Celebrating Leon

Some of the leading figures on the British folk scene will take part in an international online celebration of the music of Leon Rosselson (pictured above). Martin Carthy, Billy Bragg, Nancy Kerr, Martin Simpson and Sandra Kerr – as well as Leon, himself – are among the many artists who will celebrating Leon’s life and work over six decades, creating a sound track for unsung heroes and unspeakable scoundrels.

This online event, Turning Silence into Song: The Music of Leon Rosselson,  will provide an opportunity to revisit his classic songs or be introduced to one you never heard before.

Each of the following artists will perform one song written by Leon Rosselson:

  • Frankie Armstrong (UK)
  • Billy Bragg (UK)
  • Rick Burkhardt (US)
  • Martin Carthy (UK)
  • Russ Chandler (UK)
  • Barbara Dane (US)
  • Chris Foster (Iceland)
  • Robb Johnson (UK)
  • Reem Kelan (UK)
  • Nancy Kerr (UK)
  • Sandra Kerr (UK)
  • Charlie King (US)
  • Leon Rosselson (UK)
  • Martin Simpson (UK)
  • Dean Stevens (US)
  • Elijah Wald (US)

This live Zoom concert, sponsored by The People’s Music Network, is totally free to the public. Donations to support PMN’s year round work of presenting workshops, conferences, and songswaps are gratefully accepted.

Members of the People’s Music Network may register for free. Non-members will receive the Zoom meeting links as soon as they register after any contribution to People’s Music Network of $2 or more.

Registration will not be required to tune in to the free livestream on the People’s Music Network Youtube page. But those who register will receive an automatic reminder about the show with the option to tune in via Zoom.

In the early days of the folk revival, Leon Rosselson was a member of the Galliards with whom he made numerous radio and television broadcasts and concert appearances. He started writing songs seriously (and humorously) in the early 1960s and hasn’t stopped since.

His early songs were topical-satirical (some of them were featured on the BBC TV show, That Was The Week That Was) but he broadened out from there, absorbing different influences, from music hall to French realist song, and experimenting with different song forms.

His song, The World Turned Upside Down, has been recorded and popularised by, among others, Dick Gaughan and Billy Bragg (who took it into the pop charts in 1985) and has been sung on numerous demonstrations in Britain and the USA.

His Ballad of a Spycatcher, ridiculing the ban on Peter Wright’s book, went into the Indie Singles charts in 1987 in a version backed by Billy Bragg and the Oyster Band.

Rosselson has performed in every conceivable venue around the country and toured North America, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Australia. He has written songs and scripts for Inter-Action’s Dogg’s Troupe and the Fun Art Bus, songs for a stage production at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, of They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and shows for performance with Roy Bailey and Frankie Armstrong, including the anti-nuclear No Cause for Alarm.
 
In addition to writing songs for children and giving children’s concerts in both Britain and the USA, he has had seventeen children’s books published. His first book, Rosa’s Singing Grandfather, published by Puffin, was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 1991.
 
A stage show based on his children’s story, The Greatest Drummer In The World, was premiered in London in December 2002. His latest books are Pumpkin’s Downfall and Home Is A Place Called Nowhere. 
Martin Carthy
Sandra Kerr
Billy Bragg
Nancy Kerr
Martin Simpson

Belfast Song Gathering with Len Graham

Len Graham

This year’s Belfast Song Gathering will take place on Friday May 13 and Saturday May 14. The annual celebration of Ulster songs and singing is organised by Belfast Traditional Music and Dance Society in collaboration with An Droichead Arts Centre.

The gathering begins on Friday evening in the American Bar in Dock Street where the Belfast Singing Circle will host a singing session from 9pm.

On Saturday, former All-Ireland under-18 singing champion, Katie Boyle, will host a special singing workshop for families and children in the Green Room at the Black Box in Hill Street from 11am.

The Green Room is also the venue for Len Graham’s presentation entitled It’s of My Rambles at 1pm.

After lunch, the gathering will reassemble upstairs in the Sunflower Bar in Union Street at 4pm for another feast of singing hosted by the Nightingale Singing Session.

Each event in this year’s gathering is free of charge. All singers and listeners are welcome.

Another fine album you’ve gotten me into!

