The best traditional gigs this week

Trad master class in Bantry, Altan celebrate 30 years and away with the Faeries in Farmleigh

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh: Altan play Ballykeeffe Theatre, Kilkenny, on August 24th.

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh: Altan play Ballykeeffe Theatre, Kilkenny, on August 24th.

 

Saturday August 17

Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson

Farmleigh House 3pm €15/€50 (family of 4) farmleigh.ie

Two leading harpers, Hambly from Mayo and Jackson from Scotland, headline this afternoon summer concert, augmented by the duo’s other instruments. Hambly also plays concertina and Jackson plays tin whistle and bouzouki. The rich Irish harp repertoire of O’Carolan and others will doubtless feature, along with tunes from the Scottish tradition, and much more besides.

Wednesday August 21

Masters of the Tradition

Bantry House until Sunday westcorkmusic.ie/masters-of-tradition

This year’s programme is a master class in thoughtful curating, speaking, as it does to our contemporary times through the inclusion of Syrian bouzouki player Mohammed Syfkhan and a welcome revival of the sublime adaptation of Timothy O’Grady’s book, I Could Read the Sky. Martin Hayes is, as ever, at the heart of this endeavour, but the programme also features Síle Denvir, Lisa O’Neill, Liam O’Connor, Scullion, Dennis Cahill and, intriguingly, a secret guest. The glorious setting of Bantry House is an added bonus but it’s all about the music.

Saturday August 24

Altan

Ballykeeffe Theatre, Kilkenny, 7pm €25 eventbrite.ie

Celebrating 30 years on the road, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and her band have one of the richest repertoires in the tradition, shot through with tunes and songs drawn from their roots in Donegal and from associated songs and tunes from Scotland. This is music for the soul, and Ní Mhaonaigh anchors it effortlessly on fiddle and vocals. This is a chance to hear the band in a fittingly intimate setting where no note will go astray.

Saturday August 24

The Piper and The Faerie Queen

Farmleigh House 3pm €15/€50 (family of 4) farmleigh.ie

Camerata Kilkenny and David Power reprise a repertoire that reaches easily into both past and present, with startling effect. The Faerie Queen was composed by Henry Purcell in the 17th century, inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while the boldest of pipers, David Power, will also bring his considerable insights to bear on An Draighneán Donn (the brown thorn) and The Fox Chase. An inspired collaboration that grows in stature and in vision with each successive outing.

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