Tradition Now, the National Concert Hall’s traditional music series takes a unique look at the evolution of traditional music and provides a platform for forward-thinking musicians. This year’s series sees performances by Irish and International artists such as singer/songwriter Lisa O’Neill, musicians Catherine Ennis, Steve Cooney, Sam Amidon and a dedicated programme for children and young people with Kíla and Ceol Connected from 1 to 6 October.
The 2019 programme features two main stage events on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October.
Rough Trade supremo Geoff Travis has always been a man ahead of the curve, with the establishment of River Lea records which embraces traditional and contemporary folk he has reflected the rapid growth in interest in all forms of the genre. As part of Tradition Now he curates a special evening of River Lea artists on October 5th; BBC Radio Folk Award nominee Lisa O’Neill, brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn aka Ye Vagabonds whose harmony rich folk singing draws on traditional Irish and Appalachian sources and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner, Skye piper Brìghde Chaimbeul.
Elsewhere in the programme on October 6th, Sam Amidon makes a welcome return to the National Concert Hall. Over the course of his impressive career Amidon has guested on albums by luminaries such as The National, Glen Hansard, Olof Arnalds and The Blind Boys of Alabama. An accomplished guitarist, in 2017 he toured as a soloist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. For his Tradition Now performance he presents a program of his own music with a cast of improvising musicians fusing trad and jazz.
The second part of this special double-bill is a musical celebration of the struggle for civil rights in Ireland and America - Sounds Like Freedom. The project sees celebrated concertina player Niall Vallely join forces with American power-jazz trio Harriet Tubman who have worked with the likes of Living Colour, Lou Reed, Herbie Hancock, Sting, Arrested Development and Henry Rollins. On the night they will be joined by singer Karan Casey, harpist Una Monaghan and fiddle player Aidan O’Rourke.
Also in the series, Liam O’Flynn Award recipient Úna Monaghan presents a concert of her compositions for harp and electronics on October 1st, former Stockton’s Wing man Steve Cooney joins forces with flute player and uilleann piper Barry Kerr on October 2nd and the rare duet of Irish harp and Uilleann Pipes takes centre stage when Laoise Kelly and Tiarnan Ó Duinnchinn present an eclectic selection of historical tune and song air types from different parts of Ireland on October 4th.
In a very special performance in the Pepper Canister Church on October 3rd original Bothy Band fiddle player Paddy Glackin teams up with organist Catherine Ennis (daughter of Seamus, the centenary of whose birth we celebrate this year) and lauded piper and cellist Neil Martin for a mix of traditional airs and newly-composed works.
Tuesday 1 October 8.30pm, The Studio
The composer, harper, sound engineer and Liam O’Flynn Award recipient presents a concert of her compositions for harp and electronics.
Wednesday 2 October 8.30pm, The Studio
Barry Kerr and Steve Cooney
An innovative exploration of the work of flute player, uileann piper, songwriter and painter Barry Kerr in collaboration with guitarist Steve Cooney.
Thursday 3 October 8pm, Pepper Canister Church
Catherine Ennis, Paddy Glackin and Neil Martin
Uileann piper and organist Catherine Ennis, fiddle player Paddy Glackin and Neil Martin (composer, arranger, cellist) present a varied repertoire of bespoke arrangements of traditional airs and newly composed pieces.
Friday 4 October 8.30pm, The Studio
Laoise Kelly and Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn
Harper Laoise Kelly and uileann piper Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn present a selection of songs that have their origins in 17-19 century manuscripts from different parts of Ireland.
Saturday 5 October 12pm, The Studio
Join innovative Irish band Kíla for an interactive family concert featuring music from award winning animation Song of the Sea.
Saturday 5 October 8pm, Main Stage
Lisa O’Neill, Ye Vagabonds and Brìghde Chaimbeul
Singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill, harmonic folk duo Ye Vagabonds and Scottish piper Brìghde Chaimbeul take part in an evening curated by Geoff Travis celebrating his River Lea record label.
October 6 October 12pm & 2pm, The Studio
Ceol Connected - TREEHOUSE
Deeply rooted in Irish traditional music, TREEHOUSE is a unique music and puppetry performance for families that is sure to have everyone singing along.
October 6 October 8pm, Main Stage
Sam Amidon Extended Ensemble and Sounds Like Freedom
Folk artist Sam Amidon leads an ensemble of top jazz and improvising musicians for a very special trad-jazz fusion performance. Concertina player Niall Vallely presents his Sounds Like Freedom project which blends fiery political power jazz from Harriet Tubman with traditional sounds.
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Tradition Now is presented in partnership with The Arts Council and is supported by The Irish Times as Print Media Partner and Davy as Innovation Partner.