John C. Reilly (right) as Oliver Hardy, with Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel
(Photo by Nick Wall, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)

In early 2019 on a visit to Ireland to promote Stan and Ollie – the film which he headlined with Steve Coogan – the American actor, John C Reilly, struck up a friendship with Séamus Begley, based on their mutual love of Irish songs. When their friendship was renewed later that year in Los Angeles, as John joined Séamus and Téada bandmate, Oisín Mac Diarmiada, on stage at the final date of their Christmas tour, the germ of an idea for a unique collaboration on the next Téada album began to take root.

Pandemic restrictions made the process of recording John’s vocals trickier than normal, but everything fell into place in 2021 when John found a suitable recording studio in Los Angeles to record the Percy French classic, Eileen Óg. On the album, John’s striking vocal tones are blended with the subtle sensitivity of Séamus’ singing to deliver a beautifuilly crafted arrangement.

Reilly’s growing engagement with Ireland was further cemented last month when he was the official International Guest of Honour at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin. And according to Séamus Begley, he is likely to be seen even more frequently in this country in future: “Now after finding a house of his dreams there, it looks like John C will be spending more time in his beloved Kerry and I look forward to some more late-night singing sessions and revelry in the local hostelries.”

Hollywood actor John C. Reilly featured on new album by Téada.

Coiscéim Coiligh – As the Days Brighten – due for release next month in May – will be Téada’s sixth studio album and will mark a musical partnership that has not merely endured but thrived for 21 years and has brought the band to concert platforms and festivals throughout Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australasia.

Available for sale (CD format) and digital download now at www.teada.com and www.gael-linn.ie,

For details of track listings, etc, see https://fonn.online/product/teada-coisceim-coiligh/

Nós Nua to perform Mohsen’s world premiere for Drogheda

The world premiere of Causeway, a specially commissioned work by award-winning Scottish musician, Mohsen Amini, will be performed by Nós Nua – the Louth Youth Folk Orchestra. Delayed by two years because of the pandemic, the premiere will finally take place on on May 1 in Drogheda’s Barbican Centre as part of the Drogheda Arts Festival.

Inspired by the legend of the Giant’s Causeway, Causeway celebrates the cultural connections between Scotland and Ireland. As well as the premiere, the event will see a special performance by concertina virtuoso, Mohsen Amini, along with award-winning fiddler, Bene Morris, his bandmate in the trio, Talisk. The pair will be joined by Fermoy piper, Ryan Murphy, who is a member of Mohsen’s “other band” – the renwned instrumental quintet, Ìmar. Completing the line-up for this special concert will be guitarist, Shane McCartan.

Founded in in 2017 as a joint initiative of Music Generation Louth and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Nós Nua draws its membership from across Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Cavan and Armagh. Nós Nua was the first folk orchestra to perform at the Festival of Youth Orchestras in the National Concert Hall, Dublin. They have performed on TG4’s Fleadh TV, at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda and recently recorded music for John Creedon’s Atlas of Ireland.

The Causeway project is funded by the Irish Arts Council through the Young Ensemble Scheme.

 

Mohsen Amini

Online Sean-Nós Workshops start on Saturday

Singers interested in polishing their sean-nós technique can avail of a series of online workshops being organised by Comhaltas in Britain.

The three online workshops will each cover a different regional style – Donegal, Conamara and Munster – and each led by a leading exponent, Diane Cannon, Caitríona Ní Cheannabháin and Clare Horgan respectively.

Diane Cannon
Caitríona Ní Cheannabháin
Clare Horgan

Places on the workshops, which can be booked through Eventbrite, are free to Comhaltas members – while for non-members there is a charge of £12 (plus booking fee).

The first workshop on the Donegal style with Diane Cannon takes place on Saturday, April 23; the second on the Conamara style with Caitríona Ní Cheannabháin on Sunday, May 22; and the third on the Munster style with Clare Horgan on Sunday, June 5.

For more information, see:

 

More nominations for Rhiannon, Francesco and John Francis

Fresh from their recent Grammy success for Best Folk Album, Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi have been named among the nominees for Album of the Year by Folk Alliance International (FAI) for their award-winning album, They’re Calling Me Home, recorded in Dublin last year.

Dubliner John Francis Flynn (who achieved a double success at the 2021 RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards for Best Emerging Artist and Best Folk Singer) has now also receieved a FAI nomination for Artist of the Year. The Skippers Alley alumnus has achieved international recognition following the release of his widely acclaimed album, I Would Not Live Always.

