The best traditional music concerts to see in Ireland this week

From Laois Trad Summer School to Birds of Chicago in Dublin

Saturday, July 21st

Music Generation Laois Trad Summer School

Various venues, Portlaoise, all weekend,

Incorporating workshops, sessions and masterclasses across a wide range of instruments, as well as a series of evening concerts by both professional and young musicians, this three day gathering will see musicians mentored by accomplished trad players and tutors including members of Scottish folk band Talisk and fiddle player, composer and teacher, Siobhán Peoples.

The Olllam


Castlewellan Soma festival, St Malachy's GAC, Castlewellan 9pm £20, Also Sun, Lucas Bar, Ennis; Wed, Hawk's Well Theatre, Sligo; Thurs, Dolan's Warehouse, Limerick; Friday, Ardfert Cathedral, Kerry

This curiously named coalition melds Irish traditional and a powerful rhythm and bass section, and features John McSherry on pipes with Detroit musicians Tyler Duncan, Michael Shimmin, Joe Dart, Theo Katzman and Woody Goss, who embark on an extensive tour this week.

Tuesday, July 24


King House Historical and Cultural Centre, Boyle Arts Festival, 1pm €5

Harpist Reidun Schlesinger and guitarist Paul de Grae have been quietly forging a path all of their own making with their debut album, Amala. Their Irish gigs have been very few and far between, so tonight’s appearance at Boyle Arts Festival is one worth savouring.

Friday, July 27

Birds of Chicago

Whelan's, Wexford Street 8pm €24

A heady mix of folk, roots, soul and gospel, this Chicago collective is anchored by husband-and-wife duo JT Nero and Allison Russell (she of Po' Girl). Following the release of their critically acclaimed album Love in Wartime earlier this year, the pair have been burning up the road miles, spreading their message of peace, love and music with their bespoke following. This night promises to be something very special.