the release of her second solo album, A Lifetime of High Fives, she is as much at home doing covers of White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army as she is navigating collaborations with the avant garde Balanescu Quartet. An intriguing prospect, to hear her latest work.
Achill International Harp Festival
Various venues, Achill Island until Monday
Just a week after National Harp day, a plethora of concerts, workshops, talks, walks and festival club nights will dot Achill island for this weekend festival. Guests include local harpist and festival stalwart Laoise Kelly, Catríona MacKay, Diarmaid Moynihan, Tola Custy, Liam Ó Maonlai and Tien Huicani from Mexico.