Rhiannon Giddens (right) and Francesco Turrisi
John Francis Flynn
Sarah Jarosz
The winners of the three categories – Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Artist of the Year – will be decided by the FAI’s voting membership (with the ballot due to close on April 15). The live awards show will be held May 18 in Kansas City, Missouri, on the opening night of FAI’s thirty-fourth Annual Conference, and will be broadcast online.

The nominees in each category are:

Album of the Year

  • Outside Child by Allison Russell
  • The Fray by John Smith
  • They’re Calling Me Home by Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi
  • Wary + Strange by Amythyst Kiah
  • Un Canto por México, Vol. 2 by Natalia Lafourcade
Song of the Year 
  • Call Me A Fool by Valerie June
  • Changemakers by Crys Matthews
  • On Solid Ground by Reggie Harris
  • Painted Blue by Sarah Jarosz
  • We Believe You by Diana Jones
Artist of the Year
  • Allison Russell
  • Arooj Aftab
  • John Francis Flynn
  • Kalani Pe’a
  • The Longest Johns

The nominees in the Album of the Year category include three members of the quartet who collaborated on the acclaimed 2019 album, Songs of Our Native Daughters, and subsequent concert tours.

As well as Rhiannon Giddens, the nominees also include Amythyst Kiah (for Wary + Strange) and Allison Russell (for Outside Child). The missing ‘Daughter’ is Leyla McCalla.

Pictured right are: (from left) Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell and Amythyst Kiah.

Our Native Daughters

In addition to the three categories determined by membership vote, the FAI also makes a number of other awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement,
  • the People’s Voice,
  • the Spirit of Folk,
  • the Rising Tide and
  • the Clearwater.

Three Lifetime Achievement Awards – named in honour of Elaine Weissman – are presented each year to honour the cultural impact of major folk music figures – one living, one legacy, and one business/academic. This year’s recipients are:

  • accordionist Flaco Jiménez,
  • the late singer-songwriter, Nanci Griffith;
  • the Denver-based folk music centre,
    Swallow Hill Music.

The People’s Voice Award, which is presented to an individual who unashamedly embraces social and political commentary in their creative work and public careers, is to be presented to Jason Mraz, the multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter known for his positivity and a consistent attention to conservation, human rights, and LGBTQIA+ issues. Jason will join an honour roll that includes past winners: Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Buffy Saint Marie, Ani Difranco, and Bruce Cockburn.

Jackson Browne
Bonnie Raitt
Buffy Saint Marie
Nanci Griffith
Bruce Cockburn

The Spirit of Folk Awards celebrate people and organisations actively involved in the promotion and preservation of folk music through their creative work, community building, and demonstrated leadership. The 2022 recipients will include:

  • Eugene Rodriguez of Los Cenzontles – musician, educator, and documentary producer;
  • Lilli Lewis – composer, producer, performing artist, and Vice President and Head of A&R of Louisiana Red Hot Records;
  • Gaelynn Lea – NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner, musician, and disability rights activist;
  • Erin Benjamin – President & CEO, Canadian Live Music Association;
  • Amado Espinoza – Bolivian-American multi-instrumentalist, composer and instrument maker; and
  • Shain Shapiro – founder, Sound Diplomacy.

The FAI’s Rising Tide Award will be presented to Mali Obomsawin – the award-winning Smithsonian Folkways artist from Odanak Wabanaki First Nation, who is also a member of the band Lula Wiles, a journalist; and the founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Bomazeen Land Trust. Launched in 2021, this award celebrates a new generation (under 30) artist who inspires others by embodying the values and ideals of the folk community through their creative work, community role, and public voice.

Planet Bluegrass will receive the Clearwater Award which is presented to a festival that prioritises environmental stewardship and demonstrates public leadership in sustainable event production.

About Folk Alliance International
Folk Alliance International (FAI) was founded in 1989 to connect folk music leaders aiming to sustain the community and genre. Today FAI is the leading international voice for folk music with a network of more than 3,000 members: a worldwide community of artists, agents, managers, labels, publicists, arts administrators, venues, festivals, and concert series presenters.

FAI produces the world’s largest conference for the folk music industry, the International Folk Music Awards (IFMAs), an Artist-in-Residence programme, the Folk ExChange market development program, the Ethno USA gathering (on behalf of JM International), community outreach, and a Finest Folk concert series. FAI values diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, strives to ensure gender parity in all its programming, celebrates multiple languages and cultures, and actively welcomes participation from marginalised, disenfranchised, and underrepresented communities.

