Preparations under way for Cork Folk Festival

Seán Keane and Matt Molloy
Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and Caitlín Nic Gabhann
Mark Redmond

The forty-third edition of the Cork Folk Festival returns full live and in-person this autumn from September 29 to October 2 with a comprehensive programme of over thirty events. This year’s headliners will be Mary Black (pictured above) and her band at the Cork Opera House on October 2. The line-up will also feature Danú with lead vocalist Nell Ní Chróinín from Muscraí  as well as former Chieftains, Seán Keane and Matt Molloy.

Three more duos will perform at the festival: uilleann piper, Leonard Barry, and guitarist, Seamie O’Dowd; Máire Ní Chathasaigh on harp and Chris Newman on guitar; and another husband-and-wife partnership of fiddle and concertina/dance combination of Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and Caitlín Nic Gabhann. Ciarán’s aunt, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh will also play in a Music Network sponsored trio with uilleann piper, Mark Redmond, and harpist and vocalist, Cormac De Barra,

At the St Luke’s Venue, the festival will showcase the Baltimore Fiddle Fair, currently celebrating its thirtieth year. An Spailpin Fanach will host concerts by Thomas McCarthy, Gerry Harrington, Peter Browne, Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaoich, Charlie Piggott, Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly, Brendan Mulvihill and the inimitable Jimmy Crowley with Eve Telford.

Among the other performers confirmed so far are Emma Langford, Mary Greene, Niamh Twomey, Alannah Thornburgh, Aileen Mythen and Padraig Jack. The heritage of Sliabh Luachra will be celebrated in a special concert involving Eoin Stan O’Sullivan, Emma O’Leary, Pat Fleming, Maura O’Connor and Bryan O’Leary, while the Cork-based cajun band, Two Time Polka, will close the festival.

During the four days of the festival, there will also be music workshops, sessions and open-air events, a Céilí Mór, Storytime for Children, as well as launches of a tune book by Jackie Daly and albums by Paddy Egan and Clare Sands.

More acts are expected to be announced by September.

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