The five best traditional music gigs around Ireland this week
An Irish harp festival, Wood Quay Summer Sessions and some fine musical arrangements
Iarla Ó Lionaird and Steve Cooney
Sunday, July 1st
An Chúirt Chruitireachta - International Festival of Irish Harp
An Grianán, Termonfeckin; until Friday; cairdenacruite.com/festival
The 33rd International Festival of Irish Harp plays host to the largest gathering of harpers to date, with 150 harpers gathering for a series of concerts and workshops. Eighteenth century blind harper, Turlough O’Carolan, is the focus of this year’s festival with harpers experimenting and collaborating with other artists, reimagining Carolan’s repertoire in song and story, and encouraging innovative arrangements for the harp, as well as introducing a new generation of Irish harpers to his music.
Iarla ó Lionáird and Steve Cooney
The Spirit Store, Dundalk; 9pm; €24; spiritstore.ie
This pair of lateral musical thinkers have forged an impressive bond, with each bringing his unique take on the tradition to the party. Iarla Ó Lionáird possesses the finest voice in the tradition, and is a fearless navigator of known and unknown terrain, while Cooney stitches his impish, adventurous spirit through his ever inventive guitar arrangements effortlessly. A real treat to catch these two musicians in unison.
Tuesday, July 3rd
Colm Broderick, Marie McHugh, Tim McHugh and Ciarán Ó Gealbháin
The Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin 7; 9pm; €12/€8; pipers.ie
Monthly Session with the Pipers, hosted by Na Píobairí Uilleann, continues with a session anchored by Colm Broderick on pipes with fiddle, flute and vocal accompaniment.
Wednesday, July 4th
Matt Molloy, John Carty and Arty McGlynn
Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick; 9pm; €20/€15; dolans.ie
The Blas International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance returns to the Irish World Academy at the University of Limerick for the 22nd successive year. Tonight sees three of the finest musicians in the tradition gather together, with Molloy on flute, Carty on fiddle and banjo and McGlynn, the ever consummate accompanist, on guitar.
Thursday, July 5th
Wood Quay Summer Sessions
Wood Quay Amphitheatre, Dublin 8; 1pm; free; dublincity.ie
Returning for its third year, this summer lunchtime concert series kicks off with the trumpet/accordion duo of Niall O’Sullivan and Dermot Dunne, followed by piper Mark Redmond, harper Eilís Lavelle and double bassist Paul O’Driscoll. A fine public service in an ideal setting.