FAI defines folk broadly as “the music of the people” (reflective of any community they are from), and programmes a diverse array of sub-genres including, but not limited to, Appalachian, Americana, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Global Roots, Hip-Hop, Old-Time, Singer-Songwriter, Spoken Word, Traditional, Zydeco, and various fusions.

Folk Album Grammy for Rhiannon and Francesco

Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi have won the Grammy for Folk Album of the year for their stunning album, They’re Calling Me Home, conceived and produced during lockdown in their adopted Irish home.

The critically acclaimed album, released in 2021, showcases Gidden’s amazing vocal prowess and Turrisi’s wonderful instrumental versatility in a remarkable collection of songs – some traditional and some original – around the themes of home and death – reflecting two of the major concerns of the pandemic – especially for those separated from loved ones as both the American-born Giddens and the Italian-born Turrisi were.

Rhiannon Giddens (right) and Francesco Turrisi

“Exploring the emotions brought up by the moment, Giddens and Turrisi decamped to Hellfire, a small studio on a working farm outside of Dublin, to record these songs over six days.”

Between the classic bluegrass title track which opens the album and the great gospel standard, Amazing Grace,  which closes it, the duo present an eclectic musical experience delivered with profound emotional power and great technical accomplishment. These tracks include Monteverdi’s Si Dolce è’l Tormento – reflecting Giddens’ previous operatic training – the folk classic When I Was in My Prime, the old time song Black As Crow, the gospel blues O Death, the Italian lullbaby Nenna Nenna and the remarkable original song, Avalon, which was also nominated for a Grammy for Best American Roots Song.

Credit, too, to Mayo flute player and piper, Emer Mayock, who lends her talents to Black As Crow.

The Grammy is the second for Giddens: her first came as a member of The Carolina Chocolate Drops. It is also the second time that Giddens and Turrisi have been nominated as a duo. Their first album together, there is no Other, also eceived a Grammy nomination. It was also recorded in Dublin.

Paddy Glackin takes Gradam as Musician of the Year

Fiddler, Paddy Glackin, has been named as the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Musician of the Year for 2022. A founder member of the Bothy Band almost fifty years ago, Paddy has contributed to the tradition in a variety of ways –  as a performer, broadcaster, researcher, teacher, recording artist and innovative collaborator. From Clontarf in Dublin, Paddy was brought up in the Donegal style of fiddling by his father, Tom. During his primary school years, he took classical violin lessons at the College of Music in Chatham Row in Dublin, which gave him an important technical grounding in music and helped develop his formidable technique.

On a trip to Donegal with his father, Tom, music collector Breandan Breathnach, and Clare fiddler John Kelly, Paddy encountered the music of the travelling fiddler, John Doherty, whom Glackin subsequently identified as his main influence. But Paddy’s musical tastes are not limited to Donegal: as well as John Kelly, Tommie Potts from Dublin’s Liberties and Padraig O’Keeffe from Slíabh Luachra also figure prominently in his formation as a fiddler. Through the influence of his father and these talented fiddlers, Paddy developed an understanding of a variety of fiddle styles while acquiring a substantial repertoire. In 1973, aged 19, Paddy became senior fiddle champion at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

While the tradition is the source to which he always returns, Paddy has been open to engage with musicians from other genres – including the multi-instrumentalist Jolyon Jackson on Hidden Ground (1980) and the avant-garde American composer John Cage’s Roaratorio. Among the many performers he has collaborated with are Paddy Keenan, the late Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, Robbie Hannan, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Mick Hanly and the late Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin.

He was a member of Seachtar – which, upon the early departure of Tony MacMahon, became The Bothy Band. When the prospect of full-time touring and recording did not appeal to Glackin, he parted ways with the Bothies and was replaced by the late Donegal fiddler, Tommy Peoples, who was in turn replaced by Kevin Burke. Glackin preferred the security and regularity of a carrer in broadcasting so that he could preserve his musical life for his own enjoyment. More recently, he was a member of the occasional performing ensemble, LAPD – made up of Liam (O’Flynn), Andy (Irvine), Paddy and Dónal (Lunny).

Paddy Glackin’s award as Musician of the Year means that all three fiddlers who played with the Bothy Band have won Gradams – Tommy Peoples in 1998 and Kevin Burke in 2016. Of the other members of the band, flute player, Matt Molloy, was named as Musician of the Year in 1999 and piper Paddy Keenan in 2002. Dónal Lunny won a Gradam for Lifetime Achievement in 2017 while Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill won the Composers Award in 2019 – six years after her former band-mate, Tommy Peoples in 2013. The sixth member of the band – the late Mícheál Ó Domhnaill – now shares a Gradam posthumously this year as a member of Skara Brae – along with sisters, Tríona and Maighread (also Singer of the Year in 2005) and Daithí Sproule – in the new category of Music Group of the Year.

So, every member of The Bothy Band has now been recognised with a Gradam. And just for good measure, the seventh member of the band’s precursor, Seachtar – the late Tony MacMahon – also won a Gradam for Lifetime Avchievement in 2005.

Skara Brae: (from left) Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill and Daithí Sproule

Lifetime Achievement

This year’s Gradam for Lifetime Achievement goes to Dolores Keane. With one of the most distinctive, soulful, and sweet voices of her generation. Dolores was influenced as a child by the singing of her aunts Sarah and Rita. She began her professional singing career with Dé Dannan in 1975 where her emotive vocals were to stunning effect. Her subsequent work with John Faulkner brought new arrangements to the tradition that was to continue through the 1980s and early 1990s.

Dolores Keane

Her recordings with The Reel Union Band, Solid Ground and Lion in a Cage, were ground-breaking. As well as featuring in the A Woman’s Heart project, Dolores has collaborated with a number of other leading performers including The Chieftains, Paul Brady, John Prine, Rita Eriksen and Emmylou Harris.

Sarah Ghriallais

Conamara sean-nós singer Sarah Ghriallais is the Singer of the Year. Sarah grew up in Muicineach in the Conamara Gaeltacht steeped in the tradition of sean-nós. She won Corn Uí Riada at Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 1984, an award won eight times since by various members of the Griallais family; her sisters Nan and Nora and more recently, her son, Michael Frank Ó Confhaola and her niece Celia Ní Fhátharta. Sarah was appointed singer in residence at NUI-Galway in 2017. Her songs have been recorded by Cló Iar–Chonnacht and most recently Idir Dhá Sháile 2 by Gael Linn. The most noted songs of her repertoire are Táilliúr a’Mhagadh, Eileanóir na Rún, Póg Bhideog and Amhrán Chamuis.

Another fiddle player. Connie O’Connell from Cill na Martra, in the Múscraí Gaeltacht of West Cork is the Composer of the Year. Connie’s music has been influenced by the renowned fiddle players of Sliabh Luachra such as Pádraig O’Keeffe, Denis Murphy and his sister, Julia Clifford. In 2014 a collection of 69 of his compositions was released as a double album (recorded by Connie and his daughter, Áine), along with a book of the tunes. UCC – where Connie has taught fiddle since the 1980s – has made this Bóithrín na Smaointe project available as a free, online learning resource.

Edwina Guckian from Drumsna in Co. Leitrim takes the Gradam for Outstanding Contribution. Steeped in the music of Leitrim and Roscommon as a young child, Edwina is a dancer, dance teacher, choreographer, artistic director, and cultural activist. Through The Airc Damhsa Culture Club, The Leitrim Dance Project, The Modern-Day Mummers and her most recent projects, Sowing the Seed and Jenny Put the Kettle On, she has engaged thousands of children and adults in dance, all in a fun, non-competitive environment. She has also promoted the cultural treasures of her native Leitrim through her work with most cultural and artistic organisations in Ireland today. Having performed with the biggest musical acts in Ireland, she is one of Ireland’s leading solo dancers.

Edwina Guckian

Box player, Diarmuid Ó Meachair from Cúil Aodha in Cork, is the Young Musician. Having started on the tin whistle and growing up singing with the Cór Cúil Aodha, Diarmuid was always immersed in the Irish traditional music world. Drawing from musicians such as Finbarr Dwyer, Jackie Daly, Johnny Connolly and mixing that with techniques from John Kimmell and many Quebec musicians, Diarmuid is one of the most exciting accordion/melodeon players of his generation.

Sponsored by TG4, the Gradam Ceoil awards scheme involves the annual selection of a number of recipients by an independent panel of adjudicators. It is not a competition. The Gradam Ceoil recipients are presented with a specially commissioned piece by sculptor, John Coll, as well as a small monetary award. This year’s awards will be presented at the Gradam Ceoil TG4 Concert, which will take place in Dublin for the first time in Gradam history – at the National Concert Hall on Easter Sunday, April 17. At this live televised concert, hosted by Doireann Ní Ghlacáin & Páidí Ó Lionáird, the 2022 Gradam recipients will be joined in performance on stage by their own special musical guests in a unique, star-studded line-up of musicians and award-presenters. Tickets, each costing €25/€20 (conc.) plus booking fee, are available at https://www.nch.ie/Online/mapSelect.asp?doWork::WSmap::loadMap=Load&createBO::WSmap=1&BOparam::WSmap::loadMap::performance_ids=BD4BB694-1618-45E9-A633-D27432F39157.

The full list of TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2022 recipients:

  • Ceoltóir/Musician – Paddy Glackin
  • Amhránaí/Singer – Sarah Ghriallais
  • Ceoltóir Óg/Young Musician – Diarmuid Ó Meachair
  • Gradam Saoil/Lifetime Achievement – Dolores Keane
  • Cumadóir/Composer – Connie O’Connell
  • Grúpa Ceoil/Music Group- Skara Brae
  • Gradam Comaoine/Outstanding Contribution – Edwina Guckian
Christy Ukraine

Musicians Unite for Ukraine

Among the many acts of solidarity and support for the victims of the
Russian invasion of Ukraine are three significant fund-raising concerts in
Dublin, Westport and Cork.

On April 11 Christy Moore will play a special concert in support of the Irish Red Cross Ukraine Appeal in Vicar Street.

Before that on March 30, Matt Molloy headlines a Ukraine Solidarity Evening in Matt Molloy’s Yard Bar in Westport. The bill includes two bands, Coda and Crooked Trad, as weell as Tony Reidy and Peter Molloy. All proceeds from the evening will go to the Candle of Grace charity – with a suggested donation of €10 each.

Matt Molloy
Karan Casey
Jimmy Crowley
John Spillane
Nell Ní Chróinín

The following night on March 31, a stellar line-up of musicians and artists from Ireland and Ukraine will take part in a special concert in City Hall, Cork, to raise funds and awareness for AURI, the Association of Ukranians in the Republic of Ireland, and for international relief organisations.

The bill includes John Spillane, Karan Casey, Jimmy Crowley, Nell Ní Chróinín, Mná na bPíob (an uilleann-pipe ensemble comprising Máire Ní Ghráda, Rosaleen O’Leary, Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby, Heather Clarke and Molly Ní Ghráda), Olena Lesya Iglody, Oksana Dobronos, Nadiya Yalova, and students from Ghaelscoil Uí Riada and Gaelscoil Ghort Álainn. The Céilí All-stars will be the house band for the night and poet, Theo Dorgan, will also perform. As well as being available to the live audience, the concert will also be livestreamed on the Cork City Council website with an option to donate.

Gerry and Gilles to record at last

Gilles le Bigot and Gerry O'Connor

Oriel fiddle master, Gerry O’Connor, and Breton guitar vituoso, Gilles le Bigot, will finally undertake a series of Covid-delayed concerts which will include the recording of a new live album (originally scheduled for April 2020). The album, to be titled Live in Oriel, will be a follow-uo to the duo’s 2006 album, In Concert, recorded in Douarnanez in Brittany. It has been the subject of a Kickstarter fundraising campaign.

From Ravensdale near Dundalk, Gerry O’Connor was a founder member of the acclaimed Irish bands Skylark and Lá Lugh and now plays with the North American-Irish band, The Irish Rovers. His long-time musical colleague and friend, Gilles le Bigot is a highly respected guitarist and composer from Douarnanez in Brittany, well known as co-founder of top Breton groups, Skolvan and Barzaz. The duo have played together professionally since the early 1990s as part of Lá Lugh, recording three albums together and also collaborating on the 2012 album, Oirialla, with Nuala Kennedy and Martin Quinn.

Since 2000, they have played as a duo, touring throughout Europe, Australia and USA – releasing their live album, In Concert, in 2006 to critical acclaim. The duo have continued to add to their concert repertoire and, following repeated requests, have finally decided to record once again.

Tour Dates

Saturday, March 26: CCE Culturlann, Monkstown, Co. Dublin: Concert 

Tuesday, March 29: Mary Immaculate College, Limerick: Concert 

Saturday April 2: Armagh Pipers Club 39-41 Scotch St, Armagh City:  Masterclasses and Concert 

Thursday April 7: The Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Inniskeen, County Monaghan:  Concert and Live Recording, as part of Féile Patrick Byrne. in Carrickmacros