Traditional Music and Song

june, 2022

fri10jun7:30 pmIarla Ó Lionáird & Cormac McCarthy / Karan Casey Trio7:30 pm Saint Luke's, Summerhill North, Cork

Event Details

As part of the 3 Rivers Rising weekend of traditional and folk music, Iarla Ó Lionáird is joined by Cormac McCarthy. THe bill also includes the Karan Casey Trio and Julie Goo.

Iarla Ó Lionáird has carved a long and unique career in music both internationally and in Ireland. From his iconic early recording of the vision song, Aisling Gheal, as a young boy to his groundbreaking recordings with the Afro-Celt Sound System and the Gloaming, he has shown a breadth of artistic ambition that sets him apart in the Irish music fraternity. His voice has also been heard in cinemas around the world with film credits extending from The Gangs of New York to Hotel Rwanda and most recently as featured singer in the film Brooklyn. Iarla won a TG4 Gradam Ceoil as Traditional Singer of the Year in 2008.

Cormac McCarthy is a pianist, composer, arranger and conductor from Cork. Originally regarded as a jazz musician, Corma c is equally at home in modern classical as well as traditional genres. His collaborations give an indication of the breadth of his musical tastes: they include Martin Hayes, Nell Ní Chróinín, Liz Carroll, Donal Lunny, Mick Flannery, Andrea Corr, Gavin James, the DePaul Jazz Ensemble, the Crash Ensemble, the New Irish Jazz Orchestra and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. In 2015, Cormac released Cottage Evolution, his debut LP as bandleader, to critical acclaim. He is also a member of Martin Hayes’ most recent project, The Common Ground Ensemble. As a conductor, he has led the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra.

A former member of the US-based traditional band, Solas, Waterford-born singer-songwriter, Karan Casey, has performed as a solo artist for over twenty years. A much sought after live performer, Karan is also a successful recording artist. In addition to the four albums she made with Solas, she has also released eight in her own right – the latest being the acclaimed Hieorglyohs That Tell the Tale in 2018. as well as contributing to projects involving other artists including a number of compilation albums. Karan’s talent for composition was recognised when  her song, Down in the Glen was nominated in the Best Original Folk Track category at the RTÉ Folk Awards in 2019. One of the founders of FairPlé, the campaign for gender equity in folk and traditional music, Karan combines art and activism – which was reflected  in a special show she performed at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2021 entitled I Walked Into My Head – descrived as part song-poem, part music performance. For this concert, Karan will be accompanied by her husband, Niall Vallely (concertina), and brother-in-law, Caoimhí­n Vallely (piano, tin whistle and fiddle) – both from the remarkable Armagh music family and both now resident in Cork.

A former member of Cork-based band Nomos, Niall Vallely is recognised as one of Ireland’s finest concertina players, having begun his musical education with his parents, Brian and Eithne Vallely, the founders of the Armagh Pipers’ Club. That education continued with a degree in music from UCC in 1992 under the guidance of the late Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, and was recently extended with a doctorate. A widely recorded artist both as a soloist and as an ensemble player, Niall’s musical horizons now include teaching and composition was well as performing. The latter two activites were combined mist memorably in 2019 with two world premieres – his Concerto fior Concertina in Dublin’s National Concert Hall and his Macha suite at Emain Macha (Navan Fort) in Armagh.

Caoimhí­n Vallely began tin whistle lessons at the Armagh Pipers Club before moving on to learn the fiddle. He also started classical piano lessons at this time. On leaving school he followed his older brother, Niall, to UCC to study music. From there he moved on to the University of Limerick where he studied for an MA in Traditional Music Performance. He has played and recorded with many different bands and individuals over the past ten years including North Cregg, Upstairs in a Tent (along with Brian Finnegan (now of Flook) and Kathryn Tickell), Alan Kelly, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Mel Mercier, Barry Kerr, Martin Meehan and three bands with Niall: Nomos, Buille and the Karan Casey Band. In late 2005, he released his debut solo piano album, entitled Strayaway.

Cork poet Julie Goo writes in English and Irish. Writing under the name Julie Field,  she published her first book of poetry, Dána, in 2021.

Tickets, each costing 16.77, are available from


(Friday) 7:30 pm


Saint Luke's

Summerhill North, Cork


3 Rivers Rising

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