The best trad this week: National Harp Day and Irish Gamelan Orchestra

It’s National Harp Day on Saturday with events across the country while the William Kennedy Piping Festival takes place in Armagh

Irish Gamelan Orchestra presents a concert of new music, dance and spoken word

Irish Gamelan Orchestra presents a concert of new music, dance and spoken word

 

Saturday 11

The Irish Gamelan Orchestra: The Three Forges
Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. paviliontheatre.ie
The Irish Gamelan Orchestra presents a concert of new music, dance and spoken word with a line up of special guests including author Joseph O’Connor, singers Julie Feeney and Kathleen Turner, dancer Colin Dunne, cellist Kate Ellis and Saxophonist Nick Roth, under the direction of Mel Mercier

Percussionist and head of the University of Limerick’s Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Mel Mercier, has long been a fan of the Indonesian Gamelan. Buoyed by the university’s acquisition of a recently forged set of gamelan instruments, made by a master gong-smith in the court city of Surakarta, Java, and named Sekar Arum (Fragrant Flower). Tonight Irish Gamelan Orchestra presents a concert of new music, dance and spoken word with an impressive line-up of special guests, both new and long-established.

National Harp Day/Lá na Cruite
Various venues throughout the country. Adm free harpireland.ie

Scottish harper Catriona McKay and Olov Johansson on nyckelharpa
Scottish harper Catriona McKay and Olov Johansson on nyckelharpa will play at Emo Court, Co Laois

A celebration of all aspects of our national instrument, the harp, today sees venues all over the country hosting workshops, sessions, concerts, talks, and demonstrations of harp making. Recent years have witnessed a marked increase in interest in the harp, with a significant increase in musicians playing. The DLR Lexicon will host a harpathon this morning, while Galway City Museum will showcase three events during the day where Galway harpers and their students play a variety of harps, from the early Irish harp strung with brass to the Irish harp and pedal harp, and Emo Court will welcome the Laois Music Generation  Senior Ensemble, who will perform with star Scottish harper Catriona McKay and Olov Johansson on nyckelharpa.

Wednesday 15

Notify should open a few new doors of perception for anyone with an appetite for either the jazz or trad genres
Notify should open a few new doors of perception for anyone with an appetite for either the jazz or trad genres

Notify and Mark Lettieri Trio
Dolan’s Warehouse 8pm €15 dolans.ie. Also Thurs, Galway; Fri, Clare; Sat, Armagh; Sun, Belfast; Mon, Derry
Ropeadope record label-mates, Notify and the Mark Lettieri Trio embark on a short but intensive tour, bringing their own particularly original grooves across the country.

Mark Lettieri will join Notify on their tour
Mark Lettieri will join Notify on their tour

Notify’s sound is a cool-headed nexus of traditional and jazz influences while Mark Lettieri, (a member of Grammy-award winning Snarky Puppy) relishes a funked up, drum-tight vibe. Together these musicians should open a few new doors of perception for anyone with an appetite for either the jazz or trad genres, or in short, for music lovers.

Thursday 16

Muireann Nic Amhaloibh will feature at the William Kennedy Piping Festival
Muireann Nic Amhaloibh will feature at the William Kennedy Piping Festival

William Kennedy Piping Festival
Various venues, Armagh until Sunday wkpf.org
Now in its 24th year and one of the largest events in Armagh’s cultural and tourism calendar, The William Kennedy Piping Festival is a magnet for musicians who this year are drawn from Asturias, Cape Breton, France and Scotland, and from the length and breadth of Ireland. Die-hard pipers can bask in an intensive piping immersion course, while concerts and sessions will feature Ulaid, Notify, Mark Lettieri Trio, Matt Cranitch, Danú and Muireann Nic Amhaloibh, among others. Curated by artist, Brian Vallely and his wife, Eithne, this festival is truly a piper’s dream